Category Archives: Returners

students leaving Drill Hall Library

Support at Medway

Find out how to get support at Medway:

First points of contact

The friendly Colleges and Community Life Team can help you connect with other students in your College community through activities and initiatives, working with your College Committee and Residential Life Assistants. They can offer advice and refer you to other specialist services, whether you are living on- or off-campus or studying remotely.

You can also get in touch with your School or Division if you have a query. They should be able to help you or point you in the right direction for further support.

Support with your studies

Our Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS) can help you with everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly.

Don’t forget School is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

Might you benefit from contact with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability, chronic condition, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty or autism, please contact Student Support and Wellbeing to see how they can help you make the most of your university journey.

We have a team of expert staff who can help you face the challenges of studying, socialising and living independently, whatever else you might be going through, whether it’s something you’re experiencing for the first time at University or have dealt with for a while.

There is also a free confidential counselling service which offers you a safe space to address issues concerning you and can help get thoughts, feelings, behaviour and perspective on life back in balance again.

Kent Union

From money worries to housing issues, academic problems to visa support, Kent Union’s Advice Service is available to help through their free, impartial and confidential advice service. Find out more about Kent Union at The Hub

Financial support

With the cost of living rising, you are probably thinking more about your finances. Our financial help and advice webpage includes tips on budgeting, getting a part-time job and who to contact for further support. Plus, we offer a range of emergency financial support options.

Health services

It’s a good idea to 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. Medway students can call Canterbury Nursing Services on 01227 823503 for telephone advice for minor illnesses/injuries and contraception. Check out this Visual Guide: Finding Health Support and Emergency Services at Medway

Students sat at Canterbury labyrinth

Support at Canterbury

Find out how to get support at Canterbury:

First points of contact

The friendly Colleges and Community Life Team can help you connect with other students in your College community through activities and initiatives, working with your College Committee and Residential Life Assistants. They can offer advice and refer you to other specialist services, whether you are living on- or off-campus or studying remotely.

You can also get in touch with your School or Division if you have a query. Your School should be able to help you or point you in the right direction for further support.

Support with your studies

Our Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS) can help you with everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly.

Don’t forget your School is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

Might you benefit from contact with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability, chronic condition, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty or autism, please contact Student Support and Wellbeing to see how they can help you make the most of your university journey.

We have a team of expert staff who can help you face the challenges of studying, socialising and living independently, whatever else you might be going through, whether it’s something you’re experiencing for the first time at university or something you have dealt with for a while.

There is also a free confidential counselling service which offers you a safe space to address issues concerning you and can help get thoughts, feelings, behaviour and perspective on life back in balance again.

Kent Union

Kent Union are your Students’ Union. From money worries to housing issues, academic problems to visa support, Kent Union’s Student Advice Service is available to help through their free, impartial and confidential advice service.

You can also get in touch with your Kent Union full-time officers who are each responsible for specific areas within the Union.

Financial support

With the cost of living rising, you are probably thinking more about your finances. Our financial help and advice webpage includes tips on budgeting, getting a part-time job and who to contact for further support. Plus, we offer a range of emergency financial support options.

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.

Health services

Kent has its own NHS general practice on campus called the University Medical Centre, with an independent pharmacy next to it. Our University Nursing Service provide advice for minor illnesses/injuries and contraception, and is staffed 24 hours a day during term time by registered nurses. Check out this Visual Guide: Finding Health Support and Emergency Services at University

fruit in a supermarket

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.

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.  

In addition to this support, we’ve compiled a list of student tips to help 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) If you can, buy in bulk

Buying in bulk works 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. For example, currently, 1kg of Tesco Penne Pasta costs £1.40, whereas 300g costs £1. Although the 300g packet is cheaper, it works out as £3.34 per kg of pasta when buying 300g packs – which is clearly more expensive than just buying the 1kg bag and using it throughout the term. Therefore, if you can afford it, it’s better to bulk buy at the start of term than to keep buying smaller amounts of items each week.

(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) Make a list

Making a list of what you NEED will help to keep you on track with your shopping, and will ensure you don’t waste money on unnecessary items that will just end up going in the bin (which is also far more environmentally friendly as it limits food waste!) 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.

(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.

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

I've had my Covid vaccination sticker

Reminder: have you had your vaccines?

Make sure you’re up to date with your measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), MenACWY and Covid-19 vaccines. And if you’re not, book in with your GP Surgery to get the vaccine.

After arriving at university it is important you register with the local GP surgery, who will also be able to advise regarding your vaccinations and provide any vaccines to ensure you’re up-to-date.

Look out for symptoms of measles, meningitis and covid-19.

