I lived directly on campus and can only recommend this experience! The University of Essex is a large closed campus which means the campus is a great community, everything is on campus. There is a store where you can buy anything in an emergency, there is a post office, there are two bars that are both very cool and also used and run by students. There are also a few other cafes and restaurants, so everything you need, even a bookstore. I really enjoyed living right on campus because it made it so easy to get to know new people, you were there always and everywhere, you could meet people quickly, nobody is far away!
If you want to live on campus, there are different options, I lived in the South Courts myself, I thought it was super nice there, we were 6 people, a super nice flat, everyone had their own bathroom, which I really appreciated and we shared a kitchen and the area is a bit quieter (for those who care about their sleep at night). The houses on the north side of the campus are similar to the South Courts. Then there are the towers as a counter-example, they are very good for getting to know a lot of new people, there is always something going on and certainly always a party somewhere that you can go to, but accordingly it is a bit louder there at night. There are 12-16 people there who share a very spacious kitchen and I think there are 2 bathrooms in each flat. The Meadows and Quays are a 10-15 minute walk from the university, but also closer to Tesco for shopping.
Since there is actually everything on campus that you need, I felt that sometimes you really had to go out and do something where you had to walk a little further than just to the next building, but that wasn’t a problem either, because the university is close to the beautiful little town of Colchester and only half an hour from the sea. At the weekend you can take the bus to Clacton on sea or Brightlingsea, small beautiful places by the sea with great beaches and even a typical English pier! Colchester has many nice pubs, such as The Playhouse, The Slug and Lettuce, Three Wise Monkeys or many more and also some nightclubs (Hudson, Yates, Missoula, Liquid), although these differ a little from German clubs because they are a lot Close earlier than in Germany and the clubs are more like a mixture of club and bar, so a very relaxed atmosphere, but where you can also dance. According to ANDYEDUCATION, The university itself also has its own club “Subzero”, which is really very practical, the club is small, but you can walk to it, just go home, you don’t have to worry about the trip.
The university has a great community called the Students Union, in which every student automatically becomes a part. The SU offers a great range of sports and generally great leisure activities. You can become part of a society and there are really societies for everything, be it art, politics or certain countries. With sports clubs, there are different types of sports that you can simply become a member of for free, such as kickboxing (which I did and which I really enjoyed!). You can even go climbing as the university has its own climbing wall! Riding, swimming or rowing is also all possible in the vicinity.
There are tennis courts on campus and you can go golfing once a week. If you are a member of a sports club, you will quickly make great and good friends with whom you definitely have one thing in common. At the university it is a tradition that all sports clubs meet on Wednesday evenings, usually individually and then a so-called “social” is celebrated and then everyone goes to Subzero together. These socials usually have mottos, like cowboys or the like, which is great fun! In addition, there is the JustPlay offer, where you can simply reserve a seat for free and try out all the different sports, great for getting to know people!
I totally enjoyed my year abroad at the University of Essex and I can only recommend it! The university is big, but not huge, because after a while you really know a lot of people, but you can still meet new people again and again. The people here in general are all super open and friendly.
The application process was very pleasant for me via MicroEDU, as I received all the information by email, always had super-fast answers and also nice phone calls that were very helpful. I didn’t have to do a lot because MicroEDU made contact with the university and I was able to clarify everything through my contact person, Ms. Bastian, who was always very helpful and super friendly.