Like many of us that had to choose from the wide range of universities in the UK, I remember seeing UEA located in Norfolk and thinking “where on earth is that?!” While many UK citizens even ponder this, I thought I would open with why Norwich and UEA really shouldn’t be a second choice on any list! I study at the University of Canberra in Australia and at UEA I am in the History department. Norwich holds a lot of history worth exploring…
Norwich, the capital of Norfolk and the home of UEA is England’s first UNESCO listed City of Literature. The first woman to publish a book in English was from Norwich! In 1870 there were 670 pubs found in the city limits. While there aren’t nearly that many now, what you will find is some high quality establishments with a focus on locally brewed and bottled. For the history buff I cannot think of a better spot to situate yourself for a semester. Norfolk has been home to everyone from the Romans to the Vikings and has enough sites and artefacts to keep you busy for years! There are more medieval era churches in Norwich than anywhere else in Europe and the town centre is overlooked by a 12th century castle that now houses an amazing museum. The city holds a top ten place as a shopping destination with one of the largest covered markets in the world and the medieval lanes hold a smorgasbord of independent retailers and coffee shops.
For those worried about English weather I’m happy to tell you Norfolk is the driest county in the UK. London is extremely easy to visit with bus and train connections many times a day. I often get a ticket from campus for £5! I was so happy when I arrived to see how beautiful and welcoming Norwich was. It doesn’t have the rushed and impersonal feeling that you get in many cities throughout the world. I haven’t actually had many reasons to leave Norfolk for adventuring. North Norfolk is scattered with seaside towns where you can even meet seals! To the East are the Norfolk Broads, an absolutely beautiful National Park focused along waterways, scattered with windmills and wildlife everywhere. They were even mentioned in the David Bowie song “Life on Mars?”. To the West is Cambridge, no need for an introduction there!
So far my favourite events have been the Heritage Day where many hidden buildings are opened to the public, I got to venture inside the Great Hospital, which opened their doors to the sick in the 13th century! If you delve deep enough you will find Norwich has dark secrets!
Do yourself a favour, pick UEA, you won’t regret it!