Facts about measles

  • Measles is circulating in England and in Europe, particularly among 15 -25 year olds.
  • Measles is very infectious, it can cause serious complications and, in rare cases, can be fatal.
  • Measles can be more severe in young people and adults, often leading to hospital admissions.
  • Measles starts with cold-like symptoms and sore red eyes followed by a high temperature and a red-brown blotchy rash. If you experience these symptoms, call NHS 111.
  • The best way to protect yourself against measles is to have two doses of the MMR vaccine. It is never too late to get the vaccine. There are no risks to your health if you get an extra dose.
  • Young people are strongly advised to check if they have had the MMR vaccine. Check if you have had two doses of the vaccine with your GP and arrange a catch up NOW if necessary.
  • If you suspect you have measles stay away from others for at least four days after the rash has appeared.
  • Call NHS 111 if you think you might have measles or have been in contact with someone who has had it.

Facts about meningococcal disease

  • Meningitis and septicaemia can develop suddenly and can kill or leave people with life changing disabilities and health problems.
  • There has been a rapid increase in MenW, a type of meningococcal disease in recent years in the UK.
  • This recent MenW strain has been particularly serious and can be difficult to diagnose because it has been associated with symptoms less frequently seen with meningococcal disease, such as severe diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia include: 
    • a blotchy rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is rolled over it; 
    • fever and/or vomiting; 
    • severe headaches;
    • aching muscles and joints and a stiff neck;
    • cold hands and feet, shivering;
    • pale or mottled skin, or rash;
    • breathing fast, breathless;
    • dislike of bright lights, seizures;
    • very sleepy, difficult to wake, vacant, confused or delirious.
  • The MenACWY vaccine is available free to students who are going to university for the first time up until their 25th birthday.
  • Any student born after 1 September 1996 who missed the MenACWY vaccine at secondary school can have the vaccine before their 25th birthday
  • Higher Education students are known to be at increased risk of meningitis and septicaemia. Being in confined environments with close contact, such as university halls, hostels when travelling, or attending festivals, increase the chances of infection if unprotected.
  • Students should be aware of the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia and tell someone if they or their friends feel unwell.
  • It is vital for students to register with a GP and take up the vaccination as soon as possible. You can book an appointment to get the MenACWY vaccine via your GP.

To find out more about meningococcal disease and the Save a Life campaign, scan the QR code below.

meningococcal disease information QR code

Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine

Getting vaccinated is an important part of protecting ourselves, our friends, family and community from Covid-19. More information about the UK Covid-19 vaccination programme is available online.

For more information about Coronavirus visit our webpage for latest information.

graduate woman looking excited

Support for mature, commuting and part-time students

If you are a mature, commuting or part-time student (or a combination) there is plenty of additional support for you and ways to connect with those in a similar position to you. This includes a society that runs events and study sessions at convenient times if you have other responsibilities (e.g. job and childcare), and a dedicated student network to help get your voice heard.

Mature Student Society

Kent Union has a Mature Student Society which acts as a forum to promote the challenges and needs of students over the age of 21. As well as being for mature students, the society welcomes students returning to education, part-time or commuting students, and students who have dependants or caring responsibilities. The society meets regularly and is a great way to socialise with other students with similar responsibilities and potential interests.

Mature and Part-Time Student Network

Kent Union has a number of student networks. The Mature and Part-Time Student Network aims to represent and act as the voice for all mature, commuting and part-time Students, and to feed back key issues that affect the mature, commuting and part-time student experience to both the University and Kent Union.

More about support available.

Spaces on campus

The following spaces are open to all and are a great place to make a base on campus for studying, heating up food or just chilling out. 

Community Lounge

The Community Lounge is based at the Canterbury campus as open Monday to Friday. As well as a social room and meeting room, there are two quiet study rooms, lockers, and kitchen access with a refrigerator, microwave, and kettle.

The Community Lounge is located on the ground floor of the Chipperfield Extension side entrance.

Oasis Lounge

The Oasis Lounge can be found in the Rochester building at our Medway campus. It includes a microwave and vending machines, as well as seating and a pool table. 

Hook Lounge

The Hook Lounge is based in the Clocktower building at the Dockyard, Medway. The Hook Lounge has vending machines which also provide free hot water to make your own drinks, plus a TV to help you chill out.

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!

Join the conversation 

If you haven’t already make sure you’re a member of the Official University of Kent Freshers 2022/23 Facebook page. This is the only official group where you can interact and discuss with fellow students also starting at Kent this academic year. It’s a great place to find your housemates and fellow coursemates!

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.

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 apps and software 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. 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!

Stir fry

Cooking survival tips

Student Aleeya shares her experience about learning to cook at university:

Coming to university, many people think that cooking is something that can be easily picked up while you are adjusting in your first year. As a third year student, I can say from experience that cooking can be pretty exhausting, especially after a full day of lectures, seminars and assignments. In this post, I will be providing tips that I have learned over the years so that you can start your cooking journey as easily as possible.

The most important thing to think about when creating food that you find enjoyable to eat and to make is seasoning. Some people can forget that the bread and butter of cooking is seasoning. You need to have your basics, salt and pepper. These two items always need to be stocked in your cupboard. If you are a beginner cook, this can change the taste of your meals. For ingredients themselves make sure that you have both garlic and onion. Frying these before you cook can add that extra flavour that is needed to make sure that your meal tastes great.

