Cost of Living:
Shops & Banks:
I am currently studying at Kingston and can assure you it is an excellent place to be. Its facilities are fabulous and almost everything is catered for on site. The only downfall is that they don't have cash points on the campus.
They cater for nursing, teaching, lawyers and business studies. For nursing they are rated the best in london and second best in the country. The teaching staff are brilliant and are really interested in you the student doing well. They know their stuff and make the lectures interesting. If you need extra help they are more than happy to give it. You are allocated a personal tutor for your three years with them and they are there to help with any little problems you might run into.
It is extremely competitive to get in and they take on average 1 out of 5 students who've applied. Says something in itself really about how many people think it is a good place to get their education. Also the university is fussy because they have very high standards of education. My philosophy is if you're going to do something, you might as well do it right, and this is definitly the place to do it.
They have a fabulous selection of sporting facilities like gym, tennis courts, martial arts, football, rugby, aerobics, etc. Pretty much anything you're into they have. They also do outside activities like the territorial army, skiing and so on. Their prices are aimed at the skint student and are loads cheaper than anywhere else I've seen.
They also have a huge library with plenty of resources. For nurses you have access to the facilities of St. Georges University Hospital and they have a library facility there too. Also you have access to computers on both sites and access to the internet for your research. You can reserve books in advance if they're out and they will hold them for up to a week for you.
They also have two canteens at Kingston and the usual student bar, subsidised of course!!! Again for nurses you have access to a student bar in Tooting Broadway and you're allowed to take one guest per student on the night. Both bars are equipped with pool tables and a stage which means they do the usual discos. Also you can buy a £20 ticket which lasts a year and gives you a third off drinks and entrance fees which they charge to pay for the DJs who entertain you all night long. When there is no entertainment the entrance is free of course. Entrance charges are usually about £2-3 for the night and are minimal.
The student union is again quite pro-active in organising events for fun, social and to enhance your future career. In the nursing branch they recently arranged some volunteer students to do two weeks part-time aids awareness training and outreach work to support sufferers of this terrible illness. They do numerous other activities and it is a full time job in itself keeping track of it all because they're constantly at it.
Accommodation isn't too good unfortunately. For nurses you get to live in Tooting Bec in the student digs!!! It costs about £300 per month and covers all your bills, except the telephone. Most students have pay as you go mobiles so they can be contacted but are rarely able to phone others. Bearing in mind the grant you get is about £500 per month to live off, it's not exactly brilliant. Most of us do overtime to afford the good old drinking sessions. The money you get to live off is sufficient to pay for your food, sports and accommodation I would say, without getting yourself into any debts. Another problems with the accommodation is that after the first year they expect you to find accommodation of your own, thus your livnig costs go up, but they won't boot you out immediately if you are having difficulties in that department and in some cases will allow the student to stay on indefinitely.
There is a shop selling stationary in Kingston, but again their prices are much of a much with what you would find in town and doesn't save on the purse strings. Also another thing to consider is the cost of buying books. The best way to do this cheap is to look out for last year students leaving who want to sell theirs and they are frequently advertising. What I've come to find is that generally speaking if you're quick at the library you can avoid having to buy out on books. The early bird gets the worm and saves money!!!
I think this is very good for getting to the campus. There are many student buses running from Tooting Bec to Kingston and inter-site buses running between the numerous campuses, about four in Kingston area. They give the maps out at the student office and they are absolutely free, providing you show your student badge. They run frequently and are scheduled to fit with lecture times. So when your class finishes you generally have 15 mins to get to the bus stop. Plenty of time for a pleasant stroll, a quick fag and a natter. When going on placements you have to rely on good old public transport, and the costs are reimbursed at the end of each semester.
Overall, with a bit of overtime, there is no reason for you to have to have a huge loan to pay off at the end of your education and you have a fresh start to a new career ahead of you. If you ask me, this is pretty damn good going bearing in mind that most student are in hoc the first 3-5 years of their working lives.
Written by beccajackson on 15th Nov 2007