This months’ blog is all about how to smoothly transition into life at the IoPPN! It may feel like there is so much going on when you start university but there is no need to worry – this blog has been written to help mentally and physically prepare you for what is to come. We will highlight exactly what you should do before you arrive, what you should bring with you and what you should do during the induction week. Hopefully this will be a weight off your mind, giving you time for the most important thing – enjoying it!
What should I do before I arrive?
Once you have confirmed your accommodation, sorted out your student visa (if applicable) and sourced the funding for your studies, there really isn’t anything left to do until you start receiving emails from King’s or your course administrator. Typically, you’ll receive information about setting up your IT account and online enrolment a few weeks before you arrive. Once you have done both these tasks you can confirm the details of how to pick you your university ID card and download the Welcome Week Guide to plan activities for induction week. Definitely peruse the Welcome Week timetable – this year it is available as a handy mobile app! It will have details about all the different services available at King’s and the events you might want to attend. I would recommend going to at least one talk – you’ll meet your course mates at your induction but you could make new friends outside of this by going to the yoga sessions or the ‘International students’ advice’ talk.
Besides these administrative tasks, I would recommend regularly checking emails for updates from your course administrator – some courses may have preparatory reading lists or have their timetable emailed out to them. As well as further details on DBS checks and Occupational Health Clearance – this is the time to email your course administrator if you’re having difficulty obtaining these certificates. Also, do not forget to finalise your travel arrangements, whether that’s booking a train down from Scotland or flights from Brazil, make sure you arrive in time to sign any contracts for housing and in time for all the fun of induction week! Finally, on the topic of fun- make sure you make a rough budget of income and expenditure. You don’t want to get carried away ordering Ubers to postgraduate mixer events or going out to eat during Welcome Week then realise you don’t have enough money to pay your accommodation deposit! The King’s website has lots of useful tips on managing your money whilst at university in London.
What useful things should I bring for my first week at university?
The following list includes items that you’ll likely need either at the start of university or during the course of your studies – so don’t forget to pack them!
- Passport: Useful form or identification.
- Unconditional offer letter: Just in case!
- University degree certificate: You might need this for any job applications or interviews you attend.
- Driving licence: This is a useful form of identification.
- Visa: If you’re an international student.
- Evidence of disability or medical conditions: essential if you require personalised exam provisions (PEP) or disability arrangements.
- 4 passport photos: Helpful for any new ID cards you might need to create.
- Equipment specific to your course: Laptop, lab coat, books, stationary etc.
What things should I do when I arrive/during welcome week?
- So, let’s start with accommodation. For those of you who are moving into new accommodation I would recommend making sure you feel settled and at home. Make sure you buy enough storage and make use of extension cables (especially if the UK plug socket is different and you want to avoid using lots of adapters). You may want to stick a poster of the academic year, given to you during your induction, on to your wall. It is really helpful to visually map out your year – I included all my coursework deadlines, holiday dates and tuition fee payment deadlines.
- Get to know your area. This is something I really wish I had done, it is surprisingly easy to only eat out in places which you have stumbled upon and are easy. Doing a bit of research makes you realise just how much there is to do and explore. Have a look at this article by TimeOut magazine about great things to do in Camberwell (where the IoPPN –Denmark Hill Campus is located), I wish I’d seen these recommendations earlier! Make sure you use google maps and Citymapper to get around – I would have been so lost without these two apps. If you don’t already have them downloaded, make sure you have them ready for induction week as there’s lots of exploring to be done!
- Sort out your student discounts. This is a great way to save money which I will really miss when I am not a student! Getting an NUS extra card can save you money on everything from clothes to gym membership – take a look at the website to see the full list of discounts offered. A one-year card costs £12, however I’d recommend getting a 3-year card (even if your course is only 1 year-long!) Another good discount site to sign up to, especially for the fashion conscious, is Unidays as they offer student discounts on lots of things including online clothing stores like ASOS, Missguided and Topman.
- Reduce your travel costs. Once you know where and when you are going to be travelling you can start maximizing your travel discounts. Make sure you get an Oyster card straight away and if you are 16-25, add your student rail card to it. Oyster auto-top-up is great, you just connect your bank account to your Oyster and don’t need to worry about running out of credit! If you are new to London make sure you understand the tapping in and out system to avoid extra charges. Finally, if you live in London you may be eligible for a student oyster card, this can be a really great way to travel around cheaply.
- Most importantly – Go to events and get involved! Your induction week is for you to settle in make friends and get to know the IoPPN and King’s. There is so much going on during induction week from boat parties, to your course induction and academic seminars – check out the links below for more information. Make sure you book the extra-curricular activities early because I left it too late and missed out! Importantly, I would highly recommend going to the fresher’s fair to join some amazing societies. There are so many different societies it is hard to choose but I would recommend being brave and trying something different!
- Welcome week to do list – https://www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/services/Welcome/Welcome-Week/Welcome-Week-To-Do-List.aspx
- Induction information – https://www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/services/Welcome/Welcome-Week/attend-your-induction.aspx
- Top tips from current students – https://www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/services/Welcome/Welcome-Week/top-tips-current-students.aspx
- Getting around Denmark Hill Campus – https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/campus/denmark-hill.aspx
- Welcome videos – https://www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/services/Welcome/Your-First-Weeks/Welcome-Videos.aspx
We hope you have found this blog useful – It is so much easier to have fun when you’re organised!
Ultimately, our advice is to be open-minded and embrace the many new opportunities coming your way. We wish you all the best as you embark on your new adventure and hope that our tips make your transition as smooth as possible!
If you have any questions please get in touch with us during our Q&A sessions.
Tamsin – 11:00am Monday
Sarah – 5:00pm Wednesday
Sarah and Tamsin 🙂