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Posted Nov. 4, 2013

What To Do When You Get To Uni

Starting a postgraduate degree course is an exciting, and sometimes daunting, experience. Here are a few things, which you might find it useful to do when you arrive at your university.

Familiarise yourself If you are studying for your postgraduate degree at a different university from the one you attended as an undergraduate, then it might help you feel more at home if you familiarise yourself with both the campus and the local area as soon as possible. If you are feeling daunted, then finding your way around the campus before your first research meeting or seminar may help you to feel more relaxed about your first day.

There is some good advice regarding things to find out about your student city here as well as some tips you can use to explore your local area .

When you arrive on campus, you may also find it helpful to familiarise yourself with the layout of the university's library, or learning resource centre, especially the section or sections most relevant to your studies. If the online catalogue is not one with which you are familiar, or you are returning to studying after a break of many years, then it would be a good opportunity to explore this too. Many universities run induction courses for postgraduate students on using the library or learning resource centre for research, which you may find helpful to attend if you do not feel confident.

Look After Yourself If you have moved to a new area to pursue your postgraduate studies, then don't forget to do things which may seem mundane at the time, but could actually end up being very important. A prime example of this is finding out how to register yourself with the local doctor. Some universities have a medical centre on campus, which staff from the nearest practice attend regularly. Alternatively it may be necessary to go into the local town or city to register. If you are studying away from home and do not intend to return home for the duration of your course, then it would also be a good idea to register with a local dentist for your six monthly check ups.

It may also help to learn about where you can go for academic and emotional support, should you need it during the course of your studies. A summary of the kind of assistance, which may be available to you may be found here .

Get Your Finances Sorted Many banks operate accounts specifically for graduates and postgraduates. These can often be more beneficial to a student than a standard bank account, especially in terms of overdrafts and loans. More specific information is available here If you haven't already got your postgraduate account arranged when you arrive at your new university, then you may find it useful to visit a local branch of your bank or find out if it is possible to open an account online.

Get Networking What is networking? It just means making contacts in your chosen area of study. These could be academics or people working in a certain industry who may be able to collaborate with you on academic papers or help you with your career once you complete your studies. You might find it helpful to try to do this as early as possible in your postgraduate career. Many universities will organise some kind of social event, such as a wine and cheese evening so new postgraduate students can get to know each other and that kind of event is as good a place to start learning how to effectively network as any.

Having completed all that, you should be well prepared to start your new life as a postgraduate student.

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