The Compass and Compass Online – here when you need it…

Every now and then we like to do a guest blog with different departments giving you more information on the services they provide and how they can help you.  This month we have the Compass Team giving the low down on all that they do and how they can support you during you time at University.

But first…Driving Home for Christmas
dog in car

If you are currently living within any our residences then you do not need vacate your residence during the Christmas vacation and are able to remain in your accommodation if you so wish.

Although your belongings can remain within your room, the Christmas vacation is always a useful time to have a thorough clean and tidy up by taking certain items home with you which you will not need for your second term.  When you leave for Christmas please make sure you lock your bedroom door along with emptying the fridge and putting out your rubbish – no one wants to come back after Christmas to mouldy food and smelly bins.

The Compass and Compass Online

How quickly has the first term gone?! One minute you’re settling into your new student accommodation with a nervous expectation of what lies ahead and not sure where anything is, the next minute you’re a seasoned Club I aficionado with stamps up your arm and the Friday morning fogginess to prove it (and you know where most things are)

At The Compass, we hope you have had a fantastic term of great experiences; making friends for life, wondrous lectures or seminars, cooking questionable but nevertheless edible delights and above-all enjoying everything that the campuses and area have to offer.

With Christmas suddenly upon us, with deadlines looming and the sun barely getting above the horizon we’re well aware things don’t always go according to plan. So we’re keen to remind you that both The Compass (the information desk and service) and Compass Online (the online portal) are available when you need it.

So, if you have questions or concerns about any aspect of your university life, no matter how small or relatively insignificant it may seem – get in touch. We work closely will all student-facing services on campus to make sure that you don’t have to waste time and effort to find what you need.

So, have a rummage through lots of great Frequently Asked Questions in Compass Online (compass.fxplus.ac.uk), log an enquiry 24 hours a day (even at 4am after a long night out – we’ll decipher it) or come and see us at the desk, we’re here to help your experience at university run a little smoother.

Have a great Christmas break, whether you’re staying in Cornwall, heading back up the A30 and over the Tamar or flying to some far-off land: enjoy yourselves – but remember wherever you go – if you do get a bit lost – use your Compass.

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Compass Online available at compass.fxplus.ac.uk

The Compass Student Information Service

Level 0 of The Exchange, Penryn Campus

Open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Email: thecompass@fxplus.ac.uk
Coming soon to Falmouth Campus

Doing it by the book – Applying for Accommodation

Student accommodation in Penryn on Tremough Campus of Falmouth and Exeter University.

Spring has sprung and it’s time to get ready to apply for that all important accommodation. We like to make things as easy and straight forward as possible for you in the Accommodation office, so get the kettle on and set yourself down to check out what you can apply for and when with our super handy accommodation guides. (Check your Uni before checking out the guide ;) )

Falmouth University Accommodation Guide
University of Exeter Accommodation Guide

Now, that you have had a good look at what’s on offer, it’s time to get ready to make your application. Applications open on the 8th April. You must make sure you have accepted a firm offer on your first choice course in order to be eligible to apply. You will need to make sure you have your student id number ready to hand to register on Room Service and make sure you apply before the published deadlines to avoid missing out on our accommodation guarantee. We ask that you place your application choices in preference order on the application so we know exactly what you think is a top gaff.
Keyboard and cup and glasses website
Although we cannot guarantee to meet your application choices we do endeavour to get you what you want. We believe the important things to remember with accommodation are; you are starting university and will have an incredible time wherever you are based, all our accommodation options are no more than twenty minutes in a bus to the beach (winner) and you are going to be pinning up summer snaps and arranging your brand new bed spread before you know it!!

Any burning questions… don’t hesitate to check out our website, if you find your question is not answered there, please do not hesitate to contact us 01326 253639 or accommodation@fxplus.ac.uk. You can also catch us on Facebook and Twitter!

Home Sweet Home

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Now we have entered the New year, many of us will be looking forward to the year ahead, making plans and resolutions and then trying our hardest to keep to them. A great place to start in the New Year is where you are going to live in the 2015/16 academic year. With many agents and landlords gearing up to advertise their properties in the next few days, we thought we would take you on an essential run-through of how to find the perfect student pad, what to look out for and how to beat the competition.

  1. Stay Calm and organised – Phone landlords/agents in the morning and plan a schedule of viewings for multiple properties for the following days.
  2. Take our all- important house-hunting checklist with you on viewings – look for issues such as damp/mould, damage, tenancy agreements, health and safety features etc…
  3. Don’t feel pressured to take a property if you are not sure about it. Keep an open mind, you don’t need to take the first property you see.
  4. Be prepared to pay holding fees, deposits or security payments. Many landlords or agents will ask you to pay a deposit or security fee if you are agreeing to take a property.
  5. Watch out for contract lengths – many can be 12 months. If you are keen to take an academic friendly length contract these are usually available, landlord/agent dependent, for certain properties.
  6. Make sure the rent is affordable for you, be aware that advertised weekly or monthly rents may not include bills, be aware of adding the cost of bills to your final rent amount. Usually gas, electricity, water, TV licence, internet etc…
  7. Speak to your Accommodation office (that’s us) we offer advice, guidance and support at any time during the year. We also run house-hunting events, accommodation fairs and advice drop ins.
  8. Use our Student Pad list found on our website www.fxplus.ac.uk/live as well as our Facebook Page “Find a Student Housemate – Falmouth, Cornwall” to find properties directly through local landlords.
  9. Be aware that these have been vetted on fire, electric and gas safety and we have not seen every property advertised.
  10. Be sure about whether you are signing in to a joint tenancy agreement or individual. Joint means that you are all responsible for the contract for the whole property and other tenants. Individual means that you are signing a contract for your portion or allocated room in the property as well as communal areas.  Ask questions and ask for advice. Don’t panic as you may end up making a decision you aren’t sure of. Come and see us if you need any help.

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Please Note: We are unable to accommodate returning students in halls for the next academic year, however, if you have any concerns regarding this and would like to discuss options further please contact a member of the Accommodation Team as soon as possible.

We hope you find this list really useful in preparation of your search, you may also find the following link helpful which we have advertised on our website www.fxplus.ac.uk/live
House Hunting Checklist http://www.fxplus.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/house_hunting_checklist_2012_booklet_form.pdf

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We have accommodation fairs coming up: 2015 Accommodation Fairs;

Saturday 7th March 10.00 – 3.00 (Penryn Campus)

Saturday 6th June 10.00 – 3.00 (Falmouth Campus)

Saturday 15th August 10.00 – 3.00 (Penryn Campus)

Don’t miss out on advice and guidance. Enjoy this experience of finding your first student house, try not to panic and ask for help if you need it. Home Sweet Home!