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The University of Southampton
Student ServicesSupport and wellbeing

Living at Home Students

A number of our students decide to continue living at home whilst studying; the University is committed to supporting students who are local or commute to Southampton to ensure you have a great student experience.

Living at Home Students

There can be many advantages to living at home but there can also be challenges - there's no 'right' way to be a student and finding what works best for you is important. If you're a living at home student the information in this section is designed to help you adjust to university life and ensure you know where to go to access support if and when you need it.

Undergraduate students who continue to live in their own or family home rather than relocate and live in student accommodation are defined as living at home students by the University of Southampton.

Advice & Tips

  • Ease your transition and prepare for University life by getting involved in Welcome/Freshers’ Week, held each year before the start of Semester 1; come along to campus to collect your Student ID card and get involved in the many events and information sessions. If you are a local student, you are likely to know the local area really well, and can help other students settle in and get to know the best places.
  • Download our official MySouthampton app onto your phone or tablet; this gives you easy access to your timetable, campus maps, university emails, travel information and more. 
  • As you settle in to university life take some time to familiarise yourself with your campus – locate your Student Office, check out the Library and find the perfect spot for grabbing lunch.
  • Try to get to know people on campus; this will enable you to feel more connected.
  • To help you study from home, a number of University systems can be accessed remotely. The Southampton Virtual Environment (SVE) gives you access to your University desktop including all your files and the most popular pieces of software, from any device in any location. Office 365 can also be downloaded to your personal device free of charge as a student at the university. 
  • Everybody’s life and demands are different but managing your time effectively and making a plan that fits your study and home life commitments will help keep things on track.  
  • Your family and friends at home can provide an invaluable source of support and it can be useful to share with them aspects of your university life. Speak to those around, share with them your study plans and agree a time and space where you can study at home undisturbed.
  • If you're commuting to University, try and make the time spent travelling as enjoyable as possible. Use the time effectively, maybe do a little extra studying or to unwind after a day of lectures - depending on your mode of transport. Be sure to research your route and the transport options in advance, try to have a backup plan in case of delay or cancellation and allow yourself a little extra time to complete your journey at peak times. Further information on travelling to the university and travel discounts can found below.

On campus study space & facilities

Make the most of your time on campus and use those breaks in your timetable to do a bit of studying or to socialise with friends; you will find plenty of places and resources on campus available to you.

  • The Hartley Library on Highfield Campus is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during term time; perfect for fitting in studying at a time that suits you. The opening times for the libraries on other campuses can be found here
  • iSolutions and the Library offer a laptop loan scheme in the Hartley Library; so if you would rather leave the laptop at home, visit the Level 2 Information Desk, in the Hartley Library to borrow a laptop.
  • If you're on campus and hoping to heat up your lunch then the University's online campus maps can be used to locate microwaves, just use the amenities layer to show where they can be found.
  • Room Finder can be used to find any rooms on campus that have not been booked and are free to use. Any of the empty common learning spaces can be booked and used for studying or group work.
  • Hot Water is free of charge in all University and Students' Union catering outlets, so you can brew your own tea or coffee, just remember to pack your travel mug.
  • The Faith & Reflection Centre, on Highfield Campus, offers a quiet space for you to relax with a tea or coffee.
  • There are a number of catering outlets on our campuses, use the online campus maps to show our catering outlets by selecting the catering layer; some of them even feature opening times and menus built directly into the map.
  • If you ever find your devices running low on battery, there are charging lockers available in the Students’ Union on the Concourse, speak to SUSU Reception for further information.
  • There are also number of showers available to students on our campuses, these can be located using the University's online campus maps, just select the amenities layer to show where they can be found.

Getting Involved

There are many ways to get involved with university life and many opportunities to meet new people; try to explore the opportunities available to you, as these can be a great way of developing a peer support network. 

Living at Home Student Socials

Each Freshers' we host Welcome Socials for those who are local or commute to University. These are an opportunity, for all those not moving into student accommodation, to drop by for free refreshments and the chance to chat with other living at home students joining the University of Southampton. Further information we'll be available online in the run up to Freshers' week; if you have any questions contact livingathomestudents@soton.ac.uk.

Clubs and Societies

The University of Southampton Students’ Union has over 200 societies covering a wide range of interests; these are a great opportunity to meet new people and maybe even try something new.

University Activities & Events

The University and Students' Union put on a range of activities and events throughout the year, from Pasta Nights to Mindful Fridays. To stay up to date with everything that is happening on our campuses make sure to check SUSSED, the University and Students’ Union Events Calendars, as well as the University’s social media channels

Become a Student Ambassador

Becoming an ambassador is great way to both meet other students and learn new skills, all while earning money. We are always looking for enthusiastic and friendly students to become Student Ambassadors to help with events organised by our Recruitment and Outreach team.

Working as a student ambassador can be fun and varied, providing you with a huge range of exciting challenges and opportunities to get involved with, alongside your studies. Further information and how to apply can be found here.

Travelling to Campus

Planning your journey to and from campus, in advance, will help to make your commute to campus that little bit easier. The University’s transport site has variety of information on buses, rail, cycling and more, which can help you figure-out how best to travel to the University campuses.

Making travel as economical as possible is important, particularly for regular commutes, as a Southampton student you can access the following discounts or services, which may help to reduce travel costs:

Unilink

The Unilink Bus service connects all of the campuses in Southampton, as well as Southampton Central Train Station. Route and timetable information is available on the Unilink website.

