Cost of Living in London as a Student

Introduction to cost of living in London as a student

London has to be one of the most exciting, lively and cultural cities in the world to be studying in. Experiencing everything that the city has to offer as a student can still be affordable. Despite the cost of living in London as a student is higher than any other UK city.

Cost of Living in London as a Student

There are a large range of student discounts to take full advantage of. You can get money off all the essentials; food, clothes, public transport, and also the non-essentials such as entertainment and theatre tickets!

Although the cost of living in London as a student can be pricey, there are ways to make sure you get to experience the best of London. Even on a limited student budget.

What will I need to spend money on living in London as a student?

In addition to your university tuition fees, the cost of living in London will vary depending on your choice of accommodation. Also living essentials such as bills, food, transport, books, equipment, clothes, etc.

And how wisely you spend any ‘spare’ money you have left on entertainment, hobbies or socialising.

According to King’s College London, a broad estimate of the funds needed to live to a reasonable standard in London is currently estimated at approximately £1,250 per month for living costs, in addition to tuition fees (they note that price increases and unexpected expenditure should be taken into account and students arranging initial short-term accommodation on arrival in London need to budget for this).

You may also wish to consider additional initial arrival costs, such as accommodation deposits, utensils, furniture, etc.

Unsurprisingly, accommodation is the biggest spend for students in London per month at an average of £840:

 

Student accommodation options and costs in London

There are a few options for student accommodation in London which this guide explores further in detail:

– Private halls – buildings operated by a third party company (though some may have partnerships with universities). Similar to halls of residence, laid out in cluster flats and studio apartments. Most will have ensuite rooms with shared facilities (such as kitchen and dining/lounge area) or the studio flats will be completely self-contained.

– University halls of residence – most universities in London will provide places for first-year students at their own halls of residence. They are normally located near the university campuses.

– Private housing – a room in a shared house which is privately owned by a landlord and normally let through an agency.

The chart below gives a quick comparison of private halls (Academic House in central London) versus other student accommodation (university halls & private housing), and some main living costs:

 

Although other student accommodation may cost roughly the same as private halls, there are hidden fees to consider (figures based on estimates provided by the UCL and using monthly averages*):

Hidden fees with private housing:

 

Other things to consider:

Furnishings – most private housing is unfurnished, you will be expected to provide furniture and kitchenware (white goods normally provided)

– Facilities – you will most likely have to share facilities such as a bathroom, kitchen and lounge

Private halls are all-inclusive and have no hidden fees which makes life so much easier for students:

 

– Furnishings – private halls will be fully furnished with some kitchenware (you may need to bring your own utensils and cutlery)

– Facilities – you will most likely have your own ensuite bathroom, and share a kitchen and lounge

PLEASE NOTE: The information in this article is intended as a guide only, as the cost of living in London will differ depending on your individual circumstances and spending habits.Furnishings – private halls will be fully furnished with some kitchenware (you may need to bring your own utensils and cutlery)

About university halls of residence and houses in London

Most universities in London will provide places for first-year students at their own halls of residence. They are normally good value for money, all utility bills are included, and they are located near the university campuses. University halls of residence and houses differ but are usually a mixture of:

– furnished flats with shared facilities (such as a kitchen, lounge/dining area, toilet, bathroom)

– can sometimes be catered, or part-catered, but mostly are self-catering

– can be mixed or single sex, and are large-scale

– providing accommodation for any number up to 800 students.

There is a good community feel at university halls and houses. They are great places to make friends, be part of the social scene and help you feel less lonely during the first few weeks away from home and family. However, like any shared accommodation, you never know who you will end up sharing with and Fresher’s Week can often be a rowdy time. So be prepared to not get much sleep or stock-up on earplugs!

Fresher’s Week can be tiring!

 

How much do halls of residence cost?

According to Study London a standard room (including bills) is £135 – £210 per week, an ensuite room is £130 – £260 per week, and a studio apartment is £140 – £340 per week.

Many halls of residence will guarantee you accommodation if you have firmly accepted their offer by a given date in the summer but it may not be the same process if you come through Clearing.

What should I look for in halls of residence?

Make sure to take full advantage of Open Days to see the university accommodation for yourself. Check out the university’s website which will have invaluable information about the student housing which they provide, but also options in the private sector (please see private halls section below for more details).

Always try and take a friend or family member to view the accommodation with you and do not feel pressured to sign and tenancy agreement straight away. Remember to take into account:

– does the accommodation have the right ‘vibe’ for you

– is it in a good location

– consider what transport to and from the university would be and how much this will cost you (see transport section below for more detail

– does the accommodation have good facilities

– how many people will you be sharing the facilities with

– can you afford it and will you be getting good value for money.

It is important to check that your university accommodation or private halls are covered by one of three accreditation schemes. These cover essential issues like how the hall is managed, health and safety and security. You can find information about the schemes and check your accommodation is a member by checking the UUK or ANUK/Unipol schemes websites.

How long can I stay in halls of residence?

