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Tips

We’re delighted you’re here and, while we’ve got you, here are some helpful tips to make sure you’re keeping safe during your Freshers’ Week.

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COVID Safety

Your safety is our top priority so we can assure you, as a minimum, we will be following the Scottish Government advice that is in place at the time of Freshers. This is likely to include wearing a mask when in the Union (apart from when seated for eating and drinking), keeping a safe distance and of course sanitising your hands regularly and always after contact. We will update this site with the latest guidelines as we approach the launch of Freshers.

The Scottish Government has additional guidance available here.

The University has a full list of restrictions available here.

If you have any troubles during your time at Strathclyde you can always reach out to our fantastic Advice Hub team here. Be this for financial, housing, academic or additional confidential help.

Glasgow

The University of Strathclyde and Strath Union call the beautiful city of Glasgow home and for those of you who are arriving in Glasgow for the very first time we say, welcome!

We are very proud to be a part of this vibrant, diverse and energetic city. It may not be the largest place but Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, with a special mix of history, culture, entertainment and education. It has great scran (food), top patter (conversation) and plenty of activities to keep you occupied - when you’re not studying of course...

The University of Strathclyde, Strath Union and Halls are all located between Cathedral and West George Street so you are right in the heart of Glasgow! Shops to the left of me, parks to the right (or however that song goes). We get that you’ll be tired after all the matriculation (fancy Uni word for registering) so why not pop into our new Union building to say Hi! You can chill with some new pals in our bars, grab some food and enjoy the Scottish sun! (sun not guaranteed, ever… just need to deal wae it).

We understand that coming to a new country and city to study can be challenging as well as an exciting experience and we are here to provide you with support both before your programme begins and throughout your studies.

Glasgow phrases

Glasgow has its own amazingly colourful dialect for you to enjoy, with many slang terms frequently used by locals. Here are some we feel you should know:

  • Fàilte - Welcome
  • Aye - Yes
  • Naw - No
  • Scran - Food
  • Patter/Banter - Light-hearted conversation
  • Wee - Small
  • Weegie - Glaswegian native
  • Ken - To know something
  • Refuweegie - Adopted Glaswegian
  • Quid - A Pound
  • Fiver - Five Pound note
  • Tenner - Ten Pound note
  • Tea - Dinner, but can also mean the drink

Moving away / staying at home

Those first steps away to Uni can be quite a daunting experience but please do not fret, you’re certainly not alone in feeling this. Turn that nervous energy into excitement and begin exploring. Before you get started, here are some tips for those moving into Halls and also some for those who are staying at home but want to be a part of the Uni experience. Whether you’re at home or away we want you to have a great experience, so here we go!

Living in halls 

Find your flatmates

If you’re joining Strath Halls or even private halls, chances are you’ll meet your new flatmates when you arrive and this is the perfect time to get to know each other and figure out the personalities involved. But even before that, why not reach out using the various Freshers’ groups and get a chat going; you’re going to be living together after all! If you’re in private accommodation and you’re looking for someone to share a flat with, why not check out the Overheard at Strathclyde Group, Gumtree, Spareroom or Rightmove to get started. Start the communication early!

Do the flat Shopping together

Once you’ve found your flatmates and sorted out the good times, it’s time to get practical. Make sure you establish who’s doing/bringing what. That way you won’t have 4 toasters and no kettle… Once you know what your flat will have and what it won’t, save yourself some money and space and buy your flat necessities together (if required). There’s hardly ever a need for 6 pots and 6 pans in the one kitchen. This might stop the “stop using my stuff” arguments too.

Establish a cleaning rota

Cleaning up after yourself is, let’s face it, a basic skill that everyone should know. That said, good personal hygiene won’t keep the floors, bins and toilets clean. Get together (early) and draft up a schedule on who’s to clean what and when. Regardless of where you live, bins need to be taken out by yourselves and floors will get dirty. As a general rule though, clean up after yourself, dishes and the bathroom especially; no one likes cleaning up after someone else!

Make a group chat

This may seem obvious but make a group chat. You’ll never know when you need to make a group decision or the inevitable “help I’ve locked myself out the flat” or “is there any toilet paper left, I’m at the shops”. Honestly, you’d be amazed how many times people wish they’d done this earlier. Get on it!

