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‘I only see someone if I do my laundry’: students stuck...

Every year Msue Chiponda, an international student, joins her extended family at a house they rent by Lake Malawi to celebrate Christmas together. But, thanks to the pandemic, she won’t be going this year. Instead, she is facing Christmas alone in her studio bedroom at Nottingham University.Across the UK, mass testing is under way at…

‘Ketamine is big here’: why Bristol University is testing drugs for...

When Rahim*, a first-year university student, went to a festival last year, his friends bought some MDMA from a dealer they met at a party. He was apprehensive, since he usually only buys off contacts he trusts not to cut their substances with unwanted chemicals. So when his group stumbled across a harm reduction service,…

What’s in the essential kitchen toolkit? | Kitchen aide

Sending my daughter off to university got me thinking about essential kitchen kit. What is it? Emma, London N4 The short answer, says perfectionist Felicity Cloake, is not very much: “Start with the basics, see what you actually cook and equip accordingly.” Topping Cloake’s “basics” list is a frying pan, which, of course, you can…

Sorry, freshers: that wild week you were promised will be more...

My first party at university was a cheese and port party hosted by our college chaplain. It was 2008, and I was both smart and lucky enough to be at Cambridge. I have to be clear that neither “cheese”, “port” nor “college chaplain” are street names for anything. It was, very literally, a party of…

Student finance: everything you need to know about managing your money

Is it too late to apply for student finance? No – but you’d better get a move on! You can apply for student finance up to nine months after you start your course but your application could take up to six weeks to process. How will I receive my student loan? Your maintenance loan is…

‘You won’t be left on your own’: expert tips for freshers...

For Christian Jones, who has just finished a master’s in broadcast journalism at City University of London, the rapid shift to online learning due to Covid-19 came as a bit of a shock. “I spent the first week not setting alarms,” he says. “It’s easy to end up going to bed late and waking up…

Freshers checklist: what to take to university – and what to leave behind

When Sarah Abe, 21, who studied criminology at the University of Southampton, first moved into student halls, she was so excited she forgot her laptop. So at the start of the term, whenever Abe went to classes and everyone took out theirs, she was stuck taking notes on paper. “I’d remembered all my handbags,” she…

‘Don’t buy grated cheese’: student cooking tips by top chefs

‘First, get a handful of store cupboard ingredients’ Ben Lebus is the founder of MOB Kitchen, the bestselling book and online cooking platform which helps students prepare quality meals on a budget. My dad had an Italian restaurant so I grew up around food and cooking, but when I got to university I quickly saw…

How to ace your uni wardrobe: ‘It’s way more casual than...

When student vlogger Ehis Ilozobhie went through his closet before starting his first term at King’s College London, he wanted to take everything. “I vividly remember my dad telling me: ‘Oh you’re not going to need all this,’” he says. Despite that long-suffering parental sigh, Ilozobhie packed all his kicks, his clothes and four different…

Staycations or charity work? Ideas for a Covid gap year

Coronavirus has put those choosing between university and a gap year in a real quandary. Take a place at uni at a time of unprecedented disruption to the university experience? Or defer and grapple with a situation in which every aspect of a typical gap year – working, volunteering, travelling – has changed completely? One…

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