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Living at Warwick

Warwick's campus

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1. What facilities are available for day-to-day living at the University of Warwick? 

2. What useful words and phrases do I need to know when I am on campus?

Futher information

from International Office 

What facilities are available for day-to-day living at the University of Warwick?

If you have just arrived at the University of Warwick, you might find these tips helpful in assisting you in your early days at the university.


  • The University of Warwick campus provides lots of catering facilities (restaurants and cafeterias, coffee bars, etc), banks, bookshops, an insurance office, a post office and two general food supermarkets (Costcutters). All of these facilities are open all year round, even in the summer vacation, though opening times may vary during off-peak times.
  • Remember that the International Office at the university offers a lot of help to international students and also offers a specialised visa advice service if you have difficulties in this area. They are situated on the first floor of University House. You are always welcome to approach them if you need any help or advice about settling in.
  • The nearest major supermarket to the University of Warwick is Tesco (Cannon Park). This is approximately five minutes walk from the Westwood Campus. There is also a large Sainsbury’s supermarket in Canley. Large supermarkets sell international food and should also cater for various religious needs (Halal, Kosher, etc).
  • If you are self-catering and need pots, pans, rice cookers and other kitchen utensils, remember that you can often purchase them most quickly and cheaply from international students who are leaving the university and returning to their countries around mid-September time. Have a look at the notice boards across the university – you will often see such sales advertised.
  • If you are studying on the pre-sessional English course, a visit will be arranged to Birmingham during which time you will be able to stock up on certain food supplies at the Chinese supermarket.
  • Students who are leaving the university at the end of their courses also often sell electrical equipment, computers and even cars to new students at reasonable rates. If you are buying larger items, you must make sure they are in working order. Once you have purchased them there is not usually anything you can do if things go wrong.
  • If you purchase a car, make sure that it has 12 months MOT (an MOT is a legal requirement – it is a vehicle test certificate that demonstrates that the car is of sound mechanical standard). If you drive without an MOT certificate where one is required, you are committing a criminal offence. Check that you know whether the car takes diesel or petrol and make sure that you are fully insured – also a legal requirement. Remember that as a student, you will be unlikely to be allowed to park on campus during term time, when car parking is at a premium, unless you have a medical condition or disability supported by due documentation.
  • If you are opening a bank account on campus, check the small print first. Banks differ in terms of what they offer the customer and we do not want to make specific recommendations on this site. However, some banks require you, for instance, to have a certain amount of money in your bank account at all times while others do not have such a requirement. Some banks have extended opening times at the start of the second phase of pre-sessional to enable students to open their accounts.
  • To open your bank account, you will need an official bank letter written by the university, confirming your status as a student at Warwick. The letter has to contain your exact address (including room or flat number) so it is not possible for this to be produced until you arrive at Warwick. During the pre-sessional course, this letter is provided by the course office. During term time, letters are not produced by CAL - they are produced by the international office.
  • Do not ‘rush into’ purchasing a lot of books until your course starts, and even then, you need only select the most important books to buy. Recommended course books should be available in the library. If you are purchasing books, remember to look at notices on the notice boards but be aware that some books do get updated quickly. Some books (for example, law text books) are updated each year and last year’s books may not therefore be very useful.
  • The most popular areas for off-campus accommodation are Earlsdon, Canley and Tile Hill. If you do live off-campus, the Students’ Union provides crucial advice to help you with accommodation matters. In particular, do not be tempted to sign any tenancy agreement without asking someone in the Students’ union to check over the small print. In particular, you must make sure that you know whether you will have to legally continue paying for your accommodation if you have to leave it at short notice, and if so, for how long.
  • If you have off-campus accommodation you are strongly urged to ask to see the gas central heating maintenance certificate. You also need to make sure you know what your rights are regarding being served with notice to leave the property. You don’t want this to happen during your exams.
  • Other useful places to note are : the post office, where you can get your photocopying and dissertation/thesis binding done; the University of Warwick bookshop, which sells new and used books; the Student's Union market, which takes place during term-time from Monday - Friday.

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What useful words and phrases do I need to know when I am on campus?


This is not a comprehensive vocabulary list but it is useful for you to familiarise yourself with the following words and phrases either before you start your studies at the University of Warwick or shortly afterwards.

Word or phrase



A web log in which you can note your developing thoughts and feelings related to your experiences


A university centre catering for the religious needs of students

Counselling service

A centre within the university where you can seek help and advice for personal problems.


An extended piece of writing that completes a one-year postgraduate course or final-year undergraduate module.


A request to take more time on a piece of assessed work than is originally permissible.


A ceremony to mark the successful completion of a university course.


A large group learning session in which the lecturer is the main speaker


A member of teaching staff at a university

Medical note

A letter from your doctor (GP) explaining why you are/have been ill. Usually required for essay extensions.

Overdue book

A library book that has not been returned by the due date.

Personal tutor

A member of the university staff who has a particular interest in your welfare.

Pigeon hole

A mail box with your name or first letter of your surname, within your department.

PIN number

A personal number used for paying by bank card, etc.

Recalled book

A library book that you have borrowed that is now required by another user.


A small group learning session in which active discussion is encouraged


An extended piece of writing leading to the award of a research degree.

Timetable clash

A situation where two classes that you are following occur at the same time.


Usually refers to a one-to-one learning session or discussion on progress

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The text was prepared by Dr Gerard Sharpling.
Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick