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Guide to Freshers Week at University

What is freshers week?

Freshers Week, also known as Welcome Week, is at the start of the university term, when new students move in. It is a good time for students to establish their support network, find people who share their interests and push themselves out of their comfort zone. Lots of students start new sports they have never played before or find new friends at social events.

What happens in freshers week?

Universities and students’ unions host special events to welcome students to campus. These events are a great way to meet new friends and other like-minded people. Events during this week may include:

★ Campus Tours - to help new students find their way around for lectures, there are guided walk-around tours of campus.

★ Course introduction sessions -  most courses offer an intro session, explaining course expectations, structure and any essential reading.

★ Student registration - students have to register to confirm their place on their course. This also includes taking a photograph for a student ID card.

★ Social events - parties, themed events, game nights, sports and night clubbing are just a few of the social events that happen during freshers week. 

★ Clubs and societies fair - this is a great opportunity to meet the different sports teams, clubs and university societies. Here you can ask questions about the events they host and the prices of membership.

★ City tours - the students’ union, university or accommodation management may host a city tour for students. This can help students to get familiar with the local area and find any nearby shops and restaurants.

★ Student discounts and freebies - local businesses and larger companies set up stands with student deals and promotions during freshers week. Expect lots of free food and free trial memberships!

We interviewed 10 students’ union officers asking for their best freshers advice. Read more here


When does freshers week start?

The week before lectures start is usually when all the start-of-term social events and freshers events happen. To find out when your university is hosting these events, check out the students’ union website. You can usually sign up for events online via the SU website. Make note of any exciting activities during the week you want to attend.

How much does freshers week cost?

If you plan to spend time at multiple events in freshers week, it could be useful to set yourself a budget. Often student maintenance loans do not come through until freshers week is over. So it is a good idea to save some money ahead of time. 

Some surveys show that first year students spend up to £400 during this action-packed week. This is an average cost, but don’t view this as a guideline. You can set your own budget for freshers week. 

What is freshers flu?

Although this illness is not an official sickness, many first year students experience flu-like symptoms and a sore throat after their first week of university. This is a result of thousands of students from different areas in the world converging together on one campus. The busy, stressful, late-night nature of the week causes a lot of students to forget to prioritize their health. For many students meeting new people and socialising takes priority. As a result, many students feel under the weather at the start of term.

To avoid freshers flu, pace yourself during the week, remember to eat well, drinks lots of water and keep an eye on your alcohol intake. As a precautionary measure, register for a GP before you arrive. This means if you are ill, you can access the doctor and health service if you need it.

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