Category Archives: Hello Kent

Two students walking together on campus

Staying well at uni

Studying at university is a big change for most people. You can help ease the transition by taking care of your mental and physical health. Try some of these ideas to get started.

Build your support network

Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who will be there for you through both the ups and downs. Invest time in maintaining existing relationships through video calls or meetups, and be open to meeting new people on campus.

There are also peer support groups and one-to-one appointments available to help provide you with a sense of community at Kent, whatever your circumstances. Find out more on the Student Support and Wellbeing pages.

Embracing change

Starting a new chapter in your life can be thrilling, but it may also bring uncertainties. Remember, it takes time to adjust to your new environment, and feelings of homesickness or loneliness are normal.

Reach out and share your experiences with fellow students – you’ll likely find many others who can relate. University life offers an opportunity to explore new hobbies, join societies at Canterbury or Medway, and immerse yourself in the vibrant Kent community.

Don’t forget your physical health

Kent Sport provides a range of on-campus classes and facilities, and first years and students living on campus get a free membership.

You can also explore the beautiful green spaces and woodland trails on the Canterbury campus – they’re perfect for walking or cycling. If you’d like to be matched with another student for a walk on campus or to meet in a café, consider signing up for the Walking Buddy or Just Coffee schemes.

Also, make sure to register with a local GP to access physical healthcare and advice whenever needed.

Feeling stressed?

University life can sometimes feel overwhelming, but there are strategies to regain balance.

Remember, the Student Support and Wellbeing team is here to ensure you have a fulfilling and successful journey at Kent. Stay connected and informed by following @UniKentSSW on Instagram for the latest information and resources to support your wellbeing.

Sunset with lamppost

Plan your journey home from a night out (Medway) 

Going on a night out? Don’t forget to plan your journey home. 

Check bus services 

Depending on how late you stay out, you might be able to catch a bus home. Arriva is the main bus operator in Medway. Find out more about bus services in Medway

Booking a registered taxi 

If you’re booking a taxi, make sure it is registered. You can tell if a taxi is licensed by checking if there is a licence plate on the front and back of the vehicle. They are usually positioned under or next to the vehicle registration plate. Drivers of licensed taxis will also be wearing an ID badge and you can ask to see this if it is not immediately visible. 

Recommended walking routes on campus 

If you’re walking across campus at night, we recommend you use the following walking routes that are fully lit: 

Campus Security Walking Taxi service 

If you don’t want to walk home alone on campus, you can call Campus Security on 01227 82 3300 and they can arrange for a member of Security to walk with you.  

Look out for your friends and don’t leave anyone behind #StaySafe 

The Old Weavers in Canterbury at night

Plan your journey home from a night out (Canterbury) 

Going on a night out? Don’t forget to plan your journey home. 

Catch the night bus 

You can catch the Stagecoach Uni2 bus after a night out in Canterbury. It’s a 24 hour service (excluding Sundays, bank holidays, Christmas and Summer vacation). Learn more about Stagecoach bus routes and discounts.  

Student safe taxi scheme 

In Canterbury, we operate the student safe taxi scheme with Longleys Private Hire, a local taxi firm. The scheme gives students who find themselves in a vulnerable situation safe travel to their accommodation or another destination, such as a police station or local hospital. Students can request a taxi through the scheme even if they do not have the funds to pay the fare at the time of booking, as fares can be paid later on the Online Store. 

We recommend you sign up to the scheme in advance in case you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to use it. Registration is quick and simple and all students who register will be entitled to discounted taxi fares on all journeys with Longleys. 

Booking a registered taxi 

If you’re booking a taxi, make sure it is registered. You can tell if a taxi is licensed by checking if there is a licence plate on the front and back of the vehicle. They are usually positioned under or next to the vehicle registration plate. Drivers of licensed taxis will also be wearing an ID badge and you can ask to see this if it is not immediately visible. 

Campus Security Walking Taxi service 

If you don’t want to walk home alone on campus, you can call Campus Security on 01227 82 3300 and they can arrange for a member of Security to walk with you.  

