Edge Hill Student Support Fund – We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.


The Edge Hill student support fund was setup to allow students who experience serious financial difficulties in funding their time here at the university a chance to flourish without disadvantage. Its main aim is to “support students whose expenses exceed their income. ” However,  there is no automatic entitlement to an award.

The initiative is ran by Edge Hill University Student Services and is just another example of how the university takes care of each and every student who studies here.


This fund is designed to give students who do not receive enough in income such as student loans or bursaries a balanced budget. To apply you must have attempted to find other options open to you such as:

  • Burasaries
  • Banking
  • Budgeting
  • Cash-flow
  • Part time work
  • Statutory Funding

If all of the above cannot help you then you can apply for the fund.


To apply for the fund, you must first attend a session in the university after you move in. You need to bring:

  1. Student ID
  2. Current bank balance
  3. A months Bank Statement
  4. Your debit card

The drop in session times can be found here! They take place in the Student Information Center.


The standard award, or max, is 3,000 pounds. You will receive a percentage of this, up to 100%, depending on your situation. You may also receive non-standard awards for unseen things such as household repairs or emergencies.

The application window opens mid October. Keep your eyes peeled for it, and remember if you need the support Edge Hill is there to offer it.


If you want to find out more about the Student Support fund check out the webpage for it here: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentservices/student-support-fund/

And if you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Learning to drive at Edge Hill – Parking permits add 20 horsepower to your car

Theory Test bookley


Learning to drive is one of the most rewarding experiences that you will undertake as a young adult, it gives you the freedom to go wherever you want. Even if you only want to go to Toby Carvery for lunch it is still freedom and nothing compares to it. You may have already started to learn in another country, or you may even have a full license in your name, but there are strict rules regarding driving in the UK so it is best to prepare before you arrive.


Irish Driving LicenseBefore we begin it is important to note a few things. If you have a provisional license held in another country it is not valid. If hold a full driving license you must transfer your license to a UK license within 3 years of moving.

You can find out more information about transferring your license here. If you have a provisional you must apply for a new provisional issued within the United Kingdom.


The first step towards driving in the UK is understanding the procedure for getting a driving license. It is a simple affair, usually an online form. You can access the form here and find out if you qualify to apply online. It will cost you £34. Once you apply online you will issued with a paper form where you complete some paperwork, signature, picture for the license and the like, and finally you return it to DVLA , Swansea, SA99 1AD. After a few weeks, if successful, you will be returned with a shiny new green license!


Theory Test bookleyIts time to move own now to your first lessons and your theory test. You can use the official government instructor search here. I found one relatively close to me with good reviews called Owen, and messaged him. He got back to me and we organized to go on our first lesson.


The Theory Test is next. Your instructor will guide you further on this and ensure that you are ready when you travel to the nearest center (Southport) to take this 50 question test along side the hazard perception element. My instructor gave me access to some software to help me revise but you might want to consider the official review material that can be found here. Once you are ready you can book it here for £23 and our nearest test center to Edge Hill is located in Southport. You can catch a bus right from Ormskirk there and back. The UK theory takes about half an hour, although some longer or shorter, and contains 50 multiple choice questions as well as a selection of ‘Hazard Perception’ videos that require you to click when there is a hazard. Its good to ask your instructor questions about these if you are unsure about any section.


Finally it is on to your driving test. Once you have completed your theory test you will receive your theory test certificate. Hold onto this, you will need to bring it with you to the test. Most instructors in Ormskirk recommend the Southport driving test center. Your instructor will let you know when you are ready to book your test, and also how much he will charge for the use of his car for the test. You can book your test when ready here.Make sure to ask your instructor to go through a mock test if he has not shown you the format already. Once you are prepped and ready, head out and best of luck.


You should now have all the knowledge you need to get out there and get your license, learning to drive in the UK. However, there are a few tips that you might find useful along side all this.

  • If you drive in N. Ireland on a provisional the limit is 45 mph
  • You must be insured to drive. This can be expensive if you under 25.
  • You cant drive on motorways with a provisional license.
  • The speed is in miles per hour, not kilometers. Remember that 100 kph is 62 mph not 60.
  • You can use your provisional to apply for a bike theory test and drive low power bikes without a full license.
  • Unlike N. Ireland ‘R’ plates do not exist. There are optional ‘P’ plates however.
  • Don’t forget to apply for a parking permit to park on campus also! (It adds 20 horsepower to your car)

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Preparing for continuous assessment at Edge Hill – You won’t have to cram the night before!


