Christmas at Aber

Snow fall on the Old College and Aberystwyth North Promenade.

Are you staying on Campus or in Aber during the Winter vacation?

If that’s the case, then don’t worry. You are in good company! And whilst things are still a bit different due to COVID restrictions there are still opportunities to enjoy and make the most of this time of year. You won’t be the only student staying at University during the festive period. Many students, both home and those from overseas, stay at Aber during the Winter break.   

 

These pages will provide you with information about what is happening on Campus for students through December and the Winter vacation. It includes links to events, information about support available and opening times for key services during the break. 

Accessing Support During the Winter Break 

As the University and Students’ Union is closed for the Christmas vacation, you may find the University is quieter than during term-time. Don’t worry – there will still be support on campus to help you if you need it.  

What can I get involved in?

Throughout December there are a whole host of festive activities and events to get involved in. From trips to Christmas Markets to Christmas Decorating competitions in Residences, we have things pretty much covered. 

The wonderful ResLife Team have really outdone themsELVES this year as they celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with 12 festive events throughout December. All 12 events will be advertised via Instagram & Facebook (@Bywydaberlife IG and BywydaberLife FB).  

These include, among other things a ‘Christmas Cake Off’, Movie Nights, Christmas Gingerbread decorating, a festive photobooth and writing cards for the local community – come along and get into the festive swing of things. 

Aber SU are doing some amazing community focussed activities throughout December. Check out the Events pages  Events (abersu.co.uk) for up to date information on what is happening and how to get involved. 

FREE postcards can be collected and posted at the SU reception desk for students to send to friends and/or loved ones. 

On the 7th December 6-8pm in SU Main Room: if you are a student and are planning to stay at Aber during Christmas break then come and join us for games, gifts, hot drinks and snacks – We’ll update on all the fun things happening through the break and it will be a great chance to connect with others who are here for the holidays. FB page will be set up for them to keep in touch - Festive Meet and Greet (abersu.co.uk) 

20th December - Bus trip to Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market – 7:30am depart Aber, 6pm depart B’ham. £17 pp Birmingham Christmas Market: In Aber for Christmas? (abersu.co.uk) 

12th - 17th December 11am – 3pm -  Festive fun on the Concourse: festive music being played, free hot drinks and mince pies, giving Christmas cards out and advertising Winter Break events 

When will the University close?

The University will be closed from 5pm on Thursday 23rd December 2021 and will reopen as normal on Tuesday 4th January 2022. Staff will not be accessing emails during this time as this is a holiday period for them, so to help you whilst we are closed, we have put together some useful links just in case you need support - particularly if this is your first year at University 

The Students’ Union Building will close at 11pm on the 17th December and then reopen on the 10th January 2022. Staff will be available online between 20 - 23rd December and then again between the 4th and 7th January 2022. 

Support with your assignments

We have a wide range of learning resources and tools to help you study effectively and develop the skills you need to succeed. 

Both Libraries are open the week before Christmas and support is available from Information Services up to closing on Thursday 23rd December.  

Many library resources are available online including Primo, the library catalogue. Videos are available on “How to find an e-book” and on accessing resources off-campus. For further online support check out the comprehensive LibGuides 

Check out the courses and resources available in LinkedIn Learning whether it is for your assignments or just for fun. You can master Excel or the piano, get tips on the most common interview questions or train your brain for happiness.

We’ve listed 12 courses for you to explore over the 12 days of Christmas:
 

  1. The pursuit of happiness: how to train your brain for happiness. - Length: 54 minutes 
  2. Learning Excel 2019 - Length: 1 hour 7 minutes 
  3. GarageBand Essential Training: capture your musical vision - Length: 4 hours 4 minutes 
  4. Expert tips for answering common interview questions - Length: 1 hour 14 minutes 
  5. Drawing Foundations Fundamental  - Length: 2 hours 24 minutes 
  6. Being an effective team member - Length: 31 minutes 
  7. Introduction to photography - Length: 1 hour 52 minutes 
  8. Managing your personal finances - Length: 1 hour 4 minutes 
  9. Designing a presentation - Length: 56 minutes 
  10. Piano Lessons: Teach yourself to play - Length: 1 hour 54 minutes 
  11. Project management foundations: small projects - Length: 1 hours 29 minutes 
  12. Building self confidence - Length: 18 minutes 

All of our students and staff have access to this third party resources and if you activate your account before January 10th you will be entered into a prize draw to win a £25.00 voucher. 

Campus Security

Our friendly Security team as always will be available and on campus 24/7. The Security office is based in the Campus Reception Building, near the main entrance to the Penglais campus. They will be managing the access to and safety and security of the University buildings and student accommodation during the Christmas break. The team will manage and attend incidents and emergencies on Campus as the first response. The Security office can be contacted on +441970 622 900. 

Support in Residences

The accommodation office will be open until 17:00 on Thursday 23rd December 2021, it will then close until 08:30am on Tuesday 4th January 2021. If you require any support during this time, you can go to the main campus reception which will be staffed 24/7. Opening hours for Residential social spaces between 23rd December 2021 and 4th January 2022: 

  • Y Sgubor - 24/7 access via abercard 
  • Y Ffald, - 24/7 access via abercard  
  • Rosser Lounge – 24/7 access via abercard  
  • PJM lounge – 24/7 access via abercard 

Accommodation office opening hours will resume on Tuesday 4th January 2022 at 08:30am. Campus Security is available 24 hours a day over Christmas and New Year and can be contacted on 01970 622900. Please note, for any maintenance issues, welfare or wellbeing concerns, please call the Security team on 01970 622900. 

