Britain has long been a favourite study destination for Malaysians, with approximately 18,000 Malaysians currently studying at universities in the United Kingdom. To help Malaysian students quickly familiarise with their study environment, British Airways (BA) has handpicked a number of popular student hangouts in various university towns in the UK.
BA country manager for Malaysia Vivian Tan-Loh said: “Britain has long been a favourite destination for Malaysian students because of its rich heritage.
“This year, we have also put together a list of places that students can explore during their down time. These popular university community hangouts are sure to offer Malaysian students abundant opportunities to get inspired, meet new friends and discover new interests!”
If you are studying arts, culture, or film in London, the BFI Reuben Library located inside the British Film Institute Southbank is definitely heaven-sent. Just fill up a simple form and you will have access to the best collection of resources in the film and television world.
The Library has individual workspaces where you can read and revise. When you get tired of studying, there is also a theatre where you can relax and watch some great movies — all in the name of research! The library is closed on public holidays, Sundays and Mondays.
If film is not your cup of tea, head out to the Southbank Centre located next to the BFI Reuben Library. The centre offers a panoramic view of London’s popular attractions, like the London Eye, Thames River and even the House of Parliament, making it a grand place to study or enjoy some leisure reading. If the view is too “distracting”, head over to the Royal Festival Hall within the Centre where there is a study space complete with tables and chairs — and free Wi-Fi — to help you focus.
Sometimes a change in scenery can do wonders for your powers of concentration. If you are a student in Belfast, head out to the Belfast City Hall Grounds for some outdoor studying, especially in the summer months. You may set up your “study station” on the grass, or sit on the available picnic benches.
If you prefer to study where movie stars studied, go to the quaint Linen Hall Library located opposite the City Hall. Brad Pitt once stationed himself in the library for three days researching for his movie, The Devil’s Own. You can also go on a historical tour of the library as it is one of Belfast’s most popular attractions.
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, is a historical and cultural city that offers the quintessential learning-living experience.
Students looking for a less conventional place to study can try the Balcony Café inside the National Museum of Scotland. It is a marvelous spot to view one of Scotland’s most spectacular spaces — the Grand Gallery, with its soaring pillars and lightfilled atrium. Definitely an inspirational and peaceful venue to tackle your hectic semester!
For nights where you are cramming for exams and need some great coffee to keep you awake, try the Artisan Roast on Broughton Street. Some say they serve the best coffee — and brownies — in Edinburgh! This perfect combination of comfort food would certainly sweeten up a stressful exam period.
An interesting highlight is a sign displayed in the cafe, which reads “J.K. Rowling never wrote here”, with a hand-written response “And I never will” right below the sign on the wall, written by J.K. Rowling herself!
If you are a student in Glasgow, look no further than the Mitchell Library, one of Europe’s largest and most renowned public libraries. So quiet that you can literally hear pins drop, the Mitchell Library allows you to shut out the world and be totally immersed in your books. A definite gem for all serious students.
For those who want to nourish stomach and mind at the same time, head out to Wilson Street Pantry, located right in the heart of the city. The eggs benedict and coffee here come highly recommended and once you have your fill, you can work on your assignments in the cafe’s relaxed and comfortable setting.
One of the most student-friendly cities in the UK, Manchester boasts of many nooks and crannies for students to study and feed themselves. Ziferblat, with its book-shelved walls, will undoubtedly give you Hogwarts vibes. For eight pence per minute, you can eat and drink all you can at Ziferblat while researching using their free Wi-Fi.
Alternatively, you can find yourself a quiet corner at the Nordic-inspired Takk Café in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. For those who prefer libraries, the Manchester Central Library offers soft seating throughout the building where you can curl up with a book or use your laptop. The Reading Room is ideal for a cosy read, but there are also plenty of cubicles for some desk work. Other libraries available in Manchester are the Chetham’s Library and John Ryland Library.
Special fares for students
British Airways has a long history of supporting Asian students who wish to study in the United Kingdom. In August, British Airways partnered with the British Council to host a pre-departure briefing session in Malaysia, preparing students for studying in the UK for the first time.
Vivian said the session aimed to help UK-bound students to quickly familiarise themselves with their study environment. During the session, students learnt about English culture, what to prepare before the trip and tips for travelling in Europe.
She added that British Airways had always supported students with special offers that allowed them to save more. The special student fares for Malaysian students came with a generous double baggage allowance of up to 46kg for a checked-in baggage and a one-piece hand baggage of up to 23kg per person per trip.
Students could also enjoy the flexibility to change travel dates at no charge, and make an onward connection to one additional city within the UK or Europe (applicable to selected destinations at no extra cost).
The special student offer is valid for one year. Students from Malaysia can take advantage of this exclusive offer by booking with British Airways’ preferred travel agents.
For more information and booking, please visit ba.com.