International Study Centre

What it is like to live in Brighton

Colourful Brighton beach huts

Home to the University of Sussex, Brighton is a vibrant city that is a popular destination for both UK and international students. The city is ranked 14th in the UK for factors such as affordability and desirability (Top Universities 2023). This makes Brighton one of the best places for international students to live and study in the UK.

The city is known for its beautiful seafront, unique shops, lively nightlife and friendly residents. These are just a few of the factors that make student life in Brighton an exciting and enjoyable experience.  

Accommodation for students in Brighton

Best places to live in Brighton

As Brighton is a very student-friendly city, there is no shortage of great places to live while you study. If affordable living with great amenities is something you are interested in, then the best accommodation for students is at the University of Sussex. The University's International Study Centre works with Student Roost, a student accommodation provider, to give students everything they need to be both comfortable and successful during their studies.  

Accommodation at the University of Sussex is just 10 minutes away by bus or train from Brighton’s exciting city centre.  

Another option for places to stay in Brighton is private or non-university accommodation. However, it is important to remember that these may be costly and may not have the amenities you need to support you and your studies.  


Brighton is extremely pedestrian-friendly, with most of the city being walkable or easily accessible through public transport. The local bus service is affordable, offering discounted student prices, and runs on a regular schedule. There is also the option of taxis, but these are pricier than the bus.  

It is also home to Brighton train station, which is conveniently located in the city centre. Here you can catch regularly scheduled trains to other major UK cities such as London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. You can also get to Gatwick Airport in just 30 minutes, making it very easy to travel anywhere in the world while living in Brighton.  

Things to do in Brighton 

Sights and attractions 

Brighton is most famous for its five-mile-long pebble beach, which is visited by millions of tourists every year. The fresh open air and wide stretch of sea make for a perfect space to meet up with friends for fish and chips or for the more adventurous, take part in exhilarating water sports. 

Another of Brighton’s most famous attractions is the Palace Pier, which was built in 1899 during the Victorian era. In the modern day, the pier is home to multiple arcades, fairground rides, souvenir shops and a variety of food stalls. 

Located in the centre of Brighton is the Royal Pavilion and garden. The previous royal residency is a mix of Regency grandeur with Indian-inspired architecture. There is an admission fee if you want to visit the inside of the Royal Pavilion, however, the stunning gardens surrounding the estate are free to enter. During the festive season, the pavilion is home to an outdoor ice skating rink.  


Brighton is home to a three-floor indoor shopping centre, Churchill Square, filled with top brands and a variety of restaurants in its food court. Churchill Square and its surrounding high street is a great place to start your retail experience in Brighton.   

The Lanes is a must visit experience for anyone living in Brighton. What were once 17th century cottages are now colourful antique shops, boutiques and cafes. The narrow alleyways make for an exciting shopping trip. You will always find something of interest in the unique stores.  

Nightlife in Brighton

Brighton comes alive at night with its many live music venues, pubs and bars. With a large number of exciting events running across the city every night of the week, nightlife in Brighton is not something to be missed. 

Live music is one of the biggest sources of entertainment in Brighton with more than 30 venues putting on shows every night of the week. From popular artists to local bands, every venue has something to offer, meaning you can find music to enjoy, no matter what genre you are into. 

Places to eat in Brighton  

Brighton food culture is fun and exciting to experience. Great places to eat in Brighton are not in short supply and with a large variety of international cuisines, you are spoilt for choice.  

If grabbing a coffee is more your style, Brighton is packed full of interesting independent cafés and coffee shops – with some having locally roasted coffee beans. Finding a great coffee or your preferred hot beverage of choice is very easy in Brighton. 

No seaside town would be complete without fish and chips and Brighton has some of the best. You will find a wide variety of fish and chip shops nestled both within the city and sitting proudly on Brighton’s seaside promenade.  

Higher education in Brighton  

The higher education system in the UK is known for its excellent quality and standard of teaching. The University of Sussex is ranked joint 29th out of 103 UK institutions in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2023 and is globally recognised for leading the way in innovation and research.

If you are an international student looking to study in the UK, the University of Sussex International Study Centre is where you can begin your studies. The pathway programmes taught at the International Study Centre are designed to boost your academic knowledge and English language skills, giving you everything you need to progress to your chosen undergraduate or postgraduate degree at the University of Sussex. 

International Foundation Year

The International Foundation Year is a university preparation programme for those who do not meet the direct entry requirements and is specifically designed to improve your English language and academic skills. There are two subject options available. These are: 

  • Business, Media and Social Sciences 
  • Science and Engineering. 

 Both pathways will give you everything you need for a smooth transition to UK university learning and with successful completion, will allow you to progress to the first year of an undergraduate degree at the University of Sussex.  

International Year One

The International Year One is for international students who are ready for degree study but need additional time to develop their English skills. The programme is the equivalent of the first year of your undergraduate degree with extra English language and academic support. By choosing this pathway programme, international students can graduate in the typical three years it takes to complete an undergraduate degree in the UK.  

When you successfully complete the International Year One programme and achieve the required grades, you can progress to the second year of your undergraduate degree at the University of Sussex.  

Pre-Masters Programme

If you have successfully completed an undergraduate degree and now hope to study a masters degree at a UK university, you can take your learning to the next level with a Pre-Masters Programme at the University of Sussex International Study Centre.  

A mixture of subject-specific, English language and academic skill modules will prepare you to succeed in your postgraduate study and professional career. 

Successful completion of the programme will allow you to progress to a postgraduate degree at the University of Sussex. This depends on whether you achieve the required grades.  


Is moving to Brighton a good idea?

If you are looking to live in a vibrant city that is very student friendly, then moving to Brighton is a great idea. There are many exciting things to do in Brighton that make living in the city an enjoyable experience.  

Are people friendly in Brighton? 

Brighton is very warm and welcoming to both its national and international students. The city is known for having friendly residents who are accepting of all.  

Is Brighton expensive for students?

Living affordably in Brighton is made easier by choosing student accommodation at the University of Sussex. There are also many local businesses and well-known brands offering student discounts.