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What It’s Like to Study in Brighton

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So, you want to know what studying in Brighton is like? I graduated from the University of Sussex (based in Brighton) in the summer of 2018 with a degree in Ecology and Environment. Here are my key insights into what it’s like to study here.

(Nearly) everyone is from London

You’ll find out pretty quickly that most of the people at university in Brighton are from London. They will probably already all know each other. You will get tired of asking where people are from – it’s almost always London.

The only people who will ask you where you’re from are not from London. All the Londoners already know where everyone else is from - London. The sooner you accept that you’re in London 2.0, the happier you’ll be.

There’s more culture than you can possibly imagine

Need some more culture in your life? Brighton has got you, gurl! Art is everywhere you look. The streets are a living exhibition. There’s live music and dancing around every corner. Street performers and a random man dancing in gold Spandex? It’s got those too!

Studying in Brighton means at least one of your friends will be in a band.

You’ll feel truly free (and lose some inhibitions)

Brighton is a very accepting place. There is a lot of freedom to explore who you really are, and plenty of events to attend which may tickle your fancy, including:

Free the Nipple rally – Once a year, people of all genders get together to walk topless in solidarity against the patriarchal values placed on ‘female’ nipples and bodies.

Naked Bike Ride –  An annual event to raise awareness for cyclist safety but getting naked and riding a bike!

Party in your pants – A blacklight party, where you’re allowed to be as naked as you feel comfortable being. Everyone is given some paint/pens/glitter and you can get arty on a stranger! It’s really great fun!

Pride – Pride is the annual celebration for the LGBTQ+ community and Brighton Pride is a particularly big affair. Brighton is also the gay capital of the UK! So, if you're homophobic, you will not enjoy your time here xx

Silent Disco Beach Clean – Once a month, a themed beach clean takes place, where you can enjoy a silent disco through a pair of headphones. An act of selflessness with an added sprinkling of fun.

Plus, there are loads of other small, local events designed to suit everyone’s tastes!

It’s a veggie paradise

When I left home to go to university, I decided it was a good time to go vegetarian, something I’d wanted to do for a long time. Being vegetarian (and occasionally vegan) in Brighton was so easy and delicious. Every restaurant has a wide range of veggie and vegan options, while of course there are still loads of options for all you meat-eaters. Wherever you go, the food in Brighton is generally just really good.

Here are some of my favorite places to eat, should you wish to check them out:

We❤️ Falafel – this is my favorite food place in Brighton. Costs start from £3.95 for a fat falafel wrap. Always check out the specials.

Oriental Takeaway – A Chinese takeaway on Lewes Road that has so many dope veggie options (perfect for hungover vegetarians).

Moshimo – A reasonably-priced, Japanese restaurant that does deep-fried ice cream

Bombay Aloo – All-you-can-eat vegetarian Indian food for £6.99 (they have a sister restaurant that serves meat).

Terre à Terre – A boujiee vegetarian restaurant. The food there is pricey but incredible. A graduation meal destination for sure.

Pom Poko – Another Japanese restaurant; hot meals at student prices.

Grubbs Burgers – A burger chain exclusive to Sussex, perfect for hangovers.

Burger Brothers – Named the number one burger in the country, a must try.

Troll Burger – You can find these dope burgers in a shack under the station bridge. Guaranteed to please.

Be prepared to get political

It’s easy, when you’re in Brighton, to forget that people aren’t all passionately left wing. You will get trapped in an idealist bubble when living here.

I’m firmly of the opinion we need a lot more people who want the world to be A LOT better and fight for it to be. Brighton is, in my opinion, filled with people like that. Hopefully you’re one of them! Activism is an important part of being a Brightonian.

It’s about as expensive as London

Living in Brighton isn’t cheap. Rent, groceries and bills are going to break your bank, and then your soul. Ultimately, it’s as expensive as London, if not more so.

Rent is going to be at least £500pcm, not including bills. Getting the bus to and from uni costs around £5/6 a day now. Instead of which, I highly recommend getting a bike as the cycle lanes in Brighton are pretty good – you’ll thank me later.

Luckily, there are a couple of Aldi supermarkets which are cheaper than other brands, so eating at home may not be too painful but eating and drinking out needs to be done with care. There are, of course, some cheap student-friendly places to hang i.e. Hobgoblin or Shuffle Bar at happy hour. But Brighton is ultimately an expensive tourist trap, so beware!

You won’t find a more fun place to study

As you can probably tell, you won’t have to look very hard for a good time in Brighton. If it’s sunny you’ll find everyone at The Level or on the beach, soaking up the rays. Brighton really comes alive in the summer, and there’s no other uni town like it.

Pro tip: Try Tuaca! It’s a caramel-flavored liquor which can be found only in Brighton (in the UK, anyway). It can be found at any bar in the city and is delish!

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Written by Jessica Lee C.

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