What is living in Norwich like for students?

Norwich is the ideal middle-ground between the bustle of a bigger city and the friendliness of a smaller town. Full of creativity, energy and culture, this is a great place to explore and have some fun. As it’s just two miles from the UEA campus, students living in Norwich are in easy reach of city life.

Voted one of the best places to live in the UK (The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2019), Norwich is the UK’s best kept secret. You’ll find lots to do here just like in larger cities, however you’ll also have the security of knowing that this is one of the top 10 safest places to be a student (The Telegraph 2017).

What makes Norwich a great student city?

  1. Location – visit the coast in under an hour, fly to Amsterdam in under an hour or travel to London in under two hours.
  2. Events – it's large enough to host lots of major events, such as live music festivals and food festivals.
  3. Food – there is a mix of modern and traditional restaurants, as well as international and Asian supermarkets.
  4. Culture – Norwich was England's second biggest city for more than 700 years, home to medieval architecture.
  5. Music – Norwich has a thriving local music scene and as it’s the biggest city in the region, big bands often tour here.

What can I do for fun in Norwich?

There's a wealth of fun things for students to do while living in Norwich. You’ll discover:

  • Games. Challenge friends to ten-pin bowling at the bowling alley or a game of basketball at the trampoline park.
  • Cinemas and theatres. Norwich has four cinemas and six theatres that have a diverse programme of events all year.
  • Live music venues. You'll find top music acts performing at The Waterfront, run by the UEA Students' Union.
  • Markets. Discover one of the largest open-air markets in England, with 200 stalls selling food, crafts and more.
  • Shopping. With two modern shopping centres and a department store, you'll be able to buy the best brands.

Discover more things to do in Norwich here.

What sports can I play in Norwich?

If you’re a football fan, Norwich City Football Club competes in England’s Premier League and you can watch matches at Carrow Road stadium. If you prefer playing sport, you can play just about any sport in UEA's Sportspark, including:

  • general fitness activities like swimming and working out in the gym
  • indoor activities like rock climbing, squash, badminton and martial arts
  • outdoor activities like athletics, football, hockey and tennis

For fans of watersports, you’ll never be more than an hour from the coast where you can enjoy miles of sandy beaches and all forms of watersports, from water skiing and windsurfing to paddleboarding and rowing.

Can I find international food in Norwich?

You can enjoy a world of cuisines in Norwich. If you fancy dinner out, you'll find restaurants serving everything from French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Thai and Indian meals, to American and British food. There's no need to worry if you have a special dietary requirement – many places have vegetarian, vegan and halal options. Popular restaurants include:

  • Wanfo House – very authentic Chinese food
  • Blue Joanna – award-winning Asian restaurant
  • Namaste Village – quality Indian street food
  • Jorge’s – Portuguese meat and seafood dishes
  • Goulash House – delicious Hungarian food

If you want to eat on campus, there are lots of supermarkets nearby to pick up your groceries. Sometimes specialist ingredients are needed to make meals from home, but you won't have a problem sourcing them. In Norwich, you'll find several Chinese and Asian supermarkets, an international food store and health food stores.

For students who have opted for a Meal Plan, you will have two meals each day in the INTO Café and Restaurant. This means you can start your day with cereal, fruit and a hot breakfast or have your choice of international food options at lunchtime or for dinner. There will always be the option to have noodles or rice with your meal!

How much does it cost to live in Norwich for students?

The cost of living in Norwich is 31% cheaper than London (Expatistan, Jan 2020). This is an inexpensive place to live if you're good at budgeting and find the right places to shop. After a few weeks of living in Norwich, you'll begin to know what things cost and learn how to budget, but in the meantime, you can consider the cost of:

  • food and drink
  • entertainment
  • travel (local and national)
  • clothes and toiletries
  • other expenses, such as haircuts

If you've chosen an accommodation option with a Meal Plan, your estimated monthly food budget will be much lower.

Find out how to budget at university here.

Is it easy to travel around Norwich and the UK?

Norwich is easy to get around on foot or by cycling, but it also has a frequent bus service that will take you around the city. There are discounted bus passes available for UEA students that you can also purchase as an INTO UEA student.

If you are eager to explore the rest of the UK and Europe, Norwich has great transport links. Fly to Manchester, Edinburgh or Amsterdam from its international airport, or get the train to:

  • Cromer Beach – 1 hour
  • Cambridge – 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • London – under 2 hours

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