Author Archives: Rowena Bicknell

Entrance to the Drill Hall Library in the sunshine

Things to do if you’re at Medway

Welcome to the Medway campus! If you’re new to the area take a look at some ideas below on some of our ideas of places you can visit and activities you can do.

Rochester High Street

As well as the beautiful Rochester Cathedral and Castle, there is also the High Street, home to boutiques, independent shops, and trendy café culture. The Medway Visitor Information Centre is a good first stop to make to pick up a map of the area. On the first floor, there is also an art gallery and a museum.

Explore the city, have a wander, and admire the many historical buildings in the area that featured in Charles Dickens’ novels! Some of these include Restoration House, from ‘Great Expectations’ and the extra Christmas number, the Six Poor Travellers House, located just by the train station. You can pick up a self-guided walking tour at the Information Centre which takes you around all the buildings he wrote about.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

This is Chatham’s holy grail and steeped in history. The Crown and Call the Midwife have been filmed here along with many films. A visit here will ensure you return to the ‘Age of Sail’ when the Dockyard built mighty ships that mastered the world’s oceans. Test your sea legs as you peer through the periscope of HMS Ocelot, a Cold War Submarine; take charge on the bridge of HMS Cavalier, a Second World War Destroyer; and ring the ship’s bell on the deck of HMS Gannet, our Victorian Sloop. Watch our Master Ropemakers at work using centuries-old techniques on in our Victorian Ropery. It’s a beautiful day out and a must-see if you’re at Medway.  

Bluewater Shopping Centre

If you’re looking to do some shopping, look no further! Bluewater is home to 300 shops and 50 bars, restaurants, café, and thousands of free parking spaces. Different sections of the shopping centre are dedicated to different themes, from classic and high fashion retail in ‘The Guildhall’ to ‘The Plaza’ where there is a cinema and a trampoline park. You can get there easily by public transport, otherwise it’s a short 30-minute car ride away.

Fort Amherst

Dating back to 1756, its purpose was defending the Naval Dockyard from attack. A site full of history, it’s free to visit and family-friendly. There are over 20 acres of land to explore, fortifications to navigate, cannons to spot, and bridges to cross. Take a tunnel tour to explore the underground maze which provided shelter from bombardment, storage of ammunition, and secret access to the Fort. Some say they can even feel a ghostly presence of those from the past…

Riverside Country Park

If you’re looking for a scenic countryside walk, run or cycle this park is perfect. It runs alongside the Medway Estuary and includes the Berengrave Local Nature Reserve. Boasting 247 acres of land it’s full of wildlife and is a protected site, being an especially important area for birds. There’s something for everyone, with picnic facilities, a children’s play area and cycle paths, trails, and a café. If you like the outdoors, check out The Strand, St Mary’s Island, and the Great Lines Heritage Park.

Diggerland

For something a little bit different there is a theme park where those of all ages can drive and operate full-size real diggers, dumper, and other construction machinery. It has over 20 different rides and activities including Go-Karts and Dodgems so it’s definitely a unique day out! There are also restaurants and a cinema in the area so there’s something for everyone. Diggerland is great for small groups so why not go along with your new housemates?

Things to do if you’re at Canterbury

Welcome to the Canterbury campus! If you’re new to the area take a look at some ideas below on some of our ideas of places you can visit and activities you can do.

Canterbury Cathedral

One of the most iconic buildings of Canterbury is the Cathedral. Dating back to 597, it is the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. Guided tours are currently unavailable due to COVID-19 but you can download a free guide to your phone to use to enjoy and understand the spaces within the Cathedral and it’ll take a few hours to explore. There is a small entry charge, but if you bring your Kent-One card along you’ll get in free. If you’re going with a group you need to pre-book online. 

You’ll enter through the doorway to enter the Nave, a truly stunning experience. Further in you have to chance to explore the Crypt, the oldest part of the Cathedral, containing smaller Chapels. As you come back up the stairs it will lead you to the Martyrdom where the exact spot the archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170, is marked. As you go further up the stairs, turn around to admire the view of the Nave (and don’t forget to look up!) Take the moment to enjoy the beautiful stained glass depicting inspirational stories of men and women. It is one of England’s largest collections of early medieval stained glass. There is also an Archives and Library, which holds an impressive collection of manuscripts, historic records, photographs, maps, and printed books all dating back to the late 8th century. If you choose to visit this area, you’ll need to pre-book your visit and pre-order your study materials ahead of time.

