Getting here: 10 things you NEED to do when you arrive at university
Getting to university is the easy part, figuring out what you need to have prepared is a little trickier. Luckily, we’ve written up 10 tips to help you get organised and feel more relaxed during the process.
1. Sign up to the King’s GP
No matter how much of a vessel of vitality you are or how regularly you eat your five-a-day, it’s hard to dodge the dreaded Freshers Flu (yes it is real – the rumours were true). Keep your health in check by signing up to the university GP on campus so you won’t have to travel far for a check-up. You can also book a visit to the GP to get any important questions answered from mental health support to access to contraception – just make sure you’re chatting with a doctor when you need to instead of going on WebMD.
2. ?Meet your flatmates
Don’t be afraid to keep your door open when moving in to invite new flatmates/housemates to come say hi. Even if you’re feeling stressed and nervous about meeting new people, most of your flatmates will be feeling the same and want to get to know you too. If you’re living at home, make the most of induction week and chat to as many of your course mates as you can. Getting some socialising in during Welcome is sure to help you feel more comfortable and confident as you get ready for Term 1.
3. Get a TOTUM card
Unfortunately for you, life is about to get a tad more expensive, especially at a London-based university. Sign up to TOTUM Lite or get a TOTUM card to help you save on your food shop, stationary supplies, school books on Amazon, clothes and more. You can never have enough student discount!
4. Open a student bank account
If you are an international student and do not have a bank account in the UK, you will most likely need to sign up for one here. You can get a confirmation of study letter sent to your email from King’s Student Records, and show this to your bank alongside any other documents they may ask for. Most student accounts are given an interest-free overdraft but do try to avoid using it unless you absolutely need it. Student accounts also come with great benefits from Freshers hampers to free Railcards and even gift cards. Before taking out any bank accounts, be sure to do your research or speak to a financial advisor beforehand.
5. Stock up at your local supermarket
If you’ve forgotten any essential items at home, finding your nearest supermarket will be a godsend for gathering those last-minute bits (we don’t want you sleeping with pillows or a duvet!). You’ll also need to stock up on some food if you’re not living in catered accommodation, and some late-night snacks if you are.
6. Apply for a Student Oyster and 16-25 Railcard
Travel fares will be one of your heftiest expenses in London – but it’s a necessity for getting around the city, especially if you live far from campus. Apply for your student Oyster card as soon as you can, as it might take a while for the university to approve it and for TFL to post it to you – you may have to use a standard Oyster card in the meantime. If you already own an Oyster, you can get a 16-25 Railcard linked to it and save 30% off some journeys around London, as well as cheaper national rail tickets across the UK.
7. Visit the Students' Union
Did you know that you automatically become a member of KCLSU as soon as you become a King’s student? Use that to your advantage by visiting our spaces and utilising our services as soon as you get here! Whether you want to chill in the Bush House Meadow or grab a drink and some fries with your new friends at the Vault or Guy’s Bar, you’ll always feel welcome.
8. Divert your mail to your new address
There’s nothing quite as annoying as having to go home to collect your new student card because you didn’t divert your mail to halls. Though it may be a bit tedious, take some time out of unpacking to change your delivery address for important mail like your bank statements, government services, online grocery shopping, and even clothing.
9. Go to your induction
Once you pick up your student ID from student services and complete your enrolment, definitely attend your course induction and complete at least one of the library tours. Induction will be one of the most jam-packed, busy days, but it’s the best way to get you prepared for what’s to come. Bring a laptop or notebook, as you’ll have lots to write down.
10. Check out Welcome Fair
Another great way to get to King’s and KCLSU better is to attend the Welcome Fair in September. Not only is the fair a great place to connect with people, you can also find out more about KCLSU’s sports clubs and societies (there are over 300 to choose from!). Don’t worry if you don’t feel like signing up to anything as you can always join a group later - just use this time to get a feel for everything.