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Residential school Support for OU students from friends and family

Some Open University modules include a residential school. They can last from one day to a full week and are held in universities, hotels and conference and field study centres.

Although many people worry about their first residential school, most really enjoy being a full-time student for a while, even if they are very pleased to go home at the end of the week.

You’ll need to think ahead and plan for residential school, and each consider how the other feels about the changes in routine. Everyone needs to be happy with the arrangements to be made at home.

Bear in mind that:

  • students are expected to work hard at residential school and often return home feeling exhausted
  • those left at home may feel left out and over-burdened with jobs they usually share
  • careful planning is often needed to cope with the extra workload at home
  • it may be difficult to avoid a clash with significant personal and social events.

How can I help students that are stressed?

Going away to residential school can sometimes be stressful. Try to support them by helping out with things while they’re away. They’re going to miss you as much as you miss them. Talk things through and be supportive.

What impact has residential school had on OU students and their families – and how did they cope?

Student views

We sat down together and planned everything for the whole week – food, child-minding, entertainment – everything we could think of.

My partner took a week's leave to look after the children – yes, there was a feeling of resentment at first so we had to talk things through.

Family views

Our youngest child missed her most, but was pleased to get a postcard and thrilled to see her again at the end of the week.

She came home on a bit of a high so it was difficult to come back to earth.

Last updated 5 months ago