Author Archives: Hannah Brazier

A2 Road Closure – Canterbury

Section of A2 near Canterbury will be closed the weekend of the 17-19th September and following weekends.  If you are travelling to our Canterbury Campus for Arrivals this weekend please make sure you plan your route before leaving taking into account this closure.

From 3rd September, Highways England are closing the road known as the A2 between Canterbury and Brenley Corner, Faversham roundabout from 7pm Friday to 5am Monday for 8 weekends in a row.

Ensure you plan your journey before leaving to travel to the University of Kent, Canterbury campus. During this time for those driving around the city, there is likely to be a slight increase in local traffic as vehicles join the diversions from either the Wincheap or Bridge Interchange junctions.

Friday 3rd September to 13th September, including KMMS students arrivals

A2 road will be closed from Brenley Corner roundabout, Faversham to Canterbury.

We recommend drivers visiting or arriving at the Canterbury campus consider exiting the A299 at Whitstable B2205/ Canterbury A290 junction and follow signs towards Canterbury until they have reached University Road.

The Kent County Council official signed diversion is via A299 to St Nicholas roundabout then use A28 into Canterbury, via Sturry. We advise lorries to use this route.

From 17 September for 5 weekends, including Arrivals weekend

A2 road will be closed from Canterbury to Brenley Corner, Faversham roundabout.

We recommend drivers leaving Canterbury campus consider:

  • To turn right out of campus following the signs to Whitstable using the A290 then join the Thanet Way A299 or
  • travel into Canterbury City to Wincheap roundabout and turn right onto the A28 towards Challock and use the A251 back to the M2 or
  • travel into Canterbury City to Wincheap roundabout and turn right onto the A28 towards into Ashford and join the M20.

Student Arrivals – If travelling by car, please inform your driver to plan for this road closure. The A2 will be open on your way to campus but local roads may be busy. When leaving the campus the A2 exiting Canterbury towards the M2 will be closed.

Useful links
Kent County Council road closure

Highways England Travel Updates

University Planning your Journey Advice

close up of doctors arms holding stethoscope

Registering with a doctor

It is important to register with a GP close to your term-time address so you can access health services quickly and easily while you’re at University.

Visit the NHS website for more information about getting medical care as a student.

Canterbury

Kent has its own NHS general practice on campus called the University Medical Centre.

Canterbury students can register for the University Medical Practice online.

Medway

You should register with a local doctor near to your accommodation in order to receive treatment under the National Health Service (NHS): Find your nearest NHS Surgery.

Community Chorus call out: Be a part of The Suppliant Women!

Gulbenkian Arts Centre and iCCi at the University of Kent are recruiting participants for a Community Chorus for the upcoming production of The Suppliant Women – would you like to be a part of it?

We’re looking for people who:

  • Want to work with a top professional creative team
  • Enjoy singing, acting and performing
  • Have a willingness to learn, enthusiasm and dedication
  • Having an interest in the social and political themes of the play would also be great!

The Community Cast breaks down into 3 choruses as follows:

  • The Suppliant Women: Chorus of Young Women aged 18-30 (Some singing and movement experience/ability required but doesn’t need to be seasoned performers.) This chorus is on stage for the majority of the performance and therefore will have the most intensive rehearsal schedule from Sept-Nov 2021 (mainly Tuesday evenings and weekends) and the production week from Monday 8th November 2021.
  • The King’s Soldiers: Chorus of Men aged 18-35 (Some singing and movement experience/ability required but doesn’t need to be seasoned performers.) This chorus has a smaller role and therefore less intensive rehearsal schedule, mainly 4 weekend days and then the production week from Monday 8th November 2021.
  • Men and Women representing the community: Chorus of the Community aged 18+ (Strong singers and musical readers required – ability to sing without a leader.) This chorus features at the end of the play with one main song.

How to get involved:

We will be running taster workshops at the Gulbenkian Arts Centre on Saturday 11 and Sunday 26 September 2021, from which the Creative Team will select their choruses. To sign up for a slot please complete this short online application form. For more information please contact creativeengagement@kent.ac.uk

Useful apps for you to download

Here are some useful apps, services and social media channels to download, use and follow as you start your studies at Kent. From getting around to helping you study smarter, here are a few of our suggestions!