Discounts are available to all University of Southampton students when purchasing a 90 day, academic or annual bus pass for Southampton or an annual pass for Southampton Plus and these discounts can be accessed in two ways:

  1. Discount codes for online purchases are available here. Discounted online purchases can be made through the Clickit2ride mobile app or through theKey portal. (If you choose to use theKey portal, you'll need to have a registered Key smartcard to access online payments; these are free to order from the Unilink website.) 
  2. Alternatively, you can visit the Unilink Office, situated on Highfield Campus in Building 57 above the Students’ Union Shop and open from 9:30 to 16:00, Monday to Friday, and just show your Student ID card.

All passes are valid on any Unilink or Bluestar bus in Southampton.

There’s also are a variety of ticket options available for regular bus travel, such as period bus tickets and ticket bundles, and these options may prove more cost effective depending on how frequently you travel to campus. Unfortunately, there’s no discounts available for single and day bus tickets.

WSA

For students travelling to Winchester School of Art, the University operates a free shuttle bus service, connecting Highfield Campus and WSA. The bus runs hourly between 8:00 am and 11:00pm Monday to Friday during term time. Students just need to present their valid Student ID Card in order to travel. Further information including pick-up points can be found here.

Safety Bus

If you are attending an event on campus and need to get home late at night the Students’ Union run a nightly Safety Bus, which for a small fee can drop you off right at home; the Students’ Union have further information here.

Rail

Investing in a 16-25 Railcard is a great way to save money on your commute to University. If you're travelling to University by train, you could save up to a 1/3 on your fare. Full time mature students are eligible for the 16-25 Railcard as well; you will just need to get your Student Office to complete the mature student declaration form.  

Cycling

If you cycle to University regularly, then pop along to the on campus Bike Dr visits throughout the year, where your bike can be checked and tuned free of charge.

There are a number of cycle stores and hoops available at all sites. Access to the cycle stores can be added to your student ID card by visiting the Unilink office and costs £10 for the year. 

The Students' Union also offer a handy bicycle tool station, including bike pumps, tools and flat repair kits; just pop along to the Students' Union Reception, in Building 42, if your bicycles is in need of repair.

Ferry

Students travelling from the Isle of Wight via the Red Jet foot passsenger ferry can access a student concession on season tickets. To purchase a student season ticket you'll need to present a valid full time course registration document. 

Car

If you do commute by car a good way to share the journey and costs of travel is to use the University's dedicated Liftshare platform to meet other Living at Home students travelling the same way.

Support

The University has a wide range of support available to you, should you need any advice or guidance at any point during your studies.

Student Inclusion Team

The Student Inclusion Team offer support and guidance to students who may not know the best course of action to take with a particular issue – whether the issue involves academic, financial or emotional matters. We can let you know about all the support which is available to you and help you access what you feel is right for you, as well as act as your single point of contact if you ever encounter an issue that requires multiple services from across the University.

Look out for the Inclusive Connections e-Magazine, our termly publication which brings together information from across our University to provide you with content tailored to specific student communities.

Academic

Personal Academic Tutor & Student Office

If you have any concerns about your academic studies, your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) is there to advise and support you. We encourage you to discuss any issues, which may affect your studies with your PAT, including at the start of the year letting your PAT or Lecturers know that you will be commuting to University, so they are able to support you and your individual needs.

If you are unsure how to contact your PAT, your Student Office will be able to help put you in contact and/or arrange an appointment.

Your Student Office deals with the administrative aspects of your programme, including those relating to coursework, assessments and exams. If you are unable to attend any timetabled lectures or seminars for any reason, you may need to inform your Student Office. You can find out how to contact your School’s Student Office here.

Wellbeing

If you find yourself struggling with something whilst you're at University, it can help to talk to someone about what you're going through. Talking to someone about what is troubling you can make a big difference to how you feel; the Enabling Services team and Student Life are both available for you to speak to about any emotional, mental health or wellbeing issues.

Financial

The University’s Student Support Fund is designed to help should you find yourself in financial hardship at any point during your studies. Further information on eligibility and how to apply can be found here.

Student Experience

Read how one of our living at home students has found her experience at Southampton - Emily is a Year 3 History Student:

"Maybe it’s because one of the selling points of going to university is the excitement of moving away and living in halls, but there are some of us out there that decide to live at home while studying. Yes - you read that right, some of us consciously make the decision to continue living at home while we complete our studies. Like many others, I commute to university each day from my home. Our days are long and our mornings are early, but there’s no denying that we student commuters are an incredibly committed bunch.

Living at home wasn’t something I initially planned on doing after accepting my offer to study here at Southampton. My decision was one largely motivated by my mental health. It was a big decision to come to but it’s certainly been the right decision for me. I won’t sugar coat it: commuting can be really knackering. Days full of lectures and seminars become that little bit longer. However, for me, it’s been exactly what I needed. I get the best of both worlds; I still get to experience life here at Southampton and make the most of studying a subject I love, but I have also been able to keep the strong and reliable support system I have at home.  

For anyone who is considering living at home one thing I want to assure you of personally is that you won’t miss out on university life by not living on the doorstep of your university. This was always my main concern when I began to consider the possibility of commuting to university. But let me tell you now, this has not been the case whatsoever. Commuting can make things that little bit trickier sometimes, but it hasn’t prevented me from embracing the diverse range of opportunities – academic, vocational and extracurricular - offered to students at Southampton. For me, living at home has been one of the best choices I’ve made and I received so much support from my lecturers and personal academic tutor in coming to this decision.

Even if you haven’t considered living at home until now, I hope this encourages you to take a step back and consider your living options as a student, living at home, if a viable option, can really benefit a person."

Read more about Emily's experience on our student blog.

 

Helpful Resources

Whether you are thinking about living at home whilst studying at Southampton or already do, the following websites have some useful advice and tips.

Which? Living at Home Guide

UCAS - Living at home advice

Studentastic - Staying at Home

The University cannot accept responsibility for external websites.
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