Canterbury Connected Routes 

Connected Routes is a joint initiative been University of Kent, Kent Union and Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU). By joining up, we can offer support to you in Canterbury city as well as on campus. Any activation of SafeZone on the Connected Routes will give the Kent or CCCU security control room your location, so they can offer you support. Plus there are refuge points where you can go if you ever feel unsafe or need support. Find out more about the Connected Routes

Look out for your friends and don’t leave anyone behind #StaySafe 


Students in bar

Safety support on a night out

Going on a night out or to house parties are a fun way to meet new people and have a laugh with friends. Here’s a reminder of safety tips to help keep you and your friends safe: 

Drink spiking 

It’s your choice whether you want to drink alcohol or not. Don’t pressure others to drink if they don’t want to. Adding alcohol to someone’s drink without their consent is still drink spiking. Never spike someone’s drink.  

Watch the video below to find out what you should do if you think your friend’s drink might have been spiked.  

Find out more about drink spiking. 

‘Ask for Angela’ initiative  

If you’re on a night out and you don’t feel safe, or you feel uncomfortable and you want to leave discretely, you can ask for ‘Angela’ at bars on campus. All our bar staff at University and Kent Union outlets have been trained on this so they can support you. The initiative also runs in many bars in Canterbury and Medway. You can often spot the ‘Ask for Angela’ sign in the bar toilets to indicate the service is available.   

Canterbury Connected Routes 

Connected Routes is a joint initiative between University of Kent, Kent Union and Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU). By joining up, we can offer support to you in Canterbury city as well as on campus. Any activation of SafeZone on the Connected Routes will give the Kent or CCCU security control room your location, so they can offer you support. Plus there are refuge points where you can go if you ever feel unsafe or need support. Find out more about the Connected Routes.  

‘Zero Tolerance’ to harassment and discrimination 

Our Kent and Kent Union bars and outlets operate a Zero Tolerance policy on harassment and discrimination. Report incidents to premises staff and immediate action will be taken.  

Consent. Get It. Full Stop. 

The University of Kent and Kent Union do not tolerant any form of sexual misconduct, assault or harassment. Check out the consent website to find out how to get consent (it doesn’t have to be awkward!)  

Let’s look out for each other. Enjoy your night! #StaySafe 

Student doing food shop

How to save money on your food shop

The rising cost of living is difficult for many of our students, and we understand that some extra help may be needed at this time. Here are some student tips to help you save on your food shop.

(1) Plan your weekly budget

The best place to start is having a weekly budget to work out how much you can realistically afford to spend each week on food. Start by working out your income – whether you have a part-time job or you’re getting money from your parents, every income you have should be accounted for. You’ll then need to make a note of your regular expenses and subtract this from your income. This should then leave you with the amount you have available for food, activities, shopping, and anything else you need to buy over the week. Make sure you set aside a fair amount for food and necessities, and use this weekly budget to inform your spending decisions and plan your food shopping accordingly.

(2) Take stock and make a list

Make sure you check your cupboards before you head to the shop so you don’t buy duplicate items that you won’t need, and jot down any ingredients you’re missing. This also helps you use up food before it goes out of date. Try to plan what meals you might like to have for the week and make a list of what you need. It can also be helpful to make extra food so you have leftovers for the next day’s lunch. Making a list of what you actually need will help to keep you on track with your shopping.

(3) Do your food shop in the evenings

Most supermarkets start reducing the price of food after about 18:00 so that they can get rid of stock before the end of the day, and make things cheaper that they will no longer be able to sell as ‘fresh’ the next morning. This is great for getting a cheaper food shop – the food will still be fine to eat, just less expensive.

(4) If you can, buy in bulk

Buying in bulk can work out cheaper in the long run. For items with a long shelf life that you know you’ll use – like pasta, rice, and washing up liquid – it’s cheaper and easier to buy larger quantities than to keep getting small packets. Look out for the price per kg or per litre on these items to make sure you’re getting a good deal. If you can afford it, it can make more sense to bulk buy items once rather than buying smaller amounts of items each week.