Join the conversation 

If you haven’t already make sure you’re a member of the Official University of Kent Freshers 2021/22 Facebook page. This is the only official group where you can interact and discuss with fellow students also starting at Kent this academic year. A great place to find your housemates and fellow coursemates!

Follow the University of Kent on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for news, events, and important announcements to the local community and beyond.

Apps to download

Uni Kent Student app – This will hold all the information you need about becoming a student at Kent – a must have! It has quick links to key services such as your Kent email and Moodle as well as other useful features.

Safezone – This is the campus safety app which gives round-the-clock safety reassurance to all students and staff. It’s free to download and easy to use. You can access first-aid, security, or safety assistance via your phone.

Order Up! – Skip the queues with Kent’s brand new app for table service and click & collect. The app can be used in all University of Kent catering outlets. Simply scan the QR code on the table to order.

Bus apps – These apps have a journey planner, live bus information (in real time) and you can even purchase mobile bus tickets at discounted prices. For Canterbury students, download Stagecoach. For Medway students, download Arriva. Find out more about travel and discount offers available to students.

Train apps – Southeastern. The ‘on Track’ app helps you access (also) real-time information on trains in Kent. Especially helpful if you’re looking to travel to London from Canterbury West and want to find out when the next train is! There is also National Rail Enquiries which provides information on trains for the whole of the UK if you are travelling outside of Kent.

Taxi apps – Only a few of the companies have an app some of which include: Longley’s Private Hire (Canterbury), Computer Cabs (Medway), and Vokes Taxi (Medway). You can find more information about booking a taxi in the UK and the full list of the services the University of Kent uses.

Circuit – This is the campus laundry service app. All launderettes on campus are card or app operated so if you need to do a wash, make sure you familiarise yourself with the app ahead of time. Find out more about laundry services on campus.

Home at Halls – This app is here to make your life easier whilst living on campus. It has a range of great features meaning you can report any accommodation faults you find, monitor your laundry, access important information about your accommodation agreement, contact the team for support and receive updates and more all in one place on your phone. The app is free and all residential students will be emailed by the Accommodation Office with the link to download the Home at Halls app before you arrive.

Actionbound App for Templeman Trail – The Templeman Trail will familiarise you with the Templeman Library and help you to start moving around the building and finding key services and locations to help you with your studies. Complete the trail and get a free drink at the Library Cafe – Find out more.

Students’ Union app – Get the most from your student experience with Your Students’ Union App! Your one-stop-shop for getting involved with your Students’ Union. It’s your SU – at your finger tips! Discover events, vote easily in elections and join sports and societies with a few quick steps.

Headspace – an app for meditation and mindfulness. It has themed sessions from stress, sleep to helping you focus and ultimately relieve anxiety (something that you may find helpful during this pandemic).

If you have feedback or would like to contribute to the app, please email studentsuccessproject@kent.ac.uk.

Other things to look at 

Try out Kent’s very own One Hour Degree game. This app gives you some tips on being a student at the University. The story line was however written before COVID-19, so things like social distancing and online lectures haven’t been taken into account. It’s still a valuable resource as it’ll help you get a feel of the vast array of support and advice available to you at Kent that you can still access and it’s something that has not changed.

Check out this website of Productivity tools. Who doesn’t want to work and study smarter? Make sure to check out the full list of apps and software that the University of Kent has reviewed for staff and students to help you make the most out of your time at Kent. From helping you stay focused to supporting accessibility needs, we’d highly recommend you have a browse.

For student discounts check out Unidays. From discounts on food and drink to clothes to technology it’s a must to check out!

Our last piece of advice is to be careful when sharing your personal information online and #StaySafe! Be aware of any unofficial organisations that pretend to be representing the University of Kent.

These are just a few suggestions and do not cover the full list of all the apps, services, and social media channels you should use during your time here at the University of Kent. We hope however that this will help get you started in making the most out of your time here at Kent! Happy browsing!

