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CONTENTS 1

WELCOME A quick hello from our Students’ Union team

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A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF… Fatma and Jacob tell us about a typical week as Westminster students

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OFF CAMPUS Off Campus is a new YouTube series looking at Westminster students' life in London

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HOME AWAY FROM HOME Megan gives us a glimpse of what it’s like living in our student accommodation HOW TO BE A SUSTAINABLE STUDENT Want to be more sustainable? Find out where you can start

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Our cover was illustrated by one of our illustration graduates – Amelia Potter! You can find more about her at behance.net/ameliapotter

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WESTMINSTER’S FIVE WAYS TO WELLBEING A guide to improving your mental health at uni

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TOP TIPS FOR REMOTE WORKING Our students share tips to help you work at home

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NAVIGATING LONDON ON A STUDENT BUDGET Read our top tips for getting the most out of living in London without breaking the bank

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OPPORTUNITIES AT WESTMINSTER From learning a language to working overseas, find out about all the different things you can get involved with at Westminster

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WORK EXPERIENCE Francesca tells us all about her work experience at Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust

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GETTING INVOLVED WITH VOLUNTEERING Volunteering is a great way to enhance your CV, what could you get involved with?

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SCHOLARSHIPS Current student Ravi tells us about receiving a scholarship

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OUR GRADUATES Check out what some of our graduates are up to now

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NEXT STEPS You’ve received your offer – what’s next?


HELLO ALL! WE'RE THE STUDENTS' UNION TEAM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER! We hope you’re excited to start your journey with us here at Westminster. This magazine gives you an overview of student life here, with tips on things to do and ways you can get involved during your time at university (in between classes, of course!) London is an amazing place to be a student, with so much to do and see. We at the SU work hard to represent your views and bring you a varied range of activities for you to join with your fellow students. Although we’ve been having to

work from home, we’ve still been arranging a full calendar of online activities including online quizzes, talks and debates, challenges and loads of giveaways! We’ve also launched two sporting programmes this year; The Leadership and Elite Athlete Programme, as we aim to strengthen our Dragons community even more! We hope you enjoy this magazine and look forward to welcoming you soon. WestminsterSU

LUBABA KHALID VP of Welfare

ISMAHAN NUR

VP of Postgraduate Education

PADAMJEET SINGH MEHTA President

OLIVIA PONSFORD VP of Activities

FATMA ZEIN

VP of Undergraduate Education

Welcome | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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MONDAY I start off my week by coming into

...FATMA ALI

campus for my job as a Westminster Student Ambassador, welcoming architecture students back to campus to use the labs. Although it is quite strange being on campus with the new Covid-19 rules and restrictions it’s nice to see other students and use the new click and collect service in the library. In the evening I relax and do a bit of light reading for any course updates this week. I like to go through the relevant texts for my dissertation and mark out anything I’d like to include in my first draft.

LAW LLB THIRD YEAR

A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF... MONDAY I start my week by waking up and

meditating, which always gets me into a clear frame of mind. Due to being in lockdown a lot of my third-year work must be conducted from home, so meditating really helps with this as I can find it difficult to focus in my room. I try and do an hour of work on my dissertation every day so that I can avoid the many horror stories I’ve heard from friends who left theirs to the last minute. In the evening, my housemate and I sit on our bean bags brainstorming for our Final Major Project. After an hour or so of blog work, we unwind with some wine and play music.

...JACOB WATKINSON

CONTEMPORARY MEDIA PRACTICE BA THIRD YEAR 2

HELLO WESTMINSTER | A WEEK IN THE LIFE


TUESDAY On Tuesdays I dedicate most of my

day to Intellectual Property Law as my lecture and seminar are both on this day. I find that using the whole day to study this one subject intensely really helps me concentrate, as it's quite hard to adjust to studying at home. In the evening I attend a TedX session on curiosity, just to expand my knowledge, before having a nice dinner with my housemates.

WEDNESDAY On Wednesday I have no lectures

and I also have the day off work, so I take the time to explore. I love to go into the market in Greenwich with my friend to try new street foods, and wander around the artisan market to look at all the cool art and clothing. In the evening I have a zoom call with my family in Scotland to catch up and share funny stories from the week. I end the evening on the British Inter-University Commercial Awareness Competition website to book into their new events on learning how to be commercially aware, which is an essential skill for any future law career.

WEDNESDAY On Wednesday morning I head to

TUESDAY After my meditation, I sit down for my dissertation tutorial. It lasts for the best part of two hours, and I talk with my tutor and some fellow classmates about our dissertations. It’s great to have a regular tutorial slot to chart our progress; it really helps you feel that you’re heading in the right direction. Though I cannot be with my course mates physically, it is still great to see their faces and know they’re doing well. Tuesday evening, I head into central to meet with the Choral Society. It’s always fun and is a great practice to flex my diaphragm after a few months cooped up inside.

