Friday, 18 September 2015

A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Part 5

HAVE FUN


It seems like a silly thing to say, but you'd be surprised at the number of people that have a terrible experience and don't enjoy themselves.

Do what you want to do. If you want to go out partying every single night, go for it. Similarly, if you only want to go out a few times and stay in watching Netflix or playing Xbox, that's cool too. No-one is going to judge you if you decide that's how you're going to have fun!

Coming to Uni can be a stressful time, and it can be difficult to be away from home with so much going on around you with so many changes, and it's up to you how you want to deal with that. Don't let people pressure you into doing things you don't want to do - and remember - everyone is in a similar position, so just enjoy yourself! Coming to Greenwich was the best choice I ever made. It might not be perfect straight away, but just take it as it comes and it will all fall into place sooner or later.

ADVICE FOR STUDENTS FROM STUDENTS


All of us in the office are either current or past students, so most of us have experienced Freshers fortnight! I asked people if they could pass on one piece of advice to incoming student, what would it be? Here are a few of the responses...

  • Avery Hill is not that far from Greenwich, and it's worth the journey because it's where all the good stuff happens!
  • Look on the Social Media pages so you don't miss out on stuff.
  • Don't get so drunk that you embarrass yourself in front of the people you're going to live with for the next year of your life.
  • Go to Freshers fair and get as much free stuff as humanly possible.
  • Citymapper is the best app you will ever get.
  • Buy water and fruit, stave off the Freshers flu!
  • Go to Sparrows.
  • Don't be afraid to ask people on your course/people from your flat to go to Freshers fairs with you. It's less daunting to join sports and societies when you're with other people!
  • Bring plenty of paracetamol.
  • Register with a doctor ASAP (Avery Hill has an on campus doctor) because going to a walk in centre is hell.

Everything in this blog series has come from mine, friends' and colleagues' experiences at Greenwich, so trust us when we say we know what we're talking about! If there's anything else you want to know that I haven't covered (Although at almost 4,000 words I don't think there's much left to talk about) have a look at the FAQs on the SU site for more advice! Or post on the Freshers Facebook group and there will be plenty of us with an answer to your questions.

But don't worry, if this year doesn't go your way, you still have another two years... Good Luck!

**Editors Note: A big thank you to Liz for her freshers advice. If you have any questions for Liz (or the rest of the clearing team), leave us your comments!**

Liz

A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Guest Blogger


Liz is a new blogger being featured here, who works in the Clearing team. She's here all week with hints and tips for getting the most out of your first few weeks at university.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Part 4


PACING YOURSELF


You know those people you see on your way out getting carried home by their friends before 12am throwing up all over the floor looking like something out of 'Shaun of the Dead'? Don't let that be you.

It's tempting to try and keep up a drinking pace with your friends, but everyone processes alcohol differently, i.e., males tend to be able to drink more than females and Northerners can drink more than Southerners (I joke, but it's true really). If you start to feel sick, STOP!

If you need a glass of water, all the SU bars give it out for free. If you don't want that shot of Sambuca someone is trying to make you drink, if you can't handle it, don't have it.

There's nothing worse than going too hard on your first nights out and ruining yours, and your friend's, evening because you haven't made the wisest decision. Sure, it's happened to the best of us, but learn from your (and our) mistakes! Don't do that to yourself.

You might also end up getting kicked out of a club or bar and that's no fun at all, and you’re also putting yourself in danger by being on your own, especially in central London. If you do end up going home alone, make sure someone knows and let them know when you get back.

Our SU bars have student stewards, who are there to keep you safe. They’ve seen it all, so don’t be ashamed if you need to ask them for help if you’re having a bad night. The same with any of the student staff, we’re all here to make sure you have a good university experience.

Go steady. Or like my flatmate in first year, you'll forever be known as the guy who threw up chicken nuggets out of his nose...

**Editors Note: Many students like to socialise, and drinking can sometimes be part of that. Although we don't actively encourage our students to consume alcohol, we think it's important that they understand the potential consequences (we're definitely looking at you, Chicken Nugget guy) and how to look after themselves if they choose to do so.**

MONEY


Seeing your student loan come in to your bank account is a wonderful feeling. I've never felt so rich in my entire life, and the urge to go and buy everything in Westfields is overwhelming.

Every year Freshers will make the same mistakes over and over again, they see all this money and rather than budgeting, they blow it all at once. I had a friend in first year who bought a brand new iPhone on a ridiculous contract, and spent the rest of term eating Kellogg's Cornflakes. True story.

We're all human, and like anyone would, when you get a large lump sum of money appear in your account, you feel like it's going to last forever and you keep on spending until one day you realise there's only £50 in your account to last you eight weeks.

Loan drop is just in time for Freshers, and you will end up going out and buying Jagerbombs for all your friends, then when you're poor, you'll spend the rest of the term begging for them to buy you drinks in return.

My advice is to budget. But be realistic; during Freshers you'll spend more than usual, or around Halloween, for example. What you need to do, is set a rough amount of how much you think you'll spend per week and try to stick to it as closely as you can. Take into account things like, phone bills, clothes shopping, travel, takeaways etc. Although travel in London is relatively cheap, you'll do a lot more of it and it all adds up, so try and be smart about it. One of the best things I did, was getting a railcard, and combining it on to my Oyster card. Although there are Student Oyster cards available, they only save 1/3rd on daily Travelcards, and you have to pay full price for a single/return journey.

