The Student Living Index 2015 survey asked nearly 2,500 students what they spend their hard-scrimped cash on and it’s official – Belfast is the least expensive city for students in the whole of the UK, beating Southampton, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Manchester. And here’s why.
Students here only spend around £46 per week on rent. If you were a student at Oxford, you’d be tearfully slapping £112 a week into your landlord’s hand, leaving you with no money to do anything except swot up for your inevitable appearance on University Challenge.
One of the ways in which the government works out inflation is to see how much a basket of shopping costs.
If they only looked at Belfast, cars would still cost sixpence and a holiday to Australia three groats: students here only spend £16 per week on shopping for essentials compared with almost £30 in Dundee.
The survey doesn’t make it clear why there’s this leap in price for our Scottish cousins – suppose those thermal longjohns aren’t cheap.
The cheapest form of transport is that one where you put one foot in front of the other for a sustained period until you reach your destination – known as ‘walking’. It’s not too popular with students but we’re obliged to mention it since it’s the best way to get around Queen’s.
If you prefer to let a machine transport you instead, it’s still not too expensive. Translink is the provider of all public transport (bus and train) in Northern Ireland, and they provide a discount card, YLink, which gives students a third off the price of their travel.
The survey also looked at how much sporting and socialising costs. We’d feel a bit silly if we didn’t point you in the direction of our wonderful Physical Education Centre, where students get the best rates, starting at £112.50 for nine months’ off-peak membership, and sporting facilities making Queen’s ”one of the premier sporting universities in Ireland and the UK” (Guardian University Guide 2015).
We also have over 30 sporting societies to cater for all interests, from skydiving to surfing clubs.
You can join up now if you’d like, here.
This is where we really come into our own. The Students’ Union has no less than five spaces for having a drink and a dance, or a bite and a blether*, whichever takes your fancy. The Mandela Hall situated inside, is a world class music and entertainment venue.
Many of the bars and restaurants around Queen’s are also more than happy to welcome students inside and run regular special offers and promotions.
This should help to avoid the “black hole in your wallet” syndrome you may often experience the next morning.
DISCLAIMER: er…within reason, of course.