Best advice for living with new people and settling in to university life

We asked our students’ about their favourite thing living in campus accommodation. The top result? How close they were to everything on campus, and the friends they made here. However, living with new people and making friends can also be some of the things people are most nervous about. You’re not alone if this is you, we asked some of our residential students to share their experiences so here are our 6 top tips to help you settle into living on campus.

Student quote: “Just be kind, be friendly and be respectful. These will be the people that you live with for the year and if you’re able to make friends with even just a few of them at the very beginning, it makes the start so much easier as you know that you’ve got someone to talk to and spend time with as you find your feet, branch out and make new friends.” Isobel, Drama and Theatre student.

Talk – as cliché as it sounds, when you are in your room keep the door open as you start getting to know your flatmates and make the effort to say hi or grab a cup of tea for a chat. Plus, having some snacks or a game in the kitchen to share on those first few days with your new flatmates can be a great icebreaker. This advice goes beyond your house and beyond welcome week too – everyone is in the same boat as you. Aleeja, a psychology student says it best ‘be open to making friends and try to make conversation with people you come across as you never know whether they’re a lifelong friend till you try’.

 

Student quote: “Don’t be afraid of not being able to make friends, it is so easy to meet people by joining societies and sports clubs. Also make sure that you can find your work-life balance, otherwise you could fall behind easily. Don’t forget you’re coming here to study hard but enjoy new experiences” Yasemin, Law student

Explore – make the most out of the opportunities on campus – join a society, grab coffee with people on your course, meet your neighbours or try volunteering. Don’t just rely on your flatmates or course mates for finding new friends keep exploring and ‘make an effort to meet people in the first week, and every week after that. The more people you know, the more likely you are to make some friends’ (Morgan, International Business student)

 

Student quote: ‘Have patience. Create a group chat with your flatmates because communication is key!’ Liliya, Law student

Have that cleaning conversation early – You and your flatmates are responsible for cleaning your accommodation. So, once you know each other have a house meeting to sort out some general house rules and utilise the cleaning rota in your kitchen if needed. It may be awkward to start with but everyone will be happier in the long run if they know what’s expected of them. If it helps, make the house meeting a regular event, over time this may just turn into an opportunity to touch base and check in with each other.

 

Student quote: ‘Don't hesitate to talk to your flatmates, and eventually establish some rules you will all be okay with! It will help you a lot and relieve some stress.’ Cassiopee, Digital Arts student.

Be considerate – this one seems obvious, but can easily be forgotten when you’re all having fun. Your flatmate may have an exam in the morning, or maybe you shouldn’t take up all of the kitchen space with unwashed bowls – just remember when you are all sharing the same space a little consideration and compromise goes a long way.

 

Student quote: Houseplants are great for your bedroom as they brighten up the place as well as having a positive effect on your mood’ Daisy, Anthropology student

Decorate – put up pictures, of home and the new memories you make. This room is yours for the year so put up all the things that will make it feel homely for you (within reason – we do have some restricted items as outlined in the Accommodation Handbook)

 

Student quote: ‘Studying is important in life, but so is self-care. If everything gets to be too much just step back for a bit and focus again, because no matter what happens you have to be your own top priority’ Yasemin, Law student

Feeling overwhelmed? Speak up –That’s natural – for most of you it will be your first move away from home and lots of you will be feeling the same way. But don’t forget you can always speak to someone – a house mate, friend, member of staff or there’s always the exceptional Student Support and Wellbeing team on campus who have been through it all before and are there for you.

 

Wondering whether to take the leap and live on campus? We’ll leave the closing words to ELL/Psychology student, Ruby:

“Definitely do it because you get to meet loads of new people and live near them, also you live so near that you can easily go to events and other stuff so do as much as you can whilst it’s easy to get to” Ruby, ELL/Psychology student
“Definitely do it because you get to meet loads of new people and live near them, also you live so near that you can easily go to events and other stuff so do as much as you can whilst it’s easy to get to”

 

Already here? Take some time to settle in as everything is new, but don’t worry we’re here to support you if needed. There’s lots of information on our Arrivals pages or Living on Campus or Living in Pier Quays pages to help you settle in to university life, and otherwise we echo Economics student Gbogo’s advice “enjoy and have fun, it’s easy to find friends and everything you need is on campus.” 

