Soran University is sited in the heart of Soran City which is the capital of the district of Soran. The area is well known for its beauty and its historical sites with many famous places to visit and enjoy picnics. Bestoon and Shanader caves are within easy reach and are becoming major tourist sites. Soran itself is a thriving and growing city with many restaurants, sweet and tea shops. There are new supermarkets and fashion retailers opening every month along with furniture, carpet and electrical retailers making it unnecessary to travel further afield for shopping; however there are taxi ‘garages’ for Hawler (Erbil), Haji Omaran (The border town with Iran) and elsewhere all within reach of the busy bazaar located in the city centre. Taxis are plentiful and reasonably priced, particularly if students share the cost.
Students are drawn from the surrounding area as well as many coming from further afield. Once they have settled in to the routine of study and living away from home, they have many opportunities to take advantage of the area as well as enjoying visits to Gulan Park, travelling on the Teleferric to Korek Mountain Resort, visiting Bekhal and Gali Ali Beg waterfall and hanging out with their friends.
At the time of writing (February 2015) students share a variety of dormitory accommodation with security and designated staff to visit and ensure that any problems are quickly resolved. Student accommodation is to be upgraded in the near future, when the stringencies imposed by the budget difficulties with the Baghdad government are resolved. This will consist of purpose built study rooms in dormitory blocks near the new campus at Delizian; they are not yet ready for use but will eventually provide comfortable shared en-suite rooms with study facilities within walking distance of the new campus.
At the moment the five faculties are all individual in their teaching and facilities; the trend now is to work towards all subjects being taught in English, in particular the Faculties of Science and Engineering where much of the required reading is in English. The Faculty of Education has delivered some innovative extra-curricular activities such as a ‘hikers’ club’ which organises supervised treks within the local area and a social environmental activity involving ‘litter picking’ around the Buniyat campus. Other faculties also have clubs and societies that encourage students to participate in activities outside their subject areas.