It’s time to Find Your Bristol!

Congratulations on securing your place at the University of Bristol. The countdown is now on until you join us! We’re really looking forward to welcoming you very soon.

No doubt you’re full of questions as you start out on this new, exciting chapter. Well, you’re in the right place. This is the first of a series of weekly blog posts to help answer some of the questions you may have about preparing for your arrival in September and beyond.

Current third year students, Rosie and Kaylan, share their tips on where to find further information.

Top places to find info 

New student webpages

For really useful checklists on what to do next and what to do when you arrive, check out the new student webpages. If you’re an international student, take a look at our information for new international students which includes an international student handbook.

Welcome pack and guides

Undergraduates – look out for your Welcome pack in the post, similar to the one above. Postgraduate students – you’ll receive your welcome guide on arrival, either a printed version or via an online link provided by your Faculty. You can also expect to receive an email or two from us in the next few weeks updating you on all the important things to remember.

Start connecting

Official Bristol University Freshers 2019 Facebook group

You may have already joined the Official Bristol University Freshers 2019 Facebook group. We’ve joined forces with Bristol Students’ Union to host this group so it’s definitely worth joining to find out about the big events taking place and start meeting people. Watch out for unofficial Facebook groups and events set up by external organisations. Bristol SU is the only ticket seller for the official Welcome Week programme. You can find out more about this here.

Peer mentoring

Many students choose to get involved with our Peer mentoring scheme. A peer mentor is a current student usually studying a similar subject to you, who can help you to settle in to University. You can ask them any questions you may have about your course or about university life in general.

Don’t forget that all new students are in exactly the same boat as you are, so asking questions and making links with fellow new students, may help to calm those nerves.

Welcome Week

Welcome Week will be taking place from 23 – 27 September and we’d encourage you to get involved in as many activities and events as possible. It’s a great way to start finding your way around campus, meet new people and settle into your new home and the vibrant city of Bristol. You’ll see lots more about Welcome Week in the coming weeks including the University Welcome Ceremony, held in the iconic Great Hall of the Wills Memorial Building. The University will welcome you more formally and introduce you to what it really means to be a student here.

Next week’s blog…

Recent graduate Cameron (Politics and International Relations, 2019) will be sharing how he felt about moving into Halls plus more around accommodation.

Reliving my time at Bristol

“An experience which I am more than happy to relive and narrate over and over again”

My time in Bristol began in September 2015, joining the Foundation Program (CELFS) and graduating onto the undergraduate Bachelor of Laws degree programme. My journey while in Bristol has indeed been a unique experience; an experience which I am more than happy to relive and narrate over and over again.

Let us see if I can do my journey the justice it deserves…

“Being away from home can be very hard at times, but I have found that having a strong network of good friends and supportive teaching staff around you, helps a lot.”

Being an International student from Kenya, East Africa, I was extremely nervous coming to a foreign country to undertake my studies. Would I make any friends? Would I love the food? Will anyone like me as a person? These were just a few of the questions that were running through my mind. Being away from home can be very hard at times, but I have found that having a strong network of good friends and supportive teaching staff around you, helps a lot.

“In my understanding, university is a space where you can take on everything and anything, and challenge yourself.”

Having a keen interest in Politics as a career, I quickly took up the opportunity to run as President of my JCR in Clifton Hill House 15/16. After being elected, I was able to organise fundraising events to help build a community and increase a sense of belonging. I was also elected as the Law Course Rep, where I had the privilege of representing the interests of my fellow Law students for three years consecutively (Year 1 to Year 3). This position allowed me to interact with various students from all over the world, understand Law as a degree and most importantly, it helped me understand the relationship between students and staff, as I was the chief correspondent between those contributing to enhancing the student experience.

In my understanding, university is a space where you can take on everything and anything, and challenge yourself. This attitude led me to joining the University’s rugby team (UBRFC), where I played for the first two years of my life in Bristol, building close relations with my teammates who went on to become some of my closest friends and housemates. Not only did I play rugby, but I also decided to join the Law football team – UBLC FC – in my final year. This allowed me to visit different cities and universities around the country during various Varsity Series.

