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This Stress Awareness Day stress less and enjoy your time at university to the fullest

We’re here to offer some advice and quick wins to help you manage your stress levels whilst at university.

The pressures of student life can sometimes be hard to cope with. Moving into new student accommodation, becoming familiar with university life and studying, and meeting new people is great, but it can be stressful.

Take a look at our top 5 ideas to de-stress and create a bit more Zen in your student accommodation:

1. Tidy room, tidy mind.

But how organised is your accommodation? Whether you’re a clean freak or prefer organised chaos, sparing 30 mins to clear any clutter can help reduce mental and physical stressors and increase your productivity.

Streamline your student accommodation by using simple storage solutions such as canvas boxes, baskets and file organizers. You could also use the inside of wardrobe door for a cork board or dry erase board to help organize your schedule while keeping your room walls clean and simple.

Student accommodation stress less university

2. Limit your screen time.

If you’ve been at your university laptop studying all day, you may want to limit the amount of time you spend on your phone or tablet in the evening. The light from your screen can keep your brain busy and delay transition into sleep.

Why not try listening to an audiobook or a soothing playlist instead to help you drift off?

3. Eat healthily.

Who has the time to cook a meal from scratch every evening? No student does… but putting together an easy meal plan, cooking in batches and freezing any leftovers means you don’t have to resort to instant noodles every mealtime. Check out our top 5 student-friendly curry and baking recipes for some university grub inspiration.

4. Exercise regularly.

And this doesn’t have to be expensive or a chore! You can practice body weight exercises in your accommodation room or go for a brisk walk or jog around your local park. Exercise is essential to a balanced university life as it helps memory and cognitive function. It also improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety.

Student accommodation stress less university

5. Talk.

If university life and the pressures of studying and being a student are getting on top of you, remember there is always someone to talk to. Mental health charity Student Minds has loads of support and information and lots of universities offer counselling, student advice networks and support groups.

And remember – you’re not going through this alone. It’s likely your flatmates, classmates and friends are feeling, or have felt, the same. Asking someone if they’re OK, or reaching out for help, may seem scary but it’s the best thing to do.

For more advice click here.


Never shared a kitchen or student accommodation before?

Check out our top 5 cheap and easy curry recipes, guaranteed to impress your new flat mates!

So you’ve just moved into your student accommodation. All the kitchen essentials are unpacked and you’ve done your first food shop to stock up the fridge. But now you’re left thinking “what can I eat”?

Well, what better way to get to know your new flat mates in your accommodation by inviting them to your kitchen for a cooked-from-scratch curry this National Curry Week 22nd – 28th October?

Curries are filling, tasty, and perfect for cooking on a university student budget. You can pack them full of vegetables and protein, making them a healthy and delicious dinner.

Check out our best recipe ideas below, with price per meal, guaranteed to earn you the title of Student Master Chef at your accommodation!

1. Thai green curry.

This classic dish is so cheap and easy to make it will revolutionize your university cooking. Approximate cost (to feed four students) £8.50 = £2.12 per student

2. Prawn curry with mango chutney.

Sizzle in the kitchen this semester and enjoy this yummy curry with your flat mates. Approximate cost (to feed four students) £8.20 = £2.05 per student

Easy student accommodation recipe

3. Roasted aubergine & tomato vegan curry.

Cater for everyone in your student accommodation and serve-up this vegan treat which is super cheap and super tasty. Approximate cost (to feed four students) £5.00 = £1.25 per student

4. Korean rice curry.

This curry is the hearty comfort food that every university student needs. Approximate cost (to feed four students) £8.00 = £2.00 per student

Easy student accommodation recipe

5. Satay sweet potato vegan curry.

This delicious vegan recipe boasts two of your five-a-day and is under 400 calories! Approximate cost (to feed four students) £8.20 = £2.05 per student

And if there happens to be any left-overs after your flat mates have feasted, why not freeze them for a cheap, quick meal another day?

