Parents and family

The first few weeks

Following months of revision, exams and preparing for university, your son or daughter will soon be ready to begin their studies. At Kent, we send all new students a ‘Getting Started at Kent’ booklet, which gives them key information including what must be done prior to arrival, what to expect in their first few days and, if they are living in University accommodation, their moving in dates. The booklet is accompanied by the Getting Started at Kent website which is packed full of extra information and useful tips.

The best thing about starting university is that the vast majority of students are experiencing it for the first time. Once your son or daughter has moved in, their first week at Kent is known as ‘Welcome Week’.


What to pack

  • Air fresheners
  • Alarm clock
  • Blu-tac and pins
  • Clothes airer
  • Coat hangers
  • Computer/laptop
  • Duvet/pillows/sheets
  • Extension lead (there are never enough plugs)
  • Laundry bag
  • Posters/ photos of friends and family
  • Towels

Kitchen essentials

  • Kettle
  • Tea, coffee and biscuits (essential on moving in day!)
  • Mugs and glasses
  • Plates and cutlery
  • Pots and pans
  • Tin/bottle opener

And don’t forget…

  • Camera
  • ID – Drivers licence or passport
  • Memory sticks/blank CDs
  • Passport photos
  • Qualification certificates
  • Rail Card/Coach card
  • School uniform – for the School Disco and fancy dress!
  • Something smart for the Freshers’ ball
  • TV licence*

*If you watch or record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV – on any device including a laptop – you need to be covered by a TV Licence. The law applies to all viewing and recording devices, including TVs, computers, mobile phones, games consoles, digital boxes and DVD/VHS recorders. See the TV Licensing website for further details.


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Welcome Week

Welcome Week is designed to help all new students settle in and make the transition to university life as easy as possible so they can have the best start to their studies.

The week is usually made up different events:

  • Induction events by their academic school
  • Orientation events of key facilities (eg how to use the library)
  • Social events organised by the students' union

You should encourage your son or daughter to throw themselves into Welcome Week; it is one of the best ways to get to know the people they will be living and studying with.

Watch our #hellokent videos for Canterbury and Medway, produced by Kent Union and GK Unions:


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Settling in

Universities are aware that going to university, even if your son or daughter is local and knows the area, is a big change and events such as Welcome Week are carefully planned to make new students feel immediately part of their new community.

The majority of students settle into university life very quickly, but common problems in the first few weeks can include homesickness, study concerns and worries about making friends.

Going to a number of open days and visit days may be exhausting while you're doing it, but visiting the university beforehand really pays off. Your son or daughter will be familiar with their surroundings before they arrive, especially if you have visited more than once.

Most universities have their own online communities via Faceboook and Twitter which enable new students to find out about each other before they even arrive. Once the exam results are out and places are confirmed, Kent's Facebook pages are full of excited new first years chatting about which accommodation they're in (and subsequently finding their flatmates!), what course they'll be doing and, usually, how they can't wait to get started.

Your support can be invaluable during the first term, even if you are just on the end of a phone. If their concerns don’t pass and they feel they need extra support, encourage them to make use of the support services offered by the university.

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Publishing Office - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 23/10/2017