Top tips for new and returning students

Settling into a new life at University can be daunting. Whether you’re a new or returning student, these top tips from our Student Reps will help you make the most of your time here.

Save the Toolkit to your bookmarks!

The Creative Arts Toolkit (what you’re reading right now) should provide you with the basics you need to make the most of your University experience. Save the site to your bookmarks and add it to your home screen on your smartphone. If you ever get stuck, type a keyword into the search bar. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact the Student Office.

Download Herts Mobile

Herts Mobile is the University’s app for iOS and Android. In addition to comprehensive University-level information, it has a brilliant wayfinding tool. Just type in the room number, and it’ll give you the quickest route there!

Read your module guides (and don’t trust word of mouth!)

Module guides are the definitive resource for information about your current studies, including submission dates. Don’t rely on word of mouth for details about hand-in – you’ll find confirmed information in the module guides.

Check StudyNet everyday

You should check StudyNet ideally once in the morning and once in the evening. All the news and resources for your modules are posted here, and it’s a great resource for everything that is happening in the University.

Understanding assessment

Before you begin a new module, it’s essential to know how your tutors will grade your work, and more importantly suss out what they will be looking for. This is all explained in your Module Guides (usually found in the ‘Module Information’ section on StudyNet) so take 5 minutes and give them a read.

Know your tutors working hours and availability

Check your Module Guides for each tutor’s contactable hours. From time-to-time you might find yourself pulling all-nighters to get those big projects in. Our tutors are here for us as much as possible, but don’t forget they have their own lives to lead, and unfortunately can’t be there for you at all times of the day. Some of our tutors might be Visiting Lecturers who work with us for a set number of days a week and, again, they’ll get back to you as soon they can.

Check-in everyday

Don’t forget to swipe your card on the check-in readers to register your attendance each time you’re in. If you don’t, your grades and student loan might be affected.

Be prepared!

Be prompt to classes and know where you are going. If you can’t find a room, type its number in the search box on the Toolkit, or just ask someone.

Join us online!

You’ll find all the latest news from across the School of Creative Arts on Facebook and Twitter.

Sign up to CareerHub

CareerHub is the University’s portal for jobs, internships and work experience opportunities. Sign up using your Herts login for the latest vacancies based on your interests, or find information on upcoming careers workshops, employers’ presentations and careers fairs.

Interested in working to support your studies?

If you want a bit of extra cash to help you out whilst you’re studying, the University and Students’ Union offer paid part-time and casual jobs throughout the year. If you’d like to become a Student Ambassador, a representative at events for the School and University, or maybe just help us out at busy times of the year, email ambassadors@herts.ac.uk. If becoming a Student Ambassador doesn’t take your fancy, why not contact the Student’s Union? They have a selection of jobs on offer, including work for our venues such as the EleHouse and Forum and other jobs in the local area. For more information, take a look at the Student’s Union website.

Don’t be afraid to talk to people!

Introduce yourself, even if they are not on your course – chances are they will want to make friends as much as you do. Be brave and get out of your comfort zone.

Get involved!

There’s always something going on here at Herts! Attend our social events and talks, look out for our Headlines newspapers, listen to Crush Radio, follow Union TV, join Students’ Union societies, get involved in RAG – the list is endless! Immerse yourself in Student life for the ultimate experience. Trying new things is what University is all about.

Get out and about!

Explore your surroundings and find out what the School of Creative Arts and wider University have to offer. Check out the Sports Village, the Forum, the Students’ Union and the UHArts events guide.

Be moneywise!

You might find that fending for yourself can be expensive. Make the most of your loan and be wise about how you spend your pennies. You may have to sacrifice a little beer money to ensure you always have your essentials. If you’re having trouble with your finances, visit Ask Herts or go to the Student Centre in the Hutton Hub for advice.

Don’t miss anything!

Although skipping class can sometimes feel like the right choice after a heavy night out at the Forum, sadly you will only get behind by not attending. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Brave those alco-plops and make it in to class! It’s important you have fun in first year, but it’s important to find the right balance of work and play. Your first year, if used wisely, could set you streets ahead for the future.

International Students

If you’re joining us from overseas, The Student Centre (located in the Hutton Hub, close to the Forum Hertfordshire) can help you with any Visa troubles or other issues you may face. They’re here to help! Click here for more information on support for international students.

Hatfield’s great, and…

We’re only 25 minutes from London – make the most of it! Getting yourself a Railcard is the cheapest way to travel into town. Tickets and travelcards will be much more affordable, especially on weekends.

Think entrepreneurial

Be proactive and pursue your own projects. The University is here to help you realise your plans and aspirations. Tell your tutors about any self-initiated work (they can help you manage your workload) and make the most of the Careers, Employment and Enterprise Service.

Keep your print account topped up

The University operates a credit system for desktop printing. Sort your print credits out as soon as you arrive. You don’t want to be caught short when you’ve got a big assignment due in. Sort yourself out early so you are ready to go!

Check out The Art Shop

Peruse The Art Shop when you can, there’s always cool and interesting stuff coming in. Plus it’s always important to be prepared. Prices are very reasonable compared to other retailers, so make the most of this great resource!

Let us know if you’re unwell

If you’re feeling unwell or can’t attend class, let your tutor or Student Administrator know. They will ensure sick days don’t go down as unexplained absences (which can affect your grades and student loan). You can find the details of your Student Administrator here.

Stay contactable

Remember to let the Uni know if you change your contact details. It’s important they have your correct email, phone number and postal address (both home and term-time). You can check and update these here.

Put your jacket on!

You’re going to meet a lot of new people during your time at Herts, and some of them might become more than just friends. It’s always best to be prepared, so the Students’ Union, Medical Centre and the Advice & Support Centre offer free condoms. Don’t be shy, just pocket a couple when you’re next passing. You can find more information on sexual health for students here.

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