The start of term is getting closer and, like you, thousands of students are preparing for the big move away from home!

Moving to uni for the first time might seem a little overwhelming, but with lots of preparation and advice, you can make the transition much smoother and calmer.

Here we have put together some top practical tips of things you can do to prepare for this exciting new stage of your life…


Check your funding

If you are going to be receiving funding or a student loan to help you pay for your university degree, you will need to ensure that all the details are sorted before you can be paid your first instalment.

There are various bits of information that you will need to submit including your application with any supporting evidence, your bank details, a signed declaration form, and confirmation from your university that you will be attending. It’s always best to get this information sent off as soon as you have it available to ensure that no deadlines are missed.


Planning your student accommodation

Choosing your new student home is a very important decision! There are many options available, depending on which university you choose to study at. From university halls to shared houses or luxury student apartments – it’s important that you choose the option that best matches your personal needs, as well as the location that suits you.

Even if you’re still waiting for your exam results, it’s best to check where you want to live if you do get the place.

Be sure to also think ahead of what else you might need to sort when it comes to your student accommodation – including furniture, contents insurance, utility bills, supplies, and a TV licence.


Sort your bank account

Many students choose to open a student account with a bank or building society when they start university. These student accounts often come with features tailored for students such as an agreed interest-free overdraft and also often come with some great freebies for example travel cards, shopping vouchers or useful student gadgets.

It’s always best to do some research into the best student bank accounts available this year, and pick the one that seems right for you.


Make a budget

Many freshers find it harder than expected to manage their money. Therefore, putting a simple budget in place is a great way to ensure that you are prepared to keep on top of your cash once you arrive at uni.

To start off, it’s a good idea to make a list of any potential costs that you are going to have to pay out – including rent, bills, course material and groceries. Plot these in a spreadsheet, so you have a figure of total outgoings for each month. Then think about any money coming in that you expect – either from parents or a part-time job you hope to secure. The difference between your incomings and outgoings will help you to see how much extra you will have each month to spend on socialising, fitness and treats!

If you need help preparing your budget, then sit down with a family member or friend to go through the figures until you are happy with them. UCAS also offer some great advice on managing your money at university on a tight budget.


Apply for your discount cards

A TOTUM card (previously NUS Extra card) offers lots of great student deals on everything from entertainment and eating out to clothes and travel. It features over 350 discounts as well as an official proof of age. You can join today from as little as £14.99 for 12 months to start saving.

A student rail card offers 1/3 off train travel for 16-26-year olds. If you haven’t already got one, then now might be a good time. This way, you can save on returning home to visit family and friends as well as weekend trips to visit new friends and places in the UK. The Railcard will cost you just £30 for a year but could save you an average of £189 on your annual travel costs.


Decide what to take

It might be tempting to want to take your whole bedroom and entire worldly possessions along with you to university. But in reality, it just won’t all fit in!

It’s likely that your student room will be compact in size, so make a checklist to ensure you are taking only the essentials! This will save you having to give stuff to your parents to take back home or needing extra storage space for items that won’t fit into your accommodation.