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Joining your local community

Discovering your new community in Kent is part of the excitement of starting CCCU, whether you’re moving here or commuting from home. 

The essentials

By setting yourself up with a local doctor, student bank account, and registering to vote you will be ready to jump into life at university feeling prepared.

We recommend that you register with a GP Practice close to where you live, so if you are ever ill you know you can get the help you need. If you require regular check-ups or medication, it is important to prepare in advance to prevent issues with attaining the support you need.

If like most students, you spend more weeks of the year at your university address than your family’s address, you need to register with a GP near to you as soon as possible.

If you’re a citizen of the UK, voting is your democratic right - so don’t miss out on your voice being heard locally and nationally!

Whatever your politics, in order to have your say in general and local elections, you need to be registered to vote.

You are entitled to be registered to vote from your term-time address and your home address (provided that these do not fall within the same area).

Registering to vote could be your first step in influencing the future of your country.

  • Students from the UK, EU, Commonwealth, British Overseas Territories and British Crown Dependencies are all eligible to register to vote
  • In national elections such as a General Election or a Referendum, you must only vote once (from either address). It is a criminal offence to vote twice in one election
  • In local elections, you may vote from both addresses (providing that they do not fall within the same local authority)

It’s easy to do and can be done online on GOV.UK in just a few minutes. You’ll need to provide your:

  • National insurance number
  • Date of birth
  • Address

Please note, you can register to vote at both your home and term-time addresses, but you can only vote in one location.

You will need to download a copy of your Student Status Letter in order to apply for the following:

  • Activating a student or graduate bank account
  • Council Tax exemption letter - If you are a full-time student living in privately rented accommodation, in which all other residents are full-time students, you may be entitled a council tax exemption or reduction
  • Applying for part-time work (international students only)

To download your Student Status Letter, visit MyRecord and click on the “My Letters” tab.

If you are registered but can't see the 'My Letters' tab in MyRecord, you may need to click the '+' to reveal any additional hidden tabs along the top menu.

You may need to click the '+' symbol to reveal any add hidden menu items in MyRecord

If you would like additional support or advice for setting up a UK student or graduate bank account, our friendly Student Money Advisor is here to help.

We put your wellbeing at the centre of your student experience, so you are supported to succeed in your studies and get the most from university life. That’s why we offer a wide variety of support services to make sure you can access advice and extra support whenever you need it throughout your student journey.

The Student Wellbeing Service at CCCU has a network of trained professionals offering a range of support and advice for the duration of your time with us. This includes:

  • The Student Disability Service
  • The Mental Wellbeing and Counselling Team
  • Student Wellbeing Adviser Team
  • Student Financial Support

You can Register with Student Wellbeing Services online here.

Living in the Community

Living locally in purpose-built or privately rented accommodation can be a wonderful experience that embeds you within your community. We champion our students to be responsible and compassionate neighbours, and are here to provide advice if, at any time, you need support when living off-campus.

Get to know your neighbours

Building community through neighbourly relationships is an important part of independent living. Say hello to your new neighbours when you move in - they will always appreciate the opportunity to meet you and open up a friendly dialogue. They may be taking in your parcels or might offer to keep an eye on the house when you are away, so do make sure you get off on the right foot.

If you feel safe doing so, it is recommended to exchange contact details with your neighbour, in case you need to communicate throughout the duration of your tenancy.

Contribute to local schemes and groups and care for your green spaces.

Be a community champion and advocate for where you live alongside your community. By joining local interest groups, charity newsletters, or residence associations, you can find opportunities to give back and make a difference whilst living here.

Show kindness and consideration to all

We celebrate the diversity of individuals and opportunities in our community. Showing compassion for all in your community, and challenging your own biases, will enrich your experience of living locally. You could meet new friends, allies and mentors in the community by giving and getting respect.

Report environmental issues through the local council website

By reporting incidents of fly tipping, antisocial behaviour, and vandalism you can help your local council to provide support in the community where it is needed. By doing so you also show care for your locality and can make a difference for all residents.

To find out more about reporting environmental issues to your council, click the relevant district below:


It is important to remember that those you live alongside may have a different lifestyle to you, perhaps with young children, focussed on their studies, or working unsociable hours and in need of rest, so be sure to show respect by keeping noise to a reasonable level.

