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Prepare for university

How to help your child prepare for university

Sending your son or daughter to university is a big milestone - it’s when they become independent and begin to find their own way in the world. Although our relationship is with the students themselves - and we encourage them to take responsibility for every aspect of their university experience - we understand that you want to help and support them as they begin this new chapter in their lives. 

Keep on top of deadlines

There is a lot to remember during the university application process, from submitting their UCAS application and organising student finance to applying for accommodation. As most students are also deep in their school/college studies, when coursework deadlines are looming and exams are approaching, it can be hard to keep on top of the various dates.

If you make a note of the key university deadlines, you can remind your son or daughter what they need to do when, if it slips their mind.

Run through how to budget

This will probably be the first time your child has had to take control of every aspect of their finances. It’s worth taking a bit of time to talk them through the basics of budgeting to help them keep on top of their money once September rolls around.

Although a lot of expenses - including utility bills and internet costs - will be included in the price of their rent if they are staying in university accommodation, they will still need to budget for food and other day-to-day expenses, as well as having fun. You can find more information on budgeting in the fees and funding section.

Help them find the best student bank account

All the major high street banks offer student accounts and some provide better benefits than others. Helping your son or daughter compare the various options and work out which is best for them is a good exercise for both of you - you’ll know they’ve got an account that will provide them with all the financial services they need at university and they will hopefully have learned a bit more about financial services and how to compare them.

Offer them cooking lessons

Even if you’re not the world’s best chef, you will probably still be able to offer your son or daughter some useful tips on cooking. Find out if there’s anything they’d particularly like to learn how to cook themselves. Make sure they at least know the basics and have a few meals that they are comfortable preparing.

You should also help them buy the basic cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery that they’ll need when the arrive. All BU-managed accommodation will have a kettle, microwave, oven, hob, fridge and freezer, but basic cooking equipment won’t be provided. However they may want to check with other housemates before buying anything - no house needs six woks!

Talk to them

One of the most important things to do is talk to your child about how they feel about their forthcoming university experience. They will undoubtedly be excited but they’re also likely to have some concerns about living away from home for the first time.

Discuss everything well in advance of them leaving - they might be worried about little things that you can help with, such as cooking for themselves or doing their own washing, or may have bigger concerns about money and how they’ll fit into university life. All you can do is be supportive, but that may be enough to help them settle in initially.

If your son or daughter has any questions about life at BU, or university in general, they can contact us to discuss their queries.


While we appreciate that you may have concerns or questions at times, we must ensure we respect the privacy of all our students, and that we comply with data protection law. For these reasons, we are unable to discuss matters relating to individual students with a third party, even if you are a family member or close friend and we hope that you understand.

If you are a parent, family member or close friend who is concerned, we may be able to contact the student to tell them that you have been in touch and we can also provide you with general information about our student support services.