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How Can You Prepare For University?

Updated: Jan 26

A student carrying research files wearing a yellow jacket

If you are starting to prepare for university or, if you're a parent, helping your high school graduate prepare for college, this is probably the most exciting and nerve-wracking experience for you!

As you enter this new chapter in your life, it’s important to make sure you are well prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead when moving to university.

If you have a career choice in mind, it can be useful to work backwards to choose the right university and course that would suit both the career aspirations and academic ability. Above all, researching the right institution and course is key to effective preparation for university.

Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Prepare for University

FromHighSchooltoUni has prepared for you a step-by-step guide to sending your student off to university. This is your practical handholding guide to move in to university well-organised and hopefully stress-free!

But let's first start with the steps to prepare for your new academic journey at university.

Step 1

Research and Prepare for the Right University For You

The first step to prepare for university is to research the different institutions and courses, according to your interests, NOT rely on your knowledge of the institution's academic reputation or ranking.

The most important factors to consider are the following:

  • Location - distance from nearby airport / train / bus stations for ease of access

  • Courses offered and available resources

  • Student facilities and support

  • Attend open days

  • Talk to current students and university staff or ambassadors

  • Get a better understanding of what each university has to offer, before you apply.


FromHighSchooltoUni has compiled a list of key questions to ask when visiting universities.


Step 2

How Do I Choose The Right University For Me?

Use online tools such as UCAS or The Complete University Guide to compare and rank your choice of universities based on various criteria.

Alternatively, chat with an independent education consultant to help your student find the right fit for their interest, aspirations and talent. With an impartial and independent knowledge of schools around the world, they can find the best university to suit you.

Step 3

Prepare for the University Application Process

Different universities have different application processes, so it’s important to understand the requirements and deadlines for each one. Prepare all the necessary documents and information in advance, ready to submit their application. These may include:

  • Personal statement

  • Academic transcripts

  • References

  • Entrance exams or interviews

Ask someone to proof-read your personal statement, provide feedback, and help prepare for exams or interviews.

Use this free personal statement guide to help maximise your chances when applying to university and check out these podcasts for more information.

Step 4

Prepare Your Student Budget for University

University can be expensive, so it’s important to start planning early. Apply for as many funding opportunities as possible to help ease the financial burden.

Research the different funding options available, such as:

You can also learn the basics of budgeting with our free online mini course. This will teach you how to create a budget, set up a bank account, and how to manage your money.

You will find everything you need to know on this in Chapter 2 of our book "From High School to Uni" - grab a copy online now!

Front cover of book From High School to Uni essential guide for students available on Amazon

Step 5 

Find Student Accommodation

Many universities offer on-campus accommodation, but it’s important to also research other options. You may find affordable and safe accommodation close to the university, rather than live onsite in university halls of residence, which can be expensive.

Try to visit the accommodation in person to get a better idea of the facilities and location or explore if online visits are available via the university's website. Some factors to consider are:

  • Rent costs - look around to compare area vs rent

  • Utility bills - check if bills included in the rent, or separate

  • Security - research if it is a safe area

  • Transport - easy access to public transport or biking/walking distance

  • Amenities - parks, sports, facilities, shops.

A typical University Halls dorm
A typical University Halls dorm

We have curated expert packing checklists, as well as the best guide on searching for accommodation, which you can download in the Member Resources section of our website.

Our comprehensive lists of items required for each area of a student's life at university are based on years of experience moving out and out of university, and lessons learned along the way!

Step 6

Prepare For Your Move To University

Moving away from home to university doesn't need to be quite so daunting if you prepare your move well by following our tips:

  • Use packing lists to keep you focused on NEEDS, not WANTS. We have curated ALL the checklists you need in our Member Resources!

  • Organise the travel and transport arrangements.

  • Book tickets in advance and use your student ID card to save on fare prices.

  • Network on social media with other students or join Whatsapp or Facebook groups to get to know your new community

  • Parents - provide emotional support and reassurance.

  • Learning a few life skills like cooking, washing, cleaning, creating a budget, etc.

Step 7

Use Our Resources To Prepare For University

  1. Preparing for university can be a challenging but rewarding process. By following this guide, you can make a smooth transition into the new academic and social environment.

  2. Remember that you’re not alone on this journey - we have lots of support available to both students and parents.

  3. Order our A-Z student guide From High School to Uni, and subscribe to Members Resources for a Pre-Uni Bundle or Ultimate Bundle to download THE packing lists, checklists and guides you will need to make a successful transition to university.

And of course sign up for our weekly tips and guidance below!

Wishing you all the best!

Founder From High School to Uni

Front Cover of the book "FromHighSchooltoUni"

For an A-Z student guide on moving to university, get a copy of our book now!

Use the code WELCOME20 when subscribing to our Member Resources and check out the other resources on our website to access all the tips and tools to help you move into university stress-free!

Please share this blog with others, and follow us on social media to stay updated with tips and tricks! We are on Instagram, FaceBook, TikTok and Pinterest!


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