Get virtually prepared for university with a new student-only website

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The Independent Online

Forget MySpace and Facebook: for students this is the summer of www.yougofurther.co.uk. Yougo aims to help you get more out of going to university or college. This student-only website will give you vital information about your exciting leap into higher education: from money worries - with the help of Debtline - to staying healthy, the site will offer sound advice on your future career and, most importantly, it will help you network and meet friends that could be going to the same university or college as you.

You will also find a job section preparing you for the next milestone after graduation; getting a job. You can explore vacancies, find help on how to decide on your career choice and the site will even tell you about working while you are at university or college.

Another key area is the Lifestyle section, which incorporates fashion, travel, housing, music, film and healthy living. Within these pages, yougo has formed relationships with a number of organisations, including iTunes, Orange, Lonely Planet, Cult Clothing, Shelter, the Central Office of Information and doctorjob.com.

The network area of yougo allows you to meet people going to, or already at, your chosen university or college. By networking within this online community, it should help alleviate any fears or apprehensions you may have about moving into higher education. The yougo team are also on hand, dipping in and out of forums to answer any queries you may have.

One of the most exciting aspects of the site is the Exposure section, an area that encourages students with a talent to showcase their work. This can be done in two ways. The first is by working to a brief: you could, for example, design something for Superdry's 2008 Spring/Summer clothing range, and see it sold in Cult stores. There are many other briefs set up by yougo partners too, who offer prizes to the winner. What better way to enhance your CV?

Alternatively, you can just post your masterpieces on the site. Whether you have just finished work on an earth-shattering novel, need to get vital coverage for your band, or would like to show everybody the world through the lens of a camera, you can show people your skills here.

So, before you go into higher education, check out www.yougofurther.co.uk and prepare for one of the most exciting periods of your life.

Arwen Nicholson, 18, is about to go to the University of Edinburgh to study physics, and has been using www.yougofurther.co.uk

The best thing about yougofurther is networking in the forums. They've given me the opportunity to understand new ideas that I have never considered and I've found that they are a great place to discuss important issues and to meet new people.

I've made plenty of friends who are also going to the University of Edinburgh, I just hope they'll be in halls near me!

I'm not as nervous about going to university as I was, having used yougo. Everyone seems to be feeling the same about fresher's week, so I know I won't be the only one wandering around not knowing what to do!

Battle of the bands

The Exposure section of the yougo website allows students to get seen, get heard and get involved. A recent Battle of the Bands brief offered the winning student group the opportunity to play at this year's Beach Break Live Festival in Polzeath.

The winners, Jub, were not only a huge success at the June festival, but they also made some impressive contacts.

Ian Forshew, Beach Break Live creator and organiser, said: "Jub were a massive hit at the festival and I'm looking forward to watching their progress over the coming months. The band also went down a storm with Zero 7 - who they supported at the festival - and Puravida Records, our partner label for the festival. Both Zero 7 and Puravida have expressed an interest in working with Jub in the future. We are delighted that their performance has lead to further opportunities for the band."

Find out more

There are more higher education courses available than ever before, which means choosing the one that's right for you can be difficult! However, a new website can help you find out more about the subjects and institutions that you've applied to.

The site, www.unistats.com, enables users to compare UCAS points for different subjects and institutions. Users can find out the achievements of recent students, discover what sort of jobs they are doing six months after finishing, and read what over 177,000 students felt about the quality of their higher education experience.

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