Starting university is an exciting time for every student. In amongst the fun of Freshers, the stress of moving away from home, and meeting loads of new people it’s important not to forget the essentials. So here is our Coursematch checklist of essentials every first-year University student should remember
Most universities have their own health service including GP’s to choose from. It’s your choice whether you register with a central service or you find a local GP - but remember not to leave it to the last minute to register.
With a historic three general elections, local and European elections, and the Brexit Referendum all within the past 5 years, it’s important to ensure you are registered to vote. Being registered on the electoral roll is also important for credit checks which you will need if you’re looking to rent a flat or get a mobile phone or overdraft.
If you don’t already have a bank account in your name then it’s important to get this set up to ensure you can receive student loan payments and also pay bills. If you already have an account then you may want to consider changing your address to make it easier to sign contracts such as for a mobile phone.
If you don’t want Mum and Dad going through your mail then make sure you either update your address or set up a mail redirect through the post office.
There are loads of great discounts available to students - some of the best are on travel including discount railcards. The 16-25 Railcard – sometimes called the Student Railcard (or Young Persons Railcard) costs just £30 for 1 year or £70 for 3 years and gets you 1/3 off train tickets. It’s ideal for travelling to university or college with an average user saving £199 per year.
Most university courses will include an induction session before lectures and tutorials start. This is a great way to meet your coursemates and find your way around so that you’re that person who is late for class on day one.
A standard TV Licence costs £154.50. A university halls communal licence doesn’t cover your room so if you have a physical television you will likely need your own license. If however, you are only streaming in your room via a laptop or tablet may be covered by your parents’ licence but make sure to check. You can check via the TV licensing website.
Most students will opt to take out contents insurance cover which usually costs as little as £3 per month for a basic package. This price increases if you opt to cover items such as laptops or mobile phones. Some halls of residence and even banks will also provide contents cover - it’s worth checking the small print in your contracts.
Most major brands offer substantial student discounts. Traditionally these have been available via the NUS Extra card. NUS Extra has now rebranded as Totum and works as both a discount card as well as proof of age ID. Totum costs from £14.99 for 12 months.
If you’re planning on working part-time to support your studies be sure to get a copy of your CV out to local employers early. If this is before you’ve received your study timetable then make sure you inform employers of your likely availability on evenings or weekends. For more tips on writing a student CV check out our article (link).