If you’ve moved away for university or are planning to do so later this year, you’ll naturally be at an initial loss as to how best to prepare for a new chapter of your life.

With the move to a new city representing such a huge change in lifestyle, you’ll need to do as much homework as possible about the place you’ll be calling home for the next three years and even beyond. It’s not just about finding the coolest bars and the best record shops though – you’ll need to think about feeling safe on the streets and in your home too.

Independent research on the internet regularly compiles a list of cities in the UK and Ireland based on crime statistics; although it won’t give the full impression of day-to-day life in a particular area that you might be living, there are also plenty of websites around populated by students who do know what’s what in their local student areas.

Despite the ever-growing list of worries and concerns facing any soon-to-be student as they prepare for a move, among the top priorities should be obtaining a form of insurance suitable for their accommodation and to help ease the fears of life in a university town or city.

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) published its Students Finance Guide last autumn; it’s chock-full with useful financial and other practical advice to help students save money and get the best from their time studying. It’s also full of useful contact details for local groups who can provide more specific assistance to students with money troubles, or who are just wary of the potential problems which can occur during the course of the school year.

Students further afield such as those in the UK should also find plenty of assistance from independent university advisors on how best to maintain a safe amount of spending. Student insurance is one such cost to consider; your big uni investments like laptops are vital for your education, and so you’ll need to make sure this sort of thing has coverage.

Endsleigh is the best-known provider of student insurance (click here for more info); such specialist insurance providers pride themselves on knowing the financial needs of Britain’s brightest, and making sure that payment plans are affordable on such tight budgets as those of the students making use of them.

No matter where you plan to spend the next few years, you need to do as much homework as possible before you’ve even started on the actual course!