What's life as a GC student like?
Starting college can be a great opportunity to make a fresh start and become more independent. For many students, the change can be exciting as they discover what life at college is really like.
If you're curious about what to expect in September, read on to discover some of the main differences that make college a rewarding and fulfilling phase of your education!
No ties necessary
Did you know there is no mandatory uniform at college? This is one of the first things you'll notice on your first day. Compared to school and sixth form, college allows you to express yourself through your own personal style and clothing choices.
Many of our students opt for casual clothes, such as jeans, t-shirts, jumpers, and trainers, which makes our campuses a welcoming and friendly place. It's important to note that there are still guidelines for appropriate clothing at college to keep our campuses a respectful and suitable environment to learn in.
First name basis
At college, lecturers go on a first name basis. You’ll likely have a few lecturers in your subject that will cover your course topics from practical to theory and everything in between. Many of our lecturers continue to work in their chosen industry so they’re constantly up to date with their area of expertise.
Check out our latest articles where you can find out more about lecturers at college and how they’re constantly updating their skills in their industry.
The most important time of day
Throughout the day you’ll have opportunities to take a break and have lunch. While it depends on the course you’re studying and how long you’re on campus for, you’ll likely have a break in the morning and afternoon and lunch at midday.
At college, you won’t have the normal 8:30-3pm timetable that you’ll be used to at school. You may have lessons in the morning, split throughout the day or you may only need to be in a few days a week, allowing you time for independent study, working on projects and carrying out work placements.
The best place to get food on campus is at Food Central, where you'll find hot and soft drinks, hot food, and snacks to keep you going all day. Outside our Gloucester and Cheltenham campuses, there are also other food options you can make the most of, so you won’t need to travel far for a bite to eat!
Learning that really works
We have a dedicated Employability team to support students in completing their professional development Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours. As part of studying at college, you'll take part in meaningful work experience placements built into your college course.
Work placements can have a significant impact on your studies and provide you with valuable real-world industry experience. You'll receive support to explore placement opportunities, enhance your CV and sharpen your interview skills. By immersing yourself in practical experiences, you'll gain a competitive edge to positively shape your future career and add to your college experience.
You don't get access to this at school
Depending on the course you've chosen, you'll have access to a fantastic range of industry-standard facilities that you won’t find at school. You'll use these during class and assessments, and you may even have the chance to use them during your own time once you become more familiar with them.
Our facilities include:
- Music recording rooms
- Cabin crew flight room
- CNC engineering machine room
- Professional-standard kitchens and onsite restaurants open to the public
- Graduations Hair Salon
- Motor Vehicle Workshops
- ADA (Advanced Digital Academy) - A cyber suite hub with Attack and Defense room.
- Construction workshops.
- and many more...
Student support at college
Your learning mentor is here to support you throughout your time at college. You'll have regular sessions where they'll offer support to help you be safe, stay on track and achieve. They work with staff across the college including the Learning Support team, Advice and Guidance, Employment coaches, and Safeguarding Officers.
They will also play a vital part in helping to prepare you for your next steps after college. While this may sound far away, getting started early will be beneficial. Your learning mentor is a huge part of your time at GC and to help you settle in.
Life on campus
No matter where you study, whether it's at our Gloucester, Cheltenham, or Forest campus, life at college is exciting and not one day is the same. Throughout the year you'll find a range of events and on-goings including student-led charity events, our CREATE showcase, sports competitions, fundraisers, and much more.
Campus can be a busy time but there is always support available when you need it. Need a bit of quiet time? Explore our fantastic libraries. Want to chill out? Get comfy in our student hub.
The best advice before starting college is to be yourself! This is an exciting chance to take all the opportunities offered to you and get stuck in. We can't wait to see everyone in September!