Harrow campus for a filmmaking workshop. I am chosen to direct, so work with the actors as well as the writer and producer in attempting to best convey the story. The workshops are so helpful and have helped me become more comfortable as a director and nurtured skills within me that I’ve carried into my own projects. After the workshop, I head to the photography stores to rent out a 35mm camera and buy some film to take some portraits over the next few days. In the afternoon, I go climbing with the Westminster Dragons team in Harrow. It is all socially distanced with masks worn and hand sanitisation; I have been really impressed with the degree of care the team have been taking with regards to everyone’s safety. A WEEK IN THE LIFE | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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THURSDAY Today is the day I dedicate to

Sustainability Law, so I spend the whole day trying to do extra reading and notes on my module, as well as attending the lecture and seminar. We spend around three hours learning as a group on Blackboard, but I aim to devote at least five hours of independent study, not including class assignments, to each of my three final year subjects. My dissertation has no teaching as it is independent research, so I try to spend more time focussing on this, but it varies depending on how busy the week is. In the evening I attend an online yoga class being held by my gym and then do a zoom call with my friends that have gone back to uni outside of London.

FRIDAY Fridays are when I send catch-up

emails to the students assigned to me in my FAN (Friends of Arriving New Students) role, to answer any questions they have about starting university and tell them about student union events and opportunities. In the evening I go to my job as a nanny for Koru Kids, where I help with homework and play games for most of the evening. I meet up with a friend for a late dinner in Hampstead to hear about her life after graduation.

FRIDAY I have a meeting for my Exploration

THURSDAY I’m back at the Harrow Campus to

show new students around as part of orientation, which involves giving advice, directions and answering any questions they have. It’s great to be back on campus and engaging with new students with an exciting three years ahead of them. After my shift I head to the 3D workshop and do some pottery, which is a practice I never thought I’d find myself doing at university. Afterward, I head home, crash on my bean bag and play some vinyl records to unwind. 4

HELLO WESTMINSTER | A week in the life

and Pre-Production module in which we experiment for our Final Major Project. I will be working with old celluloid film stock and so I go to the film edit suites to play around with offcuts that previous students have discarded. Next I have a production meeting with a colleague from my second year work experience module. During the module I worked with a team of writers to develop a new TV series, which has led to us setting up a production company in which I will be one of the directors. It’s great to have secured a job after graduation and has alleviated some of the pressures that I could face in finding a start in the film industry. Finally, my friends and I get together at my house to play monopoly and catch up over dinner. It’s great living with friends as they become like a family, and having a sense of community is more important than ever right now.


SATURDAY My boyfriend and I take a day

trip to Bristol to meet up with some of his old friends. We spend most of the day sightseeing, exploring a new city and catching up on how life has been since we were last together. When I get home in the evening, I log onto the library website to download some e-books on Immigration Law, as I will be advising in that field with the Westminster Legal Advice Clinic this year.

SUNDAY I go for a cycle down the Thames

Path and into New Cross to get a coffee with a friend. I get the train back home with my bike and spend the rest of the evening planning out the week ahead and doing any relevant reading. If I am feeling lazy, or have a light workload I’ll watch Schitt’s Creek on Netflix instead because it’s absolutely hilarious.

SUNDAY I have a well-earned lie in before

SATURDAY I try and get up early on Saturdays

to tend to responsibilities such as washing and tidying. I love to walk around London and explore, so set off from my house in an attempt to get lost and find new areas. There is so much of this city to explore and you never know what you may stumble upon. In the afternoon I meet my girlfriend to visit a new art exhibit. Afterward, we walk along the Thames before heading back into the city to have dinner and a well-needed catch up.

heading to Greenwich Observatory with my housemates to see one of their breath-taking installations about the cosmos. Afterwards, we drive to Stanmore Common to relax and take in the views of the city. We collect some firewood and bring it back to the garden to sit around the fire, listening to some great music and all mentally preparing for our individual weeks ahead. This is when I often update my to-do-list. If there is anything I’ve missed, now is the time to work on that – ensuring my slate is clean for the coming week and the many trials and opportunities I shall eagerly throw myself into.

A WEEK IN THE LIFE | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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Black History Month

Studying in London You can check out Off Campus plus more content on our YouTube page: youtube.com/user/UniOfWestminster

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HELLO WESTMINSTER | Off Campus


Best part about living in London

Want to see more of Westminster students’ life in London? Check out Off Campus, our new YouTube series. Off Campus is a new YouTube series looking at Westminster students' life in London, as part of our new Westminster Originals series.

Westminster Originals will contain several series of content featuring current students, alumni and staff to give you an authentic view of life at and beyond Westminster. Each episode of Off Campus stars different Westminster students from a range of courses and covers different areas in the student experience such as living in London, student societies and how our students dealt with lockdown.

As the series progresses we'll cover issues that are important to our students, including how they adapted to online learning and exams, why they love studying in London, how they celebrated Black History Month, the societies and sports teams they are members of, sustainability and being a vegan student. There’ll also be loads of helpful tips about studying in London along the way, to help you prepare for life at University.

Talking Sustainability

Student Volunteering off campus | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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HOME AWAY FROM HOME Q&A LANGUAGES STUDENT MEGAN GIVES US A GLIMPSE INTO LIVING IN STUDENT ACCOMMODATION

WHAT’S IT LIKE LIVING IN HALLS?

Name Megan Frye Course Spanish and Linguistics BA Honours Halls of Residence Raffles House, Wembley Home Wisconsin, USA

Take a virtual reality tour of our student accommodation at westminster.ac.uk/ virtual-tour

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My flat has a total of six people; each of us has our own bedroom with an en-suite, and we share a kitchen that doubles as a social space with a TV and a couch. Living in halls has introduced me to so many people from all around the world; it’s a great way to meet people who have similar interests or hobbies and to discover some new ones! We spend lots of time hanging out with people in the courtyard, watching television in our kitchen, or hanging out in each other’s rooms.

