For those who considering to come to study at the University of Southampton, you might have a lot of doubt about what Southampton is like, where are the shopping centre, where to chill, and what to do. I hope this post would be somewhat helpful to you.
Southampton is a medium sized town with the population of 200k (approx). It is a main port of UK, situated by the south-west. It is 75 miles away from London or about 1.30 hours by train. It has several historical site such as Bargate wall, Titanic memorial (as where Titanic was sailed from), and its harbour.
Despite the fact that Southampton is situated right by the ocean, do not expect beach. It is more like a giant port of monster cruises and cargo ships. Every year, Southampton has the massive boat show which worth taking a glimpse. The town is a blend of modern to the old town. You can expect the big shopping mall, WestQuay mall, grocery stores, clubs, and parks. You can easily travel Southampton by buses like Unilink or Bluestar. It might not be the most exciting town to be in, but it is a good place for study.
Most population in Southampton are university students who are nice and friendly. You can find most people here are easy to talk to and always willing to help which can be rare in other cities. Though I need to warn you in some occasions you might encounter a minor racist groups of youngsters, especially if you are Asian (but nothing major or serious, you just need to know where you go and be aware of the surrounding environment).
With the location of Southampton, travelling and going to other cities are easy. You can travel to London, Portsmouth, Winchester, Bath, Stonehenge, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, etc. easily by train or coach. These places are good weekend hideaway destinations that let you explore more British culture.
Moreover, I have to address you that Southampton is much cheaper compare to other cities such as London. The living cost here is around 600- 800 pounds per month while London can cost twice or more. So this is a huge plus.
To sum up, I think Southampton is a decent town that let you focus on your study while you can still chill in the park, watch movie, go clubbing, go shopping, or travelling to other places. It has everything that you can get at your convenience and cost a bit cheaper.