Out on the Town

Birmingham nightclubs are mainly confined to two main areas: Broad Street and The Arcadian Centre near the Chinese Quarter. The Arcadian Centre harbours a few surprises, including entry to one of the best super-clubs for dance music in the country, Gods Kitchen, at Air's three dance floors on Heath Mill Lane. The Medicine Bar around a courtyard pool of what used to be, and is still called, the Custard Factory in Digbeth is also a student delight. For more dance music cross town to The Works' Gatecrasher nights on Broad Street. Add these venues to places like Indi, the Rococo Lounge and Gas Street canal area and international students have a choice of clubs that put other cities to shame.

If you want a cheap night out on the weekend then you can't beat the weekly events at BUGS (Birminham Uni Guild of Students). They run nights on Friday and Saturday, both of which are paid entry (ticket only) but are great value and great fun. If you do want to got, plan your night in advance because they sell out quickly!

Check out flyers and posters around campus for cheap student nights around time on weekdays. Wednesday is traditionally a good night out.

For bands and other big stage acts, check the listings of the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and the O2 Academy - stages one and two - for the largest performances. Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall provides space for class acts and the Custard Factory has a go at attracting performers as well as The Glee and Jongleurs for comedy.

With the biggest concentration of live theatres outside London, international students going to university in Birmingham are spoiled for stage shows. There is The Alexandra, the Birmingham Repertory for experimental plays, the Mac (undergoing refurbishment) and the Hippodrome for musicals and touring shows. The Library is somewhere budding starlets can cut their teeth with more unusual amateur dramatics on at the Old Rep Theatre.

If it is stars of the silver screen you are after, look no further than Star City, which, at 30 screens and 6,000 seats, is arguably the biggest cinema in the country and shows a wide variety of films to boot, including Bollywood, art house and classic cinema. Art house is also shown at the atmospheric 1909 Electric Cinema, which was recently restored.