HOW DID YOU DECORATE YOUR ROOM? I brought along some tapestries to hang along my walls to personalise my room a bit, as well as some photos of friends and family from home. I also bought some fake potted plants and fairy lights to give the space some colour and to make it feel cosier. Comfy blankets and pillows and fun patterned bedsheets can also help make the room feel more like your own.

HELLO WESTMINSTER | Home Away From Home

FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO IN THE LOCAL AREA? If it’s not too busy, having a drink at Boxpark Wembley is a great way to chill; there are plenty of restaurants and shops in the Designer Outlet next door too. The area is also great for walking around; there’s plenty to explore and lots of sights to see if you’re bored.

WHAT HAS LIVING IN HALLS TAUGHT YOU? It can be tough living away from home, but it’s a good way to gain some independence. Having a schedule can help; I picked Sunday as the day I do my washing and clean up my room a bit so it doesn’t get too messy. I also discovered that planning out a few meals a week can be helpful; that way, I don’t end up eating pasta or takeaway every day. Keeping my room clean and my diet varied has helped me feel a lot better both physically and mentally.


MEGAN'S TOP TIPS

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Don’t be afraid to join in conversations! Moving somewhere new to start university can be intimidating, but remember that everyone else is in the same position as you!

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The best way to feel less homesick is to get out and do things with new people. Try organising outings to central London, a restaurant in the Designer Outlet, or even just to walk around the area.

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Try not to pack too much – it’s usually easier to buy things such as bedding and pillows, kitchenware, and school supplies once you’ve moved in, especially if you’re coming from somewhere far away.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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HOW TO BE A SUSTAINABLE STUDENT MOST OF US WANT TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE. BUT WHERE DO YOU START? THIS ARTICLE WILL HELP YOU FOCUS ON THREE KEY AREAS WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE: FOOD, DRINK AND CLOTHING!

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HELLO WESTMINSTER | HOW TO BE A SUSTAINABLE STUDENT


FOOD: WHAT CAN I DO? SHARING IS CARING

Combining food shops is a great way to minimise your food waste whilst limiting your use of single use plastic (by buying less individually wrapped items!) Why not buy staple items in bulk such as rice, pasta and tinned foods? If you batchcook for your housemates, you’re also less likely to throw out leftovers, plus, your money will go further – who doesn’t enjoy spending less and getting more?

BAG YOURSELF A TASTY BARGAIN

Over the past few years, food sharing apps have taken off. Designed to help tackle the vast amount of food that is thrown out by food retailers every day, leftover goods are made easily accessible to you through apps such as Too Good To Go and Olio. Simply download, see what options are available close to you and pick up a bag of quality food for a fraction of the price. Dinner sorted!

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

We’ve partnered up with environmental student groups to host workshops on further utilising your food waste, including a ‘how to make sauerkraut’ session. Running these workshops promotes ethical consumerism and also shows you how to get the biggest bang for your buck. In a bid to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing our meat intake, we’ve also created a new vegan menu in our on-site canteens. Students can get every fifth vegan meal on campus for free with a canteen loyalty programme.

OVER

30%

OF ALL FOOD GLOBALLY PRODUCED GOES TO WASTE

ALMOST

41%

OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS ARE GENERATED BY THE BEEF INDUSTRY ALONE

HOW TO BE A SUSTAINABLE STUDENT | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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DRINK: WHAT CAN I DO? SWITCH TO REUSABLE

Why not invest in a reusable water bottle? There are countless health benefits to drinking more water, but the plastic waste that comes with a bottle is not so good. Save money and the planet by investing in a reusable water bottle. You’ll find that three of the UK’s biggest coffee chains, Costa, Starbucks and Pret A Manger, are now offering free filtered tap water in over 4,000 branches up and down the UK, and almost all branches in London. A reusable coffee cup can also make a difference to your carbon footprint, with most coffee chains now providing a discount when you bring your own cup. Save a whole 50p off your coffee at Pret, as well as 25p at Costa and Starbucks.

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

We offer a reduction at our on-campus coffee shop, so bring your own reusable cup or get your very own University of Westminster cup from any of our cafés and get discounted hot drinks at any of our campuses. We have also introduced recycling stations for paper cups, so those that are used on campus can be recycled instead of going to landfill.

CLOSE TO

16 BILLION DISPOSABLE CUPS ARE USED EACH YEAR. THAT’S ROUGHLY

43.8M EVERY SINGLE DAY!

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HELLO WESTMINSTER | HOW TO BE A SUSTAINABLE STUDENT


CLOTHING: WHAT CAN I DO? BUY SECOND HAND

People are increasingly ditching fast fashion in favour of second-hand clothes in an attempt to reduce waste. Aside from being great for the environment, shopping second hand is fun and often satisfying – once you find a great designer piece for a fraction of the price, you’ll never go back. There are now more options than ever for buying pre-loved garments. Make a day of it by going to one of London’s many incredible markets such as Brick Lane, Spitalfields and Greenwich. Some great second-hand stores to check out include Crisis, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam and Shelter.

CLOTHES SWAP

RECYCLE CLOTHES

A great way to recycle clothes and keep your wardrobe tidy is through clothes swaps. There are clothes swaps held regularly across London where you can meet like-minded people, find great pieces at no cost and give new life to old clothes. Find them on websites such as Eventbrite.

