1 What is university life really like?

The prospect of university life may be exciting, but also daunting, especially if you have not lived away from home before. It’s difficult to imagine what university life will be like until you get there and we hope the Autism&Uni Toolkit will help you prepare the best you can. There are many things to consider and it is totally natural to feel apprehensive.

So what is university life really like?

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2 Registering with a GP

Registering with a GP may not be your top priority when thinking about starting university. However it is important should you require medical advice or become ill during your time at university. You are able to register before you arrive in Durham and ticking this off your list will mean you have one less thing to think about when you arrive in Durham.

Being registered with a local GP for your time at Durham University is really important. If you become unwell or need medical advice it means you can access an appointment with a doctor in a timely fashion, without having to complete paperwork when you are not feeling at your best. Furthermore, if you also experience anxiety or mental health difficulties alongside your autism, it is really useful to be registered with a GP should you need to discuss how you are feeling or changes to medication. At Disability Support we strongly advise that you register with a GP ahead of arriving in Durham or within the first week.

If you need medical advice or support and you have not registered with a GP there may be a delay in you receiving an appointment. Although the practice will make every effort to see you as soon as possible, you may be required to complete paperwork at a time when you already feel stressed and overwhelmed. This could make you feel even worse. Doing this early when you have a bit of time will feel less stressful and you will have peace of mind that the registration is completed.

What should I do? 

All new students can register with the Claypath and University Medical Group at Patient Registration – Claypath and University Medical Group (durhamstudenthealth.co.uk). The form also asks whether you have an NHS number or not. You will only have a number if you have previously registered with a doctor in the UK, but you can still complete this online registration if you are an overseas student and don’t already have an NHS number.

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5 What is the DSA Needs Assessment?

The Study Needs Assessment is an important part of the process of claiming Disabled Students Allowance and getting support at university. This activity will explain what the Study Needs Assessment is, how it works and how to prepare for your appointment.

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