(5) Keep an eye out for student discounts and cheap deals

There are lots of money-saving discounts online and in stores. As students, you should be able to access student discounts for a range of shops and restaurants, so make sure you always ask if this is available when shopping. For discounts on the Canterbury campus, grab yourself a Totum discount card or a Co-op membership to access rewards and offers in our two Co-op stores. It’s also a good idea to do your food shops at cheaper supermarkets (like Aldi and Lidl) if possible, as this will save you a lot of money in the long-run.

If you’re still struggling, please reach out to our Student Support and Wellbeing team for help. You can also access Kent Union’s Campus Pantry at Mandela Student Centre, and can speak to their Advice Service about any extra support or advice you might need. We also offer a range of emergency financial support options.  

For more information on budgeting, check out our Budgeting Guide.

Find your people with umii

Make friends with the Umii app

We have signed up with Umii to make it even easier for you to make new friends at Kent. Create a profile including what you’re studying and your interests and Umii will match you with other students who you might get on well with.

Only verified users can access the app, so you can be sure who you’re connecting with is a real student at your uni.

This means you will need to use your Kent email address to register with Umii. For new students, you will need to enrol online to get your Kent email address first.

Download Umii now for free

app store on iPhone

Useful apps 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!

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 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 the Stagecoach app. For Medway students, download the Arriva app. Find out more about travel and discount offers available to students.

Train appsSoutheastern. 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. If you’re a Canterbury student, check out the Student Safe Taxi scheme

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, complete your room inventory when you arrive, 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 whilst you should download the app in advance, you won’t be able to sign in with your Kent login until after you have collected your keys from reception. 

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.

Other things to look at 

Who doesn’t want to work and study smarter? Make sure to check out our software finder to discover free apps and software for students and staff 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. Did you know, you can download Microsoft Office 365 for free?

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

woman pulling leg to stretch before running

Staying active at uni – free gym membership

Join Kent Sport 

All first-year students and students living in accommodation booked through the University are given free Kent Sport Premium Plus membership! This means you have access to all the facilities and services at Kent Sport.  

Kent Sport operates all the sport and fitness facilities across the Canterbury campus. All students, staff, and members of the public are welcome to become members, with a wide range of benefits including access to:

  • Air-conditioned, fully-equipped gym with cardio, weights and strength training equipment
  • Large fitness and dance studio with up to 60 group exercise classes per week, including our LES MILLS Virtual classes
  • 3 multi-purpose sports halls for almost any indoor sport including an NBA standard basketball court
  • 3 full-size, floodlit artificial pitches for football, rugby, lacrosse, hockey and more
  • 4 full-size indoor acrylic tennis courts within the Indoor Tennis and Events Arena
  • Dedicated boxing area
  • Social sport and activity programmes including ALL Active and Give It A Go (students and staff only) 
  • Access to the Kent Sports Clinic performance, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation services (discounted rates for members)

You can join Kent Sport with a free Pay to Play membership, simply by creating a new online booking account.

Join a student sports club

Kent Union run more than 60 different sports clubs on campus, with sports ranging from American Football to Ultimate Frisbee, and each club is open to any student regardless of experience. The sports are represented at a range of levels, from recreational to competitive, so there is something for everyone! 

View the full list of sports clubs

Sports Scholarship Scheme 

The University of Kent offers athletes the opportunity to join the Sports Scholarship Scheme, which provides sport-specific training, advice, guidance, and funding to continue competing while studying. The Sports Scholarship Scheme is delivered by Kent Sport.

Get outdoors

There are lots of green spaces in Kent, so why not take advantage of them? Going for a jog or a walk outside is great for clearing your head after a long day of studying. 

If you want to start running, parkrun is a weekly free timed 5km run, jog or walk every Saturday in parks and open spaces. The Canterbury parkrun starts at the Sports Pavilion on Parkwood Road, and the Medway parkrun takes place at Great Lines Heritage Park (Gillingham). 

If you’re looking to take in more scenery, then check out Kent Sport’s Active Campus Routes webpage for some popular walking, jogging, and cycling routes across campus and further afield.