We recommend celebrating or holding events in town, away from residential areas. However, if this isn’t possible, please follow the guidance below when organising an event at your home:

  • Keep the noise to a reasonable level, and try to make sure you're not making a noise that can be heard outside your property
  • Tell your neighbours in advance if you are planning an event. They may welcome an opportunity to discuss with you what noise levels are reasonable and what time they would like you to quieten down
  • Consider reasonable capacity for your property and do not invite too many guests
  • Move your sound system away from the walls and close your windows when playing music
  • Stay inside and ask guests to be respectful if going into the garden or when leaving the property
  • Watch out for gate-crashers - if your think your house party is getting out of control and you don't feel that you can stop it, call the police on 999 for assistance
  • If you do get a reasonable complaint about noise or the behaviour of your guests, apologise, turn the music down and stop the behaviour which motivated the complaint

Most neighbours will be happy with an occasional event that doesn't get out of hand and quietens down at a reasonable time or on request. Too much noise, too late, or too often will annoy neighbours and you may find yourself the subject of complaints to the University, City Council and/or Kent Police.

When not managed properly, bins can lead to a build-up of rubbish in your home, and if left can lead to unpleasant smells and may attract rodents and other pests. Follow our guidance below to ensure you manage your bins properly whilst living off-campus:

  • Find out which bins are collected on what day and make a note. Put your bins out the night before to avoid missing early pick-ups in your area. To find out your bin day you can check your local council website here:
  • Organise your rubbish and recycling to prevent bins not being collected due to contamination. To find out what item goes in which bin, have a look at the helpful council information pages from your local council:
  • Keep the lid of your bin shut to prevent seagulls or foxes from tearing bin bags and dispersing your rubbish
  • If you do not have the correct bins ask your landlord to provide you with new bins

Many of our students choose to give back and become an active contributor to our community through volunteering. Volunteering is an excellent way to get involved locally and to provide yourself with a plethora of new and exciting experiences. Whatever your interest, location, or time commitment, there’s a volunteering opportunity to suit you. From supporting a local homeless charity or fundraising to getting out into nature, the volunteering team can help you find the local volunteering opportunity you’re looking for.

Find volunteering opportunities here.

Many students choose to find part-time work alongside their studies, which is a great way to meet new people and earn some extra money to support you whilst studying.

If you’re looking for part-time work experience and want to earn some money while you study, register with Unitemps. Here you’ll find all kinds of vacancies for vacation work, internships, placements, full-time work, and graduate roles.

Support for issues with landlords, neighbours or other residents

If you do have issues with your neighbours, landlord or residents in your home, you can access support through the Community Liaison Manager at the University on:

This could be, but is not limited to:

  • Arguments or tension amongst housemates
  • Unresponsive landlords or estate agents
  • Disputes between landlords and tenants
  • Abuse of your tenancy rights, such as invasive visits or breaches of your tenancy agreement, by a landlord, estate agent or service
  • Issues with disrepair, damp and mould, or damage in your property
  • Experiencing harassment from neighbours, landlords, other students, or members of the local community
  • Concerns when moving into your property
  • Deposit disputes at the end of your tenancy

The Students' Union Looking, Living and Leaving guide provides in-depth information on looking for accommodation, moving into, and living in privately rented accommodation in the city.

If you have any housing queries or concerns you can contact me, your Community Liasion Manager. I am here to provide friendly, non-judgemental and informal advice for students living in the community.

JoshCommunity Liaison Manager

Staying safe

Starting university is an exciting time as you settle in, exploring new places, and meeting new friends. We have a range of initiatives to help keep you safe at the same time.

Our friendly security staff are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you ever have an emergency, concerns, or questions they are here to support you. And if you download the Safezone app onto your mobile, you can ask for their help at the press of a button.

SafeZone is a safety app that allows you to alert university security via your mobile phone if you ever need urgent assistance, first aid, or if you have an emergency while on our Canterbury or Medway campuses.

Find out more about our safety support.

Discovering your local area

Our University is located in the heart of the community, inspiring our research and providing an incredible local offer for our students. Our county has an ever-growing schedule of events and CCCU is proud to sponsor the Canterbury Festival as well as Canterbury and Medway Pride each year.


Canterbury is a vibrant, historic city with loads to offer. There is so much to explore in our UNESCO World Heritage city which is a draw for students, tourists and pilgrims from all over the world.

Canterbury is home to renowned entertainment venues, including the local Marlowe Theatre, which hosts a magnificent line-up of touring productions and central Curzon cinemas for the latest films. We’re known for a great night out with a nightlife to suit everyone, from late-night cafes to cosy British pubs, and trendy clubs.

Discover the city’s local events, and popular hangouts through the Visit Canterbury website. It won’t be long until you’ll be showing off your new home on Instagram to your friends and family back home.

Get discounts throughout the city with a My Canterbury Local Offers Card, order yours today!


Medway is a vibrant, fast developing area, with historic landmarks and great connections. Our students love the community feel of our Medway Campus, near to the historic Chatham Dockyard. This area has undergone a great deal of regeneration in recent years and is now home to a range of waterside shops, restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as a large Odeon cinema and a gym.

Your University community

When studying at CCCU you will have many opportunities to embed yourself within our community here, both within and alongside your studies. Find out how you can get involved in student life.

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Community Liaison Manager

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