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Five ways university is different to school or college

When students begin life at university, it can often be an adjustment from what they are used to at school or college. As a parent or supporter, here's how you can help your student prepare for the transition to beginning life at Sunderland.

1. Living in a different place

The biggest difference for students is often that their university will be in a different place from their school or college. Many university students will move to a new part of the country and will be part of a much larger institution than they are used to.

It can be beneficial for students, with parents and supporters if they wish, to look at campus maps and attend a campus tour before they start so they are more familiar with their new environment.

An Open Day is a great place to attend a campus tour, as well as meet staff and students from a wider background than they may be used to which may also help them to adjust. We welcome parents and supporters accompanying students on campus at our Open Days.

2. More independence

Many students will experience a new sense of independence at university which will help them to build crucial life skills. Many students will be responsible for managing money, arranging university fees, attending lectures and completing work.

To prepare for this, it is important for parents and supporters to ensure students understand the importance of budgeting, as well as when and how to pay any tuition fees or bills. Sunderland offers students, parents and supporters’ financial and scholarship support information to help with university preparations.

3. Different teaching methods

Learning at university operates differently from school or college, having both lectures and seminars that students are expected to attend. As well as contact time, students will also have to conduct independent study.

To help students prepare, parents and supporters’ can research how the course will operate, and also how long students are expected to spend studying independently.

Sunderland also offers students the ability to develop their study skills to help with undertaking their university courses.

4. Managing deadlines

Students will be required to be organised to stay on top of deadlines, which can be overwhelming for some students.

You could help them by exploring options with them for setting their own reminders such as in a calendar, planner or another system.

5. Course content

University courses are often structured differently to school or college courses, with a  degree of progression as students continue through their University journey. Information about how a course operates, modules that may be offered on the course and further information can be found on the course page.

Sunderland also offers students foundation courses, which can help to bridge the gap between school or college and university.

Parents and supporters can provide help by providing students with their initial research and choosing a pathway to university that works best for them.

At Sunderland, we want to make sure our students are supported from school and college to when they join us on campus.