Being a university student has never tasted so good…


It’s time for a bake-off! Your student accommodation has never smelled so delicious…

This National Baking Week 15th – 21st October why not rustle up some scrummy treats for your flat mates in your student accommodation?

Whether you’re a budding Paul Hollywood in the kitchen, or you’re more instant noodles than choux buns, check out our top 5 cheap and easy recipes for university students with price per bake below*

Recipes:

  1. Bake fresh bread in 4 easy steps

All you need is four ingredients to bake this student-friendly scrumptious bread. Cost per slice (8 in total) = 0.62p

  1. Easy peasy apple turnovers

You know what they say; an apple turnover a day keeps the doctor away… ok maybe that’s not quite right, but this recipe is guaranteed to impress your flatmates! Cost per turnover (4 in total) = £1.90

Easy peasy apple turnover. Cheap student accommodation recipe.
Easy peasy apple turnover

 

  1. Vegan blueberry muffins

Everyone in your university student accommodation can enjoy these delicious muffins and at under 160 kcal per serving, they’re super healthy too. Cost per muffin (12 in total) = 0.64p

  1. Coconut ring cookies

Not all students are into clean-eating, but these cookies tick all the university student baking boxes; cheap, easy, healthy and tasty! Cost per cookie (13 in total) = 0.92p

  1. Tomato and olive mozzarella savoury cake

Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it; this savory cake is a taste sensation! Wow your flat mates and serve up something a bit different to normal student grub. Cost per slice (8 in total) = £1.12

Tomato and olive mozzarella savoury cake. Easy student accommodation recipe.
Tomato and olive mozzarella savoury cake

 

If you try out any of these recipes, we’d love to see your student kitchen creations. Share your photos and recipe hacks on our social media pages.

Prue Leith better watch out; students can be Star Bakers too…

 

*Price per bake is for all ingredients, meaning you should have enough to make an extra batch!


Hidden Newcastle

Our accommodation in Newcastle, Roman House, is so good that you could be forgiven for opting to spend most of your time in the awesome common room playing some pool, working up a sweat in the on-site gym or chilling with your flatmates in the movie room rather than getting out and about to see the sights of The Toon. We’ll be venturing outside in the Easter break here’s what we’ve got on the to-do list…

Boiler Shop Steamer
Described as “industrial, urban & chic”, this unique space is just a few hundred yards from Roman House and regularly has music nights, exhibitions and one-offs. Boiler Shop claims to be different to other venues and it certainly is; expect this place to quickly become your go-to for things to do and a hub of cultural buzz.

Cat Cafés
Statistically, the average person’s three favourite C’s are coffee, cake and cats…combine all three and we’re happier than we ever could’ve imagined. The fantastically named CatPawCino and the fabulous Mog On The Tyne is where we’re planning to go on those days where you just miss your pets.

Victoria Tunnel
There’s nothing like a bit of sun to make you want to descend underground and enjoy a bit of darkness. We’re suckers for a spook and often find ourselves hankering after some history, and the Victoria Tunnel can provide both. Tours of the tunnel give an insight into wartime Newcastle, with recreations of air raid sirens and planes flying overhead. Worth noting that you also might pick-up the trivia that’s going to win the next pub quiz.

If you’re already a student in Newcastle or hoping to become one, take a look at our fantastic Roman House accommodation here.

 

Newcastle blog pic


Bout ye, Belfast!

Botanic Studios, our brand-new student accommodation in Belfast for 2017/18, is coming along very nicely – check out the latest photos of the show flat here. In the meantime, we’ve been putting together a checklist of what we’ve been recommended to do and see around the city…

Titanic Belfastthe first stop!
This impressive extravaganza of media and memorabilia occupies the space in which the Titanic was built, over one hundred years ago. We can’t wait to explore the replicas of the passenger accommodation and ride through the recreation of the city’s shipyard (apparently, it even smells authentic!). Will the “was there enough room for two on the raft” debate be solved? Probably not, but you never know.