Feel even better about recycling your old clothes by donating them to a charity shop. Simply bring your clothes to a shop near with you and they’ll sort the rest. Got too much to carry or tricky to get to a charity shop? You can book a home collection with charities such as the British Heart Foundation. If you want to make some extra cash and your clothes are in good nick, selling them online is a great option. There are more platforms than ever to sell clothes: whether it’s eBay or Depop, there’ll be one to suit your style! LAST YEAR, BRITS BINNED

£12.5 BILLION WORTH OF CLOTHES

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

At our Harrow Campus, we have a permanently based British Heart Foundation collection bank where clothing, homeware and books can be donated. When the time comes for students to leave halls at the end of the year, many students have items they no longer need but are still in good condition. We also provide drop off points to make donating these items easy.

MORE THAN

50%

OF FAST FASHION ITEMS ARE THROWN AWAY IN LESS THAN A YEAR

HOW TO BE A SUSTAINABLE STUDENT | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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WESTMINSTER’S FIVE WAYS TO WELLBEING

At Westminster, we know how important it is to discuss mental health and want to ensure that our students feel supported. After all, our students aren’t just students. They have jobs, family responsibilities, and a whole range of other things going on outside of university. 14

HELLO WESTMINSTER | WESTMINSTER’S FIVE WAYS TO WELLBEING


The five ways to wellbeing, developed by the New Economics Foundation, are a set of evidence-based actions aimed at improving personal wellbeing. Think of them as a general guide, rather than hard and fast rules! As everyone is unique, you can interpret the five ways differently from someone else and apply them in a way that suits you. So, what are the five ways?

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CONNECT

Humans are social animals and we have a fundamental need to connect with one another. Both close and broader relationships are important for different reasons. Closer relationships, such as old friends and family members, give a sense of support and meaning while broader relationships with colleagues or classmates strengthen belonging and identity within a community. Consider the people you connect with regularly. Who would make up

your ‘close’ circle, and then your ‘broader’ network? It is easy to take the relationships in our life for granted yet they can be essential for us to feel supported. It is also important to think about the dynamics of your relationships and whether they make you feel good. If not, think about why this may be and ways this could be improved. Alongside our existing relationships, making new ones can be incredibly rewarding and can help build your confidence. Starting at university is a great opportunity to meet new people.

HOW TO

During Orientation and beyond, we try to make it easy for you to connect with likeminded people. Whether through a club, society or social event, there’ll be something that suits you. If you are an International or EU student, we have a special Welcome Programme for you where you will be able to meet other new students and learn about London. There are also loads of events throughout London during Orientation so you can check out more venues. TIP Our Students' Union offer a range of virtual and in-person events so you can meet fellow students however you start your course.

WESTMINSTER’S FIVE WAYS TO WELLBEING | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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WESTMINSTER’S FIVE WAYS TO WELLBEING HOW TO

You can incorporate mindfulness techniques in little ways. Try taking some time out in the day where you are not being distracted by technology. This could be sitting down with a meal and just focusing on the food and the process of eating, or even something as simple as brushing your teeth. See what thoughts come up and try to observe them. It may help to write them down. Observing your thoughts in this way helps to distance yourself from them and to not become so absorbed by them as we often are in our day-to-day lives. Aside from noticing what is going on in your mind, it is good to notice the beauty around us which we quite often miss. If you feel like you need a change of scene or to look at something inspiring, why not take a trip to a park you have never been to before or check out a local art gallery?

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TAKE NOTICE

…of the world around you. Being aware of what is happening right now, even of simple things like the surroundings on a walk, the taste of the food you are eating and paying your full attention to the person talking to you. It is easy for your mind to be anywhere but the present: worrying about the future, mulling over the past or wishing we were elsewhere

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as we scroll through Instagram. Bringing awareness into our daily life helps us to appreciate what we already have rather than constantly striving for more. Taking notice of our thoughts and feelings can also help us identify negative patterns we may have fallen into, or situations we want to change, that we can then work towards improving.

HELLO WESTMINSTER | WESTMINSTER’S FIVE WAYS TO WELLBEING

TIP Apps like Headspace and Calm offer free trials of their mindfulness content. Or check YouTube for free videos!


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5

BE ACTIVE

There is so much evidence telling us that exercise is good for overall wellbeing: it improves physical and mental health, helps us sleep and means that we feel more energetic during the day. Exercising in a group gives people a sense of motivation that extends to other areas of their life, strengthens feelings of belonging and connectedness, and can just be fun! Don’t worry though – you don’t need to go to extreme levels to feel the benefits.

HOW TO

Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore or something you dread. If you tie in exercise with socialisation by joining a sports club or working out with a friend it can incentivise you to stay active. You can also make small changes to your daily life to increase your physical activity. Think about transport you take in your average week. Could you walk some days instead? Walking and being outside can help you get some headspace and take notice of your surroundings. You’ll also be saving money on transport! TIP Check out our Volunteering article on page 26 for a guide to the opportunities available at Westminster.

LEARN

You’re already taking steps towards this one! A university degree gives you a structure for learning and a space to discuss your interest with others. There are also plenty of other ways to learn alongside university. With the amount of information available online, self-led learning is more accessible than ever!

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GIVE

Feeling like you have made a positive difference to someone else’s life feels incredibly satisfying. In fact, helping, sharing, giving and team-oriented behaviours are likely to be associated with an increased sense of self-worth and positive feelings. Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. But where to start? TIP Don’t let money stop you from moving, why not download a free fitness app such as Pocket Yoga or Qinetic?

