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5 Reasons Why I Love UCL

Sophia Saeed, third year UCL Geography student, tells us 5 things she loves about UCL and shares some experiences from her UCL journey so far.

1) UCL's diversity 

Chinatown, London
There’s a reason why UCL is called London’s Global University! Students come from over 190 countries all around the world and bring diversity with them! Societies are packed with events for every culture and religion, including Diwali balls for the Hindu Society and keynote speaker events for the African Caribbean Society.

 

As well as societies, there is a BME Network supporting students from the black and ethnic minority community and an LGBTQ+ community, so you really feel represented in all ways at UCL. You don’t even have to be part of these communities to join in and support important causes because everyone is really inclusive. 

The diversity of London also really shines when you’re studying at uni. Moments away from UCL are high streets like Camden High Street and Tottenham Court Road which are full of food shops from every spot in the world. My personal favourite food is the Middle Eastern food on Edgware Road or the Chinese food in Chinatown. But I still have so many places to eat at, the list is endless! 

2) Location 

One of the main reasons why I chose to study at UCL as compared to other London universities is because of its ideal location. UCL is at the heart of London with the West End in Soho, parliament in Westminster and so many tourist hotspots being within walking distance. If you need a quick trip to the shops, the Brunswick Centre is basically on campus and Oxford Street is only 15-20 minutes away. 

Transport wise, UCL has 5 tube stations, loads of bus stops and Santander bike stations nearby, so if you are running late to campus, you really have no excuse! Even though the Coronavirus is still looming, travelling in and around London is pretty safe and well planned out. London might not be totally back to normal yet, but it feels like the same great city to live in. I can’t wait till it hopefully becomes fully open again soon! 

3) Teaching 

I was so pleased to start studying at UCL knowing that I was being taught by world-famous professors! This was really highlighted to me during the pandemic because I read multiple the Covid-19 articles in which UCL has been carrying out life-changing research. It makes me really proud that I am being taught by people who really care about their work (& I have shared it in every family WhatsApp group!). 

Even when I studied on a year abroad in Toronto, we were made to read my own UCL Geography lecturers’ articles for our work, which really shows how influential the lecturers are here. Also, during the pandemic, the Geography department has been really supportive and flexible about deadlines, so there is no doubt that the staff really care about their students. 

4) Facilities

Contrary to the belief that London universities don’t have the ‘real’ university experience, UCL does a pretty good job! 

Library

Firstly, there are so many libraries at UCL, I still haven’t been to every study place! (Trust me, you’ll never have an excuse NOT to study here!) The libraries are full of texts you need (or didn’t realise you needed), with computers and laptops to borrow at all times. 

What I also love about the facilities at UCL is that every department has a designated area on campus. The Geography department has a new common room, and it’s a great place to socialise with people going through the same deadlines as you! 

When you get a little hungry, every library and corner has student discounted cafés to get some food for your looming all-nighter or your coffee on the way to uni. The prices are pretty good too, and it’s a fun place to hang out with friends on campus. There’s also the Bloomsbury Gym and Bloomsbury Theatre at hand, so you could seriously stay on campus all the time. It has everything! 


5) The perfect mix 

Finally, a big reason why I admire UCL is because of the perfect mix between socialising, exploring London and academic life. Don’t get me wrong, the drive for academics is strong but I never feel too held down by my academics whilst studying here. I always feel like I’m enjoying myself! Most departments try to have social events throughout the year, and despite the pandemic, there are a lot of opportunities to study hard and meet so many people. I really can’t wait for my final year at UCL.