In the final part of our Parents’ Guide series, a Choices adviser looks at the initial period following your son or daughter starting their University course.
This is a time of adjustment for both you as a parent and your son or daughter. The silence at home will be an unusual sensation; the reduced need for ‘Dad’s/ Mum’s Cabs’ feels strange and you may be surprised at how much cheaper the weekly food shopping has suddenly become.
Your son or daughter may become homesick at some point. Being in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people can be very unsettling. This is a totally normal and natural reaction by some students when they first join university. Acknowledge any concerns they have and be supportive, but try not to reinforce homesickness by encouraging them to return home at weekends – this will only serve to make them feel more isolated from university life. Part of the transition to university life away from home is a journey of self discovery, development and independence and it takes time to establish.
Continue reading Parent’s Guide | Part 7: The first few weeks 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.
Continue reading Parents’ Guide | Part 6: Arriving at University
Have you forgotten anything? Here are a few things you should act upon now if you’ve not already completed them:
- 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 your son or daughter over in case of delays in receiving their financial support?
Continue reading Parents’ Guide | Part 5: The Final Checklist
If you’re wondering where to begin with equipping your son or daughter with the basics, part four of our Parents’ Guide series provides some ideas about what students moving away from home may need.
Continue reading Parents’ Guide | Part 4: preparing your son or daughter to move away from home
In the second part of our Parents’ Guide series, we look at some of the paperwork you’ll need to consider completing for your son or daughter’s course.
Student finance forms
Student finance forms for tuition fee loans and maintenance grants and loans are usually completed from March onwards but application forms for support can be submitted once an application for an undergraduate course has been made. It’s important to ensure that these are completed and submitted in good time. For continuing students the Local Authority will continue to process these and then confirm personal eligibility to financial support. This information is then passed to Student Finance England who will process your application for payment. New student applications must be made directly through Student Finance England. When your son or daughter enrols at university, the university confirms this with Student Finance England who will then release the payment.
Continue reading Parents’ Guide | Part 2: In advance – the paperwork
In the first part of our Parents’ Guide series, a Choices adviser looks at sources of information you can use to find out more about funding options for undergraduate courses.
Looking at option for financial support to study a degree often seems like a jungle with loans for fees, loans and grants for maintenance and bursaries all forming elements that can help eligible students to meet the costs of living and studying whilst at university.
As a parent, the importance of exploring the full range of information about student financial support goes without saying. Here at Birmingham City University, dedicated staff can help you find out more about the options for funding courses we provide. Our course information and guidance centre, Choices, have a team of friendly, knowledgeable advisers who can provide information about potential sources of funding.
If you require more in-depth advice or information, Birmingham City University’s student financial advisers are on hand to talk to you about the full range of options available and entitlements to additional assistance. They also provide assistance to students whilst they’re studying with us, with support and advice in areas including basic money management skills, contacts for trusts and charities who may offer opportunities for student sponsorship and information about tax. For access to online information, please visit http://www.bcu.ac.uk/studentservices/studentfinance/index.html.
Student Finance England offer information and advice about support available for Higher Education courses. You can find out more at Direct.gov.uk.
Student charity, UniAid, not only provide advice and information about student finance but also provide a handy tool for calculating an idea of personal entitlements to student financial support. To get a better idea of how much help your son or daughter could receive, visit http://www.studentcalculator.org.uk/.
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.
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:
Find out more about healthcare services at Birmingham City University here. Continue reading Arriving at University
With freshers’ week now just a couple of weeks away, here we look at some of the things you’ll need to arrange before you start university.
Open a student bank account
Do some research into the different options and deals on offer and consider which one can offer you the most in the long term. Some banks offer deals like discounted travel for students which can help to save money, but always look at the wider picture to make sure that you really are getting the best deal.
Insuring personal possessions is important in case of accidental loss, damage or theft, as the cost of replacing valuables can be considerable in some cases. Many insurers offer specific insurance for students, but you may also be able to take out student insurance as part of your parents’ home insurance. Take time to find out whether this could be more cost effective than taking out separate cover.
Whichever option you choose, ensure that appropriate cover is arranged before you join university. Consider what valuables you intend to bring and pay attention to any specific cover requirements or additional premiums for specific items. Continue reading Before you arrive…