An ‘off campus’ student could be defined as a student who has decided to move straight into private accommodation or a student who has decided to stay at home and commute to University a.k.a. a ‘commuter student’. If you don’t live in halls of residence, you might sometimes worry that you will feel out of the loop about things going on around campus. It will inevitably take time for you to settle into University life so don’t be too hard on yourself when you are dealing with so much change. This page will provide with you practical advice and tips and services that can help you feel as much a Swansea University student as everyone else.
Practical Advice and Tips
One of the best ways to adjust to University life is to immerse yourself in it fully and thankfully for you there are several ways to do this.
Your colleges will run induction activities throughout week 1, which will give you a chance to find out more about your course as well as meeting your lecturers and course mates. Within each college, there are student information officers who can give you practical advice and guidance on a wide range of pastoral issues such as settling into University and difficulty making friends. If you have an issue, you can contact them throughout the year.
The Student’s Union have so many opportunities for you as a student. They have over 140 different societies for you to meet likeminded people and do what you enjoy or try something completely new that you have always wanted to do. You could also consider becoming a subject or college rep, run for the commuter student part-time officer post or even set up a commuter student society. Their Fresher’s Fayre that runs in the first week of term on both campuses is a brilliant way to find out about all of this and so much more. Check out their website for more details on events like this.
All of these things will help you feel part of the University and help you in becoming a well-rounded Swansea University student. Remember, a lot of students who have moved to the area will appreciate your inside knowledge of the best bars, beaches and places to go. So be proud and let them know that you are from the local area – it’s a great talking point!
Travel is an important issue with off campus students. Both the Singleton and Bay Campuses have efficient and affordable public transport links with regular bus services serving the city and making it easy to travel to and from our campuses. Apps like MyUniJourney and Moovit can help with bus and train journeys from any destination. We understand that some of you need to or prefer to drive but spaces are off a premium on campus. You may want to consider lift sharing with another off campus student and arrange this when possible. Our Commuter Student Facebook group is a great way to arrange this as well as organise and join in with off campus student social events. If your commute is relatively short then you could cycle on your own bike or one of the Santander Cycles or even walk through the park or along the beach.
Some of you may be commuting for over an hour to get to Uni and will want to make the most of your day whilst you are here. With that in mind, remember to make us of the facilities in your gaps between lectures. You may want to have a quick session in the gym, heat up some food in the kitchen space, have a shower, meet some friends for a coffee, drink or bite to eat and catch up on some work in the library or an alternative study space.
If you can’t make it into campus for whatever reason, the LibraryPlus service is great for off campus students with automatic renewals, postal loans and a delivery service.
Whether you currently live off campus in private residence or would consider moving away from home in the future, you may need to consider housing. SAS Lettings aim to make your entire accommodation journey hassle free. The Student’s Union Advice Centre can provide legal advice on housing issues (amongst other things) if you need them. The Community@CampusLife team promotes positive engagement between students and the local community and can help with mediation between housemates, issues with neighbours and £250 community grant if you want to do something positive in your neighbourhood.