Most students are expected to move out of halls of residence after their first year, which means you will need to start looking for accommodation and planning who you want to live with as early as November of your first year. This can be quite a stressful process and you will also be expected to provide deposits and pay admins fees (see the private housing section below for more details).

About purpose built student accommodation and private halls in London

Another option for student accommodation in London is purpose built student accommodation or private halls. These buildings are not owned by the university and are usually operated by a third party company (though some may have partnerships with universities).

They are very similar to halls of residence, laid out in cluster flats and studio apartments. Most will have ensuite rooms with shared facilities (such as kitchen and dining/lounge area) or the studio flats will be completely self-contained. Most are excellent quality accommodation with on-site facilities ranging from gyms, to cinema rooms, laundrettes and outside communal space.

Research by Unipol and the National Union of Students (NUS) found that private halls account for half of student bed spaces in the UK, up from 39% in 2012 (Source: Accommodation Costs Survey 2018).

How much do private halls cost?

According to Study London, a standard room (including bills) in a private hall is £160 – £250 per week, an ensuite room is £160 – £280 per week, and a studio apartment is £280 – £500 per week.

What should I look for in private halls?

Private halls are fairly new to the student accommodation market and have many bonuses compared to university halls of residence or private housing, such as:

– all bills are included – that means you don’t need to worry about utility bills, broadband, council tax, contents insurance or a TV license (only for TVs in communal spaces)

– communal areas are maintained and cleaned

– most have a manned reception desk with an on-site manager

– on-site social activities are arranged and are free of charge to attend

– you can rent a cluster of flats with your friends, or book one room and be allocated flatmates to live with

– you have a separate tenancy agreement to your flatmates/other residents, so you are not liable for any damages or if someone decides to leave

– usually there is no deposit scheme or hidden admin costs, but you have may have to pay a one-off reservation fee to secure your booking

– rent can be paid in full in advance, or a payment plan is agreed – usually 3 installments

– some sites also have the option to book for short-term tenancies and summer lets

– you can reserve and book online, and you often don’t need to be there in person to sign contracts

– private halls are also extremely popular with international students due to all the points above as there is less to worry about!

The roof terrace at Academic House student accommodation in Herne Hill

 

Most private halls have a mixture of residents from many local universities. The accommodation can be an exciting melting pot of students from a variety of nationalities, and from different years of study. Perfect if you are keen to meet new people and expand your social network.

How long can I stay in private halls?

Most private halls cater for all university students, no matter what year of study you are in. So in theory, if you find a place to live that you really like, you could stay there for the whole length of your degree course – and even into postgraduate study.

A lot of private halls offer incentives to existing residents to re-book for the following year so you can bag yourself a bargain and not even have to worry about moving out/finding a new place to live; hassle-free!

About private housing in London

University halls of residence or private halls aren’t for everybody and private housing is still one of the most popular ways to live as a student in London. This is often because students feel like private housing is their first opportunity to live completely independently without supervision.

However, there is still a lot of responsibility that goes along with renting privately. Bills are not included in the rent and you often have to pay hefty deposits and admin fees. You will need to find suitable people to live with, and you may have to prepare yourself for disagreements like who’s been running up a big electricity bill and why you’re stuck with the smallest bedroom!

Stuck with the smallest bedroom and no storage?

 

How about this light & spacious double ensuite room, just 20 minutes from Central London, instead?

 

Renting privately also means you will need to deal with a landlord or an agent who will expect the property to be maintained and cleaned to a good standard.

How much does private housing cost?

According to Study London, the cost for private housing in London can vary great and bills are not normally included in this price. A small studio apartment in London can cost from £120 per week to over £1,000 per week. A room in a shared house costs on average around £150 per week.

What should I look for in private housing?

It’s worth considering that although it may be tempting to settle for a cheaper private house, it will be cheap accommodation for a reason! Remember to be vigilant when viewing the property and check for any signs of damp or mould.

How long can I stay in private housing?

Most landlords will be happy to keep good tenants in their property for as long as possible. So in theory, if you find a place to live that you really like, you could stay there for the whole length of your degree course – and even into postgraduate study.

Living expenses for students living in London

In addition to paying rent there are many other living expenses that you will need to take into account when living in London. Depending on your accommodation, some of these bills may already be included in your rent:

Council tax:

Confused about council tax? Essentially, if you are a full-time college of university student you are exempt from paying. NUS offers some great advice to help you work out if you are exempt from paying council tax or not here.

TV Licence:

If you live in halls of residence or private halls, TVs in communal spaces will already be covered by a licence.

Academic House Herne Hill student accommodation communal area with TV

 

However, if you wish to watch TV in your room or live in private housing, you must pay for your own. You require a licence no matter what device you watch or record live TV and a licence costs £150.50 a year.

Utility bills:

These include gas, water, electricity, and broadband. If you are living in halls of residence or private halls these may already be included in your rent. If you are living in private housing you will need to organise payment of these yourself and split the bill between all of your housemates. Split the Bills has some helpful estimations depending on house size and number of residents.

