Getting ready for university or college
With your place on a higher education course confirmed, there’s lots to do so you can get ready for student life.
You should have got an induction or introduction pack from your university or college, either before or upon arrival.
Read this thoroughly, fill in and return any forms and take note of where and when things need to be done. It may include information on background reading or required materials. You might be able to get additional information on how to prepare for your course from pages on your college’s website.
What to take
Your university or college induction pack will probably include a list of suggested items to bring along. Think carefully about what you’re likely to need, what you can buy when you get there and how much you really need to pack.
Where to go
If you’re moving into halls of residence, your university will give you a date and time to arrive at your new accommodation. You’ll probably be arriving at the same time as the people who’ll be your neighbours for the next year – an ideal opportunity to make new friends.
If you’re living in private accommodation, you’ll have organised a moving in day with your landlord.
If you visited on the open day you may know where some of the key buildings are. If not, it’s worth familiarising yourself with your new surroundings as soon as possible.
It’s also a good idea to check when and where you need to sign up for your course. If you need to travel to university or college, you can plan your journey online. You might even consider a ‘dry run’ to see exactly where things are and how long it takes to get there.
Settling in and getting support
The first few days at university or college are a busy time – settling into new accommodation (if you’ve moved away to study), getting your bearings, registering for your course, and generally preparing.
You’ll need to join the university library and may also want to consider joining the student union and a local bank. It’s also a good idea to register with a local doctor and dentist.
If you’re 25 years of age or under and starting university for the first time, you should make an appointment with your GP, before you start university, to get the meningitis vaccination.
You’ll soon get to know your place of study, but you may have problems finding your way around during the first few weeks, so allow extra time to get to where you need to be.
It’s perfectly normal to feel homesick if you’ve moved away to study. Student welfare advisers will be able to help if you need someone to talk to.
Managing your money
If you have problems managing your finances, your university or college’s support office will be able to offer advice. You might need a student bank account that helps you plan your expenses, then you can get one at ABSA. If you haven’t done so already, remember that you can apply for student finance with NSFAS HERE.