Preparing for university life

Going to university can be both exciting and daunting. You will be making new friends, balancing your studies, and living independently for what might be the first time. 

There is a lot to do before you come to university, and when you arrive, especially if it's your first time as a student. But with a bit of preparation beforehand, your transition to university life can be as seamless and stress-free as possible. Follow our advice to get the most out of your first weeks at university.

This information is for intended for Home students. If you are an international applicant, visit Tips for Studying at USW.

Before you come

Find out what specialist support is available

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You may be starting university with a pre-existing or long-term health condition. This includes physical, sensory, mental health or unseen disabilities, specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia) and autism. The university has support services that are available to all USW students. If you are unsure whether you can receive support or have any questions, please get in touch: Disability Service.

Apply for Student Finance and create a budget


If you are entitled to Student Finance, make sure you’ve submitted your application to the relevant student funding body and provided any evidence required. Apply early to give Student Finance plenty of time to process your application.

It’s possible that you’ll be in control of your finances for the first time in your life. Managing rent and bills as well as keeping money for socialising may seem impossible but creating a budget and finding a good student account can help you stay on top of your student loan. 

Confirm your accommodation


You'll receive your accommodation booking by email once your place at USW becomes unconditional firm (and you are eligible to enrol on your course). 

International students will also need a valid visa application. For more information on campus-specific accommodation allocation, please click here.

Check your vaccinations

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Being up to date with all vaccinations is important for everyone, but even more so if you are a student starting university as you will be meeting, mixing, and living with lots of new people. 

We recommend that you check with your GP before you go to university whether you need any vaccinations.

Create a packing list


Let’s face it, we always leave something at home and only realise when it’s too late. Creating a packing list can help you feel more organised and (hopefully) ensure that you don’t leave anything important at home! We’ve made a list of what to bring and what not to bring when you move in, so feel free to check out ours for inspiration.

Facebook Freshers' group

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You don’t have to wait until moving-in to interact with other fellow first years. We have a dedicated Freshers Facebook Group to help you meet other 2022 applicants.

The group is an exclusive area for freshers applying to USW! Useful for finding tips, advice, student jobs and the opportunity to discuss anything related to living in South Wales.

When you arrive

Register for access to healthcare


Taking care of yourself while at university is paramount. All new USW students should register with the USW Health Service and a local GP.  

The University also offers free advice, guidance, and support options for students experiencing challenges during their time at university. Learn more about our Wellbeing Service.

Attend welcome events across our campuses

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Our welcome events include many important and fun activities dedicated to helping you settle in, get to know your campus, meet fellow students and get a sense of the university life that awaits you.

You’ll also be able to find out about a range of services available to USW students, including Student Money Advice, Chaplaincy Service, the Wellbeing Service, and more.

Explore the local area with your new friends

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Head in one direction and you'll be walking along a glorious beach, head in another and you'll be climbing a historic mountain. 

Studying at USW is a great way to explore some of South Wales' biggest cities, why not spend some time exploring your new surroundings?

Access your timetable

USW Student

Your induction timetable is designed to help you prepare for life at USW. It will include a variety of sessions specific to your course as well as showing you the support available to you throughout your studies.

There may be small changes made to your timetable, so make sure you check back just before you are due to start to avoid arriving late or missing out on activities.

Introduce yourself

Visit your fellow housemates in the communal kitchen or living areas and get to know them. Find out where they are from, and what course they are studying, and ask if they'd like to come with you to some welcome week events!

You will also meet lots of new people on your course, and many students create close friendship circles through joining a society.

Make your halls a home


An easy way to settle into your new environment is by making your new room as cosy and comforting as possible. 

Bringing some home comforts such as pillows and blankets and adding decorative touches like ornaments and photo frames adds a nice personal touch and may remind you of home.