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City Living Cost Comparison

Mihail Pandrea Student Life

Big decisions are to be made. Uni time is coming… Well, last year, this time, I was very undecided, same as you may be. I have applied for 5 universities, but the same course, Architecture, hoping that at least one will offer me a place.

Here comes the hard part, slowly but surely I have received offer after offer, and the pressure was on me, deciding on which path I want to follow, so I very much feel your indecision right now.

Picking by heart was not an option as the financial part was for me as it may be for you also, a very important asset in my final decision.

I started making a list, arranging all universities by various criteria. First label was the annual universities league table, but that was not enough to make me say yes to one or another. When  it came to league tables, Newcastle and Manchester  were the highest rated in Architecture. (2015)

Trust me, do not go for the first beat of your heart, stay clear and analyse all the options. After ordering unis this way, kick their names out and start looking for the city they are in. Discover the city and mainly, research the cost of living, from public transport, to accommodation, or even to the average price difference for your favourite product between the cities you received an offer from.

Having to chose between Newcastle, Edinburgh, Portsmouth, Manchester and Aberdeen, I started to do warm up for the uni , doing some research.

First thing first, student accommodation. It varies a lot between certain cities and I found a certain stat about decisions in life… always go North, because it is always cheaper. In this case, searching for the cheapest accommodation, Newcastle upon Tyne was the obvious top of the list, with Lovaine Hall being in the heart of the city, delivering a comfortable room with all facilities for only £70/week.

I very much like beer and coke, both accompanied by a good meal, whether it is served in a restaurant or cooked by myself, so why not compare prices? I have searched and further found out it was for real that Newcastle is way cheaper even when it comes to food and drinks.


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And as most of you will have applied and thought about going to London, consider not only the uni time but the perspective of your career and further expenses, earnings and needs at the same time. In this case, you should know that You would need around £4,481.07 in London to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with £2,600.00 in Newcastle Upon Tyne (assuming you rent in both cities). (According to

So far it was clear for me that little things that were cheaper in Newcastle than in any other city I had on my list, was another reason to strengthen the top of the table adding more strong points, by financial means.

Last but not least, even if most of the accommodation facilities are in the city centre or very near, for accessing some of the other facilities or visiting the beauties of the North East, you will obviously need public transport. So I also compared public transport, because in some cases, such as Manchester, the facilities are spread around the city, and transport will be a main spending path. Same with Edinburgh and Aberdeen, where the transport costs way more than in Newcastle.

Another transport method often used by students is the taxi, used to reach pubs, restaurants and social areas of the city, whether it is because there is too late for public transport or you have an a meeting that you cannot afford to be late on. Even in this sector, Newcastle proved to be the cheapest.

Getting around...

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After clearly putting all on paper, Northumbria University in Newcastle, became an obvious choice for me as a future student. Of course it had its weak points but, it had much more stronger points than others in sectors that were very influent and still are, on my wallet, future and existence.

Blending with the love for the tradition, history and architecture of Newcastle, it became my strongest option, and here I am following the paths walked by The Great Roman Emperor Hadrian.

All data is up to date: April 2016, as collected from:

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