March in Cheltenham

On the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Cheltenham hosts the biggest horse racing event in the UK. During race week, there are about 50,000 people on average over the four-day period. For students, it’s a good time to look for part time work opportunities as many companies employ students for a variety of jobs. The main place students apply is at the racecourse itself but, it’s important to apply a couple of months in advance as you do need to go through training and a practice period. The racecourse is about a 20-minute walk from the town centre or a 7 to 10-minute bus journey, if organising bus journeys, it’s good to keep in mind that during these dates the timetable and bus stops change due to traffic overflow.

Most pubs and restaurants do offers on food and drinks to attract more customers, but the prices do go up during the evening in most places. Another good idea is if you know you’re going out ring to check if you can reserve or get there as soon as possible as many places will be heaving with people.

For the races, most people dress up smart, the boys normally wear suits and tuxedos while the girls tend to wear dresses and heals. Even though it’s good fun it’s very important to remember safety as there are so many people about.

Good nights out for students during the rest of the year are mainly Mondays and Wednesdays, Wednesdays tend to be when all the sports societies group up for socials. Fridays and Saturdays tend to be more expensive.

The main two clubs in Cheltenham for students are: Fever which is open most days except Tuesdays and is free entry, and Moo – Moos which have different companies run it on different nights such as Glamourpuss, Propaganda and Blue&Blue. It’s also a five-pound entry but it’s where most students go.

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The Races

March 13-17th marks a special couple of days for our town of Cheltenham, because its race week! Before entering the madness yesterday, I really had no idea what to expect, but after placing bets, meeting new people, and cheering on horses with names like “What’s Happening”, which is exactly what I was thinking for the majority of the day, I am so glad I got to experience race week firsthand. I was told this week gets crazy, and I have to admit, walking through town this week I’ve seen a lot more people carrying their shoes than usual, but I had no idea how big of an event this really is!

Before you get through the doors, or even close to the venue, you can tell how race week is able to transform the town. Places that don’t serve breakfast- are serving breakfast, you get asked for directions at least once a day, men are in 4 piece suits, women are wearing bright coloured hats, and everyone is smiling (the percentage of smiles after losing bets is significantly lower though). I decided I was going to place a couple of bets too, just to make the races even more exciting to watch. For a newbie race-goer like myself, I decided to put my money down on the horses that were favourited that day, so even though I wouldn’t really be making a profit, I could at least come away with a win! Though I thought my plan was foolproof, I didn’t take into account horse racing is really all about luck, and I ended up losing each race that I bet on.

Although I didn’t bring home any winnings, I’m taking it home as a victory in my books because of the outfits, the people, and the overall atmosphere. If you get the chance to be in Cheltenham for this week of utter madness, I have nothing but good things to say. The Cheltenham races were an event I’m so glad I didn’t miss, and something I know I’ll never forget!

Emi

 

Racecourse Week – Such a busy week!

Many of you might know about the horse racing festival at the racecourse if you have browsed about Cheltenham before making the decision to choose the University of Gloucestershire. It is such a popular and prestigious event where everyone visits Cheltenham and enjoys the races, and the festive vibe. You will see the High Street packed with well dressed ‘Ladies’ and ‘Gentlemen’ from all over the United Kingdom excited for the races, which is quite an experience for someone who has seen the ordinary days of Cheltenham for a long time.

For international students who want to take part, there are many chances to be in the racecourse. Since it is a huge festival, the Cheltenham Racecourse need many people to work for them in many aspects of the business such as the catering, security, and entertainment and so on. Many recruitment agencies will both come to the university and recruit students at fairs, or they will announce vacancies online.

I worked at the racecourse last year as a waitress with my friends and had lots of fun. The great thing is that you not only earn money but also get to see the races, watch the people enjoying the races, and make many new friends as many university students from nearby cities such as Bristol, Coventry, Birmingham, and Oxford come to work. It might be a bit tiring to work for four consecutive days (you can work 2 or 3 days as well, optional) but it is totally worth it. It was such a great experience to add to my bank of UK experiences since I cannot have this anywhere else.

Htet Htet