Published: 03 May 2018

Freshers' guide to starting at Surrey

From budgeting advice to tips on making new friends, find answers to key questions and learn how we help new students settle in at the University of Surrey.

Going to university is a big step so it’s natural to feel a little nervous about what your new life will be like once Freshers’ Week begins.

Read our tips and advice to give you an idea of what to expect and learn how you can prepare for the first few weeks of term.

"I lived on the Manor Park campus during my first year and it was fantastic. Once you settle in, you realise everyone’s in the same boat and discover there’s an amazing community of students all around you."

Matt Eastland-Jones, BSc Biological Sciences


What happens during Freshers’ Week?

At Surrey, we offer a full programme of Freshers’ Week events and activities to help new students find their feet.

Our Welcome Week website for students starting in autumn 2016 will be available in August and will include everything you need to know about starting at Surrey, from how to set up your IT account to information about welcome talks and the Freshers’ Fayre.

You can also visit the Freshers’ 2018/19 Facebook page to get the latest information about the Students’ Union’s plans and social activities.

"My strongest memory at Surrey is still Freshers’ Week. The effort that goes into welcoming and making new students feel at home is massive."

Manisha De Mel, MEng Medical Engineering


How will I make friends?

A huge number of activities take place during Freshers’ Week to help new students get together and meet new friends.

There are hundreds of societies, sports clubs and volunteering opportunities available at Surrey, so you’re bound to find people with similar interests. Many societies showcase what they offer during the Freshers’ Fayre and Active Freshers’ Fayre, held on campus during Freshers’ Week, or offer free taster sessions during the first few weeks of term.

For more tips and advice, read The Student Room’s article: How to make friends during freshers’ week. 

How much money will I need?

As a rough guide, our Student Money Team recommends allowing around £170.50 per week to cover essentials such as rent in University accommodation, food, books and travel.

See the full student budget breakdown.

Your budget will depend on lots of things including the hobbies you have, how many clothes you buy and how often you go out and socialise (it can be easy to overspend here, especially during Freshers’ Week!) If you do get into difficulties, don’t bury your head in the sand – come and talk to our student money advisors.

Money help and advice

Our student money advisors are located on campus and available every weekday. They offer a range of free and confidential financial advice and support including budgeting tools; information about funding, bursaries and student loans; personal and council tax advice and help with finding part-time work.

Find out more about our student money advice and Surrey’s Student Services Centre.

How will I cope living away from home?

Moving in weekend

We offer lots of help to make moving in weekend as stress-free as possible.

More information will be available on the Welcome Week website in August.

Student mentors and support

At Surrey, Student Life Mentors are available to all new students in living on campus.

Mentors are second, third and fourth-year students who’ve been a nervous first-year themselves, so they’re ideally placed to answer any questions about life at Surrey.

Mentors organise events such as quizzes, games nights, film nights, bowling and barbecues during the first few weeks to help you bond with the students you live with and meet potential new fiends.

They can provide advice and information on a wide range of topics, and are on hand to help resolve any issues you might have with new flatmates, such as noise and messy kitchens. 

Each University residence is also supported by a warden, a member of University Staff who is responsible for residents’ welfare and for discipline in our accommodation.

The University’s security team provide a 24/7 service across campus.

Living in halls for my first year was a wonderful learning experience; I was able to make friends who quickly became like family.

Abigail Nelson, MEng Civil Engineering


What do I need to bring to university?

Surrey student kitchens are equipped with a microwave, oven, grill and hob. You’ll have a space in both a fridge and a freezer, and your own kitchen cupboard space.

You'll need to provide bedding, some kitchen equipment and might want to bring some personal items to make your room feel like home, but bear in mind storage is limited.

See our packing checklist for a list of things you need to bring with you, including the documents you'll need. 

If you are coming from overseas, have a look at the International Pre-Departure website for a packing checklist for international and EU students.

More information will be available on the Welcome Week website in August.

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