First of all I just wanted to say well done to all of you who got what you wanted on results day!
As I am now a couple of weeks away from moving back to Cardiff myself, I thought I would run through a quick list of things that you shouldn’t forget (because I totally did until just now).
1. Council Tax Letter: This is only really important if you are moving straight into private accommodation, as opposed to University Halls. This is just something I only remembered for myself a few weeks back. As a student you are not expected to pay council tax, all you need to do is provide a letter that shows that you are exempt. You should automatically receive one of these letters from the University, however if you don’t get one they are easy to request. You can get information about requesting an exemption letter from here.
2. Student Bank Account (and savings account): This isn’t really easy to forget about, but make sure you set-up your student bank account before you get to University. You will definitely be thankful for the large overdraft you will be given, and the perks can be really helpful (the railcard that came with my Santander student account has saved me loads of money!). Make sure to have a look at all the different accounts and see which is best for you. You may also want to look into savings accounts at the same time if you haven’t already got one set up, whether as a fund for fun things like holidays or as insurance for life after University. There are plenty of sites that compare which account is ‘best’ this year.
3. Internet: Remember to research internet providers for the best deal. I opted for Virgin last year as they were the cheapest at the time. They can also tell you if the place you’re moving to already has Virgin, so it will cost less to set-up. Additionally, online resources provide information about internet and mobile network speeds in your area. If you’re living in halls however you don’t have to worry about this, as all of the halls already have Wifi that you can access with your University login.
4. Student Job Shop: Don’t forget about the free student job shop service, located on the 2nd floor of the SU, which is as excellent way of supporting yourself financially while studying. For those who remain in Cardiff over the summer months and during other holidays, the job shop is a great way to support yourself and get some job experience.
5. Checking What You’ve Got: What does your flat or house come with? If you’re not living in halls you can usually email your landlord or letting agency and ask for an itinerary before you get there. Moving in to find that you don’t have the furniture that you were expecting is not fun.
6. Food: Set aside some time when you first get to uni to do some food shopping. Or if you’re super organised, you could book a food delivery to arrive a couple of hours after you do. Unless you want to walk to the supermarket with your new flatmates, which can be a nice way to get to know everybody. You may also want to make sure you bring essentials with you for when you arrive (toilet roll, toothpaste, tea, coffee), this reduces the stress of moving in a little bit!
7. Bills: Again, mainly important for people not living in halls. If your bills aren’t included in your rent you will most likely have to set up a Welsh Water account, and contact a gas and electric supplier. You’ll either receive a predictive figure for the coming year, which can be paid off in instalments, or be billed monthly based on usage (depending on whether or not the property has a meter). Remember that you do not have to stick with the gas and electric provider that the house is already with, you can choose your gas and electricity provider based upon whoever provides the best offer for you. If your property comes with a meter remember to check the readings when you move in to avoid being charged for the last tenants usage.