When you're travelling round London for nights out it all adds up. For example, Student Oyster journey: £1.50. Railcard journey: £1.00. Combining your Railcard to your Oyster will mean that you save 1/3rd on ALL your journeys where you use it (as well as Travelcards), this includes buses and national rail trains (within zones 1-9), all you have to do is go to any ticket office, fill out a form, show them your card, and it's done there and then.

You may also need to cut down on luxuries here and there to make your money last, but that's not the end of the world (it just makes it all the better when you go home to your parents' and get to use the four-ply quilted loo roll rather than Tesco's own). But don't worry, no one is expecting you to live off ASDA Smart Price Baked Beans, but if you don't budget, that could happen. It may mean you have to go that little bit further to go food shopping; for anyone living in any of the Greenwich accommodations - I'd advise you to hop on the DLR and go to Crossharbour to go to the big ASDA there. Or, get the 177 or 180 buses and go to the ASDA or Sainsburys in Charlton. It's far cheaper than going to the big Waitrose or M&S and worth the journey.

McMillan Students - Although Sainsbury's is just downstairs, the Tesco over the road is bigger, cheaper and no-one cares if you’re too hungover to get changed out of your onesie. For more information about saving money as a student, there is an article which has hit the nail on the head, and I would strongly advise giving it a read here!

Liz

A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Guest Blogger


Liz is a new blogger being featured here, who works in the Clearing team. She's here all week with hints and tips for getting the most out of your first few weeks at university.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Part 3

FRESHERS BALL




The Freshers Ball is being held at the infamous Ministry of Sound in Elephant and Castle on 5th October. It's basically a night put on by the SU which marks the end of Freshers Fortnight, and it's all students from Greenwich in one of the biggest clubs in London, with a big act. In my first year it was S Club 7, and I've never seen so many girls (and guys!!) screaming the words to 'Reach'. Last year the Ball was at Studio 338, and we had Eton Messy. This year's act hasn't yet been announced but if the past years are anything to go by it should be good!

Definitely get a ticket now before they sell out; they're £15 but it's worth it for the night, the drinks should be cheap and it's on until 3am. This is one Freshers event you shouldn't miss out on!

A lot of people are wondering what to wear; the name 'Ball' is a little misleading. With it being at Ministry, ladies, you don't really want to be in a long dress as it will drag on the floor and get sticky and ruined. I would go for a shorter dress or skirt, not super fancy like what you'd wear to prom, but still quite nice! Shoes-wise, it's totally up to you if you want to go for heels or not. Lads, shirt and jeans are a good option! For outfit inspiration ideas have a look at the photos from a couple of years ago here.

Travelling to and from Ministry is relatively easy. From Greenwich the fastest route is to jump on the 188 and get off at Elephant and Castle. It's tempting to take the tube, but the bus is the fastest option! It's 24 hours so that's your best route back as well, as it doesn't take long at all.

For Avery Hill, it's a little longer, 286 to Blackheath and then 53 to Elephant and Castle. 

Something that will help you with London travel a LOT is the Citymapper app. It gives you live bus times, your closest bus stop and the best route back, including the one with the least changes or ones that are rain safe. I swear by this app and the best part is, it's totally free!

To get back late at night my suggestion is UBER. If you haven't used this yet, it will be a godsend. It's far cheaper than black cabs, and all you need is to download the app. There's hundreds of discount codes out there for first-time users (TIP: This one will give you £10 off your first ride - i9y44**) If you do have to wait a while, there's a fried chicken shop just opposite the bus stop which proves very popular to satisfy those all-important 3am cheesy chips cravings.


FRESHERS FLU



This is a real thing. It hurts. Your whole flat will get it. You will get it. What is Freshers flu I hear you ask? Well. Freshers flu is what happens after you put your body through two weeks of various nights out, countless Domino’s, living in a confined space with 6 other people, lecture hall air con and lack of sleep.

It sounds like I'm being dramatic, but a lot of people do think they're on their deathbeds when in reality they are just hungover with the sniffles and end up going home to their mum for a week... So the trick is to be prepared. Make sure you’re eating enough fruit and veg, you don't need to be Jamie Oliver to chuck a few frozen peas in a pan, or have some banana with your Weetabix (TIP: If all else fails, Vodka and Orange Juice is an excellent source of Vitamin C).

Try and get enough sleep so you're: A) Not missing your very first lectures and; B) Not walking round like a zombie. You'll soon master the art of napping and be very grateful for your blackout curtains!

If you really can't hack it, take a night off, get a Lemsip and snuggle up in bed and watch some rubbish TV, and get an early night. It will help, and you'll feel a million times better.

**Correct at time of writing

Liz

A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Guest Blogger


Liz is a new blogger being featured here, who works in the Clearing team. She's here all week with hints and tips for getting the most out of your first few weeks at university.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Part 2

FAIRS


Freshers fair is absolutely fantastic. Even if you don't want to join any sports teams or societies, it's worth it purely for all the free stuff you can get.

