Bristol, England: An Ideal Location to Gain Professional Experience in STEM Fields

This post is from API’s own, Holly Prendergast:

 I am so thrilled that API is offering internship placements in Bristol, England in conjunction with the University of Bristol and wanted to share some of my favorite things about the city and reasons why I think it is a fantastic destination for our participants.


The University of Bristol

API collaborates with faculty at the University of Bristol to offer STEM-focused placements. The University of Bristol is in the top 75 universities worldwide and ranks very highly in terms of reputation with employers, which opens the doors for these great internship opportunities with Bristol professors and local employers.

The Harbourside

Famous explorer John Cabot sailed from Bristol to the New World in 1497 and is commonly thought to be the first European exploration of the mainland of North America since the Norse Vikings in Vinland in the 11th century. You can check out a replica of the ship he sailed on, The Matthew, which was built for the 500th anniversary of his journey.

Me with my buddy John Cabot

Me with my buddy John Cabot


Today, the harbor area is lined with shops, museums, galleries, restaurants, and pubs. There is even a nightclub music venue on a boat called the Thekla, which you might recognize from the British teen drama Skins (season 3). Other great places in the area to visit include:

At-Bristol Science Centre
Watershed – a media center that hosts independent films and digital media events

Bristol Aquarium
Arnolfini – a contemporary arts center that offers live performances, visual arts, music, and film.

M Shed – here you can explore the history of Bristol through a wide array of objects from the past and interactive exhibits.

City Life and Vibrant Culture

In a city like Bristol, you’re never short on entertainment and shopping, and you have the benefit of being well connected via public transportation to other parts of the UK. Furthermore, there is a large international airport with frequent flights around Europe on budget airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet.

Apart from large shopping centers like Cabot Circus, Broadmead, and the Galleries, there is a huge array of independent, locally owned shops. I recommend Gloucester Road for looking for souvenir and gift ideas, as well as for checking out the eclectic street art throughout the area.

 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta – every year at the beginning of August, Bristol is home to one of Europe’s largest hot air balloon festivals, attracting more than 100,000 spectators for launches of up to 100 balloons at a time. Even if you are not in the city during the festival, it is not uncommon to see hot air balloons flying above the city on sunny days.

Cider – Bristol is in the heart of cider country and one of my favorite places to have a glass is at The Apple, a Dutch barge converted into a bar in the Old City, with a beautiful deck bar and terrace perfect for people watching. The Bristol Cider Shop carries over 100 varieties of cider and perry, all made within 50 miles of the shop!

Banksy – while not much is known about the identity of street artist and political activist Banksy, his work began in Bristol where you can still see a number of pieces throughout the city via this map.

Commitment to the environment – Bristol was selected as the European Green Capital for 2015 for it’s transportation improvements, good air quality, focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy, and low-carbon industry with an ambition to add 17,000 new jobs in creative, digital, and low carbon sectors by 2030.

Color Capital – while already well-known for the colorful houses in Totterdown, Easton, and Clifton neighborhoods, Bristol City Council is working to establish the city as the “Colour Capital” of the UK. The brightly painted houses provide a cheery view

 Staying Active

If you enjoy being active, Bristol has opportunities for you! You can often find me cycling around the streets of Austin, so I was thrilled to find out that Bristol has a 16.5 mile bike path to Bath, England so you can easily make a day trip there by bicycle to explore the famous Roman baths and 7th century abbey.

 Bristol memento that adorns my API desk

Bristol memento that adorns my API desk

Bristol is also chock-full of sport activities such as stand up paddle boarding, rock climbing facilities and trampoline parks. There are Meetup groups for hiking, adventure sports, soccer, and more.

Prefer to just watch sports? Check out a Bristol City F.C. soccer match at Ashton Gate!

Convinced that Bristol sounds like the place for you? Find out about our Internship application process here:



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