Parents’ Guide | Part 6: Arriving at University

So, you’ve got through the seemingly endless paperwork of university applications and student finance forms, you’ve done the rounds of university open days, you’ve experienced the nerve-wracking exam results day and now, quite possibly, feel as if you’ve spent a small fortune on kitting your son or daughter out in preparation for them starting their course. Without so much as a chance to catch your breath, the time’s suddenly here for your son or daughter to take the next step in their life.

Food shopping

Amidst all the excitement and upheaval, you’d be surprised the number of students who forget to stock up on essentials – like food! It also provides a good opportunity to give your son or daughter an idea about basic staples to include in their weekly grocery shopping. Keep it reasonably simple (depending on their culinary abilities); with so much going on in the first week at university, your son or daughter will probably glad something which is tasty yet easy to cook!

Save money from the start

Students who join the National Union of Students (NUS) can often take advantage of discounts for a whole host of things – from meal deals and cinema tickets to cheaper clothes and sporting activites. Student discounts make money go further which is always a bonus! It costs nothing to join the NUS and signup can take place once enrolment has taken place.

Getting around

To try and ease the culture shock of a new city, make sure your son or daughter is equipped with a local street map – both a full and pocket sized one is a good idea so that the information can be both comprehensive and portable.

Getting involved

Encourage your son/ daughter to get involved in Fresher’s Week. Run by the Students’ Union (SU), it’s a great way of getting to meet other new students and to take part in a range of social activities designed to bring new students together. There are a wide range of sports clubs and societies that students can sign up to and many other activities which allow students to get involved with events linked to the SU. Fresher’s Week provides a great way to break the ice with new people and there’s always lots of free stuff for students to get their hands on.

More information about Birmingham City University’s Students’ Union can be found on their website at

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