Studying at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England is an experience totally different than I expected and greater than I could have imagined. Settling into Brighton was easy, I have been living off campus in sort of boarding house accommodation just out of the center of Brighton with about 70 other exchange students from around the world. Although you miss aspects of what living on campus would have been like, staying off campus has been an amazing experience that I would suggest to anyone coming.
All that is required to move around Brighton, Hove and Campus is a basic understanding of the Bus system here. Since when you live off campus you are bussing it to the Uni (on the infamously inconsistent 25X) several times a week you should invest, and invest early, in a 90-day bus pass for the sounding area. Unlimited travel on any bus for 90 days, you easily earn back the money you spend on it. This allows you access to Brighton and its surrounding areas with extreme ease, and all you have to do is put up with a late bus every now and then.
The nightlife in Brighton is second to none that I have experienced. From Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, across America, even London, Brighton pulls through with the best nights due to both the atmosphere that the youth of Brighton bring out and as well the club set ups that give you no choice but to enjoy yourself. From Spanish nights to Disney Themed dress ups, the Clubs around Brighton are a great time, and student night, is every night. Should the craving hit you for a big (cheap) night out, there is a place in Brighton for you. And getting home is easy, as long as you have aforementioned bus pass, busses run all night on most routes and thus allow you to get home easily.
The one piece of general advice I could give to anyone coming to Brighton, is be anything but shy and do everything you can. All you’ve got to do is mention you are on an exchange, and everyone from fellow students in a Seminar, to the woman at the cashier, is interested in who you are, where you came from and what you are doing in Brighton. All questions that lead to more questions and a whole conversation. In this friendly city you can find yourself making friends with just about anyone, anywhere. And further, with these friends, do everything you can with them, because it is not everyday you find yourself on exchange in an entirely different country.
I would suggest Sussex University and Brighton City as a whole to anyone wanting to go on an exchange, as it is truly an amazingly great experience. Make sure you meet people and do as much as you can with them, because as much as an exchange is about the places you go, the greatest memories will come from the people you meet.