1. The Accommodation
Make sure you spend some time investigating where you'll be living next year. Sure, student accommodation isn’t known for its luxurious offerings, but it’s important that it at least fits your basic requirements. For example, are the rooms en suite? Are there catering options available? You can always
when you move in. add your own personal touch
Think about the location of the accommodation too. If you’re a light sleeper will you be happy living near a nightclub or bar? These factors can have a lot of bearing on your wellbeing during your first months away from home.
2. The Local Area
You’ll probably get a good look at the local area if you’re
, but if you’re off to a campus facility it’s really important that you get off the grounds and explore the surrounding area as well. visiting a city university
What’s the nightlife like? Is it a safe area? Where’s the nearest supermarket? You might want to consider the scope for taking on a
further down the line too – is there potential for this in your prospective university town? part time job
3. Public Transport
Ask your uni tour guide about public transport – better yet, pick up a bus, tram or train timetable to find out how frequently services run and how much fares cost.
If public transport isn’t great in the area, consider how you’ll get about. Are distances walkable? Could you bring a bike to university? If you drive, is there somewhere for you to keep your car?
4. Posters and Notice Boards
Keep an eye out for posters and notice boards advertising club nights, organisations and social events. This will give you a good idea of
and a real sense of student life in the area beyond the smiling faces in prospectuses and university-organised fresher’s events. what’s going on around campus
5. The Library
Nowadays many journals and articles can be accessed online, but there will still be times you’ll need to do research from a good old fashioned book. It’s worth taking a trip around your faculty’s library (or main library) to see what amenities are available to you and how ample the resources are.
After all, you don’t want to be fighting classmates for the last textbook a week before an assignment is due, or having to hold group work meetings in someone’s tiny bedroom because all the quiet rooms have been booked up.
6. Careers Services
One of the main reasons you’re going to university is to enrich your job prospects later in life, so it makes sense to check out the university’s
– it might seem like a long way away now, but come your third or fourth year you’ll be reliant on them for help and guidance before you graduate. Plus, they might be able to help you get a part-time job while you’re studying. career services
What facilities do they have available? Can they share any testimonials from previous students? Do they have any links with local or national employers that could prove useful to you? Don’t be afraid to ask questions – that’s
, after all. the point of an open day
Next Step: Find an Open Day