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Preparing for university checklist

Preparing for university checklistSo, you've received an offer, aced the exams and are going to university. Don't just put your feet up. There are things you need to plan before you get there.

As soon as you know you’ve got a place at university, you’ll need to plan ahead- and that doesn’t just mean stockpiling tins of beans!

Going to university is a great experience but it’s also a dramatic lifestyle change. As well as packing your bags, you need to sort out important stuff like money, accommodation and transport.

Read the following checklist before you set off for uni to ensure you’re well prepared.


  • Receive your financial notification. This document tells you how much student finance you will receive and when it will be paid. Put this somewhere safe: you'll need to take it with you when you register to make sure you get your money
  • Complete the declaration that comes with the financial notification letter and return it.
  • Earn money with a summer job if you want to build up your finances before you leave.
  • Open student bank account. You’ll want a bank with a branch close to campus. Do some research and shop around for the best deal.
  • Plan a weekly budget to help make your money last while you study.


  • Get vaccinated if you aren't already. Diseases like meningitis can spread quickly at uni, especially if you're living in halls, so it's important to be up to date with your vaccinations.
  • Get your NHS number or medical card. This will make it easier for your to register with a doctor when you arrive. If you don't have it already, your doctor should be able to help.

Housing and special requirements

  • If you have a disability, contact the university’s Disability Office or student services, to discuss any specific requirements you may have.
  • Organise accommodation. This is really important - don’t expect it to be done for you!
  • Once you’ve got your new address, redirect your post, especially those bank statements. You need to stay on top of your spending!

Dealing with the university

  • Read enrolment instructions. Where do you need to be and when during that first week?
  • Get your room details if you have a place in halls. Your university should send you this information in advance, so get in touch if you don't hear anything - you don't want to arrive and find that you don't have anywhere to live.
  • Tell your university anything they need to know about your situation - for example, if you have a disability, or you need to arrive early or late. The sooner they know, the better they will be able to help with your situation.
  • Read the information sent to you from your department and any recommended reading that has been given. You might want to delay buying text books until you start the course. That way you can be certain they are necessary, and you may be able to buy cheaper second-hand copies on campus after you start. However, if you can do some reading in advance you'll have a head start on your course.

What to take

Preparing for university checklist

  • Check that your computer is compatible with the university’s network. You may need to install a wireless card if your pc or laptop isn’t wifi enabled.
  • Buy a map of the area where you will be living and studying.
  • Pack your bags. Don’t go overboard. Remember you may have to move out again during the holidays. There’s no point lugging everything back and forth. Take only what you need.


  • Sort out your transport from home to university. You might get a lift from a family member or friend, but if you have to book a flight, train or coach, book in advance and you’ll save yourself a packet.
  • Look up public transport details before you arrive - it will be one less thing to do once you're at university.

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