HOW TO

When you settle into a routine, it is easy for your learning to slow down. If you want somewhere to start, have a look for online publications and magazines in an area of interest. Why not build this into your morning routine? Read new content and see where it takes you. If you enjoy reading, joining a book club can be a great way to consistently read new material. At Westminster, there are countless opportunities to pick up new skills and learn through experiences. TIP Why not learn a language through our Polylang initiative or challenge your perspective with a trip abroad?

WESTMINSTER'S FIVE WAYS TO WELLBEING | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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TOP TIPS FOR

REMOTE WORKING

While we’ve adjusted to online teaching due to government restrictions, our students have picked up a number of tips while working remotely. Whether you’re studying online or just need some extra help structuring your day during exam revision, their tips can help you to work from home successfully.

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TIDY SPACE, TIDY MIND

Having a dedicated workspace (and a tidy one) is really important. It’s key to work somewhere that allows you to be productive and having a clean workstation will reduce stress and increase your focus. If you’re a visual learner try using post-it notes to jot down ideas as they come and stick them up somewhere you can see. This way you won’t forget any important bits of information, and it definitely helps when it comes to revision season. If you’re not a pen and paper sort of person, you might want to use OneNote or Google Drive which will allow you to collate all your notes in one place. This might also help keep your workspace tidy as all your notes will be digital rather than physical.

HELLO WESTMINSTER | TOP TIPS FOR remote working

STRUCTURE YOUR DAY

When studying from home it can be easy to lose some of the structure that you get from your usual timetable. We’d recommend splitting your day into 90 minute or two hour blocks. By structuring your day like this you’re more likely to stay on task and motivated because you know by the end of that 90 minutes you’ll be due a well earned break. One thing we would say from personal experience is that it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the topics you need to study, so it’s important to make time for things other than just work. Take a short break to get a drink or snack, read a few pages from a book, or catch up on your favourite TV series!


STAY ACTIVE

As much as we enjoy catching up with films and TV series, we still try to do some form of exercise during the day. Exercise is a really important part of staying focused. Without it, you’ll find yourself fidgeting and getting distracted. Try using your breaks to do some form of physical activity, like go for a walk or do a yoga session from YouTube. If you can, try to schedule your activity or exercise earlier in the day. In addition to improving your focus, it is reported that morning exercise improves attention and visual learning.

KEEP IN TOUCH

If you’re studying alone, it’s good to keep in touch with other people to break up your day and check how your friends are doing. If you need help and support, talk to your peers and your academic lecturers. Regular contact through Facetime, Email, Skype or Whatsapp are great ways to keep in touch with peers. If you get stuck or need help, always reach out. There’s always an open line of communication!

WELLBEING AND MENTAL HEALTH

Your mental health and wellbeing is just as important as your physical health. Regular breaks and staying active can help but there are also ways to support your wellbeing online and through apps. We’d recommend Calm and Headspace, but there are plenty of other options. Check out our Five Ways to Wellbeing article on page 14 for more tips.

TOP TIPS FOR remote working | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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NAVIGATING LONDON ON A STUDENT BUDGET London is one of the most amazing cities in the world. Filled to the brim with history, culture and an abundance of new places to discover, it can be hard to imagine how you’ll have enough money as a student to do it all. But fear not, there are so many ways that London can be far more affordable than you’d think! We’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help you explore London on a student budget.

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HELLO WESTMINSTER | NAVIGATING LONDON ON A STUDENT BUDGET


TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE EVENTS AND CHEAP DEALS London is jam packed with free events and plenty of great deals just waiting to be found. Why not pick up a copy of Time Out magazine to keep up to date with what’s happening around the city and most importantly, what’s free! Make the most of the wonderful national museums and exhibitions on our doorstep, most of these are usually free and definitely unmissable, especially if you are an international student or are not from the city. You can also use apps such as Fever and TodayTix to snap up tickets to live comedy gigs, the theatre and other experiences around the city. It’s a great way to try something new and wind down after a long day of studying.

ALWAYS ASK FOR STUDENT DISCOUNT

BE SAVVY ABOUT PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The savviest of students ask if there’s student discount every time they pay for something, as sometimes it isn’t advertised – you never know unless you ask! A number of independent businesses surrounding our campuses offer discounts to Westminster staff and students – just show them your Westminster ID card!

Traveling around London can be expensive and if you haven’t signed up for an 18+ Student Oyster Card, well that’s just daylight robbery! Save a third on travel around the city and even pair this up with a 16-25 Railcard to get the biggest discounts. There's now even a 26-30 Railcard, so you can take advantage of discounts for longer.

Sign yourself up for a Totum card, UNiDAYS and Student Beans and be amazed by all the different places you can grab yourself a bargain or a few extra pounds off a meal out. With discounts and vouchers for pretty much everything, by the time your Totum card expires it will probably have paid itself off. Better still, you can sign up for UNiDAYS and Student Beans completely for free, joining up with just your university email address.

Using apps such as Citymapper can be a helpful way to find not only the quickest, but also the cheapest route to where you need to be. Maybe you’ll find that getting the bus does take a little longer, but you’ll certainly save some cash along the way and get to see some iconic London sights! Better still, why not explore London by foot? You may be surprised to find out that places are actually closer together than you thought – and you’re getting a free workout whilst you learn your way around the city.