If you are a student of an education system that relies on exams for assessment you may have never even come across the term ‘Continuous Assessment’. This method of assessment is commonly used in courses throughout Edge Hill University so it is a good idea to get to know what it is and practice before you start under this type of education.


Continuous Assessment is the practice of giving you a grade based on your coursework that is submitted over the length of your course. For example you may be given an assignment every week for two months, each representing a certain percentage of your final grade. This means that you are already stacking up points towards your grade as soon as you submit work. Meaning you don’t have to worry about remembering everything at once on one particular day. If you are already prepared for this type of assessment you will slip right into the swing of things. However if you, like me, are from an education background where everything is based on exams it might take some time to adjust.


Clock with time on notepadTime management is a very important aspect of this method of study. If you don’t manage your time correctly you will miss deadlines. Unlike missing your homework, missing your deadline for coursework results in your grade being affected. You have to manage your time well in order to maximize your grade.


Notes on a4 paperKeeping notes simple and brief is also important. Unlike taking notes for something that you will not review for weeks, months or even years, continuous assessment is set on a much shorter time range. Your notes should be short but clear so that you get everything down and quickly refer to them later. Your brain will do most of the work remembering.


Concept lifestyle image of balance.Balance is possibly the most important. You need to make time and put the same amount of effort into all your coursework. You will like some more than others, and as such its easy to dismiss pieces you don’t want to complete. Work hard at it and keep your head down. Remember, it is your grade at stake.

 


Follow these steps and try to practice these skills in your every day life. A good example is taking homework as serious as your exams for a week or two to get used to putting your best into something on a weekly basis.

While not all courses at Edge Hill are fully coursework based most have elements of continuous assessment. Remember to prepare for any exams you might have also.

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Sean’s Random Encounters – Ormskirk Bus Station

Seans Random Encounters Text


This is a new format I am trying out, aptly named ‘Sean’s Random Encounters’. Its my job here as a blogger to give you information, making your life easier when you arrive here in September. There is, however, only so many things that I can think of to write about. Luckily there is about fifteen thousand students here than can lend me a hand and that is exactly what this blog is going to be about. I’m going to interview random students, randomly of course, and find out things like ‘Did you have a course you wanted to do from day one or did you change along the way’ or ‘Whats the best thing about Edge Hill’. So here it is, the first of Sean’s Random Encounters.


Edge Hill Bus StationWhile walking down through the Ormskirk Bus Station I noticed two students sitting on the bench near the EdgeLink stop (Read more about traveling to Orksmirk here). The question I put to both of them was this: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before you started university what would it be? Now for the life of me I cannot remember their names (I will write them down next time) so if you are reading this and I spoke to you leave a comment and ill give you a mention!


‘Making friends is easier than I thought’

As we got talking one strong message that came up from the first year students was that making friends was easier than imagined. I asked a few more questions about how they started to socialize and meet people after moving to the university.

‘When I moved into my flat with 7 others they all felt the same way. Slowly after everyone’s parents had left we sat in the kitchen. I mean sure, we talked on the Facebook group chat before but it was still awkward meeting for the first time’ he said ‘but it got heaps easier when we got talking.’

He also mentioned the Students Union, Hub and meeting friends of friends.

‘So me and a few flat mates went to the SU and met with some of the people that they had known before university. Again awkward but because everything was going so fast on welcome Sunday we were all a little bit more out there anyway’

And at that the EL1 bus came and be parted ways.


Some great points were made here. Flatmates are people you will see almost every day so its worth befriending them. And they can even introduce you to friends that they have. Clubs, Societies and your own Course are great places to meet friends. You already have a mutual interests most likely! But there are so many ways that you couldn’t write them all down if you tried. The point is this; making friends is easy at university. So if you are stressing out over it, don’t. Everyone is on the same level as you and if you spark up a conversation anywhere from Aldi to Alpine or Bar to Bus you will find someone who is dying to talk back.


I hope you have enjoyed this blog and its new format. If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Computer Science and Edge Hill – If you leave Windows open your computer will get cold

Computer Science Students at Edge Hill


Computer Science is a wonderful, broad subject that covers every aspect of computing. It can range from database design all the way to systems administration. I am a first year student in Computer Science (Network, Security and Forensics) and there is a few things that I would have liked to have been told before I started the course. If any of you are thinking about taking this pathway in higher education then these might just help you along the way


Computer Science students have a joint first year

No matter what you specialise in, if you are a computer science student (Without Math) then you are lumped into a joint first year. That means that although I am taking Networking, Security and Forensics as my specialisations within computing science I will still be exposed to other elements of computing such as web design and computing with business.