On top of these extra-curricular activities, I wanted to create a space where I could share the rich and diverse culture of East Africa, as well as provide a society for students in the area to congregate and socialise, to help them with the transition into studying abroad. Consequently, I formed the University’s first East African Society under the umbrella of the Bristol Students’ Union. Currently, we have over 70 registered members and numbers are expected to escalate with the new Freshers’ September Intake.

“Bristol is a fantastic place that provides various opportunities to realise your full potential…”

Education is a key part of our success; hence I decided to run for the Faculty Representative for Social Science and Law in my final year. This role enabled me to understand the relationship between different schools under a faculty, and mitigate issues between students and staff on a faculty level as Chair of the Faculty Staff-Student Liaison Committee. Other committees I stood on include the African Caribbean Society (Events Rep), Standing Committee (Faculty Rep SSL), Law Committee (Course Rep), and the East African Society Committee.

Bristol is a fantastic place that provides various opportunities to realise your full potential, which is demonstrated by the 400+ societies and student groups. My advice to any prospective students thinking about coming to university would be: do not limit yourself. Do everything and anything. You are here for three years, so make the most of your time.

Bristol also recognises extracurricular efforts alongside your studies. For example, I am a Bristol Plus Award winner for showcasing extraordinary extracurricular skills alongside studies, coupled with exemplary employability skills such as communication, integration and resilience among others.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience”

Earlier on this year, the Bristol Law School funded my attendance to The International Students Conference from Africa 2019, where I was awarded with the ICONS Award for Outstanding Achievements in this past academic year 2018/19. The award was presented by Dr Akanimo Odon, CEO of the XN Foundation and organiser of TISCA 2019.

I am now due to graduate with a Bachelor of Laws Degree, having enjoyed every moment of my time in Bristol. I am heading on to the next chapter of my life as the elected Union Affairs Sabbatical Officer at the Bristol SU 19/20, having won the student general elections in March 2019. The Union Affairs Officer represents students in terms of how they interact with Bristol SU, ensuring that Bristol SU communications and services are effective, accessible and relevant for students – including those provided for societies, volunteering and RAG. They also act as lead officer on Bristol SU democracy. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Thank you, University of Bristol.

“The crowd hung onto his every word.”

Student winner, Monica Taylor, shares her experience of the Alumni Awards Gala Dinner.

– Monica Taylor

Having never won so much as a raffle in my life, I never expected to receive an email saying I was to attend the Bristol Alumni Awards Gala Dinner in London with Sir David Attenborough! Anna and I cleared our schedules for Tuesday 12th March, dug out our best cocktail dresses and spent the rest of the day jumping up and down in excitement!

Alumni Awards Gala Dinner competition, Student winners.

When the date rolled around, we met the other student winners and their guests on the coach and headed off to London along with the Bristol Gospel Choir – who sang beautifully all the way there, rehearsing for their performance that night. Descending on Mansion House at 6pm, the evening kicked off with a champagne reception in the Salon; an elaborately decorated room with sky high ceilings adorned with a stunning row of crystal chandeliers. It was like stepping into Buckingham Palace!

“One couple shared their heart-warming story of meeting as students many years ago, and going on to call Bristol home ever since.”

Red carpet covered the floor and glorious bouquets of flowers hung left, right and centre. The room was filled with University of Bristol alumni of all ages and professions, including the Lord Mayor of the City of London, who was hosting the event. On the sound of a gong, everyone began to migrate into the Egyptian Hall, an even grander room with giant columns supporting an immaculately gold-decorated ceiling.

We were seated on a table with some lovely alumni who we got to chat to throughout dinner. It was amazing to hear all their stories of being a University of Bristol student and the adventures they’d been on since graduating. One couple shared their heart-warming story of meeting as students many years ago, and going on to call Bristol home ever since. They were all keen to hear about our current MSci Biology projects and future aspirations.