NAVIGATING LONDON ON A STUDENT BUDGET | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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OPPORTUNITIES AT WESTMINSTER THERE ARE LOTS OF OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN NEW SKILLS, ENJOY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES AND BOOST YOUR CAREER PROSPECTS WHILE STUDYING AT WESTMINSTER

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THE WESTMINSTER EMPLOYABILITY AWARD

BECOME A STUDENT AMBASSADOR

Stand out from the crowd and beat the competition! Take part in the Westminster Employability Award – designed to help you develop skills and gain experience during your time at the University of Westminster. Find out more about yourself, explore different options, gain more experience and get job ready. Complete different activities and collect points to qualify for a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.

Being a Student Ambassador is a great way to gain valuable work experience while earning from flexible, part-time work. Our Student Ambassadors help with Open Days, Applicant Days, attend higher education fairs at local schools and colleges, and deliver presentations to school pupils on topics relating to higher education.

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HELLO WESTMINSTER | opportunities at westminster

3 LEARN A LANGUAGE If you’re interested in learning a new language or developing a current language, you might be interested in taking part in the University’s open language programme, Polylang. Enhance your employability skills and improve communication whilst taking part in a module which contributes towards your degree. Languages taught include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Russian.


SUPPORTING YOU

At Westminster, we can help you with financial, emotional and academic support. DISABILITY LEARNING SUPPORT

Ask us about advice and support if you have a learning difficulty or disability. ACADEMIC LEARNING DEVELOPMENT CENTRE

We can help improve your essay writing and presentation skills; simply book a one-to-one appointment or academic skills workshop with us. STUDENT HEALTH SERVICE

“ Being an ambassador has been a really fulfilling experience. Meeting new people and talking about the university to potential students has helped my confidence and public speaking. The flexibility of it has also allowed me to get a bit of extra cash while fitting it around my studies.” PATRICK JENKINS, STUDENT AMBASSADOR

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Our nurse practitioners provide advice on health and well-being. FAITH AND SPIRITUALITY

We offer advice to students of any faith. Ask us about spiritual counsel and spaces for contemplation, as well as multi-faith prayer rooms on site. COUNSELLING

You can talk confidentially to a professionally trained counsellor about any issues worrying you.

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LGBTI+ STUDENTS

STUDY OR WORK OVERSEAS

GAIN VALUABLE CAREERS ADVICE

As part of your degree, you may be able to study or work overseas. Studying or working abroad is an amazing opportunity to live and learn in another country, whilst gaining global skills to improve your career prospects. We have student exchange partnerships with institutions in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Australasia, giving Westminster students the chance to spend time studying abroad. You could also be eligible for funding to support you while you’re overseas.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers career planning, help finding internships and work placements, CV skills, interview advice, and coaching and mentoring, to support you throughout your studies and after graduation.

See what else we offer at westminster.ac.uk/ supporting-you

Our LGBTI+ Society provides a safe space for LGBTI-identifying people. We hold regular events and promote awareness amongst students on LGBTI+ issues. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ADVICE AND SUPPORT

We provide visa and immigration advice and practical information on adjusting to life in the UK. STUDENT FUNDING

We offer advice and guidance on possible funding options available to UK and international students.

opportunities at westminster | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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WORK EXPERIENCE My name is Francesca Vacca Moreno. I am in my final year of Business Information Systems BSc.

Between my second and third year of university, I undertook a year-long placement at the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust. During that year I was a Data Analyst in the Business Intelligence team. My role entailed fulfilling information requests by extracting data from the databases and creating reports with it, creating dashboards and regular reports which were sent out to teams, daily tasks like submitting the A&E performance and helping teams automate audits. This opportunity has helped me both professionally and personally. I have gained technical skills you can only learn through work experience, like working with systems that are only used by the NHS, experience using big databases and learning how to create reports and dashboards. On a personal level I think this experience has made me more confident and assertive. An experience like this comes with highs and lows. During the first few months I found it very difficult to adapt to working life, the holidays at work compared to holidays at university also affected me, as I am used to flying back to my home in 24

“ When competition for jobs can be intense, I feel like it is very important to have extra things like a work placement on your CV to make you stand out in the crowd.” Spain regularly. It can also be challenging to learn to work with people you don’t always get along with.

my team, who from the start were pushing me to learn more each day. The highs definitely balance out the lows.

There were some amazing highs, like being a part of the NHS during the pandemic and feeling like I was helping towards the cause. I also received amazing support from

Now that I am back studying at university, I feel more organised and responsible. I also feel that I am more open minded towards learning new subjects. I know that this opportunity will also

HELLO WESTMINSTER | Work Experience


CAREERS AND EMPLOYABILITY SERVICE WE CAN HELP YOU FIND VACANCIES, PLAN YOUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND TEACH YOU HOW TO MARKET YOURSELF EFFECTIVELY.

help me once I graduate and look for a job. When competition for jobs can be intense, I feel like it is very important to have extra things like a work placement on your CV to make you stand out in the crowd. My advice to everyone, even if you have not even thought of doing a placement, is to go for it. The process of applying for one is a learning experience alone and good practice for applying for jobs after graduation. Make use of the help available at the university, especially the Careers & Employability Service and don’t let any rejections get you down. If you’ve got your heart set on doing a placement, don’t give up as it is never too late to find one: I had my interview in May and got an offer in June. Once you are on placement, my advice would be to make the most of it. Learn as much as you can and never settle, as it goes past very quickly and it is an opportunity of a lifetime. I’m not sure yet about what I will do after graduating, however, after my work placement I do know I really enjoy data analytics and solution development. No matter what I decide to do in the end, I know this experience has been worthwhile as it is helping me now and will help me in the future. To find out more, visit westminster.ac.uk/ experience

CAREERS GUIDANCE APPOINTMENTS

MENTORING

CAREERS FAIRS

INFORMATION RESOURCES

We provide careers advice and feedback on your CV as well as application forms and interviews.

