Congratulations on your acceptance to NCH! We look forward to welcoming and getting to know you. Coming to the end of my first year at NCH, I thought it may be helpful to compile a list of things to have on your to-do list either before you move to London or during Freshers’ Week! None of the items on this list are particularly fun to organise, but they will help you settle into the realities of student life in London.
- Apply for a UK bank account: Many students are able to get specifically student bank accounts, depending on where you call home and other factors. Here is a great guide to UK student bank accounts. In general, you will need a Photo ID, proof of address and proof of student status, which you can request from NCH.
- Organise your dentist and doctors: thankfully, the NCH Student and Academic Services help you do this during Freshers week. However, if you would like to find a doctor/dentist closer to your student halls or rented flat, you should try and organise this yourself.
- Get a student oyster card: Again, this is something the NCH SAS team will help you do. You can apply for your student oyster card here, but this has to be done during Freshers’ Week or after as this is when SAS will confirm you have actually enrolled, so you can enjoy the benefits of 1/3 off travelcards and off-peak travel!
- Bills, including TV License and Council Tax. If you have chosen student halls, you will reap the benefits here! Halls will organise almost all your bills. The only things you will need to do is register with your council where you are living and that you are a student (so you qualify for 0-rate council tax). The only other thing you’ll need to do is buy a TV License if you choose to have a TV in your bedroom, and are watching anything other than streaming. Not having a TV License is illegal in the UK and not a fun thing to battle, so it’s better to pay up, or stick to Netflix!
- Join the electoral roll: this is great for a few different reasons. Firstly, if you have a right to vote you should use it! Secondly, this will inevitably help with building your credit rating further down the line! If you live in the UK, you can choose to either vote in your home or uni constituency.
- Other things to consider: where is your local gym? are you allowed to make spare keys? (If so, you should!). Are you bringing your car to London? If so, check out parking in your area and congestion/ULEZ charges (you might change your mind…).