Tell someone if you’re struggling to settle in

It can be tough sometimes to make friends with people you don’t know and now have to live with - little frustrations can escalate into big ones and it might be hard to figure out how to fix them. Speak to someone from the ResLife team in halls for some support and a place to chat things through. They’ll help you work it all out and figure out some options with you if it feels like things can be resolved.

Get involved in as many things as possible!

Student Halls are a buzz and a fantastic location to be in. A truly unique experience. You are minutes away from another flat or… the UNION! Join a Society, get involved and find your people. They are out there and we can assure you they are looking for you too.

Commuting students

Get out there!

It’s simple, get out there! Ok a bit more of an explanation. As a home student or someone who isn’t living in the Student Halls it can sometimes feel that you’re not getting the full University experience. This is a total fallacy - you can get as involved or be as passive as you like. It’s your time, enjoy it!

Make Freshers Count

What we would especially recommend for everyone is to make Freshers’ Week count. Get involved as much as you can to branch out and build your network. It's a focused time of year where there are many people in the same boat as you, who have the need to make that connection. Don’t be afraid to try new things and go for everything (provided you have the time). There are literally hundreds of Societies and Sports Clubs to investigate, so you’re guaranteed to find something you love.

It’s not just about Freshers’ Week

One final note - you can engage with most of our Societies and Sports Clubs throughout the year, so if you don’t sign up at Freshers you can do so at a later date. There are plenty of other opportunities out there as well, such as Volunteering and Training opportunities you might be interested in. And, of course, let’s not forget the student parties and events going on throughout the year.

What to bring

Coming to University for the first, or even second time, can be a truly exciting endeavor!

Other than yourself, what should you bring to Uni? A trap that some people fall into is simply bringing too much. We totally understand that you want to bring as much as you possibly can, your whole room from home if you can squeeze it into the suitcase. You can’t… many have tried. It’s likely that your wardrobe and room may be quite small, so keep that in mind when packing. Just bring what you need!

Study-wise, well it all depends on your course. But one thing is certain - having a solid laptop will be a definite as you’ll need one for almost everything you do at University course-wise. You could possibly get by without one, but it will make things slightly more difficult. Outside of this, notepads, pens, course textbooks (and probably coffee) will get you by!

Places to Go

Lunch Choices

Coffee Fix

Restaurants

Nightlife: Bars

Nightlife: Clubs

Nightlife: Venues

Attractions

In Glasgow

  • Glasgow Green (Greendyke St, Saltmarket, Glasgow G1 5DB) - Glasgow is called the ‘Dear Green Place’ and for good reason! There are a number of parks in Glasgow and Glasgow Green is one of the best. Just around the corner from the campus and is a perfect spot for a walk, picnic or if you’re Ru Wallace, Ultimate Frisbee! You can see the People’s Palace, Commonwealth sculptures and during the summer (hopefully) music festivals.
  • Botanic Gardens (730 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 0UE) - Nestled in the West End is the Botanic Gardens. This is a beautiful spot with a diverse range of plant life. Well worth taking the time to wander around. Open Top Bus Tours (Various Locations, nearest stop George Square) - The open top bus is a great way to see all of Glasgow’s sights and get to know the history of your new home. You can hop on and off these as you wish which makes them a great way to explore the far reaches of the city.
  • Kelvingrove Museum (Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG) - Did you know that Kelvingrove Museum was built facing the wrong way? Fun fact! This museum is amazing though! Both an art gallery and a natural history museum. It is free to visit and has art sourced from all over Europe. They also host organ performances, special exhibits and other fun events throughout the week. The Hunterian Museum / Art Gallery and the Rennie MacKintosh are also nearby and well worth a look if you’re in the area.
  • Necropolis (Castle St, Glasgow G4 0UZ) - Ok, so most people wouldn’t say that a graveyard is a must see, but it really is! Incredible landscape views of the city and there are tours running that are worth joining to learn more about the eerie history. The Gorbals Vampire and Batman have been spotted here… take care. Science Centre (50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1EA) - Not just a place for science lovers! This fun, interactive centre is one of Glasgow’s best attractions. Trying to write about it basically boils down to it’s really cool, and then fun, and cool again. Must do when you’re in Glasgow!
  • Transport (Riverside) Museum (100 Pointhouse Rd, Partick, Glasgow G3 8RS) - Another really interesting museum that not only showcases vehicles of all descriptions but also gives an interactive glimpse into Glasgow’s past. Wander along beside the Clyde and spend the afternoon, also free entry which is nice! Hampden Park (Glasgow G42 9BA) - Scotland’s National Football stadium is not just home to crushing Tartan Army disappointment but also the National Football Museum! Those interested in sport will find this an interesting visit, and might be worth a jaunt to Ibrox and Parkhead too to see the stadiums of Scotland’s biggest rivals. There is also the majesty of Firhill in the West End too. (once you see it you’ll get the joke)
  • Scotland Street School Museum (225 Scotland St, Glasgow G5 8QB) - This museum, designed by famous architect Charles Rennie MacKintosh showcases generations of education in Scotland stemming from the 19th century. You can sit in classrooms that would be similar to the first incarnation of Strath! A really fascinating experience for a day trip.
  • The Lighthouse (11 Mitchell Ln, Glasgow G1 3NU) - The Lighthouse is Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture, situated right in the centre of Glasgow just off Buchanan Street. It offers an interesting range of exhibitions and some fantastic views over the city centre.