A great opportunity for you to meet employers on campus – many students come away with useful contacts and sometimes even an interview.

VACANCIES AND EVENTS PORTAL

Develop your skills and gain experience of the working world by taking part in a mentoring scheme designed to enhance personal effectiveness.

We have lots of online material covering jobs, employers, volunteering, working and studying overseas, further study and training.

DROP-INS

Our online service helps you look for part-time placements, voluntary and graduate opportunities.

These are perfect opportunities to meet face-to-face with employers on campus and find out about part-time jobs.

EMPLOYER EVENTS

Employers regularly host events and company presentations – perfect for networking opportunities.

VOLUNTEERING

We help you to find unpaid work to help people, charities, local communities or the environment.

TALENT BANK

We help you to find paid, temporary and part-time jobs at the University and with local businesses.

EXPLORE TEACHING

Gain valuable work experience in a school classroom.

Work Experience | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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VOLUNTEERING

LOOKING TO GAIN VALUABLE SKILLS FOR YOUR CHOSEN CAREER? VOLUNTEERING COULD BE THE PERFECT PLACE TO START.

TYPES OF VOLUNTEERING One-off:

Have a busy schedule but still want to volunteer your time? There are plenty of options to spend a few hours or couple of days working at events with charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Shelter and WaterAid. There are always one-off events around the University which need support, too.

Regular volunteering:

At the University of Westminster, we’re truly committed to bettering our society and environment. Our Student Volunteering Service organises a range of opportunities that fit even the busiest of schedules. From one-off volunteering, to student-led projects and multiple overseas opportunities to volunteer, we’re sure that you’ll find something for you. Volunteering is a great way to make a difference in the community, whilst enhancing your CV, gaining confidence and learning new life and professional skills. Volunteering is also a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends while you’re settling in to university life. 26

HELLO WESTMINSTER | VOLUNTEERING

If you are looking for a regular commitment, there are a number of charities you can assist on a regular or event weekly basis. This arrangement is dedicated to the students who are looking for a longer and more regular commitment. With this project you can commit to assist a charity or a non-profit on a weekly basis. You can also find voluntary roles at local businesses or community groups, such as schools.

Student-led or live projects:

If you have an idea that could make a positive impact, we can help you to get started. There are also plenty of opportunities to get involved with projects that are already live. This can be a great opportunity to use the skills you learn on your course, for example by creating an app for a local charity.


HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

VOLUNTEERING OVERSEAS During your studies there may be opportunities for you to Volunteer abroad. AVAILABLE PROGRAMMES INCLUDE:

AlSadi Changing Lives Programme

A cultural exchange programme in Jordan where participants will get to immerse in the Middle Eastern culture while participating in community projects, workshops and historic visits.

Habitat for Humanity

An international charity focused on helping global housing poverty. Their volunteer groups work together on construction, renovation and new build projects. Locations include Africa, South America, Asia, Europe and North America.

Global Vision International (GVI)

GVI offers more than 150 volunteering abroad opportunities with projects like marine and wildlife conservation, community development and animal care. Locations: Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, Central America.

After you’ve enrolled onto your chosen course, you’ll be able to access Engage, our online platform which will list opportunities for volunteering. There are also volunteering fairs held every year, where you can speak to organisations about the opportunities they offer. Our volunteering team also offer weekly appointments to help you with any questions you may have. To find out more westminster.ac.uk/ volunteering2021

DID YOU KNOW?

86% of Westminster students who volunteer said they felt it made them more employable and 70% of our student volunteers felt more connected to the London community. VOLUNTEERING | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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MY SCHOLARSHIP EXPERIENCE We know that when you are applying to university, financial support is an important factor in deciding where to study. This is why we offer a range of scholarships for students. We asked one of our current scholarship students, Ravi, to talk to us about his experience. "I’m in my second year studying Fashion Buying Management (now Fashion Business Management BA) and received the Great Start Scholarship based on my GCSE and A Level Grades. The scholarship application process was straightforward and my scholarship has been helpful for finances and for building up my academic record. As well as providing extra financial support, scholarships give you the opportunity to enhance your CV as scholarship students are required to complete a set number of voluntary hours per semester.

"Westminster has such a wide range of scholarships, which contributed to my decision to come to the University."

Scholarships are typically assessed on financial need and a good academic record (this doesn’t mean you have to be top of your class to get one). To be eligible for a scholarship you need to first have applied for a place on a course and been made either a conditional or unconditional offer.

I volunteered on open days which involved answering questions of prospective students and assisting in subject talks. I was also an extra in the Virtual Reality accommodation video which was really fun and a completely new experience. You can also choose to volunteer for a charity, at a local school or at other university activities."

If you have an offer with us and are on track to meet or exceed the entry requirements for your course, it is definitely worth applying, as our scholarships are awarded based on more than just academic performance. Make sure to head to our website for full details and information on how to apply.

