My DD2 is in her first year and is unhappy. Two factors really..one is terrible homesickness which has not abated even though she has nice friends there and is at a lovely halls. She has always been very much a home body and only went away because the course she decided on wasn't available here. The other factor is massive disillusionment about the course itself. It's an NHS degree course, but the placements have been poor and the support appalling in its absence... her current mentor has been off sick the whole placement which has meant she hasn't been able to get competencies signed off etc etc, and what she has experienced of the actual job has, sadly made her very unsure this is the right career
To be honest I think she would be better off coming home, taking a year out and then, of she wishes going to the local uni to do her other choice (it was always a hard decision between the nursing and an academic subject at which she excelled)
However I have no idea what would happen.. I believe the NHS bursary isn't repayable and while hard, we could probably repay the student loan as it was the minimum one (and she could pay us back if she worked a year out)
However what I don't know is whether she would then be eligible for a standard student loan to start another degree.
She is determined to see this year out, so only a few more months as she wants to give it time to be sure whether she has just been unlucky so far, but i wondered if anyone has any experience of a child withdrawing and starting again.
We will support her either way of course, but seeing her unhappy is hard. She is our second child at University, and our elder DD also took time to settle because of homesickness, but DD2 is such a home person and having her tears, exhausted and unhappy is very hard to see
May be she should consider to what she would change to. What other career options are there? I have seen recently friends withdrawing from course, taking a year out then and changing course. Some change university too.
Homesickness invariably resolves itself, though it sounds like the course is a more intractable problem.
Could she remain at the same uni, take more trips home, and switch to the other course for next year? The university will likely be amenable to this as they do not like people to drop out (if nothing else, it's expensive and it's bad for their stats). It would have the advantage that she would not have to take a year out (what would she do with her year out? She needs to formulate a plan).
With regards to the student loan, if she was to drop out now then she would only have to repay in the normal way (i.e. when she starts earning £21,000+). You are allowed one 'false start' in terms of student finance, so she would get full funding for another degree. However, if she was to drop out again after one year then she would have to fund the first year of her degree herself, upfront.
It is hard, but she needs to think about what is the root cause of her unhappiness, being homesick or on the wrong course.
If it is homesick, is there a local uni that does the same course? If so, it might be worth investigating if she finished her first year where she is and move to be a direct entrant to year 2 locally. (It is not necessarily too late to apply for this now, and you would need to contact the admission tutor at the uni you want to attend)
If it is the course, then the easiest route is to look into a restart on a new degree at her existing uni. It might be too late now, but we always encourage potential transfer students to attend a few lectures of the course they think they want to transfer to so they can make sure they really know what they are doing!
As said above, you can have the length of your degree plus one year in finance, so that should not be an issue.
I deal with probably 10-15 students a year who restart a new degree or move institution and I can't remember a time, it didn't work out just fine for them.
Unfortunately the local Uni doesn't do the same course (LD Nursing) otherwise that would probably be an option.
I don't think she knows herself which is the worse problem. She has made good friends there etc but is STILL terribly homesick.. we are a daft, large, close family and she has always been happiest here at home. I think if she were happier on her course she could cope better with the homesickness..catch 22.
She was always torn between the nursing and doing English (with an eye to teaching). The support so far on both placements has been very poor.. missing mentor, very limited communication from anyone ( this is a supposedly 'good' Russel Group uni too) and it has made her feel very unsure about whether she is on the right course.
She says she will stick out the year and is trying to be brave and complain and get the placements officers on board to resolve the lack of mentor problem, and by summer she will know for sure if she can continue or not. I'm really cross that she should be in that position at all
Good to know that funding shouldn't be an issue if she does want to start again... I think she would have to take a year out and reapply locally for 2014 if she does leave.. at least she could work for a year and get some funds together!
Has she spoken to any of the support services at her uni? Most unis have a lots of support options to help her.
There is likely to be most if not all of these:
Personal Tutor (should sort out lack of placement support) Counselling Service (could help her understand what is making her unhappy) Chaplaincy (usually offer general student support, usually do not need to be religious at all) Student Union (general advice/can help with complaints about placements)
If you PM me the name of the uni, I might be able to help find the right contacts.
RG unis are RG because of their research, not necessarily that they are good at teaching or student support. Unfortunately, this is not recognised as fully as it should be
I think it's very hard for NHS students on placements at the moment. Many NHS depts have undergone massive changes and cuts and staff are very stressed hence high sickness rates. We try to give the students the best experience we can but it's getting more difficult.