Yesterday I hopped onto the bus, armed with my campus map and braved the 25 degrees heat to head out to the University of Bristol Open Day. As you can imagine the weather was marvellous, it was bright and sunny…just like the photos in the prospectus!
Getting there was challenging, I got off at the wrong bus stop (I think it was too early) which meant I had to navigate free hand. To make matters worse I had no data on my phone, so I couldn’t just get a map up and get some directions. Instead I had to ask random members of the public for directions, I got quite lost and ended up in some antique market. After I kept asking different people, I slowly came closer and closer to the university. Then it was quite a long walk up a rather steep hill to the top where the university is located.
Once I arrived there was no time to take in views or anything, I was straight of to my first talk of the day ‘Cellular and Molecular Medicine’. To be honest going in I knew little about the course, so was simply keen to get a better insight. I was actually quite surprised the course sounded quite interesting and something to consider. Afterwards I headed to their cafe in the Chemistry department, where I ordered a rather expensive latte. From the cafe I walked down the corridor and had a quick browse of the biomedical library. The library was not that big to be honest and there appeared to be quite a lot of ancient books. However there was some good study space and plenty of desks, some of which had computers and a nice view across the city.
Afterwards I went over to their labs to have a look around at their displays. I found the biochemistry and biomedical science displays, which was what I was interested in. I spoke to a biochemistry first year student who briefly explained the difference between the two courses. Then I went to biomedical science and asked one student if she knew if the course was accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Scientist, surprisingly she did not know. Which was quite surprising really considering the fact that she was studying the course! However the whole area was quite busy with people so I didn’t really speak to many people there. Looking back on it, I think I should have spent a little longer at the displays and asked some more questions.
Once I had checked out the laboratories, I headed into the city centre to look at the city accommodation. First I went to a rather nice place that was extremely modern and newly refurbished. Location 1 was a short walk from the department I would be at, which is a bonus. The rooms however were very small, it was quite literally shoe box living. What made the rooms appear even smaller was the fact that they had a double bed, which meant the floor space was rapidly reduced. I don’t know about you but I would rather be able to walk around my room, than have a large bed. The en suite was practically a cupboard, but was clean and tidy. In location 1 they had a nice communal room and a good launderette. However the corridors were extremely narrow and tight, with what felt like endless stairs!
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Also in the city centre was Location 2. Location 2 was cheaper and older. The rooms were on the whole larger and you could easily walk around. The beds were single, but the desk was much larger. Yet the room was very dull and poorly lit, with one small window. The light was kept on even though it was in the middle of a very sunny day. But the worst part had to be the en suite, it was very grubby and grim. The floor was stained, to the point where I would consider wearing flip flops in the shower!
Once we finished snooping around the city centre accommodation we headed back to the biology and chemistry departments. We managed to attend the biomedical science talk, which was ultimately the one I most wanted to go to, however it was “fully booked” however not everyone turned up, so we managed to get in. The talk on the whole was disappointing, it was practically identical to the “Cellular Medicine” one I went to a few hours earlier. Straight afterwards I had the biochemistry talk, which was much more engaging. The lecturers really grabbed my attention and rather than just rambling through the modules, they gave examples of what you would be learning.
The last thing I wanted to do, was check out some more accommodation. The next location was a lot further away and required quite a walk, so it didn’t quite tick the whole location box! Once I arrived I realised that they were basically closing. So I only got a real quick peek at the rooms. I viewed an en suite room and was very impressed, it was a lovely big room, with a sink for cooking (yes cooking!) and an en suite! The only thing I can say is that I dread to look at the pricing of a room like that! The kitchen itself, was not quite as nice as other places. The whole grounds on the whole was amazing, it was like entering a stately home: a beautiful historic entrance and extensive gardens. However time was of the essence and I was only able to view one of the two locations.
Getting back home was equally challenging, as the bus decided to pick me up from a different stop that it dropped me off! Nevertheless I managed to get home safely and avoided getting sun burnt!
Overall the day was good, I enjoyed the talks and displays. Most of the student ambassadors were helpful and none of them were rude. However I wasn’t overly keen on the whole location, it was all very hilly and spread out, which meant a lot of walking. The student ambassadors were only directly outside the university, so actually finding the place was challenging! It would have been nice to have people spread out a little further to direct people towards the university, which would have saved people like myself endlessly walking up and down.