Hi I'm Fflur and I'm the president at Bangor Students' Union. I started here in Bangor as a history undergraduate three years ago; I was excited, nervous and ready for independence! I'd decided to come to Bangor because when I came here for my first open day I felt at home and I liked how friendly Bangor seemed. I'm glad to say that I was not disappointed. As a student at Bangor I've always felt that there's a strong community here and a great support network. I think this has something to do with our location; Bangor is a small town in which many of our 10,500 students live and so the whole town can often feel like one big campus. The student experience and the student voice is also valued here, leading to our place in the top 10 for Student Satisfaction in the UK for the second year running!
Some of our divers from the scuba society
So what else makes Bangor great? Again our location is amazing; we're right by the sea and surrounded by mountains. Our free clubs and societies, all run by the Students' Union, allow you to make the most of this by kayaking, sailing, mountain climbing, scuba-diving and much, much more. In fact we've been voted one of the best universities for outdoor sports in the UK. Don't worry if outdoor sports aren't your thing (I'll be honest, they're not mine), we have over a 150+ clubs and societies to choose from and, as they're free here, you can try as many as you want to find the ones that suit you
Sailing at Bangor
Another unique experience that you'll get in Bangor is bilingualism. The University is completely bilingual and a significant proportion of Gwynedd speaks Welsh. There are plenty of opportunities to learn Welsh and this year at the Union we're focusing on how to give every student an opportunity to experience Welsh culture whilst they're here, not only through the language, but also through its music, culture and history.
So if you're a new student what should you expect from Welcome Week?
As you can imagine there is loads going on from SU activities, to induction sessions at your school, to nights at the University club and much more. There's also plenty of support available, such as the SU heroes who will be on hand to help you move in, peer-guides from your school who will be able to give you advice and directions throughout the week, and from the tutors on your course, in particular your personal tutor who'll give you the chance to get some advice and ask any questions you might have.
One of the events that I'm most exited for is Serendipity. This is the Union's Welcome Week fair, where you'll not only get a chance to meet the over 150 clubs and societies that we run but you'll also be able to see some of them in action. At Serendipity you can also find out about what the union can do for you and what campaigns we'll be running over the year, and most importantly how you can get involved. This year the SU have also arranged a bbq, a live action Hungry Hippos (if you're just as puzzled as me about how this works, come and find out with me), and plenty of opportunities for you to meet your Sabbatical team.
Your Sabbatical Team
There are a few things you should bear in mind during Welcome Week. There is support available if you need it. It's okay to feel homesick (it hit me on the second Friday - I had a cry, called my friend at home, went to bed and felt great the next day). Don't spend your student loan all at once, no matter how tempting it may seem. You might not make friends straight away and that's fine, you just have to find the people who you click with - joining clubs or societies is a great way of doing this. Coming to university can be scary and that's natural - big changes often are. Finally, it's your Welcome Week; as long as it doesn't' hurt anyone you should do whatever it is you feel comfortable doing and make it yours.
I hope you have a great Welcome Week, I'm really looking forward to meeting you all.