Make sure to check out outdoor spaces in the Precincts as you leave and there are also ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church to explore too!

Westgate Gardens

The Gardens are part of Westgate Park which includes lots of outdoor open spaces including Toddlers Cove and Bingley Island. It’s a lovely area for a walk, cycling and there is a children’s play area. In the Spring and Summer months, there are hundreds of bright tulips in full bloom on the flowerbeds alongside the river where you can watch passing boats, ducks, moorhens, and pigeons. Just take a right when you are at Westgate Towers (you won’t be able to miss the entrance) for a peaceful escape!

Cycle Ride

If you’re looking for a challenge you can undertake your own Pilgrim’s Progress on a 50-mile circular ride that links Canterbury, Dover, and Folkestone. The route passes along leafy lanes and bridleways amid rolling hills, wide skies, woodland, country villages, and hamlets.

For those who are looking for a more casual cycle route take a look at the Crab and Winkle Way which links Canterbury to Whitstable. It’s suitable for beginners and families. The route goes from Canterbury West, but you can easily join the route if you’re on campus. It takes you all the way into Whitstable, which in itself is a great day out. Enjoy some fish and chips on the beach and explore the restaurants and shops along the Harbour.

Unfortunately, the Cycle Hub on campus is currently closed, once it is reopened you can hire a bike for the day if you don’t have one yourself. It’s located at the Pavilion in Parkwood.

Brogdale Farm Orchard Walks

For anyone seeking to escape the house or office for some fresh air and gorgeous countryside, the Orchard Walks at Brogdale Collections are an ideal option. Brogdale Collections, based near Faversham, hosts the country’s National Fruit Collections and is home to the largest collection of temperate fruit in the world.  The charity has opened its beautiful orchards and operating self-guided walks so visitors can enjoy the hundreds of fruit trees.

Walking on the White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover are perhaps most famous as an iconic landmark, the white chalk face a symbol of home and wartime defence, but they have so much more to offer; stunning views, a serene walk, a wealth of wildlife, an abundance of history and, most importantly, two tea rooms offering delicious treats. It’s a short train or bus journey away.

 

Nominate yourself to run in the Student Networks election!

It’s that time of year! Kent Student Union are now open for nominations and elections to their Student Networks!

Student Networks are student-led spaces where students who share an interest or identity can discuss issues relating to their group, and collectively work on events and campaigns to build a community of students and make change to your student experience and beyond. Networks exist to represent and act as the voice for all defining students, to feedback key issues that affect their student experience to both the University and Kent Union, and to lead campaigns to affect positive change for students at Kent and beyond.  

Students can get involved with running this student network, by standing in this election to become part of this student network team.

Each network is led by a team of up to five elected students, with a designated chair who is a member of the Union Executive Committee.  

If you are interested in running for the network teams then you can nominate yourself here.

Two green Unibuses lined up together

Commuting to campus

The new academic year has started and here are some tips on what to expect from the Transport Team around changes to travelling to, from and around our campuses to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Plan your journey 

We recommend you plan for all your journeys (including your return one) before you leave home. Be prepared to carry a face covering and hand sanitiser for use in line with the Government, University of Kent guidance, and travel providers restrictions. Where possible pay contactless or purchase tickets online and maintain social distancing. Here are some useful links to help you plan ahead.

Walking and cycling

Alongside the Government safer travel guidance, we are encouraging all staff and students to walk and cycle to and from our campuses where reasonably possible.

Please be aware and consider others when using our cycle parking bays to maintain social distancing. When more people return to campus, restrictions may be put in place.

Campus roads and car parks 

When using our car parks, be aware and check your surroundings for others before entering and exiting your vehicle, maintain social distancing, and sanitise your hands frequently. Parking permits are still required to use our car parks on weekdays 8am – 5pm, with parking enforcement still in operation. Restrictions remain in place for students.

There may also be some disruption as car parks are currently being used to assist in COVID-19 Testing.  To keep updated with car park updates visit www.kent.ac.uk/transport/news

Campus shuttle 

Shuttle services will resume on the 19th of September and will be operating at 50% capacity. Face coverings will be required and booking your seat is essential.  The driver will not be able to accept any passengers unless they have booked a seat.  Bookings can be made up to 30 minutes before departure.  Please ensure you cancel your seat if you have made a booking and no longer require your seat to allow someone else to travel.