Edge hill has just got a new tech hub

The £13 million tech hub was opened with the idea of bringing state of the art technology to the computing students of Edge Hill. It features the UK’s first super immersive 3D virtual environment (C.A.V.E) and computer labs spread throughout its 3 floors. It also houses the staff of the computing department.


All computing courses are BSC accredited

Edge Hill computing courses are accredited by the British Society of Computing aswell as The Chartered Institute of IT. They meet all the latest requirements of employers and are ever expanding to keep up with the fast changing environment of Computing.


These are just some of the things that make studying computing science at Edge Hill amazing and enjoyable. If you want to learn more about computing send a email to think@edgehill.ac.uk for advice or leave a comment bellow and I will get back to you personally.

How to deal with missing home at Edge Hill – The awkward ‘goodbye’ hugs

Three fingers as friends

Harry Potter on train waving goodbye


Moving to University is a hard thing to do. It takes guts to leave family and friends behind and move to a new place or even a new country to study. The rewards are amazing but as you stand waiting for the bus, train, plane or taxi you’re always going to get that gut feeling that tells you not to leave. It will probably fight with your excitement of leaving and that’s normal. Some people are affected by this particularly badly. If you are one of these people then I have a few tips for you.


1. Plan a trip home before you even leave

Map of Ormskirk and surrounding area.

One of the best pieces of advice that I was ever given at Edge Hill was by Susan Canning. When I came over for an applicant visit day she told me to plan a trip home before I have even left. If you live far away it is a great help. It gave me something to look forward to doing and a reassurance that I was going to see family and friends soon.


2. Pick up the phone and call

Old style telephone

It isnt that hard to do. You might not have called your family before and it can even seem awkward but talking and sharing news, keeping each other up to date. But don’t worry if you don’t phone them because chances are they are going to phone you anyway. You better answer. Believe me in the long run it is a lot better for everyone to talk and keep in contact.


3. Video calling friends and family

Video call with parentsYour parents may not have needed to video call anyone before but its a good idea to show them how. Seeing familiar faces is a good way to feel at home away from home. Make sure to keep in contact with friends also. Talking with them, and discussing what they are doing now in college or university can make the world feel smaller.


4. Inviting family and friends to visit

Family Picture visitingHaving your family visit you can be a great experience for all. A little break for them to come somewhere new and free food for you. Having people you know close to you can help beat the butterflies in the stomach from being away from home and means that your family and come and see how you are getting on and tell you to clean your room just like they did before.


5. Meet new people and make new friends

Three fingers with cartoon drawings of faces to represent friendsThe great thing about university is everyone is almost certainly on the same boat as you. The fact is most of the people you run into on a daily bases are missing family and friends just like you. You might have left all of our old friends behind at home, but there is a whole new world out there to meet and find new people to talk too.


That’s my top 5 list. It might be hard to get past the fact that you are leaving home but if you think of the positives you will make it through. You might think you are leaving friends and family behind but you are not doing it forever.

If you have any other questions about coming to university and dealing with problems such as leaving home email think@edgehill.ac.uk for advice or leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

Getting between home and Edge Hill University – Or how not to miss your flight

Plane landing at Dublin Airport


If you have never lived outside your country before then it can be daunting thinking about getting here for the first time. I had never even seen a plane before getting on EZ614 from Belfast to Liverpool last September. It is going to seem scary and daunting making that commute back and forth to visit home, friends and family. It might even be a deal breaker for some because of the stress, but if you follow the tips in this post you will find yourself home easier than you can say ‘ensure your drinks trays are in the upright position’.


Google Flights LOGO
Google Flights

First thing is first, let’s get those flights sorted. I’m going to deal mainly with booking flights in this post because I do not (yet!) have experience with the ferry between home and here. The closest airport to Edge Hill is Liverpool John Lennon. I use Google Flights to book trips.  It allows searching of multiple airports from one destination and gives you the best price from each airline. Helpfully, it also allows tracking of prices so you can see if they move up or down. It’s a must use for booking any flights, you can click the link above or simply Google your flight (i.e: Liverpool to Dublin).


Mersey Travel Logo
MerseyTravel

Ok so you have your flights booked. Lets talk about getting to them on time. I can’t speak for your own country as each public transport system is different and that is something that you will require some research (Google Maps is a good place to start). But once you have found your way to the airport on your end you will need to plan your trip to the university. The main travel service between Liverpool John Lennon and Edge Hill is MerseyTravel. You can’t miss their trains, they are big and yellow. I have found in my experience the best route to take is as follows:

 

  • 500/86A Bus to Liverpool South Parkway Train Station
  • MerseyRail Train to Liverpool Central Train Station
  • MerseyRail Train to Ormskirk
  • EL1 Bus to Edge Hill Uni

You can see how that looks on Google Maps by clicking Here!

