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The Ultimate University Checklist for First-Year Students

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Home » Students » The Ultimate University Checklist for First-Year Students

It’s an exciting first step but one that can be a bit stressful, too. After consulting EU Business School students from all four of our campuses—Barcelona, Munich, Geneva and Montreux—we’ve put together a list of how to prepare for the big move.

1. Campus Visit

Either in person or with Virtual Reality, get to know the campus and its facilities before you arrive. If you’re doing this in person, drop by the Admissions Office, chat with guidance counselors and learn about student guidelines. After all, you’ll be walking down your school’s halls, networking and making lifelong friendships there for the next few years. If you can, reach out to your future lecturers and ask them about the school. This is also a great way to get to know those who specialize in the areas you’re interested in.

2. Essential Documents

Your acceptance letter came in the mail, you replied with an enthusiastic ‘yes!’, and paid your first tuition fee installment to secure your place. Now, if you’re from within the EU, you don’t have to sort out your visa, but if you’re coming from abroad it’s recommended that you do this at least three months in advance. Make sure you arrange health insurance before you leave home, too. You also need to make sure your financial situation is in order or think about finding part-time work during your studies.

Also, make sure you have the originals and copies of important documents in paper as well as digital format. Here are some important documents you should be emailing yourself or storing on a pen drive, just in case:

  • Passport/Identity Card + passport photos
  • Driving license
  • Official transcripts, diplomas, degrees, certificates, including your acceptance letter
  • Bank card and bank details like account info (IBAN + swift code), financial solvency documents
  • Accommodation contracts
  • Insurance documents

3. Accommodation

On-campus? Off-campus? Private flat? Shared room? Figuring out where to rest your head at night during your studies can be challenging. You have to consider your budget, needs and priorities, and ask yourself questions like price, if it’s close to the gym (or if your campus has a gym), if catering is involved, and if you’ll have to commute to school. Get this sorted early because finding accommodation can take anywhere from one to three months depending on the city. If you’re opting for a student dorm, check to see if it has a bed, night table, wardrobe, etc., so that you’ll know if you need to bring a duvet, bedsheets, desk lamp, etc. Just remember that you won’t be spending a year in some uncharted backcountry, but in a place where you can buy things upon arrival.

4. Packing List

What are you taking with you? Not sure? Then make a list. The most important things to bring are probably your electronics. This is a no-brainer. You won’t be writing your assignments on typewriters and communicating with your lecturers via smoke signals.

university essentials

Also, bring all and any multimedia that will allow you to watch your favorite shows and movies and listen to music. Clothing, too, is important, for when you paint the town red at night to sweating it out in the gym. If you’re studying a business program, some formal attire is good to have in case you get invited to an important networking event.

Supplies could be purchased in your campus city so no need to panic and start stuffing your luggage until you can’t close it. If you’ll be living in a dormitory, it’s likely you’ll have all the basic furniture there like bed, desk, chair, lamp, bedside table, wardrobe or closet. Bathroom items and toiletries like towels, robes, medicines take up a lot of space but are necessary. Also, if you got your own private bathroom—great! But if you’re sharing a bathroom at your dorm, make sure you have shower shoes. Your toiletries case should be the kind you can hang, too.

5. Moving Day

How are you going to move all your things to your campus city? You’re probably going to a) drive yourself b) get your parents to drive you or 3) book transport through a rental company, this option being the best if you’ve got more than a few boxes. If you want to take your own car, consider things like if your campus city is car-friendly—some cities, like Barcelona, are converting streets into superblocks, making it quite difficult to find parking or even to move about with a car. A note about getting around: most cities also have great public transportation so you may not need a car.

6. Arrival and Start

The first few days will be overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to find your social support circle right when you arrive. Making friends quickly will help you adjust to the workload, the late-night study sessions, and will greatly enhance those weekend benders. Join sports teams to give your mind a break and your body a workout. You can even start making friends before you arrive online and in forum groups on social media based on your university, program and cohort.

Now that you’re ready for the best time of your life, you might want to get a head start on the reading. But don’t worry, unpack first, enjoy orientation week, and get started on your new journey!

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