“The love for the University and the city of Bristol shone through in every speech.”

Dinner started off with beetroot, goat’s cheese and marjoram, molded beautifully into a sphere. This was followed by a honey and lavender glazed duck fillet and finished off with a dessert of mandarin and mascarpone cremeux. The wines had been carefully selected to complement the food, and each dish really was a work of art!

The awards were given out between courses and each recipient gave a short speech, expressing their gratitude to Bristol for some of the best years of their life and reminiscing about old times. The love for the University and the city of Bristol shone through in every speech and it was an honour to cheer them on as they were recognised for their achievements. The final award of the night was presented to the legend himself, Sir David Attenborough, celebrating a lifetime achievement. We cheered him onto the stage with a standing ovation; the atmosphere was incredible and the crowd hung onto his every word.

 

“Sir David has inspired generations of people and he had an important message for the younger generation…”

He spoke with modesty and gratitude, describing how although he is the voice behind the well-known BBC natural history documentaries, the real stars of the show are the film makers and the talented people on the ground who spend years following groups of animals – skillfully recording every detail of their behaviour. Sir David has inspired generations of people and he had an important message for the younger generation; one which urged us to come together to save the planet. His conclusion was hopeful, insisting that if we all take action, there is still time to save this beautiful planet and the species that inhabit it.

The night’s finale was a stunning performance from the balcony by the Bristol Gospel Choir, after which we said our goodbyes and shared well-wishes with our new-found alumni friends, snapped a few final photos under the beautiful chandeliers and headed back to the coach.

WHAT A NIGHT!

Thank you so much University of Bristol for such a wonderful, memorable evening. We haven’t stopped talking about it since!

Congratulations to our winners!

We had a brilliant response to the Alumni Awards Gala Dinner competition and really enjoyed reading each and every one of your entries. 

Well done to Leah, Monica and Rory, who won their place at the table to see Sir David Attenborough receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the black-tie event last Tuesday. The winning entries are detailed below.

David Attenborough looks at medicinal plants used by capuchin monkeys. Photo Stephen Dunleavy, copyright Humble Bee Films

Leah summed up what it means to her to be a Bristol student with: Community, Belonging, and AdventureExplaining that “Bristol means belonging to a community of similar thinkers, learners, and adventurers, in both the academic and social sphere. It means adventuring socially, physically, and mentally, and belonging to more than just myself. Bristol means somewhere I can be myself, in earnest, and explore what being myself really means.”

Global, Daring, and Inclusive were the three words Monica chose to describe being a Bristol student, saying that “With such an international community, four years in Bristol has allowed me to build lifelong friendships spanning the whole world. Bristol students dare to challenge the status quo, think outside the box, and start conversations that stir real change. There is truly something for everyone in this beautiful, buzzing city!”

Rory chose Fostering, Uplifting, and Alive to explain what being a Bristol student means to him, explaining that “Since arriving in Bristol, I’ve found myself welcomed by a University of peers and a city of life, which come together to create a community like no other. Opportunities: academic, social, and creative, are everywhere; and the resources and support with which to pursue them are more than ample.”

Their prize included a champagne reception followed by a three-course dinner alongside many high-profile alumni. Sir David Attenborough received the Lifetime Achievement Award on the night. 

Thank you again to everyone who entered, and congratulations to our very lucky winners!

Win your place at the table.

Thank you for your interest in our competition to win the chance to join us at our inaugural Alumni Awards Gala Dinner. The competition is now closed and we’re busy judging the fantastic entries. 

For the first year ever, the University of Bristol is hosting an Alumni Awards Gala Dinner. This prestigious event will take place at the Mansion House in London on Tuesday 12 March. Three lucky winners will have the chance to attend the event and bring along a fellow University of Bristol student to share the fun.