There are fairs held across all three campuses, and each one is filled with various stands giving out different stuff. There are chances to win free Nandos, iPads, vouchers etc. Various companies come along holding exclusive offers and deals, with no strings attached, purely for the fairs. I always end up coming back with several canvas bags full of sweets and vouchers and information leaflets. I'm pretty sure they were giving out free sombreros last year, which is useful as it's always handy to have fancy dress during Freshers!

It's also your chance to find out more information and sign up to the sports teams and societies. You may have seen a few posted on the Freshers groups, but this will be your chance to ask more questions and find out about meet and greets, or a little more about what they do. DON'T BE SHY. 

Every single person on those stalls was in the same position you were, they aren't horrible or scary people, and they want you to come and talk to them. There really is no such thing as a stupid question, and even if you know nothing about the sport or society in general, this will be your chance!

Anyone can join any of the societies and sports teams, you don't have to have ever played the sport before to give it a go, and same with the societies. For a full list of the groups at the university, have a look at this page here. If you can't find what you’re looking for, the SU always welcome new start-ups! For anyone in the Business School, joining a society and a sports team gets you points for your employability passport, so you lot should be first on the bandwagon.

One of the best decisions I made at Uni was going up to talk to a sports team, to find out a little bit more and go to a taster session. Generally, people tend to meet their closest friends through sports teams and societies rather than their course. This was certainly the case for me, which leads us on to the next section...


MAKING FRIENDS


This is a big worry for a lot of people coming to Uni, especially for those of you commuting in. There are a lot of posts on the Freshers pages saying "Is anyone studying _______? Worried I'm the only one! :/ "You will NOT EVER be the only one on a course. There are over 23,000 students at Greenwich, and every single one of those has been in your position, where they are a new student and don't know anyone. Even if you haven't met anyone else yet from your course, I guarantee that when you walk in to your first lecture, you won't be the only one there. Just get talking to people, a smile is contagious, and saying “Hi” and introducing yourself might make that other person's day, as they are probably just as nervous as you are! I made friends with people on my course by being put into ice-breaker groups on our first tutorial and we got on so well we ended up doing a group project together and getting a 1st!

For people moving into halls, it is extra scary, because you have to live with these people from September to June. But you have to think of it like this, and I keep saying it because it's true; everyone is in the same boat. Of course it's nerve-wracking, and of course you'll have those worries - 'What if no-one likes me?', 'What if I have horrible flatmates?', 'What if they're really messy?' - They are all totally natural and after a few days and a couple of rounds of 'I have never...' it will all go away. If there are really any burning issues, you can always talk to your RA about it.

As a general piece of advice, just talk to people; the flat next door, the flat upstairs and downstairs, the flat you share your balcony with, even people you meet in the laundry room. Facebook is a wonderful thing, so use that too to stay in the loop!

Liz

A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Guest Blogger


Liz is a new blogger being featured here, who works in the Clearing team. She's here all week with hints and tips for getting the most out of your first few weeks at university.

Monday, 14 September 2015

A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Part 1


Joining a sports team, chicken nuggets, free stuff, Freshers' flu and lots of naps: how to survive - and embrace - two weeks of Freshers. Most of you coming to Uni will have no idea what to expect during Freshers.

When I first arrived as an innocent 18-year old, I had no idea what to expect for Freshers week, and was completely clueless in how it all worked. My first night after moving in was spent in my room eating a McFlurry, desperately trying to get my Internet to work. Two years, and two Freshers Fortnights later, I now feel as though I’ve had enough experience to pass on a little wisdom to anyone who is in the same position I was...


SUUG Freshers 2015


Many of you will have had an envelope in the post with a load of leaflets and information booklets from the Students' Union about Freshers 2015 and what sort of stuff is going on. If you haven’t, all the information about what’s happening can be found here. 

This website has everything you need to know (Including campus maps) and it will be your ultimate bible. (TIP: To find specific information, Google the detail e.g., 'Football Team SUUG' and it will be in the top links, or, use the search bar on the website.) 

The SU work really hard to put together an events timetable, and whether you're living in halls in Avery or Greenwich, or even if you’re staying at home and commuting in, there's something there for everyone! 

As well as all the nights out at the Students’ Unions (Bar Latitude and Sparrows) - there are various other events which are really worth going to! Speaking from experience, the Harry Potter Studios Tour is amazing. Don’t worry about making friends before you book your tickets for events, they will all be gone by the time you get here otherwise! Plenty of other people will have booked tickets in advance on their own, and they'll all be in the same position as you, so don't let that stop you. You might not get a chance to go to something like this again, especially at such a reasonable price. All of these events will be advertised on the OFFICIAL Facebook page.

For more about specific events during Freshers and throughout the year, keep an eye on the SU website, Facebook, Twitter (@sugreenwich) and Instagram (@sugreenwich) so you don't miss out on anything and are up to date on all the news coming from the Students' Union!


BEWARE OF PROMOTERS


Like me, some of you will probably have received random friend requests on Facebook from accounts called things like 'Greenwich Fresher'. I imagine you will also be part of several different ‘University of Greenwich Freshers’ Facebook groups, or have been added to random events called a similar thing.

The majority of these are all marketing scams, and the pages are made by club promoters. As soon as there are enough group members, the pages are filled with posts from said accounts, and unwitting Freshers baited in by club companies with the lure of earning £1 per ticket trying to get you to go along to various club nights in Central London, all claiming to be the 'BIGGEST FRESHERS PARTY IN LONDON' and 'LIMITED TICKETS AVAILABLE GET THEM NOW AND DON'T MISS OUT' - you will see hundreds of these posts.

