Category Archives: Returners

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!


student art pass

Student Art Pass – a year of art and opportunities for a fiver

A Student Art Pass lets you dive into culture on a budget with free entry to hundreds of museums and galleries across the UK, and 50% off major exhibitions.

Plus, you’ll gain access to paid arts opportunities and grow your network by joining the #WeAreArtful @StudentArtPass community. All for just £5 a year.

Available for a limited time. Get your £5 pass today.

NHS Test and Trace app

NHS Test and Trace app

On 24 September the Government launched the new NHS Test and Trace app. Through the app you can report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code and help the NHS trace those who may have coronavirus. The app will do all this while protecting your identity and data security. If you haven’t done so already, please download it and help keep our University community safe.

If you or anyone you’ve had close contact with test positive for coronavirus, you’ll be contacted by NHS Test and Trace either by email, text or phone and asked to self-isolate. You will be asked to provide them with information they’ll need to help stop the spread of the virus. Further information on how you will be contacted can be found on our Student Coronavirus page and Staff Coronavirus page (Health and Wellbeing Section).

A newly added FAQ has also been added to the Student Coronavirus and Staff Coronavirus pages concerning where you be able to see the NHS track and trace on campus. This confirms there are some venues on campus that display the NHS QR poster and what you need to do in order to check in whether you have downloaded the app or not, according to Government guidelines.

screen shot of app

App for quick access to student advice

Check out the new MOSAIC app for students. The 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 and opportunities available at the University of Kent.

If you have feedback or would like to contribute to the app, please email

One hour degree logo

Ever thought about a one hour degree?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get a degree in a fraction of the time it normally takes? The One Hour Degree game has been produced specifically for students who are about to join or have recently begun their degree journey at Kent.

It is a narrative based adventure game which simulates all the significant elements of gaining a degree condensed into one hour.

There are five independent ‘quests’ focused on Welcome Week, the first term, the first year, year 2 and year 3.  The game introduces key facilities, support networks and social opportunities that are available at Kent as well as displaying stunning imagery of our parkland campus.

Players will earn ‘knowledge’ and ‘wellbeing’ points along the way as well as a badge for each completed quest. Together they will dictate the classification of the ‘degree’ received at the end before you have the opportunity to be part of your very own graduation video. With more than 100 million unique pathways through the game, you can easily choose a different story path each time to see how different decisions result in different outcomes.

The game does not require a login or user account and can be played by anyone who has access to a web browser, on any device.

Play the One Hour Degree game now.

What’s different this year in the Templeman Library?

As you return to using the Templeman Library, you’ll notice some differences which we’ve made for your safety, and in line with Government guidance.

These services are being regularly reviewed and so are subject to change.

  • Follow our Covid -19 blog for the latest updates.
  • View this short film to see the measures we have taken to become COVID-secure.

Key changes:

Restricted numbers in the Library – you may have to queue outside to access the building, consider if you can use a Study Hub or a digital resource from the Digital Library instead.

Check out our revised opening hours this term.

Group study rooms / booths are not available for booking this term and are first come – first served one person occupancy.

Laptops are not available for loan currently.

We have been updating our website with lots of useful guides on how to access all our services.

Bright Network careers events and free welcome pack

The University of Kent is proud to be a partner of Bright NetworkBright Network is the UK’s no.1 careers platform empowering students and recent graduates like you with the advice, tools and insights to get ahead and land that first graduate job

The graduate market is super competitive, but with access to over 300 of our leading partner employers and a range of exclusive events and tailored support, you’ll gain the skills you need to stand out from the crowd. Join the Bright Network (it’s free!) to be kickstart your success and you’ll also receive a free welcome pack with goodies to help you get started!

Bright network upcoming events for Kent students

5 October, 16.00 (online)- University of Kent: Boosting Employability, for postgraduates and international students.

12 October, 16.00 (online)- University of Kent: Networking & taking advantage of opportunities

14 October, 12.00 (online)- University of Kent: Practical commercial awareness for city interviews

Learn more about the University’s Careers and Employability Services (CES).

We have launched the Hello Kent app

We have launched the Hello Kent app which is a hub for all new and returning students to help them find everything they need during the first few weeks at Kent.

The app is the ultimate mobile resource for students providing a digital home base to access news, important updates and practical help for your first term and beyond. There is also a host of exciting media challenges, giving you the perfect platform to share your university experience with the Kent student community.

These are the features the app holds:


Latest news and information for first-time, returning, and postgraduate students.


Key information on a range of topics to improve your Kent experience.


Your guide to getting around campus in the palm of your hand.


What’s happening? Check all upcoming events on the campus calendar.

Social Hub

A one-stop shop for all the university’s social channels.

Get Involved

Share your campus experience. Take on the university’s latest media challenges and share your photos and videos with the University of Kent’s mobile community.

Key Links

Quick and easy access to online university links.

One-Hour Degree

Learn more about the university by taking on our fun simulation game.

You can also sign up to receive notifications about the latest updates.

Apple users can download the app here.

Android can download it here.

Language taster sessions

Would you like to learn a new skill? Why not consider learning a language!

The Language Centre are offering free online taster sessions in Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese and Russian on Wednesday 23 September.

12.00 – 13.00 – Arabic

13.00 – 14.00 – Mandarin

14.00 – 15.00 – Japanese

15.00 – 16.00 – Russian

The taster sessions are free  to all Kent University students and no previous experience of any of the languages is required. You will gain some understanding of key traditions, learn and pronounce a range of simple key words, engage in basic everyday communication, find out how introduce yourself in the language, learn simple greetings and farewell phrases.

For more information, visit the Language Centre website or email

Kent’s outdoor walks and activities

Being a student cannot be all work and no play, you need to make time for some fun and relaxation. One of the perks of studying at Kent is access to lots of outdoor space; from beaches to scenic parks and historic buildings, Kent has it all.


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.

Marlowe’s Canterbury Walk

The aim of this walk is for you to explore the life of Christopher Marlowe, who is Britain’s best known playwright. The route takes you on a journey around the heart of Canterbury, visiting places he would have known, and offering an insight into his life.

Kent Food Trails

Kent Food Trails are designed to encourage visitors and locals alike to discover new places and taste new dishes. You will meet fantastic food and drinks producers and farmers from all over Kent.

Via Francigena

If you fancy a real adventure then consider Via Francigena which is an ancient route that starts at Canterbury Cathedral and passes through France, Switzerland, across the Alps and through Italy finally finishing in Rome. You will step into the shoes of Sigeric the Serious, a famous Archbishop of Canterbury, and follow his journey across the Via Francigena to meet Pope John XV in Rome back in 990 AD.


Fort Amherst

Fort Amherst is a free-to-visit historical site  with 20 acres of green space all linked to the Great Lines Heritage Park. You will be able to explore tunnels, nature trails, ditches, ammunition magazines, cannons, soldier’s quarters and fortifications.

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.

Picture from Canterbury City Council.