Outside Glasgow

  • Edinburgh - “That's beyond our borders. You must never go there, Simba.” Ok, ok, we’re just kidding… As much as we HATE to admit it Edinburgh is a really beautiful city. It’s got winding streets full of culture, that big iconic castle and hunners of Harry Potter stuff. Worth a trip for sure.
  • Highlands - It’s a total cop out, and we admit it, to lump the Highlands as one package but this is basically an excuse to say that Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth. If you don’t have a pal with a car there are tours that take you up north and honestly, moving through the trees and coming around a corner to see the mountains appear on the horizon is nothing short of spectacular.
  • North Coast 500 - If the initial road trip wasn’t quite enough then head ALL the way north for the North Coast 500. Explore beautiful castles, fantastic beaches and honestly, clean air along the tip top of Scotland.
  • Burns Cottage & Museum (16 Alloway, Ayr KA7 4PY) - Heading south now, well south west, a simple train ride will take you to Ayrshire and the home of our national poet Robert Burns. Wherever you're from in the world you’ve probably linked hands and sung ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at New Year, well, this is who wrote it! The museum is a snapshot into Scottish life while exploring the Scot’s language and history. Also down there is a beach so wait for a sunny day and head on down!

There are of course many many more things you can do in Scotland. It’s not a very big country but it’s dense with things to do and see. If you’re at a loss for something to do, check in with Visit Scotland or the National Trust of Scotland, grab the gang and go!

Shopping

  • Zero Waste Shop (Strath Union, ground floor) - You can find an alternative to the plastic-packaged supermarket shopping right here on campus, on the ground floor of the Union. Small but mighty, it sells dried goods, cleaning and household essentials. If you're not staying on campus, we've also put together this handy list that covers all of Glasgow here!
  • Morrisons (5 Barrack St, Glasgow G4 0TZ) - Just a 10 minute walk away from the Strath campus on the fringe of Dennistoun you can get pretty much everything you need at this supermarket. Those of you in private halls will found this particularly handy.
  • Aldi (132, 136,140 High St, Glasgow G1 1QF) - Round the corner from the campus. Be sure to grab their fruit and veg deals from some pretty cheap meal options!
  • Sainsbury’s (135 George St, Glasgow G1 1RD) - Ah the meal deal… truly a staple of the student diet, you can grab yours here across the road behind McCance and Livi Tower.
  • Oaka (130 George St, Glasgow G1 1RG) - This takeaway place / supermarket boasts a wide collection of amazing produce and SE Asian delicacies! The spicy instant noodles are worth a stop if nothing else but Oaka has LOADS to offer.