Student advice for September 2021 arrivals

We asked some of our previous residential students what they wish they had known before arriving at Kent and what their one piece of advice would be to new students


We look forward to welcoming you to Kent soon! Our 
Canterbury Arrivals and Medway Arrivals pages are full of information and advice to help get you ready to arrive at Kent. You should also keep an eye on the Accommodation Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest blogs and insights before you arrive.

Student blog: How to make your room feel homely

In her final blog Viviana shares her advice and experience on what to bring with you when moving to university

Viviana

Hello, my name is Viviana, and by now you know I just graduated from the University of Kent with a Drama and Film undergraduate degree. I am an international student, who came from Greece to the UK for studying and I spent both my first and third year in the University’s accommodation so coming from far away, I get that taking the right things with you is key.

Making your room feel cosy to your liking is of vital importance, especially if it is your first time moving somewhere on your own. Fairy lights, stuffed animals, your favourite books, mug, pictures of loved ones, your favourite art hung on the walls are all great ideas. I personally love plants as they make me feel more relaxed when I have them in my space, so I bought a snake plant and a mint plant that I love and take care of as if they were my babies.

dinosaur watering plants

You do not need to bring your entire room with you. I suggest you choose what is actually necessary and crucial to you and anything that could be substituted or bought from Canterbury, just buy it here. Of course, if you have easy access to bring more stuff, such as food or sanitary supplies, feel free to do so. In my case travelling all the way from a different country, the less, the better.

Micky Mouse throwing lots of clothes into suitcase

For me, it was crucial to bring warmer clothes, as the UK weather is colder than Greece’s and a raincoat, umbrella and boots were necessary since it rains a lot. I made the mistake of taking more summer clothes that I ended up not wearing because of the weather, so hopefully, you can learn from my mistake. Also, if you are travelling from a European country or further away, do not forget to get the appropriate adapters and chargers that fit the UK’s plugs.

woman wearing all the clothes

Finally, take it easy, moving to a new home alone for the first time can be a bit strange and chaotic as to what you need to buy, but remember you do not need to buy everything at once. Time by time, you will gather all the stuff you need.

Still unsure where to start? Take a look online at what is already included in your room (for Pier Quay rooms in Medway too), there’s also a handy packing list available as well as more student advice.

What to pack?

‘Don’t over pack!’ is one of the most common responses whenever we ask students for the advice they would give for those about to arrive on campus for the first time. It can be tricky to know what you might need and what you should bring with you, so this is definitely a decision that shouldn’t be based on ‘what more can I cram into the car/suitcase?’

So with this in mind, listen to the voice of experience as these students and staff share their top tips so you can save yourself the pain of trying to squeeze in a second food dehydrator…

  1. Aleena, psychology student and Liane, English Language and Linguistics student – ‘make a packing list’
    Aleena: ‘making a list would be useful as I found I missed out a lot of essentials and had to spend money buying things I already had at home.’ Fortunately we have a packing list to help get you started but another piece of advice is to ‘pack boxes so items related are put together (e.g. kitchen, bedding, bathroom etc.)’ says Liane ‘this makes unpacking quicker and easier’.

‘Double check that you have everything you need (especially kitchen utensils and hygiene products) so you don't have to scramble to get what you need last minute.’ - Liane, English Language and Linguistics student

  1. Laura, from our Accommodation Team – ‘check what’s already in your room’
    All rooms on campus will have some items included, so know what’s already included to avoid wasting valuable space by packing a duplicate. You can check what is in your Canterbury room or Medway bedroom We’re not just talking about big things either, for example we’ve provided cleaning products in the accommodation kitchens and cleaning cloths in your bedroom, but when you pop to the shops you’ll still need to pick-up a few other bits and bobs like washing up liquid, sponges, and laundry detergent.
  2. Omar, Architecture student – ‘don’t forget the essentials but prioritise things you can’t easily buy’
    Bring your chargers and double check on things that you need to use every day, such as soap, as it’s easy to forget. But don’t worry too much about these as you can literally get them from anywhere, just mainly bring the things that aren’t easily bought or replaced if you need them. 