Once Freshers has passed this group becomes obsolete and is only used by people advertising said club nights, or things like Juice Plus, in a desperate attempt to earn a bit of money. For official UoG events, and a group that is used all year round, make sure you're a member of the official Freshers group.


Liz

A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Guest Blogger


Liz is a new blogger being featured here, who works in the Clearing team. She's here all week with hints and tips for getting the most out of your first few weeks at university.

Monday, 17 August 2015

So what’s next?

Lucy
Although results has now passed (congratulations to everyone who received their results) don’t start to panic!! Clearing is still open and we do still have programmes open. So if you are looking to come to the University of Greenwich, give us a call and we will help you out with making an application. We’re now back to normal opening hours (I’m grateful for no more early mornings) 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, and remember you can speak to us on LiveChat or by popping into our Enquiry Unit desk at the Maritime Greenwich campus.

What’s Now?

CONGRATULATIONS!! – If you have a place with us, well done! I hope that you all celebrated this massive achievement! Now you’ve got to next stage, panicking about what you need to do next.
In the next few weeks you’re going to receive a lot of information, don’t let it worry you. Most importantly make sure you’ve accepted our offer on UCAS Track, once this is done you are a confirmed student of the university.

Next you’re going to receive a welcome pack and information about registration. Registration doesn’t open until the end of August, so take your time and ensure you have everything ready. You will need to come into the university for part of your registration but for more details take a look at our website - http://www.gre.ac.uk/reg

I’ve had a lot of people asking where they can find timetables. Slow down…..they haven’t been confirmed yet. However you can guarantee that we will inform when they are available. I understand how eager you are to find out. You can also download the new Greenwich Mobile app where you'll be able to access your timetables in a phone friendly format when they have been published.

Finally

Last of all (now I’ve mentioned all the boring stuff) make the most out of your first few weeks of university. Meet as many new people as you can, join a society or get involved in events at the students union. Just have fun!!!! You’ll never get to experience your first weeks again so enjoy them and we look forward to seeing you in September.

Lucy :)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

RESULTS DAY IS FINALLY HERE!

Stacey
First of all, a huge congratulations to those of you that have received their results today! It is a huge achievement. Over the last month or so it’s been the build up to Results Day and now it’s finally here! Today our lines (and chat service) have been open from 7am this morning (Yup, THAT early!) until 8pm tonight. Feel free to call us at any point today if you want to put through a clearing application!

Some useful information for you:

  • If you want to find out more information about the university, you are welcome to come to our open day on Saturday (August 15th) from 10am to 3pm for an opportunity to talk with our academics and people from departments like student finance, student union and you can talk to our disability officers as well.
  • Our open day is across all three of our campus’ (Greenwich, Avery Hill and Medway).
  • You can view further information regarding our open days here: http://www.gre.ac.uk/opendays 

And of course some tips for Clearing and getting your results in general:

  • STAY CALM and DON’T PANIC – One of our colleagues will be on hand to help you with your application.
  • You can view all of the vacancies we offer here: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/clearing/applying/ug
  • If you want to make an application for a course with us, you must make sure that you aren’t holding an offer with any other universities.

Alternatives:

  • If you didn’t get the course you wanted, we offer tons of other courses which may be of interest to you. Foundation courses are a great way of getting a degree if you have achieved a lower amount of UCAS points than you thought you were going to get. You can view all of our Foundation courses here: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/courses/fd2 

If you are looking for a reason to come to the University of Greenwich, we offer amazing opportunities for our students! If you don’t believe me, you can view the blogs which our students write: http://www.suug.co.uk/aboutus/studentblogs/ and if you want to join a sports team or a society we offer tons! Again, you can view them on our student union website. Societies: http://www.suug.co.uk/societies/ - Sports Teams: http://www.suug.co.uk/sports/

So, please DON’T STRESS! Just remember that there are thousands of students in the same position as you so there is no need to be afraid! If you want to go to The University of Greenwich you can call us on 020 8331 9000 or you can chat to us online.

Good luck with your applications and hopefully we shall see you starting here at the university in September!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Are you ready?

Sade
Clearing is very much upon us with less than 24 hours away to A level results! For those of you that are nervous for results day I would urge you to keep calm and relax. My colleague Ann previously wrote that taking time to enjoy hobbies, socialising and enjoying the lovely UK weather we have recently been blessed with having is a good way of passing time before results day; I must say I agree with her.

Here are a few tips for to prepare you for clearing:

Do your research

If there is a course that you want to apply for, then it may be beneficial to also look for alternative courses that may also lead on to your chosen career path. Some Courses may be closed or unable to offer you a place based on your application. So it is always a good idea to be aware of other courses that may be of interest to you.
You can check clearing course place via http://clearing.telegraph.co.uk/
Or the universities clearing website http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/clearing.

Keep calm and remain focused

There will be those of you that are elated, happy, and ecstatic that you have achieved great results. However, there will also be those of you whom are disappointed, sad and tearful that have not done as well as anticipated. We all know emotions will be running high on results day. We have all been there: receiving bad news throwing ourselves into bed promising to never leave our rooms again as the world has ended!