David Attenborough looks at medicinal plants used by capuchin monkeys. Photo Stephen Dunleavy, copyright Humble Bee Films

The prize includes a champagne reception followed by a three-course dinner alongside many high-profile alumni. Sir David Attenborough will receive the Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement Award on the night.

There will also be a performance by the University of Bristol Gospel Choir to enjoy and coach travel to and from Bristol will be arranged for you.

For your chance of winning, simply enter the competition via the link below and answer this simple question:

Which three words sum up what it means to you to be a Bristol student?

Explain your choice of words in 50 words or less.

Enter online here

The closing date for the competition is Friday 15 February at 5 pm and winners will be notified by the end of February. We look forward to reading your entries.

Terms and Conditions

1. This competition is run by the University of Bristol and open to all students aged 18 or over and registered at the University of Bristol until 31 March 2019.

2. The competition is free to enter, and no purchase is necessary.

3. Winners must be available to travel to London for the Alumni Awards Gala Dinner on 12 March 2019.

4. Employees, their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the The University of Bristol or judging the competition will be exempt from entering the competition.

5. The prize is three pairs of tickets so six students in total may attend the event as a result of this competition. The three winners can choose one fellow University of Bristol student as their guest. All attendees must be aged 18 or over and registered at the University of Bristol until 31 March 2019.

6. Each ticket winner will receive an invitation to attend the Alumni Awards Gala Dinner on Tuesday 12 March 2019 at the Mansion House in London. The Alumni Awards Gala Dinner will include a champagne reception followed by a three-course dinner and a performance by the University of Bristol Gospel Choir to accompany the Award presentations. Students will be seated with their guest and travel arrangements will be made so they travel together to and from the event on Tuesday 12 March 2019.

7. The opening date for entries to the competition is 10 am on 6 February. The closing date for entries to the competition is 5 pm on 15 February 2019. Any entries received after this time will not be accepted or considered.

8. To enter the competition, use the form above and submit three words that sum up what it means to you to be a Bristol Student. You are welcome but not obliged to support your submission with 50 words or less explaining your choice of words. If you have any questions regarding your submission, please email student-comms@bristol.ac.uk.

9. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.

10. The University of Bristol accepts no responsibility for entries not successfully completed due to technical fault or any kind including but not limited to technical malfunction, computer hardware or software failure, network or sever failure.

11. All entries received and verified by the University of Bristol will be judged by representatives from the Bristol Students’ Union and three winners will be selected. An independent adjudicator will be appointed by the University of Bristol to also judge the competition.

12. The three winners will be notified by email (using the e-mail address provided at entry) by the end of February 2019. We are not able to make contact with the unsuccessful entries on this occasion.

13. If a winner or winners cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 48 hours of notification, the winner’s prize will be forfeited, and The University of Bristol will be entitled to select another winner/s in accordance with the process described above.

14. Winners must attend a briefing prior to the Alumni Awards Gala Dinner when full travel arrangements will be advised. The University of Bristol will notify the winners when the briefing will take place. Attending the briefing is a mandatory requirement in order to attend the Alumni Awards Gala Dinner.

15. The University of Bristol’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.

16. By entering this competition, participants are deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions upon entry. The University of Bristol reserves the right to refuse entry or refuse to award the prize to anyone in breach of these terms and conditions.

17. All Competition entries and any accompanying material submitted to the University of Bristol  will become the property of the University of Bristol on receipt and will not be returned. By submitting your competition entry and any accompanying material, you agree to: (a) assign to the University of Bristol all your intellectual property rights with full title guarantee; and (b) waive all moral rights.

18. By submitting your entry, you acknowledge that the University of Bristol may use your comments and quotes for marketing and editorial purposes of the University worldwide, without restriction and in any format. The purpose of such materials is to include, without limitation, undergraduate and postgraduate prospectuses, the international guide, the University website, University social media accounts and University publications including matters relating to the University’s marketing and editorial functions. We reserve the right to make minor editorial or grammatical changes to your submission, but we will not materially alter the substance of your submission.