Example recipe: Easy stir fry

For a simple stir fry you will need a couple ingredients:

  • Half an onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped/ crushes
  • Stir fry vegetables (can get as a pack from the supermarket)
  • Soy sauce/stir fry sauce
  • Cooked noodles
  • (Optional) any meat of your choice

Method:

  1. Put oil into your pan and wait until it is hot. (You can tell if it is hot enough if it has a very water-like consistency compared to when it first entered the pan).
  2. Once the pan is hot enough, throw in the chopped onion and garlic. (If you want to have meat with your meal put the meat into the pan with the garlic and the onion)
  3. Once the onion and garlic is cooked ( as well as the meat if you have also added that), add in the stir fry vegetables with the sauce of your choice and mix.
  4. With all the vegetables cooked, add the cooked noodles into the pan and add more sauce if you want
  5. Wait until all the ingredients have reached the same temperature and then plate your food.
  6. Enjoy!

Tip for meat eaters

If you tend to have a packed schedule, to make sure that you get all the nutrients that you need, MAKE USE OF THE OVEN!  Compared to most recipes that involve the stove and a lot of supervision, when using the oven all you need to do is wait for the timer to end and for your food to be cooked.

For non-vegans/vegetarians, when my schedule was packed, I would prepare my meat before my day would start. I would do this by taking my meat out of the fridge (if you put your  meat in the freezer make sure to leave it overnight in the fridge to thaw out) and season it with the seasoning of my choice and leave that to soak during the day in the fridge. This will make sure that all the flavour is tasted throughout the meat and melts in your mouth.

You can prepare either a salad or rice whenever it is convenient, either in the morning or when you have the time later in the day. When dinner time has come around, you can quickly chop up some onions and garlic onto a pan with oil and place the meat on top as well as putting some oil over the meat and placing it in the oven. You can look online for the time it takes to cook most ingredients in the oven, but for a quick tip, for chicken you can put  it in the oven at 200 degrees (gas mark 6) for 30 minutes. While you are waiting for the meat to be done you can relax in the kitchen.

Tip for vegan/vegetarians

For the people that are vegan/vegetarian, you can do something similar but without the meat. Good vegetables that can be cooked in the oven are cauliflower, potatoes and broccoli. You can season these before you put them in the oven during the day and then when you are prepared to eat, follow similarly to the instructions above.

There are many resources online that are available, including recipes and videos that can easily guide you through this culinary journey. Don’t get demotivated, cooking can be a relaxing experience if you want it to be. Best of luck!

Handy cooking resources:
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:

Resources

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.

Apply to be a Global Officer

We are delighted to invite Kent students to apply for this year’s Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme. The programme is a co-curricular venture, designed to fit around your academic studies. It provides a framework of activities for globally-minded undergraduate students at Kent to develop their leadership skills, global citizenship and cultural awareness. 

There are 5 components which can be completed throughout the academic year. Benefits include:

  • Employability Points awarded per activity
  • Certificate of recognition and personal reference from the Director and Dean for Global and Lifelong Learning
  • Recognition on your Higher Education Achievement Report
  • Practical event & project management experience
  • A chance for you to record your international skill development in the Kent Global Passport.

This programme is also offered as a credit-bearing ‘wild’ module, GOLD5000.

Kent Gold programme

For further details please see our website.

Deadline to apply is 9.00 (UK time), 10 October, 2022.

(If considering taking this as a wild module, usual module registration deadline applies).

What past students have said:

I would highly recommend this programme to any student who is globally minded and wants to be more active on campus, as well as wanting to learn new skills that you don’t get when you join a society.

Preena Dodhia, BSc Biomedical Science

I thoroughly enjoyed my participation in the GOLD programme, not only do I think that it has allowed me to develop skills that have strengthened my employability, I also found the programme to be an important avenue for expression during an intense final year of study. I would recommend the GOLD programme to any student that is interested in further developing themselves personally and professionally.

Leo Harris, BA History and Spanish

The GOLD programme is a GREAT opportunity for anyone looking to place themselves out of their comfort zone, gain skills and meet like-minded people. It gave me the chance to develop new interests and connect to other programmes and opportunities with international universities, all of which can be utilised in my search for a job after university. I have made amazing friends who I will keep in touch with, and felt like I have extended my year abroad experience in the comfort of Kent, keeping my passion for understanding cultures alive! I would recommend GOLD to all Kent students with an interest in the international and encourage you to put yourself out there. 

Lucy Lavender, BA Politics and International Relations with a Year in Continental Europe

woman pulling leg to stretch before running

Staying active at uni

Join 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 40 group exercise classes per week
  • 3 multi-purpose sports halls for almost any indoor sport
    • Including a new NBA standard basketball court in hall 2
  • 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 and martial arts areas
  • 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)

All first-year students and students living in accommodation booked through the University are given free Kent Sport Premium Plus membership, giving them access to all the facilities and services. 

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