Happy 2022 & Welcome back!

Welcome back! We hope you had a refreshing and enjoyable break over the winter holidays. We’d also like to wish a very warm welcome to the new international students joining us this term – we’re delighted to welcome you to our University and amazing city, and hope you will enjoy your time here.

Keeping yourself safe

With increasing cases of Omicron COVID-19, we need to do all we can to keep ourselves and others safe. We encourage you to make sure your vaccinations are up to date as it’s the best way to keep yourself protected. Please also make sure you take a lateral flow test before returning to campus, and then continue to test twice a week, every week. You can access lateral flow tests via the NHS website and from Estates Assistant Lodges in University buildings. Don’t forget to record your results on the NHS website too.

You may have already heard that the UK Government has recently changed the rules around testing for COVID-19. Under the new rules, which take effect from next Tuesday 11 January, people without symptoms can start their isolation from the day of their positive lateral flow test and will not need a follow-up PCR to confirm.

The aim is to prevent prolonging isolation for people who may have been waiting for a confirmatory PCR result. You can read more about the isolation guidance on the government website.

Please remember to wear face coverings when inside all University buildings, including in teaching spaces, when walking around corridors, and if you have any in-person exams. Be aware that staff may remove their face covering when delivering teaching.

Assessment arrangements

For our returning students coming back to assessments, we wish you the very best of luck.  Please take a few minutes to read through our assessment support page and familiarise yourselves with relevant details about the exams and remember we have a range of study resources to help you. The SU has put some top tips together about looking after your wellbeing during assessments and you can also make use of our online wellbeing resources.

If you need medical support

We know that our hospitals are currently under a lot of pressure.
If you feel unwell and are not sure where you should go you could:

  • phone 111 for advice
  • visit your local pharmacy
  • make an appointment with your GP (local doctor).

If you have an injury and think you may need medical attention, but it doesn’t seem urgent, you might find going to a local Minor Injury Unit more helpful than going to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the local hospital.

You should only phone 999 or attend the local A&E department in an emergency when you need urgent medical care that can’t wait.

For new international students, please visit our Students Health Service web pages for advice about registering with a GP (local doctor) and lots of useful information about looking after your health and where to go for help when you need it.

Things to do

If you are new to Bristol, there’s lots going on to help you settle in including Bristol Student Union’s  Refreshers events programme. Make sure you also visit the Welcome Lounge run by our friendly Global Lounge Team where you can meet other students as well as get advice and support to help you get started.  We also produce a regular newsletter for international students, so watch out for it in your University email account. You’ll find useful information to help you get used to the uni at our Student Services website.

If you’re planning a night out, it’s important to look out for one another as unfortunately, further incidences of spiking were reported before Christmas. Remember to follow the Bristol Rules to have fun and keep safe. Read the SU’s blog post about safety at night and find out what your elected officers are doing to support safer nights out.

We’d also like to remind you that you can now access your teaching timetable and loads of other useful information through the University of Bristol app. You can download it from the app stores, or update to the latest version if you have downloaded it previously.

Things to look forward to this term include:

  • Source cafés across campus offering tasty plant-based meals and snacks for ‘Veganuary’
  • Refreshers events programme  — 21 to 30 January
  • Time to Talk Day – 3 February. We’ll be planning some activity on starting conversations about positive mental health.
  • SU elections – nominations open between 1 to 23 February. Your chance to elect union officers, course and faculty representatives, network chairs and more.
  • 5K run at Coombe Dingle — 20 March
  • Climate Action Day — 29 April. Keep an eye on the SU website for further details.

We hope you have a happy and healthy spring term.

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