  • Please note that there are chat and phone staff that are all current university of Greenwich students, that can relate to the frustration and upset that can be caused by results day.
  • Remember it is ok to be upset, cry but don’t be discouraged. Gather yourself and call us, we are happy to help.

Be prepared

Be ready with your UCAS ID number and be ready to confirm personal details. It is ok for parents to be there for moral support, whilst you are on the phone with us.  However, we are unable to give out details on applications to friends, parents, uncles, siblings etc. unless they are the nominated person listed on your UCAS application, we may ask to speak with you to confirm that this is ok.

Documentation

Once you have made a clearing application be mindful that we may send you a transcript request via email. Here we will ask you to submit certificates or/and transcripts papers to support your application. Please pay close attention to what is requested and which email to send your transcripts to. Mistakes may prolong the application process.

I would like to congratulate you on making it this far; well done the best is yet to come! :)

Sade.xx

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Packing

Carney
So, you’re coming to university. Great! But you’re worried about what to bring with you? Well, here are a few general tips and hints:

  • Aim to travel light. You're moving into a small room with very limited cupboard space - and you'll be moving out again in June. One large suitcase of clothes, a couple of boxes of other stuff and a bin liner of bedding is about the right level.
  • Don't splash out on expensive stuff. You'll find perfectly decent duvet covers, kettles and stationery at the likes of Ikea, Argos and the big supermarkets. Most stuff won't survive your first year so there's no point spending tons of cash on it.
  • Before you go out and buy anything, make sure you've checked what the uni will be providing. You don't want to turn up with a lot of stuff that's already been laid on.

You can see a full and extensive list of what to bring with you to university here on save the student: http://www.savethestudent.org/accommodation/what-to-take-to-university.html

But if you’re staying at home, then your life is somewhat easier! You don’t need to go out and buy a ridiculous amount of stuff to personalise your new flat. But then, you do have to consider expenses. Expenses such as travelling to and from university, bills and other expenses that might occur when living at home. You also have to be more willing to try and put yourself out there when living at home. You have to be careful not to become too complacent as you may miss out a lot!

Either way, regardless of whether you are living in halls or at home, stay calm, write up a list of everything you need to do and buy, that way you will be properly prepared for this new adventure in your life.

If you have any other questions or need help with anything at all, you can give us a call on 020 8331 9000 or use the Live Chat service on our website. Both services are staffed and operated by current students, who will be able to empathise with what you’re going through and help the best they can.

Good luck with your applications.

Carney

Monday, 10 August 2015

Distraction Technique

Ann
For many applicants to university, you will be waiting for results or a decision on your application. I thought that I would write a diary entry about things you can do to pass the time while you wait. 

I started by doing a survey about hobbies within the Clearing team. This revealed that we all have a really wide range of diverse interests, which was no surprise really. Our hobbies range from cricket to crochet, gardening to gaming and Pom dancing to paintball. 

Obviously, hobbies are a great way to pass time and have fun doing something that you love. They can also be a good way to make new friends when you first arrive at Uni. We have many clubs and societies across all three of our campuses. During your induction week, groups at our Freshers' Fair will be enthusiastically signing people up to join sports teams, interest groups and societies. 

The current categories for societies are:
Academic, Activities and Games, Campaigning Awareness & Support, Cultural, Religious & Beliefs and Music, Performance & Media

Information about all the societies and sports teams we run can be found at suug.co.uk/activities/ and gkunions.co.uk/activities/.

Alternatively, you can start your very own society. The first step is to find five other students that have the same interest, and follow the instructions on the Student Union website here suug.co.uk/activities/new/ and gkunions.co.uk/activities/execresources/.

So while you are waiting for those all-important results, why not pass the time by relaxing with your favourite hobby? If you find yourself with time on your hands, why not try practising cooking some meals before you come to Uni? I’ve included a recipe below from the BBC Good Food website for you to make your own Pot Noodle. It’s very easy and much tastier than any supermarket version.
 
The recipe is for Smoky Bacon Pot Noodle, but I have cooked this as a vegetarian meal, and substituted Quorn pieces for bacon. You can use any vegetables you have in the fridge if you don’t have the exact ingredients. 

You can find the recipe here: bit.ly/1lmT22Q

We would love to see photos of your prepared meals, so why not post them on our Twitter page using #UoGuniprep? We're @uniofgreenwich and you can find us here: twitter.com/uniofgreenwich

Bye for now and good luck with your results! 

Ann

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Accommodation - You can still apply!

Melissa
After all the initial excitement of applying and accepting your place at the University of Greenwich, you may also need to apply for accommodation.

At Greenwich, we have three campuses; Greenwich, Avery Hill and Medway, with accommodation at all 3.  There is also a great inter-campus bus service, which runs regularly, so you don’t need to worry if you are offered accommodation at a different campus – I lived at Avery Hill and studied at the Greenwich campus for the duration of my course.

There are many room types available including en-suite and shared facility rooms, as well as disabled access and studio apartments.

Although the initial deadline for accommodation applications has passed, if you accept a place through Clearing, you will still be able to make an application for accommodation, but it is recommended that you do this as soon as you have received your login details for our student portal (portal.gre.ac.uk).

Accommodation is not assigned on a first come, first served basis, but is subject to availability. The accommodation office will do all they can to provide you with a room in halls, or university approved accommodation, although they cannot guarantee you will get your first choice of campus, halls or room type.

