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This is a guest blog by current student Laura Mann.

I’m a third year student ambassador, studying computer visualisation and animation. Bournemouth University was definitely the right choice for me as it is home to the National Center for Computer Animation (NCCA) which has won several awards and has unrivalled industry links (something that applies to many of BU’s courses).

Unlike other universities, the Fresher’s week at BU is more like fresher’s fortnight with loads of social and sporting activities running for free for you to try out and meet new people. They have local and national business visiting to give away lots of freebies; including Nando’s, Amazon, Deliveroo, Kitsound, Wagamama, Wilko, Specsavers, Starbucks, stalls selling locally made fudge/ cake/ jewellery/ clothing and a huge poster tent – all the fresher’s essentials!  Despite the name, I still go every year to scoop up all of that free food and to visit my friends who are running society stands in the student union building, ready for you to sign up to anything and everything you might be interested in.

For my first year in halls I stayed in Lyme Regis House, which I chose based on the location. It was perfect for me to be upstairs from a Tesco Express (and a Starbucks!) while still less than a 5 minute walk from a large Asda supermarket AND the train and bus stations. Not to mention, I could still walk to the beach and town centre in 10-15 minutes or when feeling lazy use my unlimited bus travel card (included with all BU accommodation) to get there in just 3 minutes.

Now in my third year and last year in my second, I have lived in a private rented flat on the same road as my halls because I really do love that location. It is more common though for 2nd and 3rd year students to rent houses closer to uni (5-15 minutes walk) as it’s convenient for that and cheaper, however you’d then have to take a bus to town or train station. At first, I was worried about having to pay bills myself as they’re not included when private renting like they are in halls, but together with my two flatmates we divided up responsibility for each utility, made a few calls and it wasn’t as hard as I’d thought.

As for the studying part of being a student, I go in most days of the week for lectures and then continue working in the animation labs during breaks. (You can check these out using on our Virtual Tour here. When I get really into the swing of a project, I sometimes work later into the evening because I enjoy working on it and the labs are open 24 hours which is super useful. Contact hours vary by course and this information should be on your course’s website. Around submission times however, I work around 11 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. If that doesn’t sound fun to you, you can just be better at managing your time than I am.

If you’ve ever had the *pleasure* of being on one of my campus tours on an open day, you will know what the most important parts of BU’s Talbot Campus are… – the vast quantity of Starbucks and Costa outlets perfectly scattered for student re-energising! There’s even a coffee shop in the library, and a Student Union-run bar on campus. The bar is called Dylan’s, and it does amazing quality and value burgers, pizzas and my favourite – the sweet potato fries. Every Monday there is a general knowledge quiz with extra rounds on topics which students can vote on, and a prize for the winner.

Back on the subject of time management, lots of people wonder if they’ll have time for a part-time job while at university. While the extra money is probably a must for most, on my course a job with regular contract hours isn’t an option. I do have a part-time job though, which is being a student ambassador. That works by me only getting sent job offers when I have said I am available, and I can agree to or dismiss any offer I get depending on if I’m busy or just don’t fancy it and it’s all fine. It’s really good for me as there isn’t a regular commitment, and I don’t have to do any work around deadlines or exams. Similarly, when I am free there are lots of opportunities to help out the uni while earning a decent amount of £ .

Thanks for reading everyone and I hope this was useful, do reply if you have any follow up questions!

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