Student health clinic
On-campus nurses can provide first-aid treatment and information and referrals on general medical and family planning matters. Students may also be able to make an appointment with a bulk-billing doctor or access dental services at a reduced cost. Larger institutions may provide access to a full team of doctors and nurses, and some institutions may also house an on-campus pharmacy.
The activities and recreation office is the place to go if you’re having trouble meeting people on campus or just want something to do between classes. They will be able to provide you with a calendar of student events (everything from sports to concerts to weekend trips) and information about getting involved. This can also be a good source for free or cheap tickets to events and they should be able to give you a heads-up on any free lunches or barbecues happening around campus.
Libraries and computer labs
Access to a well-stocked library makes it a lot easier to complete your assignments and get some quiet study done between classes. Some institutions also house faculty-specific libraries (such as for business or law) or subject-specific libraries (such as for cinema studies). Most facilities also stock plenty of fiction, magazines and even DVDs, and most allow personal internet use. Staff are on hand to answer any questions or help you locate resources and run regular sessions to assist students to develop information research skills. These generally occur at the beginning of each semester.
Computer labs are a must for completing assignments and research between your classes. You institution may even offer secure computer labs. You may also find that there are special computer labs set aside for certain students who require specific software (design students, for instance).
The great thing about being a student is that not everything is about sitting in a lecture or at a desk studying, with cheap gym memberships and sporting clubs keeping students moving between classes. Some institutions have sprawling playing fields, swimming pools and indoor stadiums that you can use at your leisure or as a member of a sporting club. Many have also have on-campus gyms for a handy workout between classes.
Women's rooms or queer spaces
Some institutions set aside spaces for women or students of alternative sexual orientations to relax and socialise in an environment free of judgement, harassment or discrimination. These may also act as a base for organising events, demonstrations and student movements. If your institution does not have a designed women’s or queer space, enquire with the student services team as to whether you can help to start one up.
Many institutions offer specialist facilities for students in certain courses, so it is worth checking out the facilities on offer for students in your field. You may find moot courts for law students, performance and exhibition spaces for creative arts students, simulated hospital wards for nursing students, recording studios for media students and on-campus clinics for psychology students — the list goes on!
From coffee shops and restaurants to beauty salons and student travel agents, campuses may be equipped with a range of stores that mean you never have to leave the campus. The discounted student rates that these retailers typically provide are always welcome. You may also find useful services such as newsagents, pharmacies, post offices, banks and supermarkets. Some campuses may also have training restaurants, beauty schools or health clinics, where student trainees provide their services at a discounted rate.