Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions we're asked by new students about moving into university accommodation.
The Resident Handbook
The Resident Handbook has been put together to provide you with useful information that will help you settle in and get the most out of your time living in halls of residence. In the handbook you will find helpful information about your resident meal plan, support services, and so much more.
Terms and Conditions of Residence are set out in the Campus Licence Agreement, which is stored in a permanent, noneditable pdf accessible from the accommodation e-portal. Check your Licence Agreement via the Accommodation Portal.
What will I be doing during the first few days?
You will have a very full registration programme and details of the timetable will be provided. This is all essential for the administration of University courses and services.
Can I go home at weekends?
Yes, but no refund can be given for time away from halls or for meals not taken for students in catered halls.
Can I have a friend to stay overnight on campus?
Unfortunately, there is no provision for overnight visitors in University accommodation. The Accommodation service can assist with details of local B&Bs/hotels if required.
Is there a launderette?
Yes, there is a card operated launderette on campus primarily used by students in University managed accommodation. There are also a number of launderettes and dry cleaners in the local area.
Please visit www.circuit.co.uk for information on how to top up your laundry card and further how-to guides. The privately managed University accommodation options has on-site laundrette facilities.
Do I need to insure my belongings?
We’ve arranged free contents insurance for all our students staying with us by partnering with Endsleigh, the UK’s No.1 student insurance provider.
It is important all residents confirm their cover to understand what is and isn’t covered.
Visit confirm your cover to see:
- What is and what isn't covered
- Key exclusions - where cover isn't provided
- Policy excess - the amount you pay when you make a claim
- How to make a claim
- Personalise cover.
Can I bring my bicycle with me?
Yes, bicycle racks are available and are located near to St Mary's University managed accommodation. Privately managed University accommodation also has secure bicycle storage.
If you do bring a bicycle it is not a good idea to bring a very expensive one. You must make certain that it is covered by your insurance policy, as the University is not responsible for loss or damage to bicycles.
Bicycles should not be stored in your room or within any of the University accommodation at any time due to Health and Safety.
Can I go in/out of University accommodation whenever I want?
Certainly, however, living in University accommodation is community living and there has to be co-operation, especially about noise. Students are asked to enter/leave halls quietly and not to have music too loud. The hall should be quiet between 11pm and 8am. We also ask that students are considerate to their local neighbours when leaving and returning to University accommodation, particularly late at night.
Is it possible that I could be asked to leave University accommodation?
Most certainly, for a serious or continuous breach of the terms and conditions of your accommodation licence. You should read these carefully. If in doubt about any of them, please ask.
Any connection or suspected connection with the possession, use, buying or selling of drugs will result in the immediate termination of residence. The University will not condone any illegal practices and any matters concerning these are reported to the Police.
What happens if I decide to leave St Mary’s?
Any student leaving University Accommodation before the end of the academic year must notify the Registry to complete the formal withdrawal process. You are also responsible for advising the Accommodation Service, so that your room can be re-let and accommodation charges calculated.
Please note: this does not apply to students living in privately managed University accommodation, please refer to your tenancy agreement for further details and contact the Hall Manager or the St Mary's Accommodation Service if you require any further information.
Do any new students get homesick?
Frequently, and there is no need to be ashamed of this. Many students are living away from home for the first time and inevitably there is some reaction to this. Don't be afraid to talk to someone - for example if you are in University managed accommodation you can speak to your Student Senior Resident or Resident Mentor.
All students can also speak to your Student Life Team, a member of the Accommodation Service, Student Services or the Wellbeing Service.
In privately managed University accommodation you can also speak to your Hall Manager or the Accommodation Service who will be more than happy to listen.
What should I bring with me?
We don’t recommend that you bring too much with you when you move in initially, just a few essentials and items that may make your room a bit more homely. Remember that you can always bring more at a later date too. Please note that you will need to bring bedding with you, as well as bed linen, towels, crockery, and any consumables or snacks to keep in your room or kitchenette.
Mini fridges up to 50L are permitted in Halls of Residence, however any cooking/heating equipment is not permitted.
Where do I go for help if I have an urgent problem?
There are several contacts:
- Student Life Team are members of Student Services who are on hand to create a supportive, inclusive and vibrant student residential community and are available to guide, support and assist you.
- Student Services have close contact with all the support services and invites you to drop-in at any time to the Student Services Centre in J Building. Appointments can be made if necessary by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Student Counsellors offer a confidential counselling service for anyone with troubling personal and/or emotional problems like homesickness. You can refer yourself to this service using a referral form or contact email@example.com or 020 8240 4187 directly for a counselling appointment. For more information, please see the counselling webpage.
- Chaplaincy Team also work closely with Student Services staff on a variety of issues. A member of the team can meet with students for a friendly chat and to discuss or give practical advice regarding any concerns students might have.
Please don't be afraid to contact any of the above services for either a private or personal problem/concern.
University managed accommodation
- Your Senior Residents are students with previous experience of living in University managed accommodation are in halls specifically to help new students settle into life at St Mary's and assist with any issues.
- Your Resident Mentors are permanent members of live in staff and 24/7 Security on campus can deal with anything more serious or personal. He/she will either advise you or tell you exactly where to go for the help you need.
Privately managed accommodation
Hall staff on site may include; Hall Managers, Residential Advisors, Student Wardens and/or on site Security. They are generally based in the main reception during office hours and can be contacted if you are experiencing difficulty or have any concerns.