Why I chose to come to Winchester from the Channel Islands

18 Mar 2018
Channel islands at sunset

At Winchester, we have over 100 applications each year from students each year who want to leap across the water and come and study with us! We asked some of our students who have come to Winchester all the way from the Channel Islands why they chose to study here with us, how they found moving to a brand new city (and completely different landmass!) as well as what advice they'd give others thinking of starting a new chapter here in Hampshire. 

Tom Morris - First year Psychology student

Student in the student union coffee area

Why did you apply to Winchester?

I applied to Winchester because of the experience I had when visiting the university. Not only were the facilities fantastic, but the staff and students were so welcoming and friendly, I had not received such personal advice and help anywhere else that I had visited; the university-choosing process was a daunting one and Winchester made me feel comfortable and able to make such a big step forward. 

What do you enjoy most about your time in with us?

Especially coming from the Channel Islands, Winchester is so similar in the way it is a small community. Everyone is so friendly here and it is such a fantastic relief to be a part of something so great. From social nights to sports societies, you make friends easily and can take student life at your own pace, not to mention food and drink is a lot cheaper over here!

How did you find leaving Jersey?

It was, of course, unnerving to leave home and move to a completely different landmass, where the people don’t have £1 notes and great milk. But I was personally more excited than anything else, I couldn’t wait to experience such independence and Winchester has been fantastic at helping students like me settle in. Yes, it is a lot colder, but I absolutely love it here and although I love my home, Winchester gives me a break for a few years, to grow up and most importantly have a lot of fun.

What advice would you give people who about to start the application process?

Think long and hard about what you want to do, I have seen so many people drop out in the first few months here, yes university is not for everyone, but for the price you are paying you want to consider every aspect of uni life, from accommodation to course quality. I would strongly recommend that you visit the university to get a proper experience and ask as many questions as possible. This is your life and you are completely in control of it, but remember, your parents/guardians are your most powerful tool, my Mum helped me greatly and without her I wouldn’t have been able to make such a big decision.


Hannah Jane Chevalier - Primary Education Graduate (2017)

Student in graduation robes

Why did you apply to Winchester?

I applied to Winchester because of the close proximity to Southampton airport, making it very easy to get home. I liked the university as it was a campus and I felt there was a friendly atmosphere on the day I had my individual tour. When attending an open day, I was shown around by a confident first-year student, who immediately made my family feel comfortable and safe about attending university here. 

What is Winchester like?

The university is like a bigger Beaulieu (my secondary school), everything is close together on one campus, but it's on a hill. Winchester is a prime location for easy access to Southampton and London by train. Lots of the buildings on campus are open 24 hours which is really helpful and allows you to work early or later.

What was the hardest thing about leaving Jersey?

The hardest thing was leaving my family and friends, especially after a long break. I would encourage you to travel back to Winchester with a friend - it is easier! I felt like I lost my freedom as I didn't have my car so I had to rely on public transport. I also missed being by the sea. 

What advice with you give others looking at universities?

I would encourage others to think about the location and the transport links to either the airport or ferry. Consider the ease of getting to the shops or other friends in the UK. Finally, research whether the university has good links with the channel islands (support for being away from home and celebrating special events such as Liberation Day). 

Hannah is now a Year 3 class teacher back in Jersey!

Eloise Willis - First year English Literature student

Student on stairs looking backwards wearing a coat

Why did you apply to Winchester?

The campus is gorgeous and the people working and living here are incredibly friendly! The campus is not too big, and I find it resembles home in that way, as it is quite difficult to get lost. The university also offers so many opportunities to the students, and they make it easy to immerse yourself into university life.

What do you enjoy most about your time in Winchester?

I thoroughly enjoy my course; I have discovered an interest in areas of literature I would not usually consider, and I have had the freedom to write assignments concerning these areas. My lecturers are friendly and always make time to meet me if I am worrying about an assignment or have any general questions! I have also made some amazing friends that I think will be friends for life.

How did you find leaving Guernsey?

I inevitably found it difficult to leave my family and friends, but I knew I wasn't alone in feeling this way, as everyone leaving for university has this struggle. I was able to relate to my flatmates, which helped us bond quickly. Many channel island students chose to study here as the university has good links with the islands, and so I also had a few friends moving to Winchester, which was a comforting thought.

What is Winchester like?

Winchester is a beautiful city. It is fairly small and quiet, and there is lots to see and do, such as admire the Cathedral and walk along the river. The train station and town area is only a short walk away from the university, and the train journey to Southampton airport is frequent and only takes a few minutes, making the journey to and from home a little easier.

What advice would you give people who about to start the application process?

I would advise students who are considering the University of Winchester to definitely apply. The university understands that moving so far away from home is a huge step, and they offer plenty of support and immediately make you feel at home. 


Nicky Bourne - Primary Education Graduate (2017)

Female graduate holding graduation certificate

Why did you apply to Winchester?

I applied to Winchester because looking through the different courses on offer at different places I liked the course Winchester offered with the different specialist modules that appealed to me. I also liked how easy it was to be able to get there from Guernsey. It also didn’t seem to be too big which was something I was looking for, it was big enough to be different from Guernsey and had the train connections to get to Southampton or other larger cities if I wanted to visit them but was still small enough to feel familiar and not too much of a shock moving from Guernsey. When I came on a campus tour the person showing me round was very friendly and welcoming which also helped to convince me that it was the right place, I could also imagine myself staying there which was important for me.

What is Winchester like?

The city of Winchester is a lovely city to live in, it is very easy to get from the university into the town centre where everything is close together, the train station is not much further away either which means you can get to different places very easily. There is a very much community feel around Winchester too with lots of friendly people who say hello even if you don’t know them. I love the Winchester bonfire night and fireworks when everyone joins in with the torch lit parade. The Christmas market is really sweet and is another of my favourite bits of the winter months. There are also a lot of green areas and lovely places for walks which I enjoyed both in the autumn months and during the spring for various picnics. Winchester has lots of places you can go and eat and a variety of pubs for sitting in with friends, there is a limited nightlife apart from this however Southampton is only a short train ride away where there is a lot more choice.

The university is full of friendly people and is not too big so that you see familiar faces around all the time meaning you always need to leave a little extra time to get to places as you will no doubt bump into someone you know. There are a variety of different spaces to work in whether you prefer somewhere quiet or more social. There are also lots of places to relax in and socialise, especially when it is nice weather as there are some very pretty spots which are gorgeous in the sun.

What do you wish you'd known before coming to uni?

That you make friends really quickly and not to worry about missing home, the first term you are so busy spending time with new course mates and friends that you don’t have time to miss home That I could continue with my hobbies and try new things really easily without having to put too much effort into finding out about them. And not to worry about the work as there are people who guide you all the way through and plenty of support available and easy to access if you need it.

How easy is it to find accommodation after halls/ if you don’t live in halls?

Really easy there were lots of places around in a variety of places, don’t panic when people start looking around October, you will find somewhere if you are looking around later. There were plenty of places around in January looking for the next year when I was looking for my next place. There was also a variety of sizes depending on how many people you wanted to live with. The university also offered a lot of help to help you find a place to live

Nicky is now teaching back home in Guernsey!

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