Discovering your local area is part of the fun of settling into your new life, whether you’re moving here or commuting from home.

From finding your local supermarket, doctors or banks, to exploring the shops, cafes and nightlife, there’s plenty of time to get to know what’s on your new doorstep.

Signing up for local activities, supporting local businesses or joining a local interest group are fun ways to learn about the new community you are now part of. 

One great way to settle in and become part of the community is through volunteering. Whatever your interest, location or time commitment, there’s a volunteering opportunity to suit you. From supporting the local homeless charity to raising funds for the local hospice or getting out and about with a wildlife charity, the volunteering team can help you find the local volunteering opportunity you’re looking for.

There are also opportunities through the Students’ Union to go on litter picks and get involved in local environmental projects.

And don't forget the range of local events on offer. Christ Church is proud to sponsor the Canterbury Festival as well as Canterbury and Medway Pride.  

A great way to become part of your new community, whether you are living in University or in private accommodation, is to introduce yourself to your neighbours.

Neighbours can give you tips about living in the local area, let you know when the bins need to go out and keep an eye out on our property during holiday times.

And remember you can make a difference by being a good neighbour too!

  • Be considerate and keep the noise down
    You could be living next door to families with young children, someone who has to work unsociable shifts or a fellow student studying to meet an assessment deadline - so if you are coming back from a night out or having company around, please consider your noise levels. If you are contemplating having a one-off party that could potentially be disruptive, tell your neighbours in advance.
  • Recycle
    Recycling your rubbish and knowing when your bin collection days are will ensure that you are doing your bit towards being green and keeping the local area tidy. The local council should provide you with a leaflet about how recycling works and you can also check on their website Canterbury and Medway. If you don't think you have the right bins make sure you let your landlord know. Put the leaflet up in your kitchen so you don’t forget what needs to go out and when! 

Once you’ve registered, you can request a status letter, which proves you’re a Christ Church student. This can be used to set up a student bank account. The Money Advice Service offers a wide range of guidance about student and graduate bank accounts.

There is also a letter that can be used to request a Council Tax discount (if you’re eligible) with the local council. Households where everyone’s a full-time student do not have to pay Council Tax. You’ll get a Council Tax bill if there’s someone in your household who’s not a full-time student, but your household might qualify for a discount.

Don’t forget to register with a local GP. You may never need one but it is better to be safe than sorry and you certainly don’t want to be trying to find one when you are ill. To find your local GP click here.


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.

Discovering your local area


With three universities and 30,000 students, Canterbury is a vibrant, historic city with loads to offer. From great places to eat and drink, to shops offering student discounts, from events and festivals to theatres and cinemas, there is so much to explore. It won’t be long until you’ll be showing off your new home via Instagram to your friends and family back home.

MyCanterbury Discount and Gift Card

As a resident of Canterbury, you are eligible for a MyCanterbury Discount Card. The MyCanterbury Discount Card is a special card that provides the bearer with a range of offers and deals and is free to apply for.

And why not ask your friends or family to buy you a Canterbury Gift Card. Whether it’s a delicious meal out, a haircut, some new clothes or a trip out for the whole family, the Canterbury Gift Card has you covered!


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.


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