If all else fails you can also get a taxi for around £30.


Airport Security
The big day

So you’ve done your planning. You have the flights booked and your plan ready on getting to the airport, and getting from the airport to your destination. If you have flown before great! Usual rules, turn up in good time and don’t pack anything silly that will get you in trouble. If you haven’t flown before then its time to listen up. Arrive early. Believe me you would rather spend half an hour around the duty-free shops against missing your flight. I recommend forty-five minutes before your gate closes (usually half an hour before your flight) so you can get through security and chill. And while we are on the subject of time, if you are of the legal age please don’t let the all-day pubs distract you. Again missing your flight is not worth it. If you are checking in bags, plan accordingly and take time into consideration. Also remember to check your flights boarding procedures, for example Ryan Air require a passport on ALL flights, where as EasyJet only require photoID on domestic flights. 100ml is the maximum amount of liquid in a bottle you can take on board also and no blades. You can see a general list of airport packing do’s and don’ts here!


So that’s all there is to it. Get your flights, plan out your day around it and make backups in case the trains decide to go on strike. It isn’t as hard as you might think and you can do it with the right mind-set and preparation. And remember if you do miss your flight it isn’t the end of the world. Liverpool is a busy airport check for other flights going out on the same day, you might get lucky!

For other travel query’s about getting to the university and for free advice about life at Edge Hill email think@edgehill.ac.uk

All the best,
Sean M – Edge Hill Student

Edge Hill University and SUSI – An Irish guide to applying for finance at Edge Hill

Satellite picture of Ireland and England.

Satellite picture of Ireland and England.


Before we begin I want to point out that this blog is intended for those applying for finance from Ireland (Republic of.). This is my first blog, and for good reason. Applying for finance is daunting at the best of time but try setting your heart on studying at a university only to be told ‘Oh, you will struggle with money because the student loan company wont give you maintenance”. That’s exactly what happened to me. But don’t worry, I am living proof that it is possible.


Student Loans CompanyLogo
Student Loans Company UK

So the first thing to do is not panic. If you have just been told that you wont get money from the SLC (Student Loans Company UK) ignore everything they have said. For a start you will get a fees loan from them, assuming you qualify, just like any other student. The money you wont receive is the maintenance, but we will cover that in the next section. For now the first thing to do is get on the right track and get the EU student application pack (Here!). Fill them out and if you need help have a parent or guidance councilor sit down and look through them with you. Get on that early! If accepted that will be your fees sorted.


SUSI logo
Student Universal Support Ireland

Next it’s onto money to live. This is where I freaked out. No one knew what was going on, and I couldn’t find anyone that had gone through this process before. After calling and calling to different organizations the solution turned out to be easier than I thought. SUSI, or Student Universal Support Ireland, will still pay for students attending school abroad. If you currently attend an Irish secondary school your guidance councilor can help you apply or you can take it on yourself (Here!). And to top it all off SUSI is a grant. That’s right, a grant. Not a loan, you don’t have to pay it back. So just go ahead and apply like a regular student and if eligible SUSI will deliver your grant money once a month.


So its as simple as that, you get your fees from SLC and your maintenance from SUSI. Knowing is always half the battle.

Here are a few extra tips from me:

  • Apply early. Get it done and out of the road. SUSI may also require your parents to do taxes early so be prepared for that.
  • Dont lie. Be honest, they will catch you out.
  • If SUSI ask for a letter describing the loan you will receive from SLC you need to wait for your SLC loan to be approved before they can issue it.
  • SUSI will only pay into an Irish Euro account so make sure you keep one open.
  • Remember the exchange rate plays a part in how much money you have when you spend it here.
  • If in doubt call! SUSI: +353 (76) 1087874. SLC: +44 (141) 243 3570
  • You can check if you are eligible for a SUSI grant and how much you will get by using the reckoner – (Here!).
  • If you do find yourself here for an open or applicant day, check out the student finance stand. It’s usually in the hub.

That’s all from me and I hope this blog can help some of my Irish fellow students. If you have any other questions about Edge Hill then feel free to email think@edgehill.ac.uk for free advice and answers to your questions, or leave a comment below this blog and I will get back to your personally.

Slán go fóill,
Sean M. – Edge Hill Student