Southampton lies in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, and has all of the vibrancy and diversity you would expect from the south coast's biggest city.
It is the greenest city in Southern England, with seven Grade II listed city parks, a common and an outdoor sports centre, and is within close proximity to many coastal and rural areas such as the New Forest national park.
The city is home to the biggest shopping centre in the region, some of the region's best concert halls and venues, three outstanding art galleries and two magnificent theatres which showcase opera, ballet and large scale musicals.
There are a variety of venues for eating out which offer the best in international cuisine, including American diners, Greek tavernas, Thai restaurants, as well as some exceptional Italian and Indian eateries. The exciting nightlife is renowned in the region, offering a range of traditional and historic pubs, as well as contemporary bars and music venues.
The city boasts an impressive 32,000 seater stadium, home to Southampton Football Club. The famous Rose Bowl cricket ground is located nearby, a short distance from Southampton’s well served airport.
The Quays, a state of the art £10million swimming and diving complex has made Southampton an important international destination for competitive swimmers and divers, as well as leisure users.
Southampton harbours a rich medieval and maritime history. The city’s illustrious relationship with the sea is soon to be marked by the opening of the SeaCity museum (due April 2012). Plans have been signed for an exciting new arts complex (due to be completed by 2015) which will also provide an exciting resource for student learning. These are just two of the ambitious developments which will drive transformation across the city, rejuvenating the city centre and boosting Southampton’s cultural offering.
The city exhibits a diverse range of accommodation from waterfront apartments and Victorian houses to unspoilt cottages. It also has great transport links, making the city easy to get to and travel around.
"I used to live in the Alps where life was very different. It has always been important to me to live and teach somewhere that I find inspiring. I came to study in Southampton and found the lifestyle I would settle for, instead of the Alps! I waited until I was thirty to go into teaching, so I felt I needed to be happy with my choice.
"I had to work hard to overcome my difficulty in asserting authority when faced with more challenging behaviour but am so pleased I’ve got there. The students I teach are amazing so it has all worked out well. The local facilities and surroundings can be used to help students learn, also making life more interesting for me, and them. Having the option of taking students to places that are both interesting and educational adds a new dimension to teaching.
"Some pupils have not left their local area much, so a visit to somewhere like the New Forest can transform their view of the world and sometimes the way they live. It’s amazing to think these experiences will be with them for life, broadening the way they think and live, which is what teaching is about.
"There is lots to do regardless of whether the urban or rural lifestyle appeals; you can definitely have the best of both worlds here. I enjoy taking the dog for walks and going cycling, but there is also great shopping, cafes and bars for those who prefer a more urban lifestyle. The city’s history, culture and diversity, coupled with Southampton’s huge open spaces such as the Common and the Sports Centre, mean you really are spoilt for choice.
"There are lots of historic places nearby, such as Winchester, which make great day trips out. The city has a strong sporting legacy, with regular national and international events taking place at the Rose Bowl cricket ground and the Saints’ football stadium. I really enjoy the family lifestyle I have been able to adopt in Southampton, enjoying a secure income, house and family. It has been a good place to come back to and settle down.
"There have been many career professional development opportunities available in the city, so it makes for the complete teaching career. In the future I want to work to become more involved in outdoor education and develop as a mentor. This is definitely the perfect place to do all this."