Students doing food shop

Cost of living support during exams

Earlier this year, Kent Union, along with the University and The Food Foundation carried out a Cost of Living Survey across the Canterbury and Medway campuses for a second year. The survey results highlight areas where we need to improve.

During exams especially, you don’t want money worries to negatively affect your studies. Here are some ways you can get support at Kent, so you can fulfil your potential this exam season:


We know that food insecurity is a growing issue on university campuses across the country. Kent Union’s Campus Pantry in Mandela Student Centre offers short-term support to students who find themselves in need of supplemental food. The first time you visit there are no questions asked, you just need to show your student ID and then you can choose some food items.

It’s important to be well fueled for exams. Some affordable food options on campus include the £3 Meal Deals, or you can bring in leftovers and heat them up in a microwave on campus. At Medway, you can also join a free community breakfast at The Hub on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Plus, don’t forget to hydrate. See places where you can refill your water bottle rather than buying a new one.

Free sanitary products

From the Cost of Living Survey results, we know that some students are spending less on sanitary products because they are worried about money. Sanitary products are not a luxury. On exam days, you can ask an exam invigilator who will give you a free sanitary product.

You can also find free sanitary products in the Mandela Student Centre reception at Canterbury and The Hub toilets at Medway campus year-round.

Travelling to exams

Check out travel discounts for getting to campus, including reduced bus tickets for Stagecoach and Arriva buses, as well as the 16-25 rail card (which is also available to full-time students who are 25+) where you save a third on your off-peak train travel. Please note, there is a planned train strike on Tuesday 7 May, so if you have an exam on this day, you should arrange alternative travel.

Is your technology playing up?

If you are having trouble with your laptop, you can borrow one from Templeman or Drill Hall Library for free so you can continue with your revision and other work.

Staying active

Exercise can be a great way to de-stress during exam season. If you are in your first year or live on campus, you have access to free Premium membership in Canterbury, or Premier Medway Park membership at Medway campus.

Even if you are not living on campus, we have different gym membership options for every budget at Kent Sport. There’s a monthly gym membership and the free Pay to Play membership where you just pay when you visit the gym facilities for £5 per session, or take part in an ALL Active sport or fitness class for just £2 per session.

See all gym membership options this summer.

Our cost of living website has more support including specific hardship funding available.