Buses and coaches

These are currently operating at approximately 50% capacity. Keep in mind you may not always be able to board the service you intend to catch because of this reduced capacity. You might need to wait for the next bus or coach. Remember to maintain social distancing whilst queuing, unless you are travelling with someone in your social bubble. Allow room for passengers to disembark and walk away from the bus. If you intend to pay by cash, check with the travel company to ensure that they are accepting cash. You are required to wear a face covering when travelling on buses.

You can read more about travelling by bus on the Stagecoach COVID-19 page.

Trains 

Southeastern trains are currently operating at 80% capacity. You are required to wear a face covering when travelling on the train and within the stations.

You can read more about travelling by train on the Southeastern COVID-19 page.

Eurostar, ferries, and flights 

For other modes of transport, makes sure you are aware of what is expected. This may include requirements of the Ferry company you are using, the associated Ports, the plane company you are with, and, or airport you are travelling to and from. Travel restrictions may also be in place so make sure you plan your journey before you travel.

You can read more on the Eurostar service information page.

Please remember to follow the Government requirements at all times. Stay alert, travel safely, and social distance. Keep updated and be aware of any changes using the COVID-19 Transport page.

Person holding a yellow flower in their palms

Taking care of your health and wellbeing at Kent

Whether you’re new to Kent or returning to complete your studies, this year will inevitably feel a little different. Needless to say, 2020 has been challenging with lots of us adapting to a new normal. With so much going on around you, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering how you are going to look after yourself this academic year. Here are some self-care tips which you may find helpful in adjusting to this academic year.

You may be feeling worried or anxious starting the term and be concerned with being around others. With everyone’s safety a top priority, the University has done their best in making sure we follow the Government’s guidelines and have made a number of changes to campus-life to help keep everyone safe. From changes to the campus itself, teaching, and catering, here’s a quick overview of what to expect.

It’s also important to be aware of the guidance available for you at Canterbury or Medway, so if you do want the additional support, now or later on down the line, you know what’s available. There’s lots of help for you when it comes to looking after your wellbeing.

If you’re new to university life, it can be a little daunting to know where to go for help. Your first point of contact is either the Colleges and Community Life Team or your Academic School, both of which can provide you with assistance, advice, and support or signpost you in the right direction for further support. If you have a disability, chronic condition, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty, or autism, don’t forget to contact Student Support and Wellbeing to see how they can help you make the most of your university journey. The team can help with any challenges you are going through, whether this is something you’re experiencing for the first time or have been dealing with for a while. Students also have access to a free confidential counselling service, and for Canterbury students, a Medical Centre and a Nursing Service are located on campus. You definitely won’t want to be filling in forms should you become unwell at any point during your time at Kent so make sure you’ve registered with a local doctor so you can receive treatment if you ever need it.

There are still plenty of opportunities to meet other students online for support, games, and creative activities. Virtual Wellbeing Cafes are perfect to help you unwind in an informal, friendly setting whilst getting to meet fellow students. These are currently being held weekly. Here are some more ideas on ways to connect with those in a similar position to you if you’re a mature, commuting, or part-time student (or a combination) or if you’re a parent or carer. There is also the MPCC common room located in the Chipperfield building, providing a social meeting space equipped with lockers and kitchen access.

Getting involved in a sports team or society is also a fantastic way to make new friends so make sure to check out the Virtual Welcome Fair for Kent Union and GKSU! The University Chaplaincy also runs a wide range of religious and social events. They are also a good contact for advice and support. You can also see their guidance around socially distanced faith and worship.

From money worries to housing issues, academic problems to visa support, you can get free, impartial, and confidential advice from your Students’ Union. For Canterbury students, Kent Union are your Students’ Union, who run the Kent Union’s Student Advice Centre. You can also get in touch with your Kent Union full-time officers who are each responsible for specific areas. For Medway students, GKSU are your Students’ Union, who run the GKSU Student Advice Service.

For those living away from home for the first time, it’s important to learn how to cook and make sure you are eating regularly and well. Ask for help with making your favourite meals – in person if you’re at home, or if you’ve moved already, why not have your friends or family back home on a video call whilst you cook and catch up at the same time? Another tip is to make a food shop budget and stick to it. Shopping cheaply is easier than you think – the Plaza and Parkwood 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. Simple, student-friendly recipes are a good place to start to get inspiration. These will focus on using simple ingredients, cooking on a budget, and or with limited kitchen appliances. You can still make some delicious microwave meals if that’s all you have access to!