     

    line art of bed sizes
    You can find out what size bed is in your room online.
  3. Becky, from our Housekeeping Team – ‘know your bed sizes’
    Aside from forgotten passports or driver’s licences this is one of the most common mishaps for new students. There are different bed sizes across the rooms on campus (and in private accommodation) so don’t buy any bedding until you have accepted your room offer so you can double check the bed size online so you know what sheets to buy. Some folks have trouble getting hold of sheets for the 7ft beds, but a king size flat sheet will fit or try the extra-long bedsheets from UniKitOut.
  4. Phil, from our Catering Team – ‘don’t pack the kitchen sink’
    Just bring enough to get you started as you may want to go in with your flatmates for to buy some items. If you live in part-catered accommodation you shouldn’t need anything beyond your basic crockery and cutlery, as kettles are provided. If you’re going to live in self-catered accommodation we suggest just buying a set of crockery and cutlery for yourself, plus food storage containers and basic pots and pans. 

     

    luggage and suitcases in car for departure
    Another cheat to avoid overfilling the car is to utilise UniKitOut. This company delivers essential items direct to your room on campus so it’s there ready for you when you arrive. Just order before midnight on Tuesday 7 September 2021. There’s even a 10% discount when using the ‘KENT10’ code
  5. Beth, History and Social Anthropology student – ‘make it home’
    Best bit of advice was to bring decorative items. Strings of lights, small potted plants for the windowsill or desk, photo frames with silly, happy photos, blankets and pillows, etc. It makes the room that bit more comforting and homely, and can help with the homesickness.
  6. Alexander, Anthropology student – ‘bring something to break the ice’
    ‘Bring sweets, give them to your flatmates when you introduce yourself’. If sweets aren’t your thing, and you’re feeling nervous about introducing yourself just remember your fellow students Eve and Becky’s advice ‘don’t stress, everyone’s in the same boat and wants to make new friends too […] put yourself out there and make friends. Particularly at this time, campus is a great place to be for that’.
    students laughing playing cards at table

Of course, there are also some things you should 100% not be bringing. You can probably guess these but anything with a naked flame, (such as candles, incense, joss sticks, oil burners, barbeques, or smoking paraphernalia) is one to avoid. Cars, mini-fridges, heated airers, multi-way cube adaptors and pets are some of the other items featured on the restricted items list which can be found in the Accommodation Handbook if you need to double check anything.

Our Canterbury Arrivals and Medway Arrivals pages are full of useful info to help get you ready to arrive at Kent including more info on what to bring (Canterbury and Medway editions). Plus we’ve got more advice from previous students coming your way, including tips for settling in, so keep an eye on the Accommodation Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest blogs and useful information before you arrive.

We look forward to welcoming you to Kent soon!

What’s next after I arrive?

That moment after you have said goodbye to your family and don’t yet know anyone can be a little daunting. What do you do now? It’s up to you.

Hopefully some of your other flat or housemates will have arrived and this is a great place to start. Prop your door open as you unpack to show you’re happy to talk or give people a hand as they’re moving in. Sometimes just hanging out in the kitchen is a great way to meet your new flatmates, whilst playing a game together can be a fun way to break the ice. The College and Community Life Team have a number of events going on that you can do with your household including a crazy golf course that spreads across campus.

Someone always has to arrive first though, so if this is you, or you want to explore beyond your accommodation, then get out there – we’ve got lots going on just take a look at Kent’s event calendar. You don’t have to stick to just your course’s events – there’s lots happening for all students to get involved in. Heading out solo can be tough, especially if you’re naturally shy but it will be worth it, pick an event or place that best suits you and remember everyone there is looking to meet new people and make friends too just like you. You never know your best friend may be in the corridor on the hall below, standing next to you at the bar, or you may bump into them on your library tour. Just because you’re the first to arrive in your flat doesn’t mean you are the only one on campus, if you don’t fancy flying solo to an event then pop a message in the Official Freshers Group on Facebook as someone else is probably having the same thoughts elsewhere on campus, who knows there may be a few of you all looking to go to the same event. Another place you can stop by are the Info Hubs across campus and in the Library as well as the tents on the lawns next to the library. Here there will be some staff and student ambassadors who will be happy to have a chat and give you some inspiration on what to do next.

