Sports and Societies:
The number of things to do at Surrey is entirely up to your interests. There are hundreds of clubs and sports teams to join that can help you meet new people and try something different. Examples of the societies are the video game society, harry potter society, stage crew (who do the lighting for events), poker society, etc. Generally, most degree’s also have a society. For my degree’s society, the computing society runs hackathons, bar crawls, BBQ’s, and other nights. You can attend other degree’s society events too. I went to the BioSoc ball last year.
The list of societies is on the University of Surrey Student’s Union page: https://www.ussu.co.uk/ClubsSocieties/societies/Pages/Society-Websites.aspx
One of the interesting things about studying in England is that the sports teams are much more inclusive meaning you can join at any level. There are multiple different team skill levels, so if you are trying something new you can start on an easier level or non-competitive team. If you are familiar with the sport, you can compete with universities all around the country. Surrey has one of the best sports park’s in the country that was built and renovated within the last 7 years. It has Olympic sized pools, a rock climbing wall, badminton courts, all the gym equipment you could want, a sports bar, and runs classes all the time. It hosted the Women’s Rugby World Cup, is the training ground of the London Harlequins Rugby Union, and was the training ground for the London 2012 Olympics. Student memberships are £210 for the year.
In Guildford’s town, you can watch plays, comedy shows, and concerts at GLive. They have regular showings and are worth a look. There is also The Boiler Room, a smaller venue, that hosts music and comedy shows. It is popular with Surrey students and is pretty cheap. There are plenty of restaurants, great shopping, a trampoline park, and a movie theatre in town. Within driving distance are theme parks and paintball fields. The town also hosts events throughout the year such as Bonfire Day that celebrates a failed attempt of an attack on Westminster in 1605 with fireworks and carnival rides.
If you like to go out clubbing or to the bar/pubs, there are plenty of opportunities for that. Surrey has about 5 clubs in town and one on campus called Rubix. Rubix is SUPER popular and is on at least twice a week (Wednesday and Friday). There are a few massive nights of the year such as Fresher’s Week (the first week of University), the Friday before Christmas break and Easter break, Full moon rave where you stay up until 5-6am, and the last week before the year ends. At each of these major nights, famous performers come play at the university such as Stormzy, Chase and Status, JaguarSkillz, and one of the guys from American Pie and his band. You may not have heard of them yet, but you will when you move.
As London is just a short 30-45 minute train ride away, you can also go out in England’s capital.
The university hosts a trip to one of the major club nights in London called Ministry of Sound where multiple DJ’s perform in multiple rooms of the club. The university will provide you transport making London easily accessible.
Day trips are easy and only cost about £10-15 for a return train ticket with a 16-25 railcard that I highly recommend purchasing. It cut costs by a third and pays for itself within just a couple journeys.
You can order them online here: https://www.16-25railcard.co.uk/
Once you get to London, there are endless things to do. Go visit West End plays (London’s version of Broadway), have tea in west Europe’s tallest building called the Shard, gaze over the city at London’s tallest public garden in the SkyGarden, get a pub lunch at Winston Churchill’s favorite pub called the Churchill Arms, ogle at the crown jewels at the Tower of London, buy the best street food and look for Banksy’s art on Brick Lane, visit Camden for London’s alternative district, be astounded by the free museums in Kensington (the natural history museum is my favorite), ride bikes through Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park, or any of the other Royal London Parks, or visit the Prime Meridian in Greenwich.
London, while it’s huge, is very walkable. There is so much to see that you wont be walking for more than five minutes without stumbling across another incredible building, statue, park, or attraction.
Guildford is in a prime location. With easy access to the south coast, Gatwick Airport (for those weekend trips to Europe), London, and beyond, you couldn’t find a better place to make your home in England. It is half the price of London that maintains a real university community. There are plenty of things to do to fill your time in Guildford and exploring beyond Guildford is easy to do. I have not found another university that combines academic excellence with accessibility, community, and price as the University of Surrey does.