Finally, take some time to get to know the local area by heading to Visit KentKent County CouncilMedway Council, and Canterbury Council. This will come in handy if you’re looking for ideas for getting some fresh air through socially distanced activities with your new housemates here in the Garden of England!

 

Things to do on and off campus – Week starting 28th September

We have put together a selection of activities that you can get stuck in this week.

On Campus

We have a few in-person activities that you can attend.

Pleasure in Painting Exhibition – Keynes College

By a Kent Alumnus, ‘Pleasure in Painting’, is on display in Keynes College on two levels in the Atrium for the Autumn term.

College Life Photo Competition – Everywhere!

Submit a photo a day for the next 2 weeks themed around your College and University Life! Prizes to be won… did someone say a cash prize!?

Walking College Trail

Explore the campus, discover your college, and get some fresh air on our self-guided tour around the University!

Social RunMonday and Thursday 5 – 6pm

Sign-in, meet your running partners, and set-off.

Joker: Free Outdoor Screening – Wednesday 8 – 10:30 pm

Another chance to see Joaquin Phoenix’s sensational performance as Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society and his journey that led to the Joker. To support social distancing, you can book a ‘zone’ for up to 3 members of the same household/bubble.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Free Outdoor Screening – Saturday 8 – 10:30 pm

Rami Malek shines as Freddie Mercury in this foot-stomping celebration of Queen leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985). To support social distancing, you can book a ‘zone’ for up to 3 people from the same household/bubble.

Gulbenkian Cafe

You can also pop into the Gulbenkian Café for lunch, they are open between Monday to Friday from 12:00 to-2.30.

Off Campus

While you have a bit of spare time on your hands why don’t you get to know your student town? Whether you are at Canterbury or Medway, you will find that both towns have a lot to offer.

Student Canterbury Shopping Week

Students – welcome (back) to Canterbury! We are delighted that you will be studying in our beautiful city and look forward to seeing you in Whitefriars soon. Enjoy some exclusive discounts that are available to you over the next two weeks within Whitefriars and the rest of the City!

Canterbury’s Pride – The Story of Pride Canterbury

With Pride Canterbury delayed until 2021, this exhibition allows you to experience a little bit of Canterbury’s Pride, through photography and film, giving you the background to Pride’s origins.

City Feast 2020

A new weekly Street Food Market will take place in central Canterbury on Guildhall street (just off the high street), creating a unique environment and vibe for enjoying some of the best street food Kent has to offer. The Market will run from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening.

Cathedral to Coast Cycle Ride – Canterbury to Dover

Undertake your own Pilgrim’s Progress on this 50-mile circular ride that links Canterbury, Dover, and Folkestone. The route passes along leafy lanes and bridleways amid rolling hills, wide skies, woodland, country villages, and hamlets.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

This is Chatham’s holy grail and steeped in history. The Crown and Call the Midwife have been filmed here along with many films. A visit here will ensure you return to the ‘Age of Sail’ when the Dockyard built mighty ships that mastered the world’s oceans. Test your sea legs as you peer through the periscope of HMS Ocelot, a Cold War Submarine; take charge on the bridge of HMS Cavalier, a Second World War Destroyer; and ring the ship’s bell on the deck of HMS Gannet, our Victorian Sloop.  Watch our Master Ropemakers at work using centuries-old techniques on in our Victorian Ropery.

Brogdale Farm Orchard Walks

For anyone seeking to escape the house or office for some fresh air and gorgeous countryside, the Orchard Walks at Brogdale Collections are an ideal option. Brogdale Collections, based near Faversham, hosts the country’s National Fruit Collections and is home to the largest collection of temperate fruit in the world.  The charity has opened its beautiful orchards and operating self-guided walks so visitors can enjoy the hundreds of fruit trees.

Walking on the White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover are perhaps most famous as an iconic landmark, the white chalk face a symbol of home and wartime defence, but they have so much more to offer; stunning views, a serene walk, a wealth of wildlife, an abundance of history and, most importantly, two tea rooms offering delicious treats. It’s a short train or bus journey away.

