Staying connected is more important than ever for UK students, particularly as we move out of lockdowns and back to Campus. Many Universities will continue to take a blended approach to learning and teaching, meaning a stable connection is a necessity for many students.
All UK Universities offer free Wi-Fi on Campus and at your university you can find information about on-Campus internet on the university website (norrmally in the Library section). This is brilliant and makes staying connected while on Campus - in classes or in the Library really easy.
For the times you are not physically on-Campus you will likely need to access the internet via wither a personal connection or via a hotspot.
Many local Councils run Wi-Fi hotspots, and most café's, bars and other commercial premises have a Wi-Fi hotspot for customer use.
If you are struggling to find a connection there are hotspot finders available like this Wi-Fi map
The only real downside to these connections is that they are normally "customer only" so require a purchase which can become expensive if you can't make a coffee last 3 hours (I have no problem with this myself - shameless !).
Sometimes when you need to really focus working or participating from your accommodation is the only or best option, and this is where it can get expensive to stay connected unfortunately.
Most student accommodation has Wi-Fi included and some commercial lets do as well - it is definitely worth checking the situation when signing up for a lease. The costs can obviously be shared with flatmates or friends but providers will normally require a contract to be in place. In order to find the best deal it is always a good idea to chop around using a GoCompare or MoneySupermarket type website - Uswitch is also really good for finding the deal that works for you: https://www.uswitch.com/broadband/
The final main option for staying connected is using your mobile phone to tether to your device as a personal hotspot. Whether this is an option for you is probably dependant on the level of mobile data that you have on your phone contract - and if you have a contract in place at all.
Many mobile providers offer "unlimited data" deals now and this can take the stress out of accessing your course (and everything else), but these are more expensive. If this is the route you are going down it is definitely worth shopping around to find the right deal (and handset - right) for you.
Very finally - if you do find yourself in a tight spot and the above options are not available to you - you can purchase Pay-as-You-Go data using your university award funds. This is a great short term solution and the data can be added to a SIM card across all of the major networks. It is not a bad idea to have a PAYG SIM around just in case of such an eventuality - you can order free ones here:
- Three 3
And if using a PAYG SIM or indeed using your own mobile phone is not an option for you - you can purchase a mobile data hotspot device using your university award funds as well. These are standalone devices that have the advantage of allowing multiple connections and improved speeds - so you can share the connection with others which is cool.
Staying connected is really important whilst at University, and as above there are loads of options for you in terms of achieving it. I would say that if you are really struggling to connect you should talk to your University IT team who can be found in the IT support section of your university website or even the Hardship team who may be able to help dependant on circumstances. This team can usually be contacted via the details in the Financial support for students section of the university website.