Crumlin Road Gaoljust to lighten things up…
We’re a bit of a sucker for the supernatural, so we’ll surely be trying to get spooked by visiting one of Belfast’s grizzlier historic sites. The cramped cells of C-Wing and the chilling execution chamber make for a chastening experience; ‘The Crum’ is high on our to-do list.

St. George’s Marketvariety is the spice of life.
Built in 1896, this is Ireland’s oldest operating market, but the live music and amazing food stalls on a Saturday make it sound like more of a party than you might first expect! We’re looking forward to flowers, fish, food, homely things and second hand thriftiness whilst enjoying the furore of this Belfast bonanza.

Cathedral Quarter bar scene? Now we’re talking…
The place to see and be seen, Cathedral Quarter is home to some of the greatest establishments in the city; from traditional Irish pubs with live music to the quirkiest candle lit bars around. Special mention must be given to the Black Box venue, which always has something going on, from music to theatre to comedy to art. Basically, a guarantee of a good time!

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridgeis there a reward for crossing it or…?
Everybody knows that Ireland isn’t all about city living, so it’s time to head North and visit the Antrim Coast. Scenic coastlines and gorgeous driving routes make the journey alone worthwhile, let alone conquering the Carrick-a-Rede. It’ll be a definite movie moment when we Indiana Jones it across to the other side. There’s another way back, right?

Are you studying in Belfast this year? Take a look at our brand new, city-centre student accommodation here.


Volunteering at Uni – is it worth it?

It is permanently drummed in to us that volunteering while at Uni is a great way to ‘boost your CV’ but does it really work or is it just a way to fill space on your CV to look more interesting to the person reading it? Well from personal experience, it has 100% helped me land the job as a graduate in the field I wanted. That said, you can’t just do any old volunteering and expect it do the trick – you need to carefully pick something that helps you demonstrate a quality you might not get to shout about though studying or part time work. So how do you find the right experience for you?

At Uni

Part time Sabbatical Officer

Ok so these are a lot less glamorous than the full time equivalents, but they can do wonders for the CV however some universities might have restrictions on who can apply for some of the posts. They range from LGBT and disabilities officers to things like Community Engagement and departmental specific positions.

Great if you are looking to shout about – management, executive work, policy or business experience

Charity Societies/RAG

Being part of a larger group can make it easier to do some volunteering, most universities have a RAG (Raise and Give) week where lots of society get involved doing all kinds of things for charity. Alternatively there are often societies for causes already established who spend the year fundraising for there cause.

Great if you are looking to shout about – humanitarian issues, fundraising, your fun side

Sports Exec

If you play a sport can level up your involvement by becoming part of the executive team that help keep the team/sport going thought the year, from being in charge of the transport for matches, organising the finances to washing the team kits there are loads of positions available and people to supply you doing it.

Great if you are looking to shout about – teamwork, leadership, time management, fitness

Media Maker

Writing for your student paper can be a great way to get in to some cool places (I once got free tickets to a launch even that give me a free 3 piece tailored suit!) and meeting cool people, it can also be a great place to express views and creativity. Lots of universities also have Radio Stations and TV stations that are great to get involved with and loads of fun, its also a great way to show how confident (and charming) you are.

Great if you are looking to shout about – writing skills, copy writing, creativity, journalism, confidence

Academic Rep/ Course Rep

Always a staple in universities these reps can help shape your course and degree. They may not be taken very seriously by students but for the right subjects they can give a good indication about your dedication to the subject you study and the industry as a whole.

Great if you are looking to shout about – dedication to your subject, team work

Not in Uni

Travel the world

If you don’t think you can spend some time every week volunteering then maybe this is the answer for you. The down side is it often costs money to get the flights and visas sorted. There are some amazing opportunities from teach children to working with fluffy (and not so fluffy) animals! Check out https://www.gap360.com/ for more info!

