We know you probably can’t believe it, but if you’re set to start university in September then you’re but a few short months away! Whether you’ve just finished an English language course or you’ve been released from A levels or your undergraduate degree, we know that right now a lovely long summer break is probably the only thing on your mind.
But a little preparation over the summer can make your transition to university smooth, organised and ultimately a whole lot more enjoyable. So, taking tips from graduates who’ve been there, done that and slipped up in the organisation stakes, we look at what students-to-be can do in the all-important run-up to university.
By now you probably will have applied for your accommodation, been allocated your first choice (hopefully!) and have confirmed your place in writing (this usually seems to happen around May). If you’re still waiting to hear back about your accommodation then now is the time to do some chasing up and remember to check your emails regularly and ensure nothing important is filtered into your junk box. If you miss your window, your accommodation may be offered to someone else so be proactive in securing your accommodation.
If you’re still without accommodation though don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to find somewhere suitable. Depending on your university there are different routes for students who are applying late for their accommodation. Some universities will allow you to apply through them as normal (but can’t always guarantee you a place) whereas some are a little less helpful and will direct you elsewhere.
Each university should have a dedicated housing office though, so even if you’re struggling to find a place they should be able to give you a list of approved landlords or point you in the direction of other students looking for a house/flatmate. Above all, always ensure your landlord is recommended by your university and remember to check private student halls providers such as Unite and Opal for last-minute rooms.
You may be dreaming of a long lazy summer but occasionally your course leader may email you with a reading list before you’ve even set foot in a lecture theatre. This may be a list of texts for you to purchase before your course starts or it may be a requirement that you read a text ready for the start of term. While this is uncommon, some universities have been known to do it, so if you’re unsure a quick call or email to your course department should put your mind at rest.
Even if you don’t receive any information about the set texts for your modules though, it may be worth asking before you begin your course in order to purchase your books early and get the best deals. Once the assessment deadlines start looming, popular books in the university library will disappear quickly (take it from a graduate!) so securing your copies over the summer will help you avoid that mad dash! ABEbooks is great for new and used textbooks and allows you to browse the best deals and delivery periods.
University brings whole new independence, and really that’s all part of the fun! But while living with your friends during your student years is a great experience, you also need to think about those ‘grown-up’ things such as insurance. Endsleigh is the only student insurance provider recommended by NUS (National Union of Students) and offers various packages tailored for student living. Always thoroughly check your policy before signing up, however, as often your policy will only cover your items when they ’re inside your property and not when you’re out and about.
The relevant documentation is essential for new students, whether they are UK based or international, so remember to bring your exam certificates and any identification documents such as your passport. Your documents will be checked during registration and if you’re unsure of exactly what you need to bring there should be some helpful information on your university’s website.
Passport photographs can be really handy when you start university too, as you’ll need your student card and potentially other passes such as a young person’s railcard or monthly saver bus ticket. It is also useful to prepare photocopies of your important documents before coming to the university as you may be asked for a copy of your passport upon registration.
If you’re moving to a different country for university then choosing what to bring can be difficult, especially if your only travel option is arriving by plane! Before bulk ordering the storage crates however, check what your university accommodation will offer before you arrive. Some university halls offer ‘welcome packs’ for a reasonable charge which contains essentials such as a towel and bedding. Supermarkets are also great for cheap kitchenware and your student accommodation may be equipped with study lamps and a communal TV too.
If you’re looking ahead to university but would like to improve your academic English before applying, then take a look at New College Manchester’s English for University course. Our students benefit from expert tuition, great social activities and supportive counsellors so we offer a great insight into student life in a bustling city!