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Student Ambassador Guide: essential tips and advice for accommodation

Wondering how you’re going to settle into your new home? Student Ambassador, Freya Milligan, shares her top tips and advice for student accommodation.

Freya covers a range of essential topics including, what to bring for a smooth move-in, how to make friends and nearby shops for groceries.

Will I make friends?

Living in student accommodation is a great opportunity to make lots of different friends from a range of courses across the University, people who you may not have met otherwise. I know moving to university can be daunting and the idea of making new friends may seem intimidating, but if you put yourself out there, you’ll definitely make friends. The great thing about Norwich University of the Arts being an arts specialist University is that you’ll be living with creative people who share common interests. My top tip for making friends is to be as sociable as possible. Arrange outings, attend events at Freshers (could be day or night), and talk to people on your course. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself; you might not meet your best friends in the first few weeks, but there will be plenty of opportunities to connect with others throughout the academic year. I found it helpful to join different Facebook groups and ended up finding my flatmates and creating a group chat with them before I even moved in!

How will I feel?

Moving to university is an exciting step in a person’s life and self-development, a huge opportunity to make lots of new friends and socialise. However, it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious about moving to university; it’s a big step and a whole new experience. Remember, everyone is in the same boat. Adjusting to your new environment might take some time, and feelings will vary from person to person. I remember feeling slightly overwhelmed at first, but I settled in within the first few weeks. Stay connected with people, both from home and in your accommodation- don’t lock yourself away in your room, as this can lead to feelings or loneliness and isolation. If you need help, reach out to the receptionists and team members in your accommodation building, or contact student support at the University for advice.

Are there good shops and supermarkets nearby?

Norwich offers a variety of shops and supermarkets conveniently located near student accommodations, catering for all budgets. A large Sainsbury’s just a five-minute walk from both All Saints Green and Crown Place. Additionally, you’ll find a Marks and Spencer, Iceland, Poundland, Tesco Express, and a Sainsbury’s Local nearby. For students staying at Duke Street Riverside and St Crispin’s House, there’s a Tesco Express close by as well. The city centre is great for shopping, featuring major retailers and a unique market with fantastic places to shop and eat.

A vibrant outdoor market with colourful striped stalls. Shoppers browse through hanging clothes while others sit on steps to the right. Trees and historic buildings are visible in the background under a clear blue sky.

What happens if I have a problem in my flat, who do I call?

If you encounter a problem in your flat, there are various ways to address it, depending on the situation. For minor issues, such as someone neglecting to do their washing up for a day, consider contacting them directly or through your flat group chat. Often people don’t intend to leave things out; they may have simply forgotten. If the issue persists, you can email or speak to a member of the accommodation team within your building. They can send out a reminder email without disclosing who made the complaint. In some cases, there may be a situation where individuals move to a different flat if there is availability or if someone is willing to swap, though this is rarely necessary. Additionally, you can seek support from the University’s accommodation student support services for further assistance by email.

What do I need to bring with me?

I’m not going to list absolutely everything that I brought with me, since I definitely overpacked, but I found watching ‘What should I bring to university’ videos on YouTube were really useful. These videos helped me create my packaging list based on advice from experienced students. One of my top recommendations on what to bring, would be home comforts to make your room feel cosy and inviting. Consider items like pictures for your pin board, fairy lights, posters, decorations and your favourite food and snacks. Also, I would recommend bringing a laundry basket with handles because often the laundry rooms in the accommodation buildings are on separate floors of your accommodation. Comfortable shoes are essential for walking around your building; I recommend sliders, crocs or slippers that you can easily slip on and off.

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