Great if you are looking to shout about – traveling, humanitarian issues, environmental issues, adventure

Work with the elderly/young

Mentoring is always super rewarding, be that working with children in a school to help them realise their potential or helping the older generation with anything from their weekly shopping to getting online. There maybe some red tape to get thought before you can do this – but companies, schools and charities are always looking for students to get involved.

Great if you are looking to shout about – Your kindness, humanitarian issues, teaching/mentoring, heath care

Get busy with your Hands

Help redecorate a community hall, assist in teaching a free class, get involved in local art projects. If you want to show you can do something really different from your degree – maybe you have a skill or hobby you can share with people. Check out for literally thousands of different opportunities all over the country https://do-it.org/

Great if you are looking to shout about – your great attitude, humanitarian issues, pretty much anything

Festival Volentering

Another one that doesn’t take much time, but has some pretty sweet benefits is festival volunteering. Work two days as a carpark attendant and get free entry in to the rest of the music festival. Perfect if you want to do something awesome with your time but can’t afford the £££ for a ticket to a kick ass event.

Great if you are looking to shout about – er… not sure. But its still cool!

Internship

This has become a bit of a dirty work in recent years as students (rightly so!) push back against companies who basically want free work from someone. But if you find the right one they can be great, just make sure you are getting a fair deal and the experience is worth the time. University career services can help you find the perfect internship/placement.

Great if you are looking to shout about – your knowledge, experience in the workplace, dedication

Get down with your Nerd self

Library and Museums may not sound very glamours but they can provide some of the most interesting and rewarding opportunities. From doing tours, teaching kids to read, or even learning more about local history there are some really cool things hidden in museum storage. This is guarantied to make people look twice at your CV as it fools people in to thinking you are a proper grown up! (seriously from experience this one is gold)

Great if you are looking to shout about – wider interests, local issues, humanitarian issues, how well read you are

Politics

Do you have strong political views, maybe you just feel strongly about one issue. Either way volunteering within a political party can be really rewarding and help shape the future of the country!  You don’t even have to volunteer with one party, you could help out at your local council offices.

Great if you are looking to shout about – politics, humanitarian issues, business

business people in a meeting at office

For all the infomation you could ever want on volunteering while at Uni check out 


16 reasons Hull is an amazing city!

1. White telephone boxes. Hull is sticking it to the man and fighting the BT monopoly on telecoms by having its own telephone company, Kingston Communications they also provided internet services in the area too.

 

2. Phillip Larkin wrote his poetry in the university library, and Nick Cave made a song about it.

 

3. Everything is cheap. Ridiculously cheap, you are going to feel much richer than friends that went to other Unis!

4. In Pearson Park there’s an exotic Victorian bird house and they have a giant lizard there and you can go and see it for free.

 

5. William Wilberforce, leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade, is from Hull. (That’s pretty cool in itself, but as an added bonus there’s now a fantastic pub called ‘Ye Old Black Boy’ dedicated to him.)

 

6. It’s the only place in the UK where uttering the phrase ‘I’ll meet you at the Land of Green Ginger’ actually has some basis in reality, and no-one will assume you’ve been taking something.*


7. There are still ‘Rag & Bone’ men who wander around with a horse and cart, shouting incomprehensible nonsense and collecting old fridges.

 

 

8. There’s an overnight ferry to Amsterdam.

 

 

9. It is home to the world’s most bitterly disappointing fantastic dinosaur museum and the amazing Deep -which is Known as ‘the world’s only submarium’ and it has penguins, it’s definitely worth a trip!



10. It has loads of amazing independent pubs, bars, coffee shops and clubs.


11.  Buses are amazingly cheap and frequent, you can get a bus to literally anywhere in hull in about 15 minutes, and everyone gets them.