Student-friendly jobs

If you are keen to ‘earn while you learn’ then the Strath Union JobShop is the place for you! We guarantee that every job listed here will pay the Living Wage (minimum £8.91) and there is not a zero-hour contract in sight!

International student support

The University has a team dedicated to the support of International Students, so for any specific questions it would always be best to check in with them first. However! Here are some commonly asked questions that we can help you with:

Can I work as an International / EU Student?

Please check the University's page on international students working during studies here.

Bank Accounts

Most international students can't get a student account because they are not UK citizens or they haven't lived in the UK for a long time. Although some banks may make exceptions , it's good to check! Also, as far as cards are concerned, we'd suggest a contactless card. It's so much more convenient!

Phone

International students who need a new phone number, we’d suggest giffgaff usually there's a giffgaff gift containing a sim on the welcome bags during freshers, or on different stalls around campus. It's really easy to activate and use and it's a monthly top up (can be recurring as well) and it can be stopped at any time, thus you don't have to pay anything while you're away from the UK.

Societies and support groups

Strath Union (also referred to as “the Union”)

That’s us! Hi! Founded in 1964, Strathclyde Students’ Union is the beating heart of democracy on our campus and exists to represent the views of all 24,000 members through our participation at all levels of University decision making. As well as representing our members’ interests, we also run over 200 Societies and over 50 Sports Clubs. We provide volunteering and employment opportunities, advice and welfare services, as well as training and development workshops and seminars for our members. We run campaigns and organise student activity on and off campus, and host a variety of events.

We know that settling into university life may not always be straight forward, so the Union offers wellbeing support, a safe space where you can always find someone to talk to, offload your worries, and be signposted to additional support if needed. The Union also has quiet study spaces if you need a bolt hole from your accommodation.

Christian Union

The Christian Union isn’t just for those that follow the Christian faith here at Strathclyde. It welcomes everyone under its banner and on a more casual note, definitely one of the friendliest groups going! The society presents new students a fantastic way of networking and expanding within the student community. The CU also organises events and workshops on a regular basis to encourage maximum engagement.

Strathclyde University Muslim Association (SUMSA)

SUMSA is the place for all of our Muslim students to meet and find new friends. There is a dedicated space in the St. Paul's building opposite the old Union building on John Street. There are prayer rooms, social events and gatherings to discuss faith.

Language Cafe

This society is a wonderful place to meet other students while learning a new language. They regularly host language exchange events with a cup of tea. Who knows, you may have the chance to share your own language too!

Nightline Service

University can be tough no matter where you’re from. Whether you’re an international student thinking about home or a home student thinking about being anywhere else, or you just need an ear to vent to when it’s late… there is help. Nightline is a listening and information service run by students for students with volunteers from Strath, Glasgow Uni, and GCU. Nightlines are open through the night, run by fully trained and caring fellow student volunteers. Nightline can be contacted by phone, text, or online chat. It is a free, non-judgemental and confidential service.

Strathclyde Reach Out - Student Led Mental Health Support

This society was formed during the last year as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Completely student-led, Reach Out offers a space to talk about student life with your fellow students in an attempt to help each other.

Student discounts

We all LOVE those sweet sweet discounts. Here are some things or places where you can find additional information.

Strath Life

Strath Life isn’t just a hashtag - it’s also our blog with a whole section dedicated to discounts and deals that we frequently update with the latest bargains.

TOTUM Card

This wee card can do wonders! It’s the door to thousands of student discounts, ranging from 40% off Pizza Express to 10% off ASOS, as well as 10% off every time you shop in the Co-Op.

Travel Cards

Scottish public transport generally has deals and discounts for students including slightly cheaper bus fares and rail travel. If you really want to make the most out of the rail though it may be worthwhile to consider one of the railcards on offer from ScotRail. These have an annual fee and offer up to 33% off on all tickets *after a certain time.

Streaming Services

A number of streaming services including Spotify and Amazon offer Student discounts that might be worth checking out.

Food Services

There are a number of Takeaway brands that offer deals to Students, especially during Freshers. These include; Ubereats, Deliveroo, Just Eat, Pizza Hut and Domino’s. All of these are fairly consistent in their discount offerings!

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