For many, moving away from home for the first time is an important part of being a student. It is an exciting opportunity to make some great friends, share fantastic experiences and become part of the Aberdeen community. 

Wherever you live, you are part of a community and it’s important to remember that your lifestyle may be different to your neighbours or flatmates. Don’t forget the people who live near you may be elderly, have children, have health related issues, and they may even be students themselves with important deadlines to meet. 

Get recognition for the role you play!

If you are undertaking volunteering during or after your studies, you can apply for the ABDNCommunity Volunteering Programme. This programme provides students with a set of reflection exercises and development activities to complete, which will help you make the most of your opportunity. Successful completion of the programme will be recognised on the Enhanced Transcript. If you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student at the University of Aberdeen, you can participate in the ABDNCommunity Volunteering Programme and may be eligible to apply for bursary funding.

How you can be a Community Champion

Being a Community Champion means being reasonable and tolerant of different people’s views, lifestyles and considering how your behaviour affects others. There are lots of things we can do to keep our neighbourhoods clean, safe, and happy. 

Give back to the local community

There are lots of opportunities for you to give back to the local community and get involved.

The University's Careers and Employability Service can help you source and apply for volunteering opportunities through CareerConnect.

Other places to look for opportunities are Volunteering Scotland and Volunteering Aberdeen. We also recommend visiting your local charity shops to see if they’re recruiting, and keep an eye out on supermarket bulletins in case anything is advertised there. If you’re keen to give back to the children and young people of Aberdeen, have a look at Befriend a Child or the BP Student Tutoring Scheme. There may be opportunities for you to volunteer within your subject area, for example taking part in Street Law or volunteering part time in one of Aberdeen’s museums.

Not all volunteering options are advertised, however, so it’s a good idea to chat to your Careers Adviser if you’re keen to get involved in your local community but are unsure where to start. They can help you work out what is best for you based on your time commitments, interests, and whether it’s important that your involvement be relevant to your career plans after university. Make an appointment with the Careers and Employability Service through their website.

Accommodation
Rented Accommodation
Introduce yourself to your neighbours when you move in. this will help to break the ice and develop an amicable relationship with them. If you start with a positive relationship and treat your neighbours with respect and consideration during the year, this will go a long way to ensuring that you receive the same from them. It will benefit everyone – they know who to contact if they have a problem and you never know when you may need to ask for their help.
University or Private Halls
When moving into Halls it may be the first time you have lived away from home and with other people, and it can take some getting used to! Living in Halls should be fun – it’s a great way to make friends with people from a variety of backgrounds, and really helps you get the most out of your university life.
Organising your household

It's a good idea to get a few ground rules set with your flatmates early on to agree on things like allocating space in the fridge, recycling, washing up, cleaning/cooking rotas, guests staying over, parties and what's acceptable in terms of noise levels.

Student Resident Assistants can help those who live in University accommodation by completing a Community Living Agreement which helps flatmates agree basic guidelines.

Download this cleaning rota and stay on track with your household.

Move In Checklist
Download this checklist of things you should do when you have moved into your new home. 
Move Out Checklist
Download this checklist of things you should do when moving out of your accommodation.  
Noise

As part of everyday living, and the fact that no home is totally soundproof, we all must expect some noise from the people living around us. Keep noise to a considerate level and close your doors and windows so that others around you will not be bothered. 

Top tips keeping the noise down

Walking home

  • Keep noise to a low-level when you walk home at any time, but particularly at night. People tend to be unaware how much noise they make when in a group
  • There should be no singing or shouting, no anti-social behaviour such as knocking bins over or vandalism and no littering as you walk home. Take your rubbish home with you.