Exercise with a friend

It can be daunting to exercise alone in a gym, or to join a sports club by yourself. Exercising with a friend will mean you’re less likely to get bored, and you can motivate each other by planning new and exciting workouts! On those days when you don’t feel like working out, having someone to keep you accountable will mean you’re more likely to stick to your exercise goals.

Cycle or walk to uni

Instead of taking the bus or driving, take advantage of the many cycle paths and footpaths around our campuses. Walking or cycling as part of your commute is a great way of including activity within your daily life – and it’s good for the environment! 

Find out more about walking and cycling at Kent

calendar with yellow marker pen

Managing your studies

Good time management and organisation are key to staying on top of your studies. You will need to plan your time and your assignments, maintain a good filing system for all your study materials, and ensure that you keep pace with your course.

Plan your time

Use a time planner

Use a time planner to take control of your time. This will involve organising your studies (lectures, seminars, reading and assignments) along with all other activities and commitments in your life (work, family etc) throughout the year. Try colour coding different activities on your planner to help keep track of them.

Plan each assignment

Start each assignment as early as possible. Working backwards from the deadline, consider the stages of work needed to complete each one and estimate how long you have to dedicate to each, then plot them on your time planner. Complete each stage of work on time to avoid last minute panics and to meet your deadlines. For a sample of stages in one type of assignment, see managing your essay.

Set achievable goals and prioritise tasks

Divide individual days into bitesize chunks of time and allocate an achievable task to each session e.g. 9-11am – Read/make notes on Journal article x; 11-12am – Draw up essay plan for assignment y; 12-1pm – Proof-read report z… etc. This will keep you focussed and productive, and ensure constant progress.

Consider which tasks are both important and urgent – e.g. Proof-read and submit assignment x – and prioritise these on your daily schedule.

Set up a filing system

Group, organise and store information and work in a logical order

  • Think about where and how you will group, organise and store course information, handouts, research and your notes so you can find them easily e.g. ‘Module X: Topic A/B/C/D’ or ‘Assignment Y: Research/Notes/Drafts’.
  • Number assignment drafts (essays, project reports etc) to keep track of the most recent version.
  • Use ring binders with labelled dividers, computer folders/files or a mixture both to stay organised and save time.

Back-up work regularly on your computer to avoid any risk of losing it


Keep on top of your work

Be pro-active

If you find yourself falling behind with your studies don’t ignore it, reflect on the reasons, consider solutions and take action – action can even be seeking advice if you are struggling or not sure of what you are doing

Seek help in plenty of time if you need it

Ask your lecturer or seek advice from relevant university services which may include:


For more information on all topics mentioned above and more visit the Student Learning Advisory Service – University of Kent (SLAS) we also offer appointments and workshops.

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 our students and staff share their top tips so you can save yourself the pain of trying to squeeze in a second food dehydrator… 

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 [packing] 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’. 

Student unpacking in bedroom

Laura, from our Accommodation Team – ‘check what’s already in your room’ 

‘Know what’s already included [in your room/accommodation] to avoid wasting valuable space by packing duplicates. You can check what is in your Canterbury or Medway bedroom online.’ 

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.’ 

Sam, 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, and double checked the bed size online so you know which size sheets to buy. Some folks have trouble getting hold of sheets for the 7ft beds, but a king size flat sheet will fit.’ 

Bed sizes from standard single to XL double

You can find out what size bed is in your room online. 

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 accommodation with a meal plan 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.’ 

Student and parents unloading car

Beth, History and Social Anthropology student – ‘make it home’ 

‘The 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.’ 

Ella, Wildlife Conservation student – ‘bring things that remind you of home’  

‘Bring as many things that remind you of your home. Bedroom ornaments or just things, and bring white tack and printed photos and put them up all over your room.’ 

Kent Union officers sitting on deckchairs chatting

Harry, Psychology with Clinical Psychology student – ‘someone else will have what you’re looking for’. 

‘Don’t stress about forgetting things and feeling like you need to pack every little thing – someone else will have what you’re looking for and will let you borrow it! Also, there is a shop on campus and everything you need can be found in Canterbury.’ 

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, adhesive strip lights, heated airers, multi-way cube adaptors and pets are some of the other items featured on the prohibited items list. 

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!