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Top tips for heading off to university

Making the transition to university easier

If you or your child are flying the nest and heading off to university, we have some tips to help make this transition as easy and stress free as possible.

There is so much to think about that it can seem overwhelming for both the student and their parents/carers. So while you tackle the big issues like student finance and accommodation, we have some tips which you may not have thought about. We hope these help!

If you have already been through this process and have some top tips to add, please feel free to leave a comment.

Top Tips

  1. Look into the different student bank accounts available to find the right one. Many banks offer great benefits and freebies such as a railcard or cashback and these benefits can be really useful for students. Student bank accounts are not very different from non-student bank accounts but most student bank accounts do offer a 0% overdraft. Don’t feel you have to stay with your current bank, another bank may be offering you more.
  2. Thinking of taking your car with you? Look into the parking options before deciding whether to take your car. Parking options can be very expensive and not budget friendly.
  3. Moving day is a busy day as your young person moves everything they need into their new digs. To make it easier on the day and to ensure that every thing fits into the car, why not order items online and get them delivered directly to them a day after they move in. If they are staying on campus there will be someone to sign for the packages and keep them safe.
  4. If you are looking at buying a new laptop, bear in mind that they will be able to install MS Office for free to their device by logging onto Office365 website with their uni e-mail address so no need to purchase a MS Office package.
  5. If you are looking to get everything you need in one shop, Asda has a great range at great prices and has been recommended by many parents as the place to get everything.
  6. It is often nice to wrap presents for your student with a “Open when” message. They are sure to have the odd wobble and knowing that you are thinking about them is a huge comfort.
  7. A great tip for transporting items is to put them in large laundry bags instead of boxes. The laundry bags are easier to carry and can be used whilst at university (most likely to bring their dirty washing back home!).
  8. Look into whether your accommodation has insurance. Some halls include a basic insurance cover but it may not cover everything you need and some home insurers will extend your home insurance to cover a child at university, but this may only cover university owned halls.
  9. Find out if you need to purchase a TV Licence. A lot of students do not realise they need one and get fined. If you want to watch or record live TV on any channel, or download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer, you’ll need a TV licence. This is what you will need:
      1. Student halls - you’ll need to be covered by a licence to watch TV in your room.
      2. House or flat share with separate tenancy agreement – you’ll need to be covered by your own licence.
      3. Property with joint tenancy – you’ll need one licence to cover the whole place.
  10. It is a good idea to take pictures of any damage to student accommodation when you move in, even if it is minor!! You may need to prove that the damage was there when you moved in.
  11. Will your young person iron their clothes? A great alternative to an iron and ironing board is a steamer – easier and quicker than ironing and especially useful for those that wear a uniform for their cause.


About the author

Luisa Gatward

Our Head of Operations, Luisa is responsible for the smooth running of all operations including marketing and partner relationships. Having started working for TheGivingMachine in 2010, she has seen our Charity grow and develop into what we have today.

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