Local and commuting students

Each year, some of our students choose to live off-campus, opting to continue living at home. Some students live in Kent, and others a bit further afield.

There are advantages to not living in University accommodation. If you have family commitments you can continue to fulfil these, and you may save money. There are also challenges, but we hope the information on this page will help you adjust to university life. If you find that your query is not addressed or if you have any specific questions, please email gettingstarted@kent.ac.uk

College membership

Even if you won't be living in University accommodation, you'll still be assigned a college, and you'll be a member of that college community throughout the whole of your studies. We have seven colleges at Kent: Eliot, Rutherford, Darwin, Keynes, Woolf and Turing at Canterbury, and Medway College at Medway. The colleges provide a support network and offer a range of support services and social activites, and they each have a student committee. Read more about the colleges on the Student Guide.

Adjusting to university life

Starting university is a big change, no matter where you're living. You may be balancing family commitments, working, or raising a family while beginning your university journey. This can be a lot to juggle in the first few weeks while you're working to get the balance right. If you feel you would benefit from talking to someone, our Wellbeing Service offers free support to all Kent students. There is also Nightline, a a student-led listening service aimed at providing out of hours support for students across Canterbury. 

Challenges as a local or commuting student

Time spent travelling: Try and makes this as enjoyable as possible. Make sure you know the quickest way to travel to the University and that you have the best deal possible on your transport costs. We have a range of travel discounts for our students, so make sure you have a look at these pages and visit the transport team during the Welcome Week events.

Perceived lack of peer support: Those living in University accommodation are usually studying different subjects. So, while they tend to make friends with their house/flatmates soon after they arrive, they may also be spending a lot of time with people on their course. The beauty of university is that you make friends with a range of people in a number of ways: studying a subject you're passionate about, living in the same accommodation, and through the societies and sports clubs.

Welcome Week is a key time to meet people with similar interests to you - there are events organised by your academic school, inductions and lots of social events organised by the students' union.  Try to go to as many of these events as you can. It's a great way to make friends, get familiar with the campus and find out about all the facilities available to you. 

Student Buddy Scheme

Getting used to a new way of life is exciting, but can leave some students feeling a bit isolated. That's why Kent Union has developed the Buddy Scheme. The Buddy Scheme helps both new and returning students settle into life at Kent by matching them with students who are trained to provide informal support by regularly meeting up and sharing their experiences and tips.

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