Get ahead – what you can do before you arrive

Here are some things that you should do before you arrive at Kent.

Arrange your accommodation

At Kent we offer different types of accommodation to suit a variety of needs. These include a mixture of catered and self-catered, sociable and quiet and single and mixed-gender halls.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your preferences, as many halls places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Get in touch with your university’s accommodation office to discuss your options.

Sort out your finances

You’ll need to get your finances in order before fresher’s week. This may not seem like the most exciting task when preparing for university, but it’s one of the most important. We have put together a Money Timeline that covers all of this.

Decide what to take

Find out what’s provided at your accommodation to avoid making unnecessary purchases, and check how much storage you’ll have – there’s no point taking things you don’t have the space to keep. We have written a blog post about the items you will need.

Organise a railcard

Railcards offer value for money if you travel by train, saving you at least 1/3 on most rail fares. There are a variety of railcards available from the 16-25 Railcard, 26-30 Railcard and the Family railcard. You can find more information about them here.

Get reading

Many schools put their reading lists online weeks before their courses begin, or will send you the details via email. This will give you an idea of what to expect from your workload, and getting a head start on reading will build your confidence for lectures.

You don’t need to own every book on the list – identify the core texts and buy these. Any others you need will be available to borrow from your university library or to buy from former students for a fraction of their original retail price.

Get to know the area

You can read up on your campus town area by heading to Visit Kent, Kent County Council, Medway Council and Canterbury Council. Also try resources such as The Student Room who have threads about various student towns.

Learn to cook

Ask for help with making your favourite meals while you’re still at home – you’ll be glad you did once you’re fending for yourself. Student cookbooks, available in bookshops and online, focus on using simple ingredients and cooking on a budget.

Shopping cheaply is easier than you think – Co-op offers a 10% discount to NUS cardholders, and own-brand food from the supermarket is often of the same quality as the more expensive branded alternatives.