Questions from the S5 Conference: Part 1

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Questions from the S5 Conference: Part 1

We had a great time at the S5 Conference a couple of weeks ago! We hope that everyone who came got a lot out of it too! We collected a few questions from students who were at the Conference and thought we'd share the answers with you. This is part 1, so keep an eye out for part 2 in a couple of weeks.

What accommodation options are there?

There are lots of accommodation options when you are studying at college or university!

In first year of university, lots of students live in university accommodation. Most universities and colleges have their own accommodation, while there are also privately owned student accommodation options across the country too where you might live with students attending a variety of local colleges and unis, not just your own. Student accommodation can be 'catered' meaning you get your breakfast and dinner provided (sometimes a nice way to ease the transition!), or 'self-catered' where you have access to a kitchen and make your own meals. You'll also have the option of a shared bathroom or private bathroom, as well as choices to make about how many people you would like to share communual areas with and whether you would prefer to live in a same gender or a mixed gender flat, for example. Prices range depending on the options you go for. For example, a shared bedroom with a shared bathroom is cheaper than a large single room with en suite!

After first year, lots of students move out of university accommodation into other accommodation provided by local letting agents or landlords, or maybe private student accommodation, sometimes sharing with other students they have met in their accommodation or from their courses or clubs and societies. Wherever you end up studying, your college or uni should be able to give you advice on local accommodation options so worry not! 

If you are going to a university or college close to home, lots of students also choose to stay at home during their studies and this is a great option too! From speaking to some of our student volunteers who have lived at home during uni, they tell us that they have still been able to get fully involved in student life!

What is it like living away from home?

You asked what it is like living away from home so we thought who better to answer this question than a couple of our lovely student volunteers who are living away from home at the moment.

Nathan, student at the University of Edinburgh, says:

"Having grown up in a fairly small town moving to Edinburgh and student halls was a big change! Everyone is in the same boat though, and it wasy easy to find people with similar interests etc. As well as that the fact we'd all just left home meant that we could all understand each other's situation and help each other out which brought us closer together. I was 17 when I came to university and was worried that it wouldn't be as easy to make friends given that I couldn't go to pubs and clubs but I got involved in a few different sports clubs and societies and didn't find my age held me back at all. I also became friends with a few people from halls who also started university at 17 and we all ended up becoming quite good friends and living together in 2nd and 3rd year. Before you go to university you've got a lot of time to worry about things without really knowing the facts but the reality is almost always going to be much better than whatever you've imagined! I found it was quite easy to keep in touch with friends from home, we've all had a good time visitng each other over weekends in all the different places we've moved to. I'd say the start of university is a good time to make the move away from home as it opens a lot of doors to you and there's probably not another time in your life when there will be so much support in place for you to start living on your own". 

We also caught up with Megan, student at Edinburgh Napier University, on film (on a rather windy day!):

Time for one more...

What courses should I choose?

Ultimately you should choose a course that you want to study, that you feel passionate and excited about! To get to this stage, our top tip is research, research, research - use uni / college websites, prospectuses, open days etc. to gather that all important info on what courses are on offer and what they involve. If you came along to the Conference you've already started this process (so well done you!). 

When choosing courses, it's a good idea to think about what's important to you. So thinking about things like how they teach / assess the course, what's included in the modules, where you would be studying, year abroad / work placement opportunities etc. can be really helpful in making this decision. We've got a post for you on the HUB already giving you some top tips on how to choose courses at university and college. Check it out!

That's all for this post. We'll have another post for you soon with more answers to your Conference questions! Topics include how to apply for college and tips for making a 'standout' application...