Safety and Well-Being Information
Your time at University should be an enjoyable one. In order to achieve this, we want to ensure that you and your friends stay safe throughout your time here. With a little bit of thought, you can take some basic steps to minimise the chances of anything going wrong:
10 tips for staying safe and keeping well:
- Register with a GP practice as soon as possible after arriving in Aberdeen – don’t wait until you become unwell as it is hard to get a doctor to see you if you haven’t already registered with that practice. Further information regarding GP practices can be found at http://www.nhsgrampian.org/ or from InfoHub or the Student Advice and Support Office.
- At the end of a night out, make sure that you know how everyone in your group is getting home. If someone is going home alone, consider whether they could be walked home by a group of friends or if they could take a taxi/bus.
- Avoid badly lit areas after dark. As in any city, this includes avoiding walking through parks at night time. To get to Hillhead, the ‘preferred walking route’ is advised - www.abdn.ac.uk/students/hillhead-route.php
- Make informed decisions regarding your alcohol consumption (this includes not leaving your drink unattended and not accepting drinks from strangers). Visit the drinkaware website at http://www.drinkaware.org/ for key facts regarding the effects of alcohol on your life and lifestyle. In addition, http://www.talktofrank.com/ and http://www.roofie.com/ provide drug-related advice.
- ‘Tombstoning’ (jumping off heights into water) causes many severe injuries each year across the country, so is strongly discouraged. In particular, please be aware that the water under the Brig o’ Balgownie can be shallow in places and submerged rocks exist which are not always visible.
- Eating well and taking exercise are known to contribute to positive well-being. Most of the large supermarkets produce recipe cards which advise on how to produce a balanced meal on a budget. Exercise can be as simple as walking to/from University or going for a run. Facilities which enable more structured forms of exercise are available at Aberdeen Sports Village (see http://www.aberdeensportsvillage.com/).
- Although many students stay in Halls in their first year, it is common for friends to get together to share a private flat in later years. It is important to ensure that anywhere you rent is safe and that your landlord is treating you fairly. Download the Private Rented Accommodation Handbook. Further guidance can be obtained from the Students’ Association or the Student Advice and Support Office. Advice is also available at http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/scotland/files/2010/11/Tenants-advice-leaflet2.pdf
- Many (in fact, most) students have to take some form of part-time work to help ends meet. This work experience can also assist you with developing employment skills for the future. For further advice on how to find work as a student and your rights as an employee, visit the Joblink webpages at www.ausa.org.uk/joblink. Remember that, if you are an international student, your visa is likely to restrict the number of hours you can work. It is essential that you remain within these hours, as working beyond this would be unlawful under the terms of your visa.
- Budgeting is extremely important, regardless of your level of income and your personal circumstances. Staff in the Students’ Association and in the Student Advice and Support Office would be happy to discuss your financial situation with you, if you have any concerns. If you find yourself in a position of experiencing unexpected financial hardship, you might be eligible to apply for the Discretionary Fund. Further information is available at the Student Advice and Support Office on the ground floor of the Hub. However, it should be noted that funds for International students are extremely limited.
- Visit http://www.abdn.ac.uk/estates/supportservices/safecampus/ for further information on how to stay safe on campus.
Sometimes, life can throw us something which is completely unexpected. If you experience any difficulties (personal, financial, academic etc) and are at a loss as to who to resolve these, please come to the Student Advice and Support Office on the ground floor of the Hub for a confidential discussion about your circumstances.