The Beaney Collection

The Beaney has completed a ground-breaking 18-month long volunteer project, designed specifically for students affected by anxiety. It was funded by the Museums Association Esmée Fairbairn Collections.

Heritage Walk Treasure Hunt

Take a quirky, self-guided heritage walks with a treasure hunt theme – looping around the better-known sights, as well as some of the more unusual and quirky ones, which combined make Canterbury an amazing place to explore! You’ll get detailed directions, a map, clues (with answers in the back!), pictures to march, and some interesting snippets about the history of Canterbury and the people that have shaped it.

At Home

Bond with your housemates by chilling out with a DVD boxset or binge-watching a great TV series or film. Netflix, Amazon, and Apple TV have some great options.

 

Fun things to do with your housemates

This year has certainly been challenging and we have all needed to adapt and change the things we do in our daily lives. Staying indoors doesn’t mean your social life will need to suffer, especially during your first year at University. Even if you’re staying in there are still many fun things you can do with your housemates. Check out some of our suggestions below.

Host a games night

This is one that’s great to involve friends from home. Why not have a virtual party and host a games night via Zoom where you can stay connected without leaving the house. A great one that’s quick to get the hang of, without needing to download anything (and free!) is skribbl.co. This is a Pictionary game where you can have multiple players online taking turns drawing and guessing each other’s creations. No artistic skills required! If you like board games, colonist.io is also worth looking into. This is an adaptation of Settlers of Catan, a multi-player resource-based strategy game. There are plenty of other free games available online, so it’s worth looking into.  

Subscribe to a streaming service

Stay in and have a movie night on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and or Disney+. From Marvel to Pixar there’s something for everyone. Netflix Party also means you can watch with your friends online and without being in the same household, again great to connect with friends back home. As a student, you can also sign-up for a free six month trial of Amazon Prime.

Celebrity bake-off

Become a start baker from the comfort of your own home. Challenge yourselves in creating your very own showstopper by either using your own creative flair or by following family favourite recipes online.  If you’re in self-catered accommodation you’ll have access to a modern kitchen. Even if you’re in part-catered accommodation you don’t have to miss out on the fun. Why not try making a microwave cake for a quick chocolate treat?

Do a home workout

If you’re just starting out, looking to improving your fitness as part of a new year resolution and needing that extra bit of motivation to go to the gym… why not bring the gym to you? There’s no better time to give a home workout a go. With exercises easily adaptable to individual needs there’s something for everyone. You won’t need to pay for membership or own specialist gym equipment, making it a very student budget friendly option. You can even use household items as weights, from a bag of pasta to a can of baked beans.

Don’t forget if you’re a first year undergraduate student living on campus, you have access to free Kent Sport gym membership.

Virtual pub quiz

Challenge each other’s general knowledge with a quiz! Take turns in being quiz master, writing the questions while the rest of you participate by answering them. Or you can use one of the many quizzes available online. If there’s enough of you in your shared house or online group why not have teams and a different theme each round? It’s also a great way to learn new facts which may come in handy in future pub quizzes at Woody’s!

Share your photos!

We hope this has given you some ideas of fun things you can do with your housemates. Share your household moments with us by posting to social media with the hashtag #HelloKent or upload your photos to the new app.  

You could also submit your photos to the College Life photo competition for the chance to win a prize!

Just keep in mind social distancing rules and government guidance.

Struggling to get on with your housemates?

Living somewhere new, with new housemates can be overwhelming and it can take time to adjust. If you are finding it difficult living with your new housemates, check out our advice online.

If you are missing home or need some extra support, our Student Support and Wellbeing Team are always on hand to help!

Useful apps for you to download

With the academic year just around the corner here are some apps, services, and social media channels to download, use, and or follow that you might find helpful during your time 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 2020 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 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news, events, and important announcements to the local community and beyond.

Apps to download

Hello Kent app – This will hold all the information you need about becoming a student at Kent – a must have!

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. Find out more about Safezone.

Inform Kent (InK) – Everyone should feel secure at Kent—we’re here to support you. InK is an online reporting tool that helps record details of incidents such as sexual assault, harassment, relationship abuse, or hate crime. Find out more about the services available with Student Support.

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.

Weather apps – Accweather is one of the many weather report services you can use. With the UK being known for its unpredictable weather, you wouldn’t want to get caught out without an umbrella in the rain!

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.

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).

