If you’re thinking about coming to Hatfield, from home or abroad, or if you already have a place, here you can find some need-to-know information for before you arrive. If there’s anything else you want to find out you can get in touch with us via the contact details below.
Getting to Durham
Durham is located on the East Coast and Cross-Country mainlines and is just 15 minutes by train from Newcastle, 3 hours from London and Birmingham, and about 2 hours from Edinburgh.
The A1 motorway runs north-south very close to Durham.
Newcastle has an easy-to-reach international airport, approximately an hour away from Durham by public transport.
International students make up a large proportion of MCR members. The country with the largest representation is China, although people come to Hatfield from all over the world. The event committee’s International Officer is there to facilitate sharing cultures, and the MCR hosts events for celebrations such as Thanksgiving, Sinterklaus and Chinese New Year. There are also student societies for many countries in the wider university – these can be found at the societies fair at the Student Union during Freshers’ Week.
The university runs pre-sessional English language courses which many International students take prior to starting their post-graduate course at the beginning of October. If you take one of these courses you will arrive in Durham a few weeks before home students, so you will be able to meet people from other colleges before coming to Hatfield for induction week.
Help and Support
For advice about entry requirements, visas, specific information about your country, and to find student testimonials, you can visit the university’s international web page or contact the International Office:
Tel: +44 (0) 191 334 6328
Email: [email protected]
The main college site is about a 5 minute walk from the town centre, JBH about 10 minutes.
Market Square at the centre of town has a Tesco Metro and a Marks and Spencer, and Market Hall includes a butcher’s, fishmonger’s and fruit and vegetable stalls. Very close by on North Road there is Iceland, a small Sainsburys, a Chinese supermarket and a couple of greengrocers. Further out of town there is a larger Tesco and an Aldi.
Cafes and Restaurants
Durham town centre is full of excellent cafes, which are always popular for brunch, tea and cake, and as places to study. There are also a variety of restaurants, both chains like Nando’s and independent places serving traditional, Italian, Spanish, Thai, Indian and Lebanese food.
Pubs and Bars
You can’t go far in Durham without walking past a pub. The town centre has everything from cosy traditional pubs to cocktail bars and everything in between. Every student has to experience a night in Klute or Jimmy Allen’s, whilst Empty Shop hosts more alternative music events.
Sport and Entertainment
The Gala Theatre holds a variety of plays, music and dance, and it has a small cinema underneath which screens most of the latest releases. There is also a public leisure centre at Freeman’s Quay with gym facilities and a swimming pool.
What to Bring
All the rooms are furnished but you will need to supply your own bedding. Most household items can be easily bought in Durham (there is a Wilkinson’s in The Gates shopping centre in town, and an Argos further out). The kitchen is also fully equipped with cookers, microwaves etc. You can bring your own rice cooker or blender for example but it has to be PAT tested to be used in the kitchen (the college arranges a time for this). If you prefer to bring your own pots and pans that’s fine, but there are quite a lot of communal pots, pans and utensils in the kitchen for general use.
Clothes for cold weather, clothes for warm weather, and some smart things for formals, balls etc. Gowns are a requirement at formal dinners, so if you already have a gown (black) you might want to bring it, but there is the opportunity to buy one during Induction Week.
Some students do bring a car, but note that parking space around JBH and college is very limited, and it’s not always possible to get a permit. This may be less of a problem for livers out! Some students also bring bikes, which are less of a problem to store, but bear in mind that Durham is pretty hilly!