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Summer’s here – time to prepare for university

Your exams are over and it’s time to celebrate, and it’s also time to prepare for the next stage in your life – university. To help you get on top of things over the summer, here are a few tips on things you should do before Freshers’ Week....

Put your finances in order

You’ll need to apply for your tuition fee and maintenance loans, and any grants you’re entitled to, through Student Finance England. The tuition fee loan will go straight to your university to cover the cost of your course, and the maintenance loan and grant will be sent to your bank account in instalments throughout the year. Remember, while the amount you’re borrowing may seem a little daunting, you’ll not be expected to start repaying your student loan until your annual income reaches £21,000, and the size of your repayments will be determined by the amount you earn. Find more information about applying for student finance here. 

Make a dent in your reading list

It’s likely that you’ll be given a list of books to read over the summer, to prepare you for your course. It’s a good idea to buy and start exploring these books as soon as you can, in order to gain the background knowledge you’ll need to get off to a good start at university. And why not make a note of any questions or ideas that spring to mind while reading them, so you can discuss these with your tutor or course mates when you arrive?

Brush up on your cooking skills

Master a few simple and cost effective recipes that you’ll be able to whip up at university. Remember that you won’t want to bring loads of kitchen utensils with you and your fridge space may be limited, so learn recipes that don’t require too many ingredients or lots of equipment. Check out Student Cooking TV for videos of quick and easy recipes made by students from across the UK.

Get your course equipment ready

There are a number of things you may need for your course, such as a laptop, printer, camera, digital software, art materials and so on. Make sure you know what your course provides with and what you’ll need to source yourself. If you need to buy these things, be sure to shop around – and don't forget to apply for an NUS student card so you can take advantage of student discounts.

Plan what else to take

Before you buy (and pack) everything including the kitchen sink, find out and plan what you really need to take with you to university. If you're in student accommodation, there should be a list of what equipment is available to you, such as a kettle, toaster, microwave, etc. And if you're going to be in shared student accommodation, perhaps you could buy and share some equipment with housemates once you've arrived.

Protect your property

Check whether your belongings would be covered by your parents’ house insurance, if they were to be stolen or damaged. If not, remember to take out contents insurance – especially if you want to bring valuable items such as a laptop to university with you.


Coming to UCA?

If you’re coming to UCA in September, we’ll send you a Welcome Guide with all the information you’ll need about your course – including what to bring, your reading and equipment lists, and your course timetable. Take a look at this before you arrive at your campus, and please do get in touch if you have any questions – we’ll be happy to help.

Connect with us!

If you haven't done so already, why not follow us on social media? You can find out more about what's happening here at UCA, as well as potentially connect with people on the same course or in the same student accommodation before you get here - plus you can look out for news of Freshers' Week events too. Find us on: