Since this is probably going to be your first time living on your own, I believe you are looking for a university that provides all the services you need to live your daily live in a comfortable and convenient way. University of Surrey definitely has all the means to satisfy your needs.
Starting from the very important, when it comes to shopping food, there are different options.
• In the ground floor of the library you can find Simply Fresh. This is a quite convenient supermarket mostly considering the location. You can find bakery, day meals, sweets, donuts, veggies, fruit, juices, chips, pizzas, medicine, alcohol, coffee… almost everything you can think of. It is great to go down to buy some treats while you are studying, buy day meal deals or do small shoppings. However, I wouldn’t´t recommend to do the general big buying. It opens from 7.00 to 23.00 weekly, and a bit shorter on weekends.
• Tesco is a HUGE super market that is open 24h everyday apart from Sundays. It’s located in Manor Park, you can get there in a 3 minute bus ride or a 10 minute walk from Stag Hill campus. It´s perfect for big shoppings paying reasonable prices. I strongly recommend to apply for the loyalty card online at the beginning of the year, completely for free, to start accumulating points and then get discounts. When I came to campus for the first time in September, here is where I did all my shopping of plates, cutlery, towels, pans, pots… you might find this information useful this September!
There are always a lot of deals, offers and reduced prices at the end of the day. They also do free delivery when a minimum amount is spent, so it is a great option (and lot of people do it) to do a big online shopping together with flatmates.
• All Thursdays there is a farmers market organised in Rubix (in the main campus, Stag Hill). You can find GREAT quality fruit and veggies at cheaper prices than in the supermarkets, delicious bread, cakes, and different international food tents (SPANISH PAELLA INCLUDED!). You really need to go one day, and after that, you will literally fall in love and star going every week.
If you want to disconnect and chill having a coffee with your friends, we have Starbucks and Lakeside Cafe. The students of hospitality run this last one, with the aim of getting the opportunity to live in first hand how to run a café feels like. There are a lot of students that go to study or work in group projects to both (I include myself). Apart from that, if you just feel lazy to cook, you could go to Lakeside restaurant (again run by students), Wates House, Hillside, Pizzaman… No matter where you go, you will always find a friendly environment full of students.
Even if you might not do it now, you will need to start washing your own clothes. The laundry service will be really close to your house. No matter if you live in Stag Hill Campus, Manor Park or Hazel Farm, you will have your laundrette there with a bunch of washers and dryers (and a television and pretty good wifi!!). There are two ways to pay: by a top up card, in which you put money online or by a mobile app. Washing is around 2.10 pounds and drying 1.10 pounds. Although at first doing laundry can sound the worst thing ever, I actually enjoy it when I go with my friends!
Regarding school material, Apple seed is located in the ground floor of the library, right in front of Simply Fresh (mentioned before). This is the University Bookshop, any books that you are required to buy, the bookshop will normally have in stock at the beginning of the year. They can also order in books for you and they have reduced stock occasionally. Some Societies arrange second-hand book sales/exchanges throughout the year, too. Apart from books, you can buy notebooks, t-shirts, pens, sweaters and many more things with the university logo. I bought my university hoodie there! It is an excellent place to go if you need to buy any kind of teaching aid stuff.
As time goes by, I´m sure you will start having your small routines all around that will help you start feeling like home!