Sheffield’s great cultural diversity and unique heritage makes it a fantastic city to live in.
Sheffield is the fifth largest city in England and has something to entertain everyone – including concert venues, café bars, nightclubs and pubs, shopping facilities, two football clubs and international sports facilities.
What you might notice first is Sheffield’s famous hospitality – there is a real sense of community here. The city prides itself on its tolerant, multicultural atmosphere, helping international students feel safe and happy in their new environment.
Places of interest and visitor attractions
- The Millennium Galleries – four galleries for exhibitions of visual art, craft and design
- Chatsworth House – one of Britain’s best loved historic houses dating from the 1500s
- Meadowhall Shopping Centre – over 170 shops and numerous restaurants, bars and cafes to enjoy
- Winter Garden – 2,500 plants in one of the largest temperate glasshouses in Europe
- The Crucible and Lyceum Theatres – Sheffield is home to one of the largest theatre complexes in the country and hosts the World Snooker Championship
- Sheffield Botanical Gardens – 19 acres of gardens with beautiful Victorian glass pavilions
- Sheffield Arena – huge sports and entertainment venue, attracting the biggest music bands, performers and sports teams from across the world
Cost of living in Sheffield
You will need at least £1,015 per month (subject to change) to cover basic living expenses. Living in Sheffield can be a little cheaper than in some other UK cities, depending on your personal lifestyle. Please ensure that you have reliable funding from a sponsor, your family or an Erasmus grant before you leave.
When agreeing an accommodation contract (often known as a tenancy agreement), a landlord may expect you to pay a month’s rent in advance. You may also need to budget for bills – for example electricity, heating, water, phone and internet rental. You may also have to pay for a hotel on your arrival if you have not organised your accommodation. This will cost approximately £50–£70 per night.
Examples of items you may need to purchase
The prices are an approximate guide to costs and were correct at the time of writing.
- books and equipment (per year) £300-£700
- coat £20–£100
- boots £30–£60
- jeans £20–£60
- warm jumper £10–£30
- trainers £20–£80
- accommodation (per week) £60–£110
- food (per week) £30–£40
- travel for a week £15
When ordering UK currency, try to avoid receiving £50 notes as they are not used often. If you do have any problems using £50 notes once in the UK, you can change them at any bank.
Climate and clothing
British weather changes a lot throughout the year. In summer (June to August) temperatures can reach 25 to 30°C, whilst in the winter it can drop to around 5°C during the day and there is usually some snowfall in December, January or February. You need to make sure that you have the right clothing to cope with these changes such as
- a warm, waterproof winter coat or jacket
- two jumpers/sweaters
- strong waterproof shoes or boots
- warm gloves/hat/scarf
It may be cheaper to buy some of this clothing when you arrive in Britain. Dress in Britain is mostly informal.
Electricity in Britain is supplied on 240volts/50Hz cycles. You should ensure that any electrical appliance you intend to bring with you will work safely on this voltage, and bring adapters to help convert the voltage when necessary.
Transport and Driving
Sheffield is one of the safest major cities in the UK. It also has excellent public transport, with good bus routes and a tram system. Taxis are also available for difficult and late-night journeys. Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union also operate a Safe Taxi Scheme, meaning you can always get home safely, even if you have run out of cash.
If you want to drive in the UK, you must have a current valid driving licence. You may be able to use your existing licence or you may need to apply for a UK licence. Visit
You must be covered by insurance and the vehicle must have valid road tax.
You should also make sure that you know the UK Highway Code – go to
Sheffield has a variety of fresh food markets and supermarkets offering a wide choice of produce and excellent value for money. You will find these food stores within walking distance of most student accommodation. Most supermarkets stay open until 8 or 9pm, so you can shop whenever it is convenient for you. Some supermarkets remain open 24 hours a day.
Sheffield has a good choice of places to eat and drink, and something to suit all budgets and tastes. The University has a range of catering outlets in its campus buildings and in the Hallam Union. Find out more at shu.ac.uk/foodoncampus If you cannot find what you are looking for at the University, there are plenty of cafés and takeaways in the city centre and in residential districts, as well as a good selection of coffee bars, fish and chip shops, bakeries and delicatessens. You will find more information about food, eating out and where to shop in the SHU Insider’s Guide.
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