Liverpool is one of the most popular destinations in the UK for Northern Irish students.
Each September, thousands move to Merseyside to begin their university studies in a city which has a long-standing connection with the country of their birth.
Many of those opt for Liverpool Hope University, where 10% of the student population hails from Northern Ireland.
But what it is about Liverpool and Liverpool Hope that these students love so much?
A home from home
For Befast-born Sasha McRory it is a mixture of the University’s leafy campus and the supportive environment she encountered.
The 23-year-old completed her undergraduate Politics and International Relations course in 2022 and is now doing a Masters in the same subject.
“I came to an open day and fell in love with the campus,” she explains.
“Everyone here was so welcoming and friendly and I knew that this was the right fit for me, it really did feel like a home from home.
“We get so much support from the University and the lecturers really get to know you, so you feel like a person rather than just another number or statistic.
“It’s a smaller university but the campus never feels dull and there is always something going on to suit everyone. It feel like a little community within Liverpool in itself.”
Plenty of opportunities
Going to university can open your eyes to a breadth of new experiences and that was certainly the case for County Antrim student, Teri Meehan.
She graduated from Liverpool Hope’s Early Childhood course in the summer of 2023 and says the range of extracurricular activities she enjoyed whilst studying were a real positive of her university experience.
“I enjoyed everything about studying at Hope,” she says.
“I enjoyed the course, the people I met, the University itself and the amount of opportunities you have, such as being a Course Representative, a Student Ambassador or a Wellbeing Assistant.
“I never thought I would leave Northern Ireland but it is the best thing I have ever done. I have now got so much experience for my CV and the experience itself has helped me build my confidence.”
An amazing city
The city your university is based in is always one of the key considerations for any prospective student.
It’s important to feel at home and Liverpool certainly excels at creating a welcoming environment for Northern Irish students.
The annual Liverpool Irish Festival is the only arts and culture-led Irish festival in the UK, whilst the Irish Care Community is an organisation offering support for all Irish communities.
Both provide a great way of connecting with the city’s Irish community and it’s that sense of home which has made Daragh Milsom’s time at Liverpool Hope so enjoyable.
“Liverpool is an amazing city,” adds the County Armagh native.
“It's really friendly and the people are great. I've been to a lot of other universities where my friends attended, and Hope has a distinct atmosphere that felt really welcoming.
“It can be a bit daunting moving away for university, but everyone at Hope made it so much better. I moved over in 2019, and I'm now working at the University and doing my Masters degree.
“It's somewhere I felt at home, and where I really enjoyed living.”
You can find out more about life at Liverpool Hope at our upcoming open days on November 29 and December 13 (Virtual). Book your place now.
We are also hosting a teaching training event at the Radisson Blu in Belfast on Saturday 18 November. Book your place now.