Skip main navigation


Welcome to our online course: Your Essential Guide to University Life. Find out what the course is about and meet the team.

Welcome to ‘Live Smart: Your Essential Guide to Living at University’, a three week course produced by the University of Reading (UoR).

Starting university is an exciting prospect but it can bring its own set of challenges, especially if these are unexpected. And when these start to build up, the experience can become overwhelming. If you’re thinking of continuing your studies or you’re ready to go and you want to know what university life is like – this course is for you.

You’ll receive lots of tips and advice from current staff and students, which you can use to build your independence and life skills. We aim to answer common questions that come up during the transition period and you’ll find out how universities can help with each step. The course is split into three sections:

  • Ready? (Week 1) covers what to look for when researching universities including how to make the most of open days. You’ll also explore what uni culture is and what’s expected of you as a uni student.
  • Set… (Week 2) highlights the things to know before you start. This section will offer practical advice and guidance to help you prepare for student life (including choosing accommodation, budgeting and what to bring) and help to develop your independence.
  • Go! (Week 3) explores the things to know when you first arrive such as building a support network, so you can make the most of your uni experience from the very beginning.

You can take the course according to each Week or you may like to choose the section most relevant to you.

Meet the team

During the initial three weeks of the course (from the 1 June until 19 June), our team will guide you through the content and will be on hand to support the discussions.

David Dobraszczyk is the Lead Educator for this course. David is a Student Recruitment and Access Officer and works with young people to support transitions into higher education by providing advice and guidance on topics ranging from student finance to academic study skills.

David will be joined by current University of Reading students and our course Mentors, Calum McDonald and Alannah Moody.

The team will aim to answer your queries where they can but please bear in mind, they won’t be able to respond to every post. Don’t let that stop you from asking questions and sharing your experiences though, as you may find that together with other Learners, you may be able to help one another out.

To view comments made by David and the team, click on their name to visit their profile page and click the ‘Follow’ button. Any comment made will then appear in your activity feed which you can filter by ‘Following’.

If you’re new to the FutureLearn platform or have any questions with how the site works, you may find FutureLearn’s start guide and FAQ pages helpful.

This article is from the free online

Your Essential Guide to University Life

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now