For more information on each of the campuses, including a price list, facilities and more photos of the different room types, you can check out our clearing guide to accommodation here:

Good luck with your clearing applications and enjoy your experience at the University of Greenwich!
Lots of love,

Melissa

Xoxo
Left to right: an en-suite room at Cutty Sark halls, Avery Hill student village, and an en-suite bathroom at Avery Hill

Monday, 27 July 2015

It’s not all doom and gloom!

Aimee
Clearing is well underway and as the summer goes on we are receiving more and more clearing applications! 

We hear from so many of you each day, all with your different reasons for wanting to undertake a degree. The programmes that we offer here are so varied and diverse- and there are a number of different career pathways you can take as a University of Greenwich graduate. But what about pathways into higher education?

Young and mature students alike may experience difficulty during the application process if academic qualifications don’t meet the entry criteria. This can be disheartening- however, there are many options that can assist you on your journey into obtaining a degree.

Foundation Degree

More and more subject areas are now offering foundation degrees. Whilst the programmes are provided by the University of Greenwich, they are studied at our partner colleges. Foundation degrees often have a different entry criteria to the bachelor degrees, which is perfect for those who have been out of education for some time or have not achieved the grades that they were expecting. These programmes are studied for 2 years full time, and offer a recognised qualification in their own right. There is also the option to make a fast-track application to third-year entry degree programmes on successful completion of the foundation degree. This means that you would still have obtained a full bachelor’s degree within three years. For more details on how foundation degrees work, give us a ring on 020 8331 9000 or check out my colleague Manpreet’s blog from earlier this month!

HND and HNC

Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas are level 4 and 5 qualifications respectively. HNC’s are equivalent to the 1st year of a degree programme, and HND’s account for the 2nd year. Again, on successful completion of these programmes you can apply for either 2nd or 3rd year entry into a related programme- this is subject to academic approval. An advantage to HND’s and HNC’s again are that they tend to have a lower entry criteria- and are often cheaper to study!

Extended Degree

Extended Degrees offer an additional year to the normal 3 year full-time undergraduate degree. Extended degrees tend to have lower entry requirements, so you complete a foundation year as it were, which is referred to as ‘year 0’. What is handy is that you do not have to apply to continue into year 1- the only condition is that you have successfully completed all modules to progress into the next year of study.

A selection of foundation degrees, HND’s, HNC’s and extended degrees are available through clearing at the University of Greenwich. For more information or to apply, contact our clearing hotline on 020 8331 9000.

If none of these programmes suit you, do not despair! You may want to explore the idea of Access to Higher Education Diplomas. These programmes incorporate level 3 qualifications (equivalent to A-Levels or B-Techs), with level 2 qualifications (which for some programmes can be equivalent to your GCSEs in Maths and English). Always check with the university that your degree programme of interest accepts access courses prior to applying. They are usually studied for one year full time. Access courses are not offered at universities, however you may want to research into what courses are available at your local college.

Good luck with your applications!

Aimee

Friday, 24 July 2015

It's the little things

Kaya
Hi everyone. We are now a few weeks into clearing with results day creeping up on us quickly. Having been in the same positon as many of you waiting for my results a couple year back, I understand the stress and the excitement one goes through. This year is my second clearing so I can give you a heads up on what to expect over the next coming weeks.                                                 

We have hundreds and thousands of students contacting us during clearing, with various different questions and results. As much as all us staff can find clearing a little stressful, dealing with both happy and sad applicants, we all do enjoy it and gladly give our time to you and the university for the summer months.

There are a few things to remember that can make your application run a bit more smoothly when speaking with us:

  • Our team of operators is made up of students currently studying at University of Greenwich, so might have been through the process of clearing too. We do understand the pressure that you may be under and we’ll do our best to help you, so we appreciate it when you’re polite, even in the face of unexpected or undesired news.
  • Don’t ever give up on your ambitions to go to university and study your passion, even if we are not able to take your application (there are so many universities out there). We will always do our best to help you find other opportunities, so try to remain open to alternative routes to your goals.
  • Remember to have your personal ID ready, but do give your operator a chance to introduce themselves. It means that both you and your operator are ready, engaged in the call, and it’ll mean you’ll be less likely to need to repeat yourself.
  • No one can know everything, so whilst our operators are very knowledgeable, there is the odd occasion where we need to refer to someone else. We’ll always ask if we can put you on hold and we’ll let you know what’s going on if it takes longer than expected to resolve your query.
  • Last but not least, whilst we know it’s disappointing when you can’t be made an offer or you don’t meet your conditions, the rules apply to everyone. No amount of pleading, bribing or bargaining, will get us to bend the rules for an individual applicant. Our team work to an entry criteria that we are required to stick to and this means that we can’t make special exceptions. Even for offers involving cake.

Whilst this may seem a little harsh, I hope that it gives you a little insight into the clearing process from our point of view. We are here to help you and look forward to hearing from you. (:

Please call us on 020 8331 9000 or message us on chat at www.gre.ac.uk/clearing, if you have any enquiries or want to make an application.

Lastly, good luck! University is one of the best times of your life.

