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A Guide for Freshers 2021

From Drink and Draws to city tours and from escape rooms and arcades to rock climbing and surfing, whether you just want to check out some free socials or book in for a student experience not to be missed, there really is something for everyone this Freshers'.

We’re about to head into the summer, but Freshers’ probably isn’t far from your mind if you’re enjoying your last weeks before embarking on a new adventure into art education. The first couple of weeks of university are a great opportunity to meet new people, get to know your new campus and maybe even settle into a new city.

Plymouth College of Art Students’ Union (PCA:SU) not only represents and supports you throughout your time at university with the likes of student representatives, campaigning and supporting you during your studies, they also help you to make the most of student life. With Student Ambassadors situated at Host’s The Old Dairy and Frobisher House halls during Freshers’ Week, they’re even there to help you move in!

Integrating with Induction Week, this year’s ‘Freshers Week’ (which lasts more like a month!) will offer plenty of activities and events to introduce you to the city, college and your new cohort, giving you a taste of what to expect from PCA:SU throughout the year. From Drink and Draws to city tours and from escape rooms and arcades to rock climbing and surfing, whether you just want to check out some free socials or book in for a student experience not to be missed, there really is something for everyone. Here’s just a few things you can look forward to this Freshers’...

Paignton Zoo is home to around 2500 animals and is under an hour’s drive outside of Plymouth, in Paignton, Devon. Boasting the South West’s only Komodo Dragon, Paignton Zoo is a conservation and education charity that houses many species of animals, many endangered, so prepare to meet giraffes, rhinos, lions, tigers, crocodiles, meerkats and so much more! Make sure you book your ticket quickly, as this one is bound to sell out!

Based in Cornwall, Adrenalin Quarry is a tourist attraction host to the county’s most extreme waterpark. Climb, jump, slide and bounce on the colossal inflatable playground, with trampolines, monkey bars, slides, swings and more to keep you entertained. Book your place now so you don’t miss out on a fun-filled water assault course.

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Surfing in Newquay

From one water adventure to another! With Plymouth situated on the South West coast, there are a lot of benefits for fans of water sports. PCA:SU will take you on a trip to the Westcountry Surf School, based in Newquay, where you’ll be taught how to surf, even if you’ve never set foot on a board before. Make sure to book your place, if you’re keen to ride some waves, as this is bound to be a popular one!

A great way to get to know the city, the Students’ Union will take you around the great hot spots of city life in Plymouth. From all the useful city centre landmarks, such as the Drake Circus mall and prestigious Theatre Royal, to the beautiful Plymouth Hoe complete with lighthouse Smeatons Tower and retro Tinside Lido, the tour ends on the Barbican where you get to try award-winning fish and chips (with options for vegetarians, vegans and gluten free students). Choose a date and book your tour now.

A little outside the city centre, the Climbing Hangar Plymouth boasts a world class bouldering wall where you can get to grips with different climbs for every level of ability. Not only a fun way to exercise, but a great way to meet new people and try out a new sport. Book now to avoid disappointment!

NMA Trip SU

National Marine Aquarium Trip 2020

Paradise Island Adventure Golf, based in the Barcode across the road from the college, is a huge mini golf course complete with treacherous tropical swamp. Try out your golf skills on the twists, turns, humps and bumps in the deadly jungle. Can you get the perfect hole-in-one? Book your ticket now so you don’t miss the opportunity to find out!

Opened in September 2020 and only a stone’s throw from our main campus, The Box is Plymouth’s £40-million museum, gallery and city archive. With plenty to explore in its 13 galleries and exhibition spaces, the Students’ Union invites you to explore the cutting-edge interactive cultural centre which is guaranteed to captivate, entertain and inspire. Don't miss out, book your place today.

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Have you ever wanted to know if you could rough it with the Vikings or the Celts? Well, now’s your chance to find out. Timber Vault is based in the city centre and has five indoor throwing lanes, numerous escape rooms and an arcade, so even if axe throwing doesn’t end up your thing, there’s still plenty to do. If you can hack it, book your ticket now!

From being a filming location for James Bond to more recently acting as a venue for the G7 summit, the Eden Project is an incredible ecological attraction with massive biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity. Based in St Blazey, Cornwall, you get to explore the stunning plants, exhibitions and eco-focussed projects, all nestled within a huge former quarry. With loads to see and do, get your ticket now!

Beverages, friends and drawing - it’s fairly straightforward. Grab a sketchbook and pens, and enjoy an evening of drinking (affordable, alcoholic and non-alcoholic options available), drawing and socialising in the Students’ Union Bar. Book your place now to get your draw on.

"A coffee table is crammed with sketchbooks and two cups of latte. Two young women sit at the table drawing in a sketchbook."

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the fun activities and events that Plymouth College of Art Students’ Union has in store, with lots of free social activities taking place at the freshly renovated Student Union bar in Tavistock Place. From tie-dye lunches to coffee and cake socials, with many activities collaborating with great local businesses, you get to meet new friends, try new things and keep it local.

Keep up to date with the Students’ Union on their website or alternatively, check out their social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

All events are subject to change and will be in line with Covid restrictions at the time.