Parties

  • Check your tenancy agreement allows you to have parties
  • Remember there is no right to party
  • If you are going to organise one, have it on a Friday or Saturday and keep music to a reasonable level
  • Speak to your neighbours in advance to let them know you are having friends over and negotiate the finishing time
  • Keep noise levels down. Remember noise travels beyond your immediate neighbours, including those at the back of your property
  • Keep doors and windows closed and avoid partying in the garden. If people go outside, make sure they keep quiet, especially late at night
  • Ask your friends to leave quietly. You are responsible for the noise they make in your room, house or in the street
  • Even if people suggest they are ok for you to party, they may still choose to complain if they are disturbed or the party continues too late.
If you have noisy neighbours
  • In University accommodation, the Student Resident Assistants (SRAs) or the Community Liaison Officer deal with noise complaints and disciplinaries. Call SRA team on 01224 274013 (office hours) or 01224 274030 (6pm-6am)
  • or email residentassistants@abdn.ac.uk
  • If you live in private student accommodation, you should contact your residential team.
  • For those that live in rented accommodation within the local community, Aberdeen City Council Antisocial Behaviour Investigation Team aim is to help make sure that all citizens can live peacefully in safe and secure communities. They will rigorously investigate antisocial behaviour complaints and always give residents affected by antisocial behaviour help and support to make them feel safer. 
  • To report a crime, including a Public Order offence, call the Police.
    • Call 999 in an emergency – for example if a crime is in progress or if someone’s life is in danger
    • or 101 for all other Police matters.
Stay safe

Living away from home can seem daunting, but campus, and Aberdeen as a whole, are safe areas with a low crime rate, and we have an excellent working relationship with Grampian Police. It is important however, that you do all you can to keep yourself and your possessions safe and do not take unnecessary risks.  

SafeZone
SafeZone is a free app that connects you to the University security team if you ever need urgent help, first aid or if you have an emergency while on campus. Download the SafeZone app
Insurance

You should insure your possessions against damage or theft as the cost of replacing them will be far more than the premium you pay. Many companies offer a low-cost policy specifically aimed at students.  

Top tips on home security
  • If your house has an alarm, use it 
  • Lock your doors and windows, even if someone is in 
  • Keep your laptop, car keys, phones, and other valuables out of sight 
  • Register your property on immobilise.com to increase your chances of getting it back if it is lost or stolen 
  • If you are all going out, leave a light or radio on and draw the curtains to give the impression that someone is in 
  • A reactor rear-light can be a good deterrent.  
Top tips on personal security
  • Before heading to town, make sure you got at least one phone number of your flatmates and a local taxi number you can call
  • Google pin important locations such as your accommodation and campus
  • Identify the safest route home. Use well lit, main routes even if it adds time to your journey 
  • Avoid short cuts through alleys and parks 
  • Stay with friends and try to avoid walking alone in the hours of darkness 
  • Walk with confidence with your keys ready 
  • Stay alert, avoid using headphones or talking on your phone when walking 
  • Be visible at night so drivers can see you.  
  • Always use a licensed taxi 
  • Report any suspicious activity to the Police 
  • If you're finding yourself in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation while being in a bar, ask for Angela. "Ask for Angela" is a codeword which is used across some bars in the UK.
Top tips on car safety
  • Take your valuables with you when you leave the car or lock them out of sight 
  • Park your car on your driveway or garage if you have one. If not, park in a well-lit spot, preferably under street lighting 
Top tips on bicycle safety
  • Be visible if you are cycling at night. You are not legal, or safe, to ride on the road in the dark without front and rear lights
  • Wear reflective and/or high viz clothing to make sure drivers can see you  
  • Make sure your bike is roadworthy  
  • Always lock your bicycle. Hardened steel D-shaped locks are recommended  
  • Secure removable parts and lock the wheels and frame together.
Get involved

Volunteering is a great way to meet people, explore our community, and grow as a person. 

There are many ways in which you can participate in volunteering during your studies.

Check out the AUSA website for volunteering opportunities.

Your local area

You have chosen to come to university in a beautiful area, so use your weekends to explore the area outside the campus. 

To find a list of outdoor spaces, facilities and museums visit the Aberdeen City Council website.  

Information on getting around on campus and the city is available here.

Useful contacts

A list of useful contacts is available on the Student FAQ pages.