Adapting to online learning will undoubtedly be a daunting prospect, especially if you are a new student. This blog offers some guidance on how you can get the most out of your remote learning experience, and how to stay connected to UCL throughout the year.
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Accessing learning material from home
Despite major changes to how students will learn this year, your experience at UCL and the quality of education will not be compromised. The vast majority of learning material from libraries will be accessible digitally via UCL Explore, which will support your independent pre-reading and research development, and will be available from the start of your course.
Finding the work-life divide
Because the vast majority of your learning will take place online, you will be spending much more time either at home or in student accommodation. This means that finding a balance between ‘work’ and ‘life’ may be more difficult than if you were travelling to campus every day. Having a designated space for learning and studying in your home, whether this be a specific room or certain area in your bedroom, will help you separate your study-brain from your relaxation-brain. Additionally, organising your day by setting aside specific hours for independent study aside from structured teaching will ensure you’re spending enough time on your studies whilst also allowing yourself the time to relax and socialise.
It is important to remain connected with the student community when studying at UCL to combat loneliness and isolation, especially because COVID-19 means in-person teaching will be significantly reduced. One way to stay connected to other students is through societies and clubs. Committee members of all societies are working hard to modify their normal activities to suit virtual platforms and to ensure members have access to as many opportunities as possible.
The virtual Fresher’s Fair will showcase all the societies and will give you a good idea of what is on offer, whether you want to try something new or rekindle an old hobby. Many societies have a Facebook/Instagram presence and will be showcasing what events/socials they’re offering during the term. Get involved early so you can begin to fill your virtual social agenda and get excited about coming to UCL!
The Students’ Union will also be running many online activities, such as yoga classes, guest speaker events and virtual escape room challenges, and the Accommodation Team are hosting virtual events for students in halls of residence. This will help you meet and get to know your hall mates and other new students online.
There are many services in place to support you as you become a student at UCL, which can be accessed remotely. The Student Support and Wellbeing teams are providing online support services, including disability and mental health support, and phone/online counselling. Furthermore, the Student Enquiries Centre team is available to answer any questions on all the aspects of student life. Reach out for help if you feel as though you need it.