Some hints, tips and ideas that may be useful.
Register for University in August – registering is a two part process, and they can’t attend classes without having registered. The first part is online, and the second is in person. They will receive emails about this.
Make sure they scan, photograph or pack their qualification certificates as they will need those for the second on-campus part of the official registration process.
Activate their IT Account - once they have firmly accepted their offer to study at Abertay, our IT Service Desk will email them about their IT account. They need to look out for the email called 'Abertay University IT Account and Instructions'. This gives them their Abertay email address, access to their timetable and all the University’s platforms and learning tools. If they decide not to come or don't get the right exam results, this account is disabled.
Apply for Accommodation – it's obvious but if applying for university accommodation, make sure they have this done before they arrive. They will receive plenty of emails telling them when accommodation is available and how to apply. If renting a room privately, make sure the deposit is paid and so on.
Packing – don’t let them bring their entire bedroom (!) but do make sure they pack personal things to make them feel at home like their favourite pillow, pictures or perhaps their favourite soft toy (we won't tell anyone about that if you don't).
Budgeting – hopefully you'll have helped them get the hang of budgeting before they arrive. But if not, or if they run into financial problems, SEZ is there to give guidance.
Places to stay for you – if you live far away, check out the local hotels, B&Bs, rental apartments etc so you have somewhere to stay when you visit. Tripadvisor's Dundee list is a good place to start and places are available for all budgets.
Set up a student bank account – so it’s all done before they arrive.
Phone/contract – make sure it’s right for what they need, assume they will need A LOT of data.
Make a contact agreement - it can help to make an agreement about when and how they contact you such as every Sunday night at xx time. We do get very worried parents contacting the University as they haven’t heard from their child for several weeks, only to find out that they are completely fine.
Agreeing this between you (and everyone sticking to the arrangement) can save a lot of concern.
House sharing – sharing a fridge or cupboards is something they may never have done before. So meal planning will really help here. In essence, don’t buy too much if you only have a shelf, don't pinch other people’s stuff and clean up after yourself in all areas especially the bathroom.
Cooking and meal planning – if they don't know how to cook, teaching them how to cook some cheap, easy meals will really help them, as well as save them money. Try to include some food budgeting and meal planning as this will help them know how much to buy and avoid waste. Maybe teach them a few recipes you regularly cook so they can make a taste of home if they get homesick.
This may potentially stop them living on expensive takeaways and ready meals. Well, mostly.
Make sure they know how to wash up and dry in the kitchen – it sounds like a small thing but it will make them very popular in student accommodation! Not every flat has a dishwasher.
Clubs/Societies – making friends is always a worry so why not check out the student clubs so they know what they want to do during Fresher’s week. Being part of a club can be a great way to make like-minded friends.
Abertay Student Association (the SA) - the SA is there to help them fully engage with student life, and provides many opportunities for them to have the best student experience they can.
Washing machines – teaching them how to use a washing machine is a great idea, although YouTube is a big help here. When they pack, include using your washing liquid/powder (and fabric conditioner if used), so their washing smells like home.
Bikes – if bringing their bike, make sure they know where the bike sheds are. Invest in a good quality bicycle lock and try to get them to use it every time they park their bike.
Parking/Cars – if bringing a car, work out where it will be parked most days. Ask them to immobilise the car whenever they leave it and ensure the car alarm is on if there is one. There are no student parking spaces on campus apart from disabled spaces.
Laptops – these can be loaned from the library for short periods of time and desktop computers are also available. However, most students prefer to bring their own so invest in a good one if that hasn’t happened already. Install security software, and make sure they carry it hidden in a bag rather than in an obvious laptop/tablet case.
Student deals – there are lots of great student deals available, they should start signing up to emails so they’ve got them when they arrive.
The Uni Guide site has an advice for parents section, and so has the Complete University guide.
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