 

12. The Welly is so awesome that one day over 1000 people queued up outside and they had to call in the riot police in to make sure it was all okay. (It was)

 

13. There are no hills. Unless you study at the Scarborough campus – in which case get your walking boots out!

 

14. It has a rich history, and is home to the last remaining civilian bomb ruin. Due to it’s industry and location, it was the second most bombed city in the UK after London, and lost about 95% of its housing.

 

15. We have a Premier League football club.

 

16. Chip spice, everyone should try it, trust us! Perfect for a post clubbing snack or any meal during the day.

 

 

 


Affordable places to eat and drink in Canterbury

So you’ve gotten into the Uni and you’re coming to Canterbury! Canterbury is a great city, full of architecture, castles, churches, cathedrals. Canterbury is the epitome of what you think a city in England should look like.

Coming from a University of Kent student and now a five year Canterbury resident I am going to divulge the best places to eat in Canterbury!

The Thomas Ingoldsby

The Thomas Ingoldsby

You’re a student, you have a limited budget but you don’t want to spend all of your University career eating cheap pasta in your flat every night. Sometimes you may want to go out, socialise and see what this city has to offer. What better place to go than a Wetherspoon! Believe it or not on a Friday and Saturday night The Thomas Ingoldsby is the place to be, especially for drinking as it’s so cheap and a place to go before you hit the night clubs!

The food is also good, I mean it’s not great but it’s Wetherspoon and you just paid £2.99 for Ham, Egg and Chips, what do you expect?

 

The Penny Theatre

Penny-Theatre-inside2-Canterbury

The Penny Theatre is a gem; situated a 10 minute walk from Parham Student Village it’s a good place to eat and drink. The Penny Theatre have a discount night every Thursday where you can get drinks for £1.50 and don’t even get me started on the food. The Penny Theatre do a mac ‘n’ cheese burger. An 8oz beef burger, topped with a fried macaroni and cheese bite! They also have a rewards card, every purchase you make, you accumulate points to put towards food and drinks!

 

Pork & Co.

pork-co

Situated a minute away from the Cathedral, Pork & Co is by far the best pulled pork sandwich you will ever eat in your life! For a mere £5 their pulled pork rolls are great value for money. A generous serving of pulled pork, your choice of topping whether it be salad or coleslaw, a choice of sauce and even crackling. This will be the best £5 you ever spend!

 

Chambers

Chambers

If you can say no to an American style pancake then I am sorry to say that you are in the minority. Chambers serves a mountain of thick pancakes with quite possibly any topping you can think of. You can order sweet pancakes, savoury pancakes and they even serve pancakes with their full English breakfasts!

 

Subway

Subway

Always an easy option: Canterbury has three different branches, each open until the early hours of the morning, all located in Canterbury city centre. Cheap, cheerful and always giving out discount voucher booklets.


Things EVERYONE says you need to bring to uni – that you don’t!

There are hundreds of lists out there (including ours!) telling you what you DO need to bring to uni, but what about the stuff you don’t? We asked some of our students to tell us the things they arrived to uni with that they never needed!

Pens are given out by every company and stall at freshers fair, I haven’t brought a pen in 4 years and never ran out or didn’t have one. Same applies to key-rings, lanyards and tote bags!

A dressing gown is nice at home but really you are not going to use it while at uni, PJ bottoms are great and you will team that up with a free t-shirt – if you are cold you will add a hoodie on top. Even the most glamorous girls in class rock the baggy pyjamas and hoodie look in their own rooms.

Corkscrew bottle opener combo. It’s unlikely you will buy wine that has a cork in it- and most can openers have a bottle opener.

An ironing board takes up space and if you are anything like the students I know it will still be wrapped in the cellophane when you move out after graduation! Learn to avoid Ironing by hanging clothes wet, and if you really have a compulsion to iron get a table top board to just use a table with a clean towel over it.

TBH you dont need the iron either, unless you are a super neat freak (I lived with one in first year, he even ironed his socks every Sunday afternoon in the kitchen – weird!) hang clothes up or just embrace the wrinkles.

