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Student Life - Living in Historic Canterbury

1st November 2023

Canterbury is not only a great place to visit, it's also a sensational place for study. And the students have plenty of good things to say about us!

As a small historic city close to London, we welcome thousands of students to the city's three universities every year and also play host to their visiting friends and family.

In this guest blog by Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), we hear from student Clara on what it was like to move from her home city to a brand new location and what it was about Canterbury that helped her feel at home. 

Recent Canterbury Christchurch graduate Clara isn’t shy of travelling to different cities around the globe. Originally from Angola, Clara decided to study in Florida USA, before realising that living on a huge campus, with nothing else for miles, just wasn’t for her. 

“I missed the vibrancy of city life and the sense of community. I needed to be somewhere where people connected with each other and their surroundings.” 

After leaving the USA and deciding to begin her studies elsewhere, Clara spent some time in Portugal before moving to Canterbury to complete a degree in Logistics Management.  

“I hadn’t ever visited Canterbury until I started my course because I was living in Portugal. But I was relieved to find out that the city was small. It’s busy but quaint. You really get a sense of community in Canterbury because of the friendly and welcoming atmosphere.” 

With our Canterbury Campus based in the city, Clara’s wish to study in the hustle and bustle of a vivid city came true.  

“Being a student in Canterbury was definitely a different experience from my previous university. You can walk almost anywhere, which makes life so much easier, and everything is on your doorstep.” 

The Rich History of Canterbury

When asked what she’d recommend to visit during a visit to Canterbury, Clara didn’t hesitate to answer.  

“I would recommend the cathedral. It’s unbelievably spectacular, more than you can imagine.” 

With Canterbury Cathedral at the heart of the city, it’s no surprise that this historic monument is filled with legendary tales and is visited by millions each year.  

Poignant moments of history have taken place in the walls of this cathedral, from the infamous murder of Thomas Beckett to the Royal Weddings of King Henry III and Edward I. 

And thankfully, for Clara, this is where she’ll be graduating in the coming weeks.  

What’s more, studying in a UNESCO World Heritage Site enlivens the history and culture that Canterbury offers. It’s one thing learning about what happens in a city, but it’s another thing to live within the ancient grounds that are surrounded by our city’s monolithic Roman walls.  

Not only does Clara enjoy the contemporary and cosmopolitan vibe that Canterbury exudes, but she has the opportunity to actively interact with its extensive and bountiful past.  

Clara’s advice for students  

Moving to a different city is always daunting. The fear of the unknown; the excitement for a new chapter. So, it’s always helpful to have some advice from former students.  

“Have a plan with what you’d like to do when you move. You might want to get into sports, or you may want to volunteer in some way. It’s good to have an idea but you’ll most probably engage in different activities that you never thought you’d do.  

"There’s a bit of everything here in Canterbury. If you let yourself, you will have some of your best moments in life as a student in Canterbury.”  

Thanks to Clara for sharing her thoughts, experiences and invaluable advice for all our future students.  

If you’re thinking about where to study, Canterbury is the perfect place that balances city and student life: get to and from London in under an hour, enjoy a day at the seaside, and live in a city full of character.   

With so much to do in this extraordinary city, intertwined with its rich heritage, Canterbury offers an abundance of history, culture and opportunity.