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Preparing for university

Before they arrive, we'll send them information on everything they need to get started at NTU. But as parents and carers, we know you’ll have your own questions – in this section, you’ll find the answers to help them settle in quickly

A new life for them, and for you

Three female students sat outside the Newton building in the sun

Your son or daughter is about to embark on the defining journey of their lifetime! They will meet new people, try so many new things, and of course, learn a lot. Both of you will have to get used to not seeing each other in person every day, as they make their own way in the world and figure out how to live independently.

The start of university brings opportunities, but also challenges – for you as much as them. Don’t be surprised if the house seems empty to begin with, or if you’re feeling a little lost. This ‘empty nest syndrome’ is natural and will soon pass. You'll always be a big part of their life, but with more time and freedom to pursue your own interests. Find new opportunities, just as they will. Perhaps now will be a good time for new hobbies or holidays that might not have been practical before.

Just remember that the job never ends – you’ll always be someone they rely on, and the next favour’s only a phone call away!

What to bring

Travel light, and try to keep it simple. It’s easy to overdo it, so focus on the essentials, like clothes, bedding, toiletries, and IT equipment.  And don’t forget the basics – they’ll never have enough coat hangers, and family photos will help them through those first few days.

To start with, we’d recommend bringing:

  • kitchen utensils
  • bath and hand towels
  • a laundry bag, to keep dirty clothes in one place
  • coat hangers
  • a dressing gown or blanket, for cold evenings
  • photos of family and friends
  • a duvet, pillows, and sheets
  • sports gear – their opportunities will be almost endless
  • a small sewing kit, for quick fixes.

If they'll be living in NTU-owned accommodation, their new home will already come equipped with bedroom furniture, a microwave, a kettle, and a toaster.

We've put together a handy checklist of things they should sort before starting at NTU to make their transition to independent living much easier.

Money matters

Student in a Newton seminar room

Try to make sure that they understand the importance of managing their money properly – being the safety net is a parent or carer’s prerogative, but you should encourage them to manage their finances on their own before they arrive at university.

Try to make sure that they create a realistic budget, have their method of paying fees and rent finalised and have considered an insurance policy if their possessions aren’t covered by your current household insurance.

Support is always available if they run into financial difficulty while studying at NTU, but they don’t have to be in hardship to access our services. If they need any support with managing their money or setting up a budget, they can arrange to speak to one of our friendly financial support advisers by email.

Visit our Living Costs page for more tips on how they can manage their finances.

Affordable eating

A male and female student eating in a brightly lit Nottingham restaurant

Nottingham is one of the UK’s foodie capitals, so there will be a lot of temptation from the award-winning restaurants on their doorstep. NTU’s sites all have their own restaurants and cafes, too – whether it’s a sit-down meal or a snack on the go, there’s plenty of choice.

Eating out is a great way to explore Nottingham, but it can be expensive. Try to factor a few treat meals into their budget, and make sure they arrive with a few basic recipes to hand – a little kitchen confidence will go a long way.