19. Winners will be interviewed and filmed at the Alumni Awards Gala Dinner and any video footage will remain the property of the University of Bristol who may use any film content for marketing and editorial purposes of the University worldwide, without restriction and in any format. The purpose of such materials is to include, without limitation, undergraduate and postgraduate prospectuses, the international guide, the University website, and University publications including matters relating to the University’s marketing and editorial functions. We reserve the right to make minor editorial changes to your submission, but we will not materially alter the substance of your interview.

20. Any abusive or vulgar language will be disqualified and reported to the University of Bristol Secretaries Office.

21. The University of Bristol reserve the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice. Any changes will be effective immediately and the competition participants will be notified as soon as possible.

22. The University of Bristol is not responsible for changes to the event including changes to guest list or entertainment.

23. The prize is as stated, and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

24. The winners agree to the use of their/his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other participants to the competition will be used solely in accordance the University’s Data Protection Policy.

25. The University of Bristol reserves the right to cancel the competition if circumstances arise outside of its control.

26. This competition will be governed by English law and participants to the competition submit to the jurisdiction of the English courts.

ENDS

Celebrating 10 years of the Green Impact Awards

We’ve recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Green Impact Awards, a University of Bristol-born environmental initiative, which has gone on to have national impact. It has been adopted by over 400 UK organisations such as University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, North Bristol NHS Trust and 50 universities across the country.

Green Impact Award winners 2018

The Green Impact Scheme challenges staff to implement several actions within their departments to help the environment: things like saving energy, volunteering, using more sustainable transport and recycling. The more actions teams complete, the more points are scored, leading to a Bronze, Bronze Plus, Silver, Gold or Platinum Award. Students can volunteer as Green Impact Project Assistants or Green Impact Auditors.

  • Green Impact Project Assistants: students receive certified NUS training and then use their new skills to help Green Impact teams complete their workbooks by improving the sustainability of their workplaces. This usually begins shortly after the launch of the scheme, and ends just before it closes. Green Impact Project Assistants provide ongoing assistance to teams during this period.
  • Green Impact Auditors: students receive certified NUS training to carry out the official end-of-scheme audits of Green Impact teams and their workplaces to make sure teams have completed all actions logged in their submitted workbooks. Training and audits usually take place in one day following the close of the scheme.

“The Green Impact Awards are a fantastic testament to how the efforts of individuals and teams can combine to achieve instrumental positive effects on our environment. We’re immensely proud to have created a scheme that has gone on to be adopted across the country and of all of our staff and students whose work has contributed positively on our environment.”

Martin Wiles, University of Bristol Head of Sustainability.

For 2019, the Sustainability Team are busy planning how the Green Impact Awards will work alongside other sustainability schemes at the University. Keep an eye on the Green University pages for further updates.

Get your voice heard through your course rep!

Bristol Students’ Union and our University work together to give you the best university experience possible. Student course reps are an important part of the picture; they play a key role in sharing your concerns and issues with teams in the University who can make a difference.

Course reps are your ‘on-the-ground’ students, democratically elected to represent your academic interests and any concerns to the University. They can directly influence change in the schools they represent, making sure student voices are heard. Their job is to find out the things their course mates like or would like changed; anything from deadlines being too close together to not having enough bins in buildings.

Introducing the Education Network

We've got your back – especially when it comes to representing your academic interests! Here's a little introduction to The Education Network, which exists to improve all students' educational experience at Bristol.The Education Network is open to everyone, but automatically includes Academic Course Reps, Faculty Reps, Education Officers, and Academic Society Committees. You can join the Facebook group here >> http://bit.ly/2ThuEFO

Posted by Bristol SU on Thursday, 15 November 2018

Course reps share these items with University colleagues and work out ways that they can be changed – or find out why they can’t be. They have done amazing work to benefit students: for example, getting printer credits put on course accounts, feeding into building proposals, and moving the dates of reading weeks.