Kaya x

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Release Request Process

Poppy
Having gone through picking a university myself, I understand that it is a very important decision when choosing where you want to study for the next 3 years, minimum. So before you want to be released make sure this is really what you want to do, because at one point the University of Greenwich was where you wanted to go. Will you regret being released from us? You really do need to think carefully about this!

However, if you are 100% that you want to be released then you need to be aware of the conditions of release before requesting it.

  • Firstly you must be holding an Unconditional offer that has been Firmly Accepted (UFA)
  • If your offer is a Conditional/Firm (CF) unfortunately you will have to wait to be released until you have provided the University of Greenwich with the results of your conditions.

One thing that a lot of people are unaware of, but should be, is that by making a university your Unconditional/Firm you have now entered a contract with that university. So the release process may not be as easy as you think.

So if you have an offer that is Unconditional and has been Firmly Accepted with the University of Greenwich and you want to be released, the process is as follows:

·         You will need to fill out the online release request form at www.gre.ac.uk/releases
·         You will then receive an email saying that we have received your request, this does not mean that you have been released!
·         The next step is that you will have to wait for a member of the faculty to call you as they will need to discuss your reasons for wanting to be released
·         After the phone call the member of the faculty that you spoke to will confirm their decision with the Admissions team. If they agree to release you from the University of Greenwich, UCAS will then be notified.

There are a couple more things to be aware of when requesting to be released. It cannot be requested over the phone, or through an email or our live chat. If you do have any questions about it, you are more than welcome to contact us through these means, but we cannot release you this way. We also ask you to be patient throughout this process it does not happen straight away, it can take up to 3 working days. So we would like to ask that you wait to contact us if you don't hear from an academic immediately. If you haven't heard, we can check to make sure that your request has been received, however, we cannot speed up how quickly your request will be dealt with. We do understand that it can be a stressful time and will try to help as much as we can and will try to do it as quickly as possible.

Good luck with your applications!

Poppy J

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Application Process

Charlie
Hello all.

This is my first clearing, but I’ve already made a number of offers and taken many more applications, as well as dealing with the other queries which people have contacted us with.

I have had a number of callers asking me what they need to enter clearing as well as how the clearing process works.

The first thing which callers will need to inform us of is their UCAS ID number so we are able to find your information on the system. As well as this you are required to not be holding any offers or have been referred to an institution and to have completed fully all qualifications.

If an applicant meets this criteria and we still have places on the selected course our phone and chat operators will try to complete a clearing application for you. Once completed, the clearing application will be passed to the faculty for that course and then will be assessed by academics and admissions staff.

We will try our best to complete an application for you and we do advise you to stay positive about your application and to keep a track on your UCAS track. We also suggest that you create folders or labels for the email address that you included on your UCAS profile.


Good luck with your applications, and remember, keep calm and do your research.


Charlie

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Can I use Clearing?

Jack
Now we are in clearing, for you the applicants this is a time where you can still make applications to institutions if you meet certain conditions. For us the staff behind the computers and phones it means getting to talk to lots of applicants, via telephone, live chat and email, to help them apply and answering their application queries.

To be able to use Clearing, you do need to meet the following:
  • Not be holding any offers.
  • Not have any pending qualifications.
You might enter Clearing if you have applied for the first time after 30th June, did not accept any offers you were made, or did not receive any offers.

Some good tips for when applying: 
  • Make sure you have a UCAS I.D. and have it ready at hand when contacting the university.
  • You can not apply for the same course at an institution that you have already applied and been unsuccessful for.
  • Keep a pen and paper close at hand when contacting the university as we often give out email addresses or other details which are useful to yourself.
  • Stay positive. It can be a stressful time applying in Clearing so keeping a positive attitude can really help.


Monday, 20 July 2015

The Calm before the Storm

Nabil
Clearing has become more and more popular, yet there are still many enquirers who question what Clearing actually means. Clearing is how universities and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses. It's an ideal way for you to find another course.

Things you need to know about clearing 2015/2016:
  1. Clearing runs from 3 July to 21 October and is an opportunity for anyone who hasn’t been accepted by a university or college to find a place on another course.
  2. When you log in to Track, you’ll see if you’re in Clearing. In the ‘Next Steps’ section, there’ll be an option to ‘Add a Clearing choice.’

If you applied after 30 June, you’ll automatically be entered into Clearing.
  1. The first place to start is the UCAS search tool. When you select where you normally live along with ‘Clearing 2015’, you’ll be shown all the available courses. The Telegraph will also publish all Clearing vacancies on Thursday 13 August and Saturday 15 August.
  2. When you’ve found the course want to apply to, give the university a call to ask if they can consider you for a place. If they confirm that they’ll accept you, add the choice in Track in the ‘Your Choices’ section.
  3. If the Uni has offered you a place, they will update your status in Track to show you’ve been accepted. Once this has happened, your Confirmation letter will appear in Track within a week.

Last year, over 150,000 students were reported by UCAS to have entered Clearing after results day. You aren't alone in this process. We are currently in Early Clearing so our lines and chat service are quieter than they will be after results day - “The Calm before the Storm”.

Remember you don’t have anything to lose!

Call our Clearing Hotline on 020 8331 9000, or visit us online to chat to an advisor, where someone will be available to assist.

Good luck everyone!!!

