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Five reasons to stay in Sunderland for university

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While moving away to a new city for university can be exciting and offers you a whole new level of independence, there are still plenty of reasons why staying locally to study is also a fantastic option. If you’re feeling the pressure to move away, just remember that your university experience is what you make of it and you definitely won’t be the only one who’s chosen to stay at home.

If you’ve grown up in or around Sunderland, you’ll already know how great our city is, but if you’re still feeling undecided about where you want to study, let us persuade you why staying local for university could be a good idea.

Students walking across Wearmouth Bridge

1. It's easier to save money

If you stay in Sunderland to go to university and choose to stay living at home with your parents, it’s likely that you’ll save money on things like rent, utility bills, and food costs, leaving you with the option to save money for the things you enjoy. Even if your parents end up asking you to chip in, you’ll still be spending a whole lot less than if you were living in student accommodation or privately renting. Living at home, you probably won’t have to take out a maintenance loan either, which will save you thousands of pounds and leave you with less student debt when you finish university.

Sunderland is easy to get to from other parts of the North East, so even if you aren’t local to the city itself, our excellent transport links like the Metro, train and bus – many of which are available with a student discount – mean travelling to university is easy and affordable.

2. You'll be joining our University community

Even if you’ve lived here all your life, living in Sunderland as a student will offer you an entirely different experience and give you the opportunity to try new things. Our students always comment on the friendly feel of our city and University, and our campuses provide a whole new world for you to explore. If you come to study with us, you’ll be able to benefit from our fantastic facilities and get involved with our many clubs and societies where you can pursue a hobby and make new friends.

Although you might choose to live at home to start with, if you stay in Sunderland for university, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the full student experience altogether. Once you’ve established some friends, you might want to go into a house share so that you can still achieve some independence and get even more of a feel for student life.

Students walking by the Fire Station on a sunny day

3. Share your hometown with new friends

Take the opportunity to enhance your student experience even further by sharing everything you love about your hometown with your new university friends. While you might have to invest more effort into building new friendships without the advantage of living in student accommodation, there are still plenty of ways to meet new people. Get chatting to the other students on your course or join a society or sports team where you can make friends with people who share the same interests as you. Attending Freshers’ Week, signing up to social events and using social media to join groups are also great ways of striking up a conversation with your fellow students.

Make the most of your local expertise and be a tour guide of your own city, showing your friends just what makes Sunderland so special. You’ll know all the best places to go, so get planning some weekend day trips or take your new friends to your favourite restaurant. Similarly, they might be able to open you up to some hidden gems or other new places you’d never considered visiting before!

"Having lived in Sunderland all my life, it’s a place very close to my heart, so when it came to making a decision about where to study, I knew there would be no better place. The University has some amazing facilities, which I knew would benefit me, plus it’s given me the chance to engage with young people within my hometown which I’m very passionate about. I’ve loved getting involved with the social side of things by playing for the University’s football team – it’s given me a great sense of pride to represent Sunderland."

Adam Hendry
MA Childhood and Youth Studies/BSc (Hons) Criminology

4. Keep your network of support close by

Staying closer to home for university will also mean it’ll be easier to stay connected with your existing friends and family. Moving away from home can feel incredibly daunting and there are definitely positives to take from having your home comforts nearby. Studying for a degree can be stressful at times, so having that support network of family members and close friends can be great for your mental wellbeing.

You’ll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds if you stay in Sunderland to study as you’ll have the familiarity of the life you know and love, as well as an abundance of new and exciting experiences to get stuck into.

5. Sunderland is thriving

Finally, what better reason is there to stay in Sunderland than to experience student life in a city that’s constantly evolving? Sunderland might be on the smaller side, but over £400 million is being invested into it over the next four years, regenerating the city centre and areas beyond with some exciting new developments – many of which are already completed or underway!

Our city just keeps getting better and better. So, if you love your hometown and the University offers the right course for you, the question you need to ask yourself is, do you need to move away? Join us for an Open Day to discover even more great reasons to stay in Sunderland for university.

Published: 13 April 2023