Every day from Wednesday 15 to Sunday 19 September on the Canterbury campus ‘Meet and Greets’ will be going on in your own college catering outlet or one nearby and in Medway GKSU have daily events you can join. These are perfect places to meet other new students or be the first step on your campus adventure with your new friends/flatmates. These won’t be big partying events (although those are happening too) but more of an opportunity for you to meet, connect and relax with your fellow students. There will also be lots of other social events taking place on both campuses throughout Welcome Week for you to join and take part in.

UniSmart: yes we’ve snuck in a shameless plug for one of our events at the end, but this one usually has a straightjacket involved. Have I caught your attention? This interactive show (which will also be livestreamed if you can’t make it in person) from our friends at UniSmart covers the essentials about real life whilst you are at university, if nothing else it makes a great talking point afterwards and gives you the chance to meet other new students from across campus. So Woolf Lecture Theatre, 3pm, Sunday 19th September – be there it’s free.

Before you know it, you’ll have a flat of familiar faces, students you know from your course or your own society friends to surround yourself with. But remember,  everything doesn’t always fall into place straight away and that’s ok too. If it doesn’t, and you need some support we’re here along with a whole host of different Student Services, so take advantage of the facilities and services we have available to help you make the most of your time on campus.

The best way to know what you want to do with yourself after you’ve arrived is to take another look at our Welcome pages, now you’re here you may see an event you missed that’s nearby you want to go to or just familiarise yourself with campus. After all Canterbury’s is 300 acres of green parkland which overlooks the city below, and Pier Quays in Medway is located just on the river and only a short walk from campus so definitely worth exploring.

If you’re looking for more arrivals advice from students check out our Student Arrivals Advice for 2021 or sign up to join our Live Webchat on Tuesday 7 September 2021 at 2pm to talk to the Accommodation Team and ask any questions about arrivals you may have to some of our current students.

Students sat on lawn

Staying well at uni

Studying at university is a big change for most people, and you can help yourself to enjoy it to the full by remembering to take care of your mental and physical health.

 

  • Build a support network

We all need supportive friends and family to talk to share the difficult moments as well as the good times. It’s a good idea to invest some time in maintaining your existing networks by making video calls or real-life dates, as well as making an effort to meet new people at university, whether you are a commuting student or living away from home.

See what’s on via the Welcome events calendar, check out events hosted by your academic division, or take a look at the Student Support and Wellbeing events calendar for weekly peer groups and workshops.

 

  • Coping with change

Transitions are hard – although it can be exciting to move to a new area or start a new course, it can be unsettling to find yourself building up routines and networks from scratch.

Remember that it can take time to adjust to your new situation and feelings of homesickness or loneliness will likely ease. If you can share how you’re doing with others around you, you’re likely to find many people are experiencing similar feelings, and together you can create a community to look out for one another. You will be studying alongside a diverse community with many different interests and backgrounds, so it can be a great opportunity to explore new hobbies and find your tribe.

Why not join a society at Canterbury or Medway or check out the College and Community Life information to see how you might throw yourself into the groups where you’re living and studying?

 

  • Don’t forget your physical health

Whether you are looking to get fitter, or just want to get moving, Kent Sport has lots of classes on campus as well as guidance from exercising from wherever you are.

The Canterbury campus has a lot of green spaces and woodland trails to explore on foot or by bike, and if you want to find a new friend to walk with, you could sign up to ‘Walking Buddies’ via the Student Support and Wellbeing Events Calendar.

It’s a good idea to register with a GP (general practitioner, or medical doctor) in your area, so you can access physical health care and advice when you need to.

 

  • Feeling stressed?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are some things you might explore to help regain balance:

  1. Talk it through – we have a team of expert mental health professionals available free of charge throughout your time at Kent
  2. There is an active Mindfulness Society at Kent – check out their resources or try one of their weekly meetings
  3. Need some help with academic work? The Student Learning Advisory Service, or SLAS, organise lots of workshops to upskill you in many areas of academic work such as referencing, taking effective notes, and organisation and time management.

 

Student Support & Wellbeing provide free expert support to help all students make the most of their time at Kent, follow @UniKentSSW on social media for the latest information and resources to help you stay well and connected.