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HELLO WESTMINSTER | my scholarship experience


COULD YOU BE ELIGIBLE FOR A GREAT START SCHOLARSHIP? A Great Start Scholarship provides £2,000 per academic year towards living expenses or tuition! If you answer yes to the following questions you could be able to apply:

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Are you a holding an offer for a full-time Undergraduate course?

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Are you on track to meet or exceed our academic requirements?

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Do you come from a household with an income of less than £25,000 per year?

For more information and instructions on how to apply, visit westminster.ac.uk/ scholarships2021

MY SCHOLARSHIP EXPERIENCE | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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OUR GRADUATES SEE WHAT SOME OF OUR WESTMINSTER GRADUATES ARE UP TO NOW

ANJALI PINDORIA

QUANTITY SURVEYING AND COMMERCIAL MANAGEMENT BSC CLASS OF 2017 Since graduating from Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management BSc in 2017, Anjali has become a role model for the Construction industry, working with those at senior levels to bring change and challenge gender and racial stereotypes. Anjali’s passion for educating the industry on her research stemmed from personal experiences as a young Asian female and belief that the growing minority needs to be given a voice – one which she constantly challenges herself to be. Alongside working as a Surveyor, Anjali has taken up numerous voluntary roles including; Women in Construction Ambassador, CIOB Novus Committee Member, Education Ambassador and BAME representative for the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Inclusion Role Model for WDC. She has also written for a number of construction publications, delivered Continuing Professional Development (CPDs) for the Chartered Institute of Building and spoken about her findings and personal experiences at panels across the UK. 30

HELLO WESTMINSTER | Our Graduates


KAY-LEE GOULDING

RADIO AND DIGITAL PRODUCTION BA HONOURS, CLASS OF 2019 (NOW DIGITAL MEDIA BA) Kay-Lee recently graduated from the Radio and Digital Production BA Honours (now Digital Media BA), and has worked on mainstream radio stations including BBC Radio 1, Kiss FM and Capital Xtra. She is the Head of Production at The Beat London 103.6FM and specialises in Urban music, interviewing guests such as Krept and Konan and the late Cadet. A self-confessed “radio geek”, Kay-Lee is also an advocate for Radio Silence; a movement founded by two fellow Westminster alumni, Sara Hebil-Motie and Pulama Kaufman which focuses on diversity within radio. Kay-Lee wanted to get involved to help raise awareness about the reality of Britain’s radio industry, highlighting the lack of black representation in mainstream broadcasting and the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement which has been pushed to the forefront of news since the murder of George Floyd.

In July 2020, Kay-Lee wrote an article for DJ Magazine entitled Radio Silence: the movement to diversify the UK radio industry, where she discussed the impact the lack of diversity in the industry has had on her as a mixed-heritaged female radio presenter and DJ. Read about more of our grads at: westminster.ac.uk/graduates

ANICK SONI

LAW LLB HONOURS, CLASS OF 2017 After four years at the University of Westminster, including a year abroad studying at a partner institution in Sydney, Anick has gone on to work with a number of media and news organisations. Since graduating, Anick has continued his passion for law, equality and diversity and focuses on mental health awareness and the rights of children, young people and families. He also advocates for underrepresented groups from BAME and LGBTI+ communities. In addition to working with the University of Westminster’s Mentoring Scheme,

Anick engages in research and consults with governments, charities and organisations from around the world to educate and inform change around these issues. Examples of his work include presenting for the BBC to create an internationally-acclaimed film called The Intersex Diaries, to creating campaigns and content for Instagram, Buzzfeed and MTV. Anick also helped to organise the first intersex march and Pride In London over the last couple of years. In 2019, Anick was awarded the GAY TIMES Honour for British Community Trailblazer. Our Graduates | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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NEXT STEPS YOU’VE GOT YOUR OFFER – WHAT’S NEXT?

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ATTEND AN OPEN DAY

If you haven't already, book your place on an online open day to learn more about your chosen course. Open Days are the perfect opportunity to find out everything you need to know about studying at the University of Westminster. Ask questions, meet current students and academics and get a feel for student life at Westminster. See our website for upcoming dates westminster.ac.uk/opendays2021

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ACCEPT YOUR OFFER

You can view and accept your offer by logging on to UCAS Track where you will also find your deadline to reply.

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FIND OUT ABOUT FEES AND FUNDING

See what funding is available to you as an undergraduate student. westminster.ac.uk/funding2021

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HELLO WESTMINSTER | Next Steps

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CHECK IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A SCHOLARSHIP

We offer a range of scholarships available to UK students. Check the scholarships section of our website to see what you could be entitled to. westminster.ac.uk/scholarships2021

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FIND ACCOMMODATION

Whether you want to apply for halls of residence or live in private housing, we can help find the right accommodation for you. westminster.ac.uk/accomm-2021

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CONTACT ADMISSIONS AND APPLICANT SUPPORT Keep in touch with any questions you may have by contacting our admissions team. UGAdmissions@westminster.ac.uk


KEEP UP TO DATE WITH US ON SOCIAL! Check out what our students have been up to by following #WeAreWestminster Follow us on: uniwestminster

uniofwestminster

Next Steps | HELLO WESTMINSTER

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WELCOME TO WESTMINSTER westminster.ac.uk uniwestminster

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Profile for University of Westminster

Hello Westminster | Issue 3  

Find out what it's like to be a student at the University of Westminster.

Hello Westminster | Issue 3  

Find out what it's like to be a student at the University of Westminster.

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