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Students who commute

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Published: November 12, 2019

The university recognises that the experience of students who commute is in some respects, very different from the traditional students living in accommodation.

Commuter student' is a term that might be unfamiliar to some, but it is self-explanatory. If you travel to the University of Sunderland instead of living in accommodation, you are a student who commutes!

The stereotypical University of Sunderland student is no longer eighteen years old, but more likely to be mature, have a part-time or even full-time job, and have a family. The term ‘student’ has shifted, and so too has the diversity on campus as a result.

Different pressures for comumuter students are evident and the university wishes to provide as much support as possible. In this blog, we’ll highlight a number of useful services and information you may be unaware of to ensure your time at university is as inclusive and stress free as possible.


Overnight accommodation

Designed for commuter students facing late nights and early mornings, this space offers cheap overnight stays in the university’s accommodation.

Whether you're off on a night out or just want to get an early start, we’ve got your back!

To book a stay all you need to do is email accommodation@sunderland.ac.uk  and state the date/s you require. Single nights will cost you £20 with multiple night stays priced at £15. Rooms are dependent on availability.


University showers

The gym showers located in Cityspace are free to use for anyone who requires their use. So, whether you sleep in and don’t have time, or you simply need to refresh after a long day, the facilities are yours to use when needed.



Free water fountains are located across the two campuses for you to refill your bottles. You can also access free boiling water from the catering outlets with a reusable cup/flask. 



Eating out can get costly, so we’ve recently provided microwaves located in the two libraries so you can bring in your own food to heat up. This is great for those long revision stints or when the outlets aren’t open during certain hours.


Student security

If you are studying late, the walk to the metro stop or carpark can often seem a little daunting, especially in the winter months. The university security team is therefore on hand should you require any assistance.

They can be contacted on 0191 515 2028 24/7 and this number can also be used should you wish to report anything.


Student buddy scheme

Despite there being many activities and events on campus, commuter students can often feel as though they are not fully integrated into university life often due to limited contact time on campus. Commuter students will often head back home after their lessons or need to attend outside commitments and as a result, it can sometimes be harder to make friends. The Student Union offer a great scheme which connects students together. They’ll look at your interests and area of study so they can match you up with a Buddy that can help you make the most of your experience here at Sunderland. You can register for an SU buddy here.


Useful contacts

The Gateway 0191 515 2222

Student Support Services 0191 515 2933

Library 0191 515 3691


For more information on the way the university can support students who commute, check out the Belonging Project here.



Topic: Advice and tips