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birmingham profile

Birmingham Guide for Students

As the capital of Central England, Birmingham has all the entertainments and facilities a student needs. With nightlife to rival that of any major city, world class sporting facilities, a superb arts and cultural scene, cosmopolitan cuisine and excellent shopping facilities, Birmingham has something for everyone.

Being a student in Birmingham

When you come to Birmingham, prepare to be surprised. The City has enjoyed a renaissance in the last few years arising from the renovation of its historic areas and the creation of many new developments such as the world renowned International Convention Centre and the National Indoor Arena. One of the jewels in Birmingham's crown must be the canal side area in the heart of the city. Known as Brindleyplace, it has a wide variety of bars and restaurants, as well as modern office spaces, hotels, the Crescent Theatre, and the National Sea Life
Centre. The area has gained international recognition with a recent 'Excellence on the
Waterfront' award.

Birmingham Nightlife

The club scene in Birmingham easily rivals that of Manchester or London. Broad Street and Brindleyplace are where the newest bars and clubs are found, all within easy reach of each other and the city centre. There is also a whole host of leisure and entertainment developments under way within the city, so there's always something fresh to try. For a pre-club drink, try the Medicine Bar at the Custard Factory in Digbeth, which has three storeys of stylish decor and superb DJs, before heading off to The Church or Miss Moneypenny's for the latest club sounds. If a good meal out is your preferred way to spend an evening, you cannot come to Birmingham without trying one of the speciality Baltis. Head for the Birmingham Balti Mile, which offers the authentic balti dining experience with over 49 different
restaurants in one square mile - an inexpensive and informal dining delight.

Music in Birmingham

Music is well provided for in Birmingham with concert venues for every occasion. Major rock bands and artists play regularly in Birmingham either at the NEC Arena, which is about ten miles from the city, or at the National Indoor Arena in the city centre. For smaller gigs from local and indie bands, try the Aston Villa Leisure Centre and Wulfrun Hall in nearby Wolverhampton. Local pubs also double up as venues for a range of music from traditional Irish to heavy rock. Classical music finds a home at the acoustically-perfect Symphony Hall, an
internationally acclaimed concert venue which is part of the International Convention
Centre complex and home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Birmingham City University's Conservatoire also has an excellent concert venue
in the Adrian Boult Hall, where both student and professional orchestras regularly
perform. Birmingham is also the home of the Birmingham Contemporary Music
Group (BCMG), one of Europe's leading ensembles. The BCMG also runs
composition workshops and composition and performance master classes at
Birmingham City University Conservatoire.

Sport in Birmingham

If you are interested in sport, whether as participant or spectator, Birmingham has plenty of facilities, with more venues than any other city in Britain. The city is home to three leading professional football clubs, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City, and is a venue for international cricket which takes place at Edgbaston, home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club. Birmingham boasts other spectator sports including top class tennis and athletics. Whatever your sport you can be sure of finding somewhere to play or watch it in the city.

Entertainment and the arts in Birmingham

As a thriving cultural centre, Birmingham has a colourful mixture of entertainment to offer. The major theatres are the Hippodrome (home of the internationally acclaimed Birmingham Royal Ballet), the Alexandra and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre with its associated studio theatre, The Door, all of which offer a mix of classics,
ballet, opera, musicals and major dramatic productions. For film buffs, there are the Odeon, the Arcadian, and the recently-opened 30-screen Star City, the UK's largest cinema. The Electric Cinema offers a more avant-garde choice.
Birmingham has some of the finest art galleries in the country, the City Museum and Art Gallery housing the world's leading collection of Pre-Raphaelite art, contrasting with the modern, innovative work on show at the Ikon Gallery. For a 'living museum', visit the Jewellery Quarter, where craftsmen and women still produce jewellery by
traditional methods which are then sold direct to the public. 

Shopping in Birmingham

Birmingham is a shopper's paradise with glossy, modern shopping centres, restored Victorian arcades. The recently opened Bullring is Birmingham's newest shopping destination. Built at a cost of over £500 million, Bullring brings 26 football pitches worth of shops, boutiques and restaurants into the centre of town. It is also home to the hugely successful Selfridges, whose stunningly unique design is based on an Armani chain mail dress and has become an instant visual icon of Birmingham.

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