GETTING BY WITHOUT A GUARANTOR

Foreign students sometimes have it rough. If you’re looking to rent, or moving out of Murano, you will often need a guarantor. This is someone who will pay your rent if something goes wrong, and must be UK-based. The easy way to get around this is to date a British person (sorry). That way you can get their parents to hook you up, and Boris Johnson will be left scratching at the door like an ugly cat who only loves you for the food you give it. An easier way is to make a British friend, and tell the landlord you are dating.

P.S. Regardless of nationality, a banker’s draft for 6 months rent in advance is universally accepted even if it’s coming from outside the country. If your parents have money that they would willingly pay now (or your student loan comes in one big chunk), instead of in instalments over 6 months, you can avoid all difficulties through the power of £££££. Assuming an average rent is £400 p.c.m. (per calendar month), you would pay £2400.

FEELING A LITTLE LOW?

Struggling to adjust to your new life as a Student? Not sure if your courses are the right ones? Feeling homesick? Or maybe isolated by the bleak surroundings of your new halls of residence? Talk to someone! Any university support services are always stretched thin and are never going to be perfect; but in comparison to others The University of Glasgow isn’t that bad!

To get the ball rolling if you think seeking support is the right thing for you, get your name on the waiting list! There is a long wait… 6 months or more most of the time. After this the University Counselling and Psychological services can offer you 5 sessions of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which is great for some people, but it’s not for everyone, so don’t be disheartened if this doesn’t work for you. There are plenty of external resources, endorsed by the University which can be found through the Counselling and Psychological services (their office is located on Southpark Avenue just behind the Fraser building).

If you have a diagnosed Mental Health condition it may be useful to request a Doctor’s note from your GP at home to this effect so you are seen promptly by the relevant service.

If you need to be seen urgently always go to your GP (Ashton Medical Practice, 3 Ashton Road, or Radnor Street Surgery in Finnieston are great GPs to register with because the University Clinic is always busy and only offer on the day appointments which usually fill up before 8:30am!!). Alternatively if you can’t wait there is a self referral process where you can call from 9am which runs on a first come first serve basis.

The most important thing to remember is its OK to not be OK. The university wants you to succeed! Go and talk to your college academic advisory team, there are peer mentors available and most courses are very willing to extend your deadlines if you’re struggling - you just have to ask (and sometimes provide a medical note for longer extensions). Most importantly, remember you’re not alone. It’s so normal to feel a little out of sorts at the beginning of University and talking to your new friends may seem daunting but they are going through the same experience you are. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

Useful Contacts:
Counselling and Psychological Services 0141 330 4528
External Services
Big White Wall

SEXUAL HEALTH: A TEST YOU’D RATHER NOT FAIL

With condoms available for free everywhere, the wonderful NHS has waved its magic wand and made sexual protection available for everyone. However, if things go wrong or you are worried you can (and should) always make an appointment with your GP (or any) doctor. Testing is free in most cases, and always confidential. Your GP will be able to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea but for other tests you may need to go somewhere else depending on which GP you go to. Sandyford is a specialised sexual health centre located on Sauchiehall Street offering everything to do with sexual health, short of the deed itself. Unfortunately, they are so underfunded that waiting times can be months long, unless you tell them you think you might’ve been exposed to something, in which case you can usually get an appointment much quicker. The Terrence Higgins Trust also have a clinic in town where they offer HIV testing on a walk-in basis.

Council Tax

Students don’t pay council tax. If you receive a letter asking you to pay council tax, don’t worry. All that you have to do is go to Student Services and ask for a form to fill in. They will help you with every step of the process. If you prefer not having to leave your room, you can also apply to be exempt online at Glasgow City Council's website. If you receive a letter saying you have not paid for the past 6 months (with a huge bill attached), again don’t worry. During your time as a student you will never pay council tax (not even during summer). However, you will have to submit a new form every time you move home/ flat which is best to do early on so you can avoid the fear inducing bill you may receive 6 months down the line.