Category Archives: Advice Features

Arriving at University

Starting university is an exciting time. Not only will you be embarking on a new course, but you’ll be meeting new people, possibly be living in a new city and adapting to university life – all at once! With so many things going on, here’s just a few essentials for new undergraduate students to think about when joining university.

Food shopping

Amidst all the excitement and upheaval, you’d be surprised the number of students who forget to sort out the essentials – like food! Think about the staple items you’ll need to tide you over for the first week and plan what you’ll need so you don’t have to make several trips to the supermarket. Stick within your budget – if you start out as you mean to go on, you stand a better chance of not running out of money by the end of term. Above all, make sure you eat properly.

Not sure of what to stock up on or stuck for ideas of what to cook? Get some ideas here http://www.studentrecipes.com/ and here http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/news_and_events/events_student1.shtml.

Register with a doctor and dentist

There’s only one thing that’s worse than feeling ill or having a raging toothache, and that’s feeling ill or having toothache and not being registered with a doctor or dentist. Hopefully, you’ll not need to see them too often, but it’s essential that you sign up with them when you arrive. Many universities have practices they have links with, so you should check with them to find out more.

Birmingham City University students can find out more about their local doctors and dentists practices at:

http://www.bcu.ac.uk/studentservices/healthcare/register_doctor.html  

http://www.bcu.ac.uk/studentservices/healthcare/register_dentist.html

Find out more about healthcare services at Birmingham City University here. Continue reading Arriving at University

How to… deal with those last minute pre-course worries

You’re due to start a course but the dreaded last minute doubts sometimes creep in for a whole host of reasons. Many people who are about to join a course may feel apprehensive as the time to start their studies draws nearer. It’s quite natural and totally understandable to feel like this as studying at university is a big step and can mean many changes for you.

Here, we talk about three typical last minute niggles and give you ideas about how to deal with them.

Worry 1: I’ll be away from home and won’t know anyone!

Studying at university may mean studying a new subject, moving away from home and will certainly mean meeting new people so can seem a little overwhelming! Try and remember that there will be many other people in exactly the same situation as yourself. Freshers’ Week takes place at the beginning of the academic year and is a great way for students to get together and meet each other in a social environment. The Students Union organises the event and you’ll usually also be introduced to the full range of social and sporting events, societies and activities on offer to students at the university during this time.

For some students, settling in at university seems to come as second nature; for others it may take some time to get used to the course, the city and student life away from the family home. Like anything new, starting university takes a certain amount of personal adjustment to accommodate the changes that come with it. Remember – you won’t be the first and certainly not the last person in this situation to feel like this! Talking to your friends, getting involved with student societies, sporting activities or social events, and establishing a routine for yourself can help to ease the transition. Continue reading How to… deal with those last minute pre-course worries

The Final Checklist

Have you forgotten anything? If you are due to start university this September here are a few things you should act upon now if you’ve not already done so.

Student finance forms completed?
Accommodation application completed?
Place confirmed?
Course commencement details received?
Exam certificates/ results received?
Accommodation confirmed?
Student bank account?
Insurance arranged?
TV licence acquired?
Basic living items purchased? (If living away from home)
Area map?
Student travel pass?
Money to tide you over in case of delays in receiving your student financial support?

If you’re coming to Birmingham City University you may find some of the following contact numbers useful if you need to chase anything up or have any questions:

Birmingham City University:

University switchboard 0121 331 5000
Accommodation services 0121 331 5191 www.bcu.ac.uk/accommodation
Academic Registry: 0121 331 5679
Choices (the course information and guidance centre) 0121 331 5595 choices@bcu.ac.uk
Student Services: 0121 331 5588

Finance:

Student Finance Direct: 0845 607 7577 www.studentfinancedirect.co.uk
NHS Student Grants Unit: 0845 358 6655 www.nhsstudentgrants.co.uk
The Student Calculator: http://www.studentcalculator.org.uk/

Travel:

Birmingham and West Midlands:
Travel West Midlands: http://www.travelwm.co.uk/
Centro: http://www.centro.org.uk/wwwroot/HomePage.asp

 

Top 10 Clearing Tips

Here at Choices we’ve helped thousands of students to explore their options and make the right decision about higher education. We work alongside clearing helpline staff and admissions tutors to help students find their way through the Clearing process and secure a place at university.

Here are our top ten tips for surviving Clearing and finding the course that’s right for you.

1 Don’t Panic!
If your exam results are not quite as good as you expected remember to keep calm; the right course for you may still be out there. There’s a good chance that you will be able to secure a place at university through Clearing. Last year over 30,000 (that’s around 1 in 5) university places were found through Clearing! You are certainly not alone and you have some excellent options awaiting you.

If you narrowly miss the grades you require you should check the status of your application on UCAS track before you start ringing universities to enquire about places on alternative courses through Clearing. In some cases if you are only a few UCAS tariff points short of the required grades the university may still be able to confirm your place, but this will be at the discretion of the admissions tutor. Continue reading Top 10 Clearing Tips