Still on the washing theme you dont need a Laundry Basket/Bin either – they take up valuable space, and a reusable bag (think Ikea or sports direct) does the same job and is MUCH easier to walk to the laundrette with!

Full 4/5 people sets of crockery sound like a good idea- but it’s not often then you will be feeding more than 1 extra person and if you are just ask people to bring a plate!  Also it’s really easy to cope with 2 bowls and 2 large plates – it means you wash up more and have more space in the cupboard for food!

Glasses are like fragile mugs with no handles… Think about that. They take up space and break way to easy, they also get borrowed more than anything else in the kitchen. Save some cash and ‘borrow’ some from the local SU after a night out- they expect student to do this- I haven’t brought a glass since moving in but still have 4 pint glasses!

Egg cup, seriously you are never going to use this unless you really REALLY love boiled eggs and if you do a shot glass works just as well.

Printers are always a big debate, but we really don’t think you need one that much, all notes from class are online, you submit all work online so no need to print. For the amount you are actually going to need it its easier to get it printed at the uni library.

Everyone loves pizza, its a fact. But a pizza slicer? Difficult to clean, and will be borrowed by everyone in the flat. Just use a knife or scissors!

Have you been told to bring something to Uni that was utterly useless? Let us know!


My experience as Romanian student in the UK

We had a chat with one of our international students and asked her what she thought of moving and living in the UK. 

Many people think that being an international student is cool: that everyone is automatically interested in your culture, cuisine and wants to be friends with you. But what happens when you come from a poor (and not very liked) country?

axstj-international-1013-3320

My name is Anna and I am from Romania. I am currently going into my third year, studying International Relations and Security Studies at University. Coming to the UK was not planned, my parents didn`t really have the means to support me here, so as most future students in Romania, my main choice of university was the medical school. Preparations, tutoring classes and exams were my main thoughts during my last year of high school. Until one day when I was presented with the option of studying abroad, in a country where I wouldn`t have to pay university fees.

After discussing this option with my parents, we decided to ask for the help of a consultant company. My dad called them, and after the first meeting, I knew everything it was to know about studying in the UK! I was accepted in all five universities I applied for, I made my choice and was on my way to University!

arivals

Soon after my summer holiday ended, I was on my flight to the UK (both my parents found jobs here in healthcare in order to support me in uni). The first day here was not particularly exciting, I got lost on the train from London, I had to change five times just to get here and when finally at the destination, I couldnt find the building I was going to live in. But despite my slow and unlucky start in this country, I found the people to be extremely polite, friendly and calm.

welcome-to-england

Of course, what baffled me at fist was the cultural difference between my country and UK, which  is huge. Not only the people here are nicer, more polite, but they are also less ‘judgy’, more respectful and  willing to help you when you need it. I remember that when I first came here, everyone was so friendly to me that I almost found it suspicious. Soon enough I also found their ‘weird’ side. The thing that confused me most was the fact that everyone calls everyone ‘love’. The first time I had an appointment with the bank to open an account, the adviser there called me ‘love’. All I could think was ‘ What is wrong with this guy?’ . They also tend to have a weird and different definition for the meals of the day. Some people say ‘tea’ instead of ‘dinner’ and ‘dinner’ instead of ‘lunch’. They also have words like ‘lad’ and ‘lass’ or they pronounce phrases like ‘me broley’ instead of ‘my umbrella’ .

lunch,-dinner,-tea

To be honest, this is mostly a nice country with nice people, but there were of course times when, because I am Romanian, people automatically thought I was a gypsy or that I came here to claim benefits. And some of them look even more surprised when they find out that both my parents are living and working here as well. But, I guess that every basket has its rotten apples.

Overall, being an international student is excellent, you get to see the world from a different angle, you become more open- minded and you meet a lot of great people. It is an amazing experience, and despite the fact that I sometimes regret not becoming a life saver(doctor), I will never regret coming here.

int-rock