Life at student accommodation – Botanic Studios, Belfast

It’s time to meet one of our lovely residents again! Today we had a chat with Divya who is a resident at Botanic Studios in Belfast.

Resident at Botanic Studios Belfast student accommodation
Divya, resident at Botanic Studios Belfast student accommodation


We asked her all about living at Botanic Studios student accommodation and what Belfast is like for students…

Name: Divya

University: Trinity College Dublin, studying MPhil. Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation, Masters

How long have you been a resident at Botanic Studios: Since September 2018

How did you hear about Botanic Studios: I found your student accommodation online – through the Universal Student Living website

What do you like most about living at Botanic Studios: I think it would have to be the top notch security. The rooms are also lovely and for me the location is ideal as it’s equidistant from my class and Belfast city centre.

What has  been your favourite on-site event at Botanic Studios so far: The Halloween event; it was fun to dress up and goof around, and there were loads of games, free food and drink!

Resident celebrating Halloween at Botanic Studios Belfast
Divya celebrating Halloween at Botanic Studios Belfast


What do you do in your spare time at Botanic Studios: I occasionally study downstairs when I don’t want to walk to the library as the space is open and has great light. I also enjoy playing pool on the new table! Best buy ever!

Botanic Studios Belfast Student Accommodation
The games room at Botanic Studios Belfast student accommodation


What one piece of advice would you give to anyone looking for student accommodation: Botanic Studios is brilliant student accommodation, very central for Belfast, and it’s easier than living in a house and trying to find reliable flatmates. The people are friendly and helpful!


Thank you so much Divya for taking the time out of your busy study schedule to chat to us. We wish you all the best for studies and are so happy to hear that living at Botanic Studios is making university life easier for you!

If you’re looking for the best in Belfast student accommodation, take a look at our range of  premium, contemporary studios here.

How to look after yourself this December, and stay happy and healthy

December can be a stressful time of year. On top of studying there’s extra social events, the days are colder and darker, and money can become a worry. If you are struggling this holiday season there are plenty of places to get advice or talk to someone. Check out of our top 5 ways to battle the winter blues, and stay happy and healthy all year round:

Student well being in December

1. Manage your money

Managing a tight student budget when you are taking exams and living day-to-day university life can cause a lot of anxiety for some students. But there are simple steps you can take to stay on top of your finances, especially during the festive season.

student budget money

2. Keep active

It’s easy to go into hibernation mode now that the weather is colder and the evenings are darker. However, the more active you are the better your mood, and you will be less likely to catch a cold. The NHS has these easy tips for winter exercise.

3. Cope with exam stress

The key to managing exam stress is to feel in control. With a little bit of time management and organisation you can feel more prepared and less panicky about studying and exams. Charity Student Minds has plenty of resources to help you.

4. Mental health advice

It’s easy to have a lower mood during the winter months, and some students suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). But it’s important that you reach out for help if you’re suffering from stress, anxiety, low mood or depression. Your university will offer support and guidance throughout your studies if you are experiencing any kind of mental hardship. Contact your counselling service or the charity Student Minds for advice.

student winter mental health

5. Create your own sanctuary

Transform your student accommodation into a cosy haven which is also practical for everyday student life. Take a look at these awesome storage hacks and ideas of how to style your accommodation room on a student budget.

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.

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…

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.