Nabil

Friday, 17 July 2015

Foundation degrees in Clearing

Manpreet
We are currently accepting applications for foundation degrees. A full list of our vacancies is www.gre.ac.uk/clearing.
available at

You may be thinking what the difference between a foundation degree and an undergraduate degree is, I think the two main differences are:
  1. The fees you have to pay for the 2015/16 academic year are £9000 however for a foundation degree it is £6000, so this means you are saving £6000 over the two years.  
  2. Studying at one of our partner colleges will give you extra support and thus a greater chance of succeeding, that’s why if you have lower UCAS points, this might be a good option for you.   
What happens after you have finished the foundation degree?

You will be able to apply through our fast track admissions, simply put this means you will be able to apply for third year entry to our undergraduate programmes. An example of this would be if you studied FdSc Computing at Bexley College, you could make a Fast Track application to our third year entry BSc Computing. For more information about how Fast Track works, so you can see if it's the right option for you, you can visit www.gre.ac.uk/fasttrack.

Don’t think that foundation degrees are for people who are not ‘smart’, this is not the case at all. We will be happy to discuss in more detail about the courses please call 0208 331 9000 for more information, or chat with us online at www.gre.ac.uk/clearing.

Good luck with your applications!

Manpreet :)

Thursday, 16 July 2015

What Clearing isn't

Lucy
Hi guys!!

So we’re now getting into the flow of clearing and the applications are coming in. I’ve now made my first offer and taken plenty of other applications. Remember though, you can contact us with any queries still (it doesn’t have to be about clearing).

I’ve always found that everyone thinks clearing is only for those of us that didn’t quite get the grades we were expecting. THIS ISN’T TRUE!! In the Enquiry Unit we take loads of applications from people who have done better than they expected, as well as those who have been out of education for a while and have recently decided they want to come to university.

Remember we still have plenty of courses available and if you fall into any of these groups why not give us a call?

The University of Greenwich offers a wide range of courses as well as amazing opportunities outside of the course. As I’ve just graduated I can say that these past 3 years have been an amazing experience and I would recommend University of Greenwich to everyone! And yes I know it sounds clich├ęd but I have definitely met some of the greatest people here and some friends for life.

We’re open 9-5 Mon-Fri, and you can either call us on 020 8331 9000, speak to one of us on LiveChat (http://www.gre.ac.uk/clearing) or email us at clearing@gre.ac.uk.

And finally good luck to all of you who are still waiting for your results!

Look forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing some of you in September!

Lucy x

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Preparation

Carney
Hi guys! My name is Carney and I am one of the Senior Clearing Assistants in the Clearing team

Working Clearing at the University of Greenwich is hard, and long work, however it is good fun. Sometimes someone may call and be unhappy with a certain situation and although it may not be the operators fault, sometimes they just need to let out their frustrations. While those calls can be a bit disheartening, we often receive a call where the person is far happier. The little things we do, by simply doing our job (yet still going above and beyond) can make an applicant very happy. Tears of joy are actually quite common.

Working clearing is rewarding, because you get to work with a great team of people towards the same goal, helping applicants. Although I didn't apply through Clearing, my colleagues and I know that for others, this is a very important time in the progression of their education. To that end, my advice would be for all those in Clearing, be prepared!

Think long and hard about what you want to do and where you want to go. After all it is your choice, you are the one who will be repay the student loan. Once you have made a long and considered decision, contact the university you wish to apply to. But before you do contact them, make sure you are prepared!
  • Make sure you are actually in clearing, i.e. not holding offers with any other university.
  • You know what course you want to study
  • You know what your grades are.
  • Also, that you have your UCAS details ready to give over.
All of this will help you in your application.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The only stupid questions are the ones you don’t ask. Ask whoever you’re speaking to what’s on your mind and I am sure they will do their best to help. You can email us, phone us or speak to us on Livechat at www.gre.ac.uk/clearing.

Good luck in clearing friends!

Carney

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

How to get the best out of Clearing

Laura
We are now a few weeks into clearing and I’m sure many of you are eagerly awaiting your exam results and I wish you all the best of luck! If you feel as if you may not have done as well as you thought you would, or maybe even you’ve done better than you expected, you may find yourself in clearing this summer. Choosing the right University and programme for you is very important, so I am here to give you some advice on how to get the best out of Clearing.

  1. It is important to have all of your details and information to hand, especially your UCAS ID.
  2. Find a quiet place to make your phone calls and make notes throughout the call.
  3. Research the University and the programme.
    • You are investing 3 years of your time and money, make sure it is the right University for you!
    • Look at the history of the University and the surrounding areas. 
    • Read the student statistics for the programme.
    • Are there good job prospects after you have graduated? 
  4. The clearing staff are here to help you, ask questions! You could ask about:
    • Accommodation.
    • Bursaries.
    • The Student Union.
    • Does the University have student blogs? If so, read them.
  5. Keep organised, but do not panic!
    • Keep an eye on your emails, including your junk mail.
    • Meet the deadlines for accepting any offers.
  6. If you can, come and look at the University. As well as getting the opportunity to look at the University that you will be attending, you may also have the chance to talk to academics and students to get more a feel for the programme. 

I hope that this advice is helpful and I wish you all the best with your University applications!

If you have any questions regarding the clearing process or the University of Greenwich itself then please give the Enquiry Unit a call on: 020 8331 9000, or come and chat with us on LiveChat here: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/clearing