Staff in schools want to make student life the best it can be, but they often don’t know what the issues are. If you think of something, tell your course rep, so they can let University staff know. Find out who your course rep is on the Bristol SU website. 

Course rep elections, run by the SU, are held in March and October. Keep an eye out around campus for your chance to nominate yourself or to recommend a friend.  Being a course rep is an effective way of influencing change in your school and of getting a sense of what happens behind the scenes at our University. It also looks great on a CV.

Visit the Bristol SU Website to find out more.

Tis the season to…be helpful.

If you need to know where to get advice or how to get around campus, drop in to our new Information Point at Senate House and someone from our friendly team will be on hand to point you in the right direction.

Second year English student Olivia Garner has been working at the Information Point since September this year.

Olivia stands in front of the Information Point desk with an iPad in her hands

While Olivia is used to providing information on everything from finance to academic support, this month she’s getting into the festive spirit. So if you want to know who stocks the best mince pies, need advice on how to trim your tree or the best way to wrap a present, the team at the Information Point might 😉 be able to help!*

*Being totally honest, they’re not 100% sure what trimming a tree even means –  better to stick to Bristol questions that they can answer🎄😆

Team of people stood behind Information Point desk
Some of the Information Point team

The Information Point is open in Senate House, Tyndall Avenue, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm during term time.

Although the University closes for Christmas on 21 December, you can still access some of our facilities over the break. Take a look at the services and support available over the holidays.

 

 

Tis the season to…come together.

Festive greetings from the Global Lounge Team.

We’re a global community here at the University of Bristol. If you’d like to meet new friends, learn about different cultures and hear out about studying abroad, then keep a look out for events and activities organised by the Global Lounge Team.

Why not come along to their Festive Mingle events next week? You can find out about events taking place in the local area while the University is closed over the holidays and meet other students who might be staying in Bristol. There will also be free tea and coffee, snacks and plenty of festive cheer. It’s a great opportunity to learn about how the holidays are celebrated in many different cultures and share your own traditions with others. The Festive Mingle events are taking place in the Bristol SU Living Room (Senate House, 4th floor) between Monday 17 Dec – Thursday 20 Dec from 12 pm – 2 pm.

Don’t forget, there’s also a Facebook group which you can join to connect with other students and discover what to do in Bristol over the Christmas break. If you’d like to know more about which University buildings are open over the Christmas break and when, take a look here.

#TisTheSeason

Happy Holidays!

 

Tis the season to…be mindful.

If you haven’t met your new neighbours yet, why not take the festive season as an opportunity to say hello and maybe share a mince pie or two? They could keep an eye on your empty house over the holidays and perhaps bring your bins back in for you once you’ve gone. It’s great to build relationships with the community around you; find out what’s happening in your local area and get involved. You’ll meet new people and feel part of your neighbourhood.

Try to also remember your neighbours if you’re planning a festive celebration and the impact it might have on them. The guide to community living provides some good advice.

During this season we tend to generate a lot of extra stuff. Bristol Waste offer some useful ideas for recycling, reusing, re-gifting and donating to help us be mindful of our impact on resources and landfill.

Be mindful of safety – look after yourself, your belongings and each other. Security Services promote useful tips on personal safety. And if you are going to be away, make sure everyone takes responsibility for switching things off and locking up.

This time of year particularly can be difficult for some people, so help out where you can. Check out SU Volunteering for opportunities to make someone else’s festive season a little brighter.

#TisTheSeason

Joni Lloyd, Community Liaison Manager

 

 

If you’re staying in Bristol, don’t forget to join the University Staying in Bristol Facebook Group listing events and activities taking place over the festive season.

You can also find out about our opening hours during the holidays including study spaces, the Students’ Health Service and the sports facilities. If you want to talk to someone over the festive season, you will be able to access support via our Residential Life Support Centre, open to all students for urgent issues, whether you live in Uni residences or not. There are also self-help tools to provide support, including Big White Wall.