Applying to university can be quite daunting and there’s a few really important aspects to consider i.e.. what university? do you want to stay local or go further afield? accommodation etc. I hope you find my experience below of choosing a university based on what was important to me helpful.
When visiting ARU on the Open Day, I just knew this was a place I wanted to study for the next of couple of years. For me, the skill laboratories where I would train and practice as part of my learning is what won me over. I remember one of the tutors allowing us to palpate on a pregnant abdomen and see if we can hear the fetal heart with a pinnard. All the tutors during the Welcome Talk for the course were friendly and welcoming, and I felt ARU was my top choice for university.
One important factor is location, in particularly making an early decision about whether or not you want to stay at home or if you would like to move out into student accommodation. Some students prefer to stay at home or where they are currently living as this can be a cheaper way of living whilst studying. Others prefer to move out but not too far that they can easily travel home. Going to a university further away from home can give you a independence and gain experience of living on your own for a while (I promise you it’s not all that bad!).
Home sickness is quite common for students, even in the unlikely of people. Moving away from home is a big a step and you do miss the home comforts from time to time. I’d advise you to research into how easy it is to travel back and forth. Another tip is to look into railcards for students as you can get up to 1/3 of train fares which makes the expense of travelling home a little easier.
I previously lived on my own in Essex and didn’t want to go to a university that was too far as I don’t drive (sadly) so distance was a consideration for me.
Anglia Ruskin University Chelmsford campus ticked the box as originally I was going to commute to university and placement. At the last minute, not long before sending my application off, I changed my mind and decided to live on campus. I wanted to make the most of my university experience, and felt living on campus would give me the whole experience and the opportunity to meet loads of new people. But you can still have the university experience living at home too!
One thing I will recommend is viewing the student accommodation in person at an Open Day, as you will get a feel for the place and imagine yourself living there. ARU offers the chance to visit the accommodation flats on Open Days and campus tours, and I would definitely recommend putting your name down for a tour. Sometimes you have current students providing tours around the campus and accommodation who know what it’s like and will give you a good insight and tips.
Proximity of ARU accommodation is really close to the Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough campus so travelling into university from student accommodation shouldn’t be an issue as long as you set an alarm! All of the campuses are in the heart of their cities and surrounded by shops, restaurants, bars and good travel links into London
I recommend looking into the course you want to study and how the university offers this course. For midwifery, ARU provide 50% theory and 50% practice which works really well and you can learn a lot from both types of learning experiences.
Some courses in general offer placement opportunities as part of your course, whether for a short period, up to a year or even abroad!
On top of this, ARU have an Employment Bureau, who offer job opportunities to students to suit their timetable and schedules such as; working at events i.e., Open Days, Campus visits and External events. They also have an Ambassador Scheme as well where you work as part of a team to work with schools, colleges and other events through UCAS, to inspire up-coming students about ARU and student life.
There are also volunteering opportunities at ARU via the student union where you can choose to volunteer in a particular area of interest. So make the most of the opportunities that the university can offer you and choose what best suits you.
My advice would be to write down what is important to you and start your initial research based on this. It’s a good starting point and helps with what you’re looking for and how the universities meet these.