Library

The Hugh Owen and Physical Sciences Library will be open: 08:30-17:30: Monday 20th December 2021 - Thursday 23rd December 2021. 

The Iris de Freitas Room will be open on the following dates and times over the vacation period for our students and staff, providing access to study spaces, PCs, group study, food and drink vending machines and a printer/photocopier: 

  • 08:30-17:30 Friday 24th December  
  • 08:30 on Mon 27th December until 17:30 Fri 31st December 2021 open 24/7 
  • 08:30-17:30 Mon 3rd January 2022.  

Entry and exit is via swipe through the Herman Ethé room. Watch the video for directions. 

The whole of the Hugh Owen Library and Physical Sciences Library will reopen at 08:30 Tuesday, 4th January 2021. 

Please see our webpages for opening hours for the Hugh Owen Library and the Physical Sciences Library. 

Sports Centre

The Sports Centre closes at 10pm on the 23rd December and re-opens 6.30am on the 4th January. However, that doesn't mean your fitness needs to be put on hold. Students staying in our University accommodation can use our gym, located downstairs in Sgubor, Fferm Penglais every day between 9am – 9pm throughout the Christmas period. Please note that the gym will be unsupervised during this time and you will need to book your slot in advance, using this link:  https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/sportscentre/facilities/sgubor-gym/

Catering Outlets

All our catering outlets will be open until the 23rd December, and will then re-open on Tuesday 4th January. Please note the local stores including CK’s and Subway will be open throughout except for Christmas Day.  

Covid Support

If you are isolating, have a positive test result, are showing symptoms, or living with someone who is showing symptoms, then please let us know by updating your student record and select the isolation reason specific to you. You will then be contacted by a member of the covid team at the earliest opportunity.  

The coronavirus helpline will be available by email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk and phone 01970 622483 until 3pm on 23rd December and then normal working hours from 4th January. You can also check out our Together at Aber webpages which has all the latest covid information https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/important-info/together-in-aber/ 

From 24 December to 4 January, the helpline will be an email service only. ForurgentCOVID-19 related questions that cannot wait until we return on 4 January, such as access to testing or self-isolation support, emailcoronavirus@aber.ac.uk 

We will check the inbox daily to respond tourgent queriesonly. The phone service will resume on Monday 4 January 2022. 

It is important to remember that grocery services in the local area may operate at reduced opening times over Christmas and new year period so you will need to ensure that you plan for adequate food supplies in the event that you are required to isolate at short notice. Some parcels containing dry food will be available for emergency cases and these can be accessed by contacting our Campus Security Team on 01970622900.

Money Support

The Advice, Information and Money service will be available up until 23rd December 2021 and then will return to normal working hours from 4th January 2022. 

The last date for Hardship applications to be processed in time for the Christmas break is 14th December 2021. Hardship applications can be accepted over the Christmas break but will not be assessed until after the break.  

Emergency funding  can be administered via student-adviser@aber.ac.uk up until 23rd December 2021. Beyond this point arrangements will be made for site security to administer these in emergencies. 

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Our Student Wellbeing Team will be back on the 4th January 2022. Any online forms that are submitted through the break will be triaged on their return and then students will be contacted. 

Urgent concerns related to wellbeing, mental health and or safety, please see our Crisis webpage that has helpful information and flowcharts to get you to the right help quickly: In Crisis Now?  : Student Support & Careers Services , Aberystwyth University 

General wellbeing information, help and advice, students have access to: 

Care First: Care First  : Student Support & Careers Services , Aberystwyth University 

Togetherall: Togetherall  : Student Support & Careers Services , Aberystwyth University 

While the holiday season can represent joy, gratitude, and togetherness, it can also be associated with family and financial pressure, loneliness, anxiety and tension. Even if you look forward to the holidays, it’s normal to experience periods of stress or difficulty. Check out @togetherall’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Ben Locke’s tips for coping during the holidays ⬇️ and if you need more support, you can join Togetherall at Togetherall 

Wellbeing  Service A-Z of wellbeing: A-Z of Wellbeing  : Student Support & Careers Services , Aberystwyth University 

Mental health crisis. Concerned about your safety? please see our Crisis webpage that has helpful information and flowcharts to get you to the right help quickly: In Crisis Now?  : Student Support & Careers Services , Aberystwyth University 

Under the care of a GP, MH services or other specialists?: We advise you to consider your needs and access to services over the festive season. Make sure you have enough prescribed medication, and you know when service will be open for appointments if required. Aberystwyth Local GP and hospital information can be found here: Health in Wales | Postcode Search 

  • The Samaritans: 
    • Tel: 116 123 (24 hrs. a day, 7 days a week) 
    • Welsh Language Line 0300 123 3011 (7pm- 11pm  only, 7 days a week)            
    • Email jo@samaritans.org           
    • Web www.samaritans.org