UCL News


11 things to start your UCL journey

19 September 2016

Welcome to UCL, we are delighted that you've decided to study here with us.

1 newtoucl Whether you're just starting UCL or are a returning student, here are 11 tips that will help make your transition a little smoother.

1. First things first - enrolment

When you arrive at UCL one of your first and most important tasks is to enrol in person. Once you have enrolled, you will be able to access all the facilities and services that you are entitled to as a student at UCL.

2. Log in to Portico

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Portico is the UCL student information service and you need to login to check out your student details and your timetable. Through Portico, you can select modules, view exam timetables and results, pay fees online and re-enrol each year.

3. Look after your health

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Register with a GP (doctor) in the first few weeks of arriving at UCL. You may be interested in registering with the UCL Health Centre, also known as Ridgmount Practice, which is based on Ridgmount Street, close to Store Street. 

To register, you need to download and complete their form and then visit the UCL Health Centre in person.

You should also check that you have had the ACWY Meningitis vaccination.

4. Sort out your finances

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Open a student bank account. Most of the major UK banks offer student bank accounts with features designed for student life. Ensure that you compare what is available before choosing an account that is right for you.

If you are a non-UK resident, opening a student account in the UK can be time-consuming and difficult. Visit the International Student Support website for more information.

If you need guidance on managing your money, you can find more information at UCL Financial Advice and support.

5. Choose from more than 250 UCL clubs and societies

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Did you know that there are more than 250 clubs and societies here at UCL? From Amnesty International, aikido and drama to Dutch, writing and yoga, it is a great way to make friends and try something completely different.

Why not go along to the UCLU Welcome Fair, the two-day fresher extravaganza that kicks off on Saturday 1 October, so you can check out the clubs and societies in person? You can also see what it's all about in last year's Welcome Fair video.

6. Get your ticket to ride

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A Student Oyster card is a must for anyone studying in London. It will entitle you to 30% off the price of adult-rate travelcards and bus pass season tickets. You can also connect your Oyster card with your railcard (if you have one) for further discounts.

7. Maintaining a work-life balance

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Life as a UCL student can, at times, be stressful. Keeping up with the demands of study, work and the fast pace of living in London is challenging. With UCL's 10 Minute Mind programme, you can learn to manage your stress and be happier in only 10 short minutes a day.

As much as you might wish that a diet of takeaways and chocolate will somehow be the way to good health, the reality is that a regular exercise routine is a tried and tested path to a longer and healthier life. 

With that in mind, it's worth visiting the reopened Bloomsbury Fitness gym to check out the facilities and sort out your gym membership.

8. Kickstart your career

Five things you should know to stop you from procrastinating

If you intend to work while at UCL, you will need to apply for a National Insurance number. You can also call 0845 600 0643 to arrange an appointment with your local job centre.

If you would like to find a part-time job while at UCL and want the latest job opportunities straight into your inbox, why not sign up to our Jobshop mailing list for updates? Once a fortnight, UCLU will send you a roundup of the best jobs.

Make sure you also check out the UCL Careers Service for one-to-one guidance, skills training and job fairs.

9. Get to know UCL

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Explore the university campus - your new home for the foreseeable future. Download the UCL Go! app to access useful UCL and UCLU information via your mobile device.

10. Where those books at?

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Discover UCL's libraries where you'll find the books that you'll need for your subject, study spaces, as well as archives and exhibitions. UCL Library Services also provides access to a huge range of electronic resources to support you in your studies, research and teaching - so it's worth having a look at the e-resources available at UCL.

11. Sample some UCL culture

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Did you know that there are not one, not two, but three UCL museums? They include the UCL Grant Museum of Zoology, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and UCL Art Museum and are home to some of the most interesting and thought-provoking specimens on campus.