Preparing your child for university

Useful advice for parents of students gearing up for university

Girl walks along a train platform with a small luggage bag

Your child has cemented their place at university, so what next? Here's everything you need to know about preparing your child for university, including enrolment, financial considerations, their first week and more.

Pre-university checklist

Whether your child moves away to university or lives at home, there are important steps that need to be taken ahead of the start of their first term.

Here's your pre-university checklist to help reassure you and your child that everything has been taken care of.

1. Arranging university accommodation

If your child is moving away from home, they will most likely stay in rented halls. The major benefit of staying in halls is that they are protected by the university itself and new students are able to mix with other first-years.

Alternatively, privately rented housing or off-campus university accommodation is an option. 

Universities offer different types of accommodation to suit a variety of needs. Here are just a few consideration:

  • The distance to university
  • Your or your child's budget (this will depend on whether you intend to support your child financially or whether they are applying for a loan)
  • Where in London they would like to live 
  • The type of living arrangements they would like and access to other leisure facilities, such as gyms
  • En-suite or a shared bathroom? Single or double bed?

It's never too early to start thinking about your child's preferences for accommodation, as often the more desirable spots can be filled up fast.

Learn moreundergraduate accommodation section  

Reach out to other students staying in the same accommodation

2. Reach out to other students staying in the same accommodation

Once your child has decided which halls or accommodation they will be staying in, it's worth encouraging them to connect with others who are due to stay there.

Many student halls will have their own Facebook groups where new students can chat to each other prior to arrival. This means that when they rock up, they will already have someone to meet up with. This will serve as a good starting point for making new friends.

Group of female students playing computer games together

3. Sort out their finances

3. Help them organise their finances

While it might not seem like the most exciting task, sorting out your child's finances before they head off to university is an important step.

Student finance

If you're planning to receive the government-funded loan, you need to make sure you are meeting all the deadlines for applications. This will ensure that your child receives their loans on time and before the start of their first term. It's important to read more information about undergraduate fees and funding and student finance.

Learn more: parents' guide to university finance and funding

Setting up a student bank account 

Most of the major high street banks will offer these with added incentives, such as a 16-25 Railcard or National Express coach card. While these are useful, it's best to look for a bank with the best overdraft facilities. 

Be warned: some banks can make daily charges if your child goes into their overdraft, so it's important to understand the deal in full and ensure your child is aware of the consequences of going overdrawn. 

Budgeting

Once these things are in place, your child might also benefit from a bit of budgeting advice too. Once your child knows how much funding they are going to receive, work with them to create a rough breakdown of how much money they will have to spend each week.

Make sure your drilldown considers all amenities, such as food, course materials and luxuries, such as socialising and travelling home.

Having this as a guide will help your child enjoy their downtime, but not so much that it means they are out of pocket and struggling financially later in their term.

register with local health centre

4. Register with a local health centre

When registering with a new doctor, it can sometimes take a few days to add your child to the system. With this in mind, it's a good idea for your child to register at their new local health centre before they arrive at university. This way, if they fall ill shortly after arrival, they can easily book an appointment.

Alongside this, your child will have the support of Ravensbourne's Student Services. This support network is on hand to offer advice on anything from keeping up academically to personal problems. They'll be in good hands.

Learn more: your child's wellbeing and support network

Get to know the area

 5. Get to know the area 

If you have the chance, take the time to visit the local area where your child will be living, before they move. This will give you both an opportunity to familiarise yourselves with things like transport links, local amenities and the route to university. It will also make moving feel less daunting, as they will have an idea of what to expect.

This is especially important for students who have applied via Clearing, who may not have had the chance to see the university or its local area.

Learn moreour local area and exploring London

The local area

Enrolment

6. Enrolment & induction

Enrolment and inductions are designed to get your child prepped for their first day at university. 

  • At Ravensbourne, your child's initial enrolment will take place at the beginning of August if they are starting their course in September of October. This will be completed online, so there's no need for them to travel to London just yet. This is a straightforward process; it's simply a chance to check that all the admin is sorted and that your child is enrolled on the right course.
  • A second in-person enrolment will take place at the end of August. Your child will be invited to a scheduled day and time for their appointment.
  • Once their enrolment has been completed, your child will be invited to their induction. This will be an introduction to the course and the wider university. Your child will be given a tour of the campus and be introduced to the facilities and services available to them too. 

Once these steps have been completed, your child is ready to start their first term. If they are living away from home, it's recommended that your child moves in a few days before the start of term. This will give them time to get settled and become familiar with their new surroundings.

Check out the Students' Union to find out what events have been organised for Welcome Week. 

SU Student pop up bar

Enrolment and induction timetable 

Stage 1 – Online enrolment. We will start inviting students to enrol

2 August 2021

Stage 2 – In-person enrolment – you will be invited to a scheduled day and time
(if applicable)

23 – 27 August 2021

Induction

31 August (Tuesday) – 3 September 2021

Term Starts

6 September 2021

Spend time with family and friends 

7. Spend time with family and friends 

Make sure you spend some quality time together the summer before your child moves away to university. Depending on how far they are moving, you might not see each other for a few months.

While they will be busy having fun and making new friends, homesickness in the first term is common and completely normal. Arranging regular phone calls and sending  messages of support will let them know that they are loved and supported as they embark on a new journey.