MOSAIC – This app brings together a collection of short videos for new, returning and final year students. Videos include advice from both staff and students about support available at the University of Kent.

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 up to date information on food outlets on campus make sure to visit their website

You can order a customised sandwich or baguette with Bag It online ordering website with click and collect at a time you choose. It’ll reopen for online orders from the 7th September. Perfect if you’re on the go!

TooGoodToGo helps fight food waste by saving delicious food from going into the bin at the end of the day. It even saves you money, what’s there not to love about this app? The Gulbenkian on Canterbury campus is one of many that have signed up to the scheme with many more restaurants in the city centre having also done so.

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!

What will campus-life look like in September?

The safety of our students, staff, and visitors is our top priority and we will be following the Government’s guidance. With this guidance in mind, we have made a number of changes in order to welcome students in September. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect.

The campus

To keep everyone safe, all staff and students will be expected to wear a face covering on campus where social distancing is difficult, and may also apply to other areas where we have indicated. This is most likely for short periods indoors, in crowded areas, corridors, and shops. Face covering usage will be in line with Government guidance.

Expect to see a one-way system in buildings, however, when a one-way system isn’t possible, there will be clear signage to say it is two-way and caution is needed. Screens and social distancing signage will be installed in areas where students are interacting in-person with school reception staff.

Hand sanitiser will be made available at the main entrances of buildings and a limit will be placed on the number of people allowed into a building at any one time. The cleaning of areas identified as ‘high-touch’ will also take place across the campuses.

Teaching

All lectures will be online with smaller discussion groups on-campus. Any on-campus teaching, including lab and practical work, will take place in strict compliance with health and safety requirements.

Catering

Campus catering outlets will be mainly offering takeaway service at the start of term, with some larger outlets offering socially distanced seating areas. All outlets will have clear signage and operate on a cashless purchasing system throughout. Don’t forget to top-up and use your KentOne card for a 10% discount at the till.

Student accommodation

All residents of on-campus accommodation on the Canterbury campus will be provided with high-quality cleaning materials to help you keep your accommodation clean. These cleaning materials will be provided free of charge, speak to your local housekeeping team to find out more.

The Library

In the Templeman Library, there will be a limit on the number of people allowed in the building and you’ll need to follow a one-way route to ensure social distancing. There will be a reduced number of socially-distanced study spaces and PCs available. There is also an enhanced cleaning schedule of this shared equipment including PCs and printers.

If you’re using a study space remember to pick up a ‘clean me’ sign to place on your desk after you have finished. This will help us know which spaces need to be cleaned and ensure each study space and PC is clean.

Make sure to check the Returning to Campus FAQs regularly to stay updated ahead of your arrival on campus.

Tips to get back into study after a long break

It’s not easy to return after a long break, so don’t be too tough on yourself if you’re struggling to get back into study mode. Whether it’s a summer break, or you’re returning as a mature student looking for a career change, it can be a daunting and overwhelming task to readjust. Here are some tips from our past students which you may find helpful.

If you’re feeling anxious about starting to study again and have the tendency to procrastinate (I know I do) just tell yourself you’ll just do a 30-minute session to get you going. Even if you’re struggling to concentrate, 30 minutes doesn’t seem too unmanageable! What usually happens is after about 20-25 minutes you start getting into your study, and before you know it you’ve done 1-2 hours.

You might also find StayFocusd and Tomato Timer helpful in keeping your concentration. StayFocusd stops you from getting distracted by websites and social media whereas Tomato Timer breaks up your studying into smaller chunks.  Make sure to check out the other productivity tools recommended by Kent!

After taking a 2-year break from studying, it took a while to return into an academic mindset especially after working full-time. I found advanced planning and group study sessions helped get me back into the swing of things. It also really helped that I was studying a subject that I can directly apply to my role.

If you’re looking for somewhere suitable to meet up, the Templeman Library has plenty of relaxed study areas for group work. It has re-opened but with limited services so keep this in mind ahead of your visit.

Plan ahead! If you know you have an early seminar make sure you’re prepared and have enough sleep. I usually try and return to a more regular sleep schedule 2 weeks before term starts, giving my body enough time to get used to the early starts.

Make the most out of feedback sessions. You can speak to the Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) for extra support in your studies e.g. if it’s been a while since you’ve written in an academic style. Slowly get back into a routine, don’t rush yourself.