Advice for parents

Leaving home for university is a big step and, as the new term approaches, both parents and students will often experience a mixture of emotions. With this in mind, the University offers a few tips for parents to help you and your son or daughter make the transition to higher education.

We also have some suggestions on how to support your student while they are living away from home:

Keep calm and stay positive!

It is important to keep a positive attitude about all of the upcoming changes - your son or daughter may be feeling anxious about the new life they are about to start, and you don't want to make it worse! Let them know that it is completely normal to feel nervous, but you have confidence in them. 

Take a step back

Encourage your son or daughter to be more independent as September approaches. Build their self-confidence and help them to become more pro-active - they will soon need to organise themselves and make their own decisions.

Remember, our accommodation agreement is a contract between us and your son or daughter. Due to data protection, we can usually only discuss its details with them directly, regardless of who is footing the bill! For further information for parents and third parties please visit our data protection pages.

Keep in touch

Leaving home is a big step and most students will feel homesick at some point. It is important that they know you are there for them and that they can contact you if they need some support. 

As tempting as it may be to invite them home whenever they are upset, instead encourage your son or daughter to give it time, and remind them that they are unlikely to be the only ones feeling low. Encourage them to use the support services available at the University, including the Residence Life Team who offer in-house support and advice to our residents.

Some students will throw themselves into university life, and you may not hear from them as often as you would like. Try contacting them via email or text message rather than phone calls - you may get an answer more often!

Make sure your son or daughter is able to use a washing machine, to budget for their weekly shop and to cook a few simple dishes (especially if they will be in self catered accommodation). Three course suppers aren't necessary, but it is important that they are able to feed themselves nutritious meals to maintain their physical and mental health. StudentCooking.TV provides informative cooking demonstrations and videos with information on where to purchase food in Exeter on a budget.

If your son or daughter requires any additional support for medical reasons then please advise them to contact AccessAbility at their earliest convenience to discuss their requirements.

We are committed to promoting equality of opportunity and have adapted rooms in catered and self-catered student accommodation. If your son or daughter has specific requirements, please encourage them to contact us and the AccessAbility Centre at an early stage so that we can do all that we reasonably can to find or adapt accommodation that will be suitable for them. Further information about what is available can be found on our accessible rooms webpage.

Our accommodation contract may be the first legally binding document that your son or daughter signs, so please make sure they read through all of the information carefully, and let us know any questions they may have. Information such as the dates and cost of the accommodation will be provided in the contract, along with payment deadlines and our cancellation policy.

If your son or daughter encounters an issue with their accommodation, their residence management team can arrange maintenance support. Residents should report faults directly to their residence reception so that they can be rectified as soon as possible - if we don't know something's wrong, we can't fix it!

Please be aware that essential repairs and improvement works, are scheduled to take place on a number of blocks located at our Birks Grange Village (self-catered blocks only); Duryard and Lafrowda (en-suite and studio blocks only) residences. Full details of the works taking place, including the blocks affected and the schedule are available on the 'Essential repairs and improvements' webpage.

After your son or daughter has confirmed their accommodation with us, by accepting our contract and paying a £300 deposit to secure their room, they will be given access to an online induction and our online arrivals system. 

The induction gives students useful information about living in University accommodation, and the arrivals system allows them to book a parking place and arrival slot for Welcome Weekend (when most students arrive). Directions to residences and information about where to collect keys from is also provided.

If your son or daughter moves into catered accommodation, they will be required to move out at the end of each term. A moving out guide will be provided to them in advance so that they know whether they can keep any belongings in their room, what state to leave their room in and when they can move back in.

More information is available within our Arrivals and Freshers' webpage or moving out webpage.

We take the safety and security of our students and residences seriously. Our residences are fitted with heat and smoke detectors, there are CCTV cameras across our campuses, and the University has a 24 hour security team, known as Estate Patrol.

We also have a Night Patrol team, who specifically patrol our residences overnight during term time, providing extra security and out of hours welfare support to our residents.

Our live-in Residence Life Teams have an in-depth knowledge of the support and wellbeing services on offer at the University and so provide support to students living in University accommodation. They are composed of students in their second year of study or above, who have all been through the exciting (and sometimes nerve-wracking!) experience of living away from home. 

Your son or daughter can speak to their Residence Life Mentor confidentially about whatever is on their mind. Mentors will visit flats one evening a week to answer questions, help with any problems, and keep students up-to-date with what’s going on in the University and city.

Your son or daughter will need to bring their own bedding, towels and, if they are going into self catered accommodation, kitchen equipment (crockery, cutlery, pots and pans).  Make sure they read through our checklist for more information.

If you are already concerning yourself with where your son or daughter will live after their first year, then we advise you to not rush into agreeing an expensive contract unnecessarily. There is no shortage of student accommodation in Exeter.

Looking for accommodation after your first year can be a daunting experience for your son or daughter, but don’t worry as there are several options open to our returning students, such as remaining in University accommodation, renting a room within a large private student accommodation provider, or living in private sector student housing.

We suggest that our students take time during their first term to consider where they want to live and who they want to live with. Remember that once an accommodation contract has been signed (and paid deposits where required) it is very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to reverse the decision, so make sure that your son or daughter has thought everything through before making that commitment.

The Students' Guild Advice Unit offer their help and support by looking over any contract before your son or daughter decides to sign up to a private contract. They are able to offer advice about all aspects of living within the private sector.

The Accommodation Office manage the studentpad website, which lists properties/rooms from private landlords and large student accommodation private providers. The University Accommodation Fair which is managed by the Students Guild takes place in November each year with a potential second one happening in January also.