Contents insurance:

Most insurance providers offer competitive quotes for student contents insurance, with the average starting at approximately £15 per month. If you are living in halls of residence or private halls, you most probably won’t need to sort insurance as this will already be included as part of your tenancy. You can find out more about the different types of contents insurance here.

Deposits and admin fees:

Again, this will depend on your choice of student accommodation. Private housing often runs up the biggest expenses when it comes to deposits and admin fees, and you may also need to pay a month’s rent in advance. Deposits can vary but they usually range from 4-6 weeks rent. Private halls usually ask for a non-refundable reservation fee of approximately £250 when you make your booking. But a bonus is there won’t be any extra deposits or extra admin fees on top of this, as long as you pay your rent on time!

Furnishings, kitchenware and laundry:

As well as utility bills you will need to consider what you need to live comfortably in your student accommodation. Does your room come already furnished? Do you need to provide your own kitchen utensils? Do you have access to laundry facilities such as a washer and tumble dryer, or will you need to use a laundrette (costs tend to range for £2-3 per wash and £1.50-£2 per dry)?

Storage and removals:

Will you be living at your accommodation during the summer? And what are your plans for second and third year? If your tenancies don’t run back to back you may need to put your belongings in storage. Luckily, self-storage is now extremely popular in London and you can store one box per week from as little as £1.04 per week. If you have heavy items and don’t fancy lugging your suitcase and belongings on the Underground, then it may be wise to hire a removal van or a company to do it for you (prices start from £25 per hour).

Some private halls offer storage as part of your contract and if you decide to stay at the same accommodation for the next year you won’t need to move your belongings at all!

Cost of transport when living in London as a student

There’s no denying that London has travel options for pretty much everyone. Whether speed is your thing, you need to travel cheap and cheerfully, or you’re cutting down on your carbon footprint. From walking (which is pretty much free) to Uber (which can cost up to £0.30 per minute), take a look at the options for you:

Cost of living in London as a student
Academic House and Malden Hall; student accommodation within zones 1-4 in London

Walking:

Walking is without a doubt the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to get around London. Depending on how close your student accommodation is it to your university campus and amenities, you could be saving pennies and also getting some crucial exercise by walking.

SAFETY FIRST: You will need to research your walking route and make sure to stay to in well lit, public areas when walking alone or at night-time. Do not be tempted by shortcuts through side streets. Remember that your regular route during the day may be far less safe at night. When walking at night it is definitely not a good idea to listen to music. They dramatically reduce your awareness of your surroundings.

Cycling:

Cycling is also another cheap and quick way to get about. Traffic in London is notoriously bad so you will need to be a confident cyclist to navigate the roads. However, there are currently eight ‘cycle superhighways’ across London that connect stations, town centres and key destinations, making them more accessible and easier for people to cycle to. There are also ‘quietways’ that are continuous and convenient cycle routes on less-busy backstreets across London.

If you have your own bike you will need somewhere safe and secure to store it, and your housemates might not be too keen with you keeping your muddy set of wheels on the communal landing!

However, most halls of residence and private halls have bike storage as standard.

London’s public bicycle scheme is another way to get around the city on two wheels if you don’t own a bike – and the first half hour is free. There are more than 750 docking stations and 11,500 bikes to hire around London. It costs £2 to access a Santander Cycles bike for 24 hours; the first 30 minutes of each journey is free. For longer journeys, it costs an extra £2 for each additional 30 minutes. Bikes can be hired using a bank card at the docking station, or using the official app.

SAFETY FIRST: Check what you are legally required to do when cycling here.

Bus:

London has a 24 hour bus service that operates on over 700 different routes and is fairly cheap to use. A single bus fare costs £1.50, and if you ‘pay as you go’ you can make unlimited bus journeys for free within one hour of first touching in.

If you only use buses and trams to travel around London, you will pay a maximum of £4.50 per day, as long as you pay with the same ticket or contactless payment card every time. You cannot pay for bus journeys with cash; you will need an Oyster card, a Travelcard or a contactless payment card (see Travelcards section below for more details).

London’s buses run throughout the night. Night bus services cover the period between the close of the Tube and the start of daytime bus services. In addition, many London bus routes run for 24 hours.

Train:

Travelling by train has to be one of the most popular and efficient ways of travelling longer distance across London as a student.

The Underground/Tube:

Did you know that the London Underground’s history dates back to 1863 when the world’s first underground railway opened between Paddington and Farringdon?

The Underground is divided into nine zones and Central London is covered by zone 1. There are 11 Tube lines and fares depend on how far you travel, time of day, and how you pay. Oyster or contactless payments are the cheapest ways to pay for single fares. Tube services usually run from 5am until midnight, with Night Tube services on some lines on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Overground:

London’s Overground rail services crisscross the city and extend beyond the Tube network. Most local train lines connect efficiently with the Tube and accept payment by Visitor Oyster card, Oyster card, Travelcard and contactless payment card.

Cost of living in London as a student
Academic House just 2 minute’s walk from Herne Hill station

 

SAFETY FIRST: If you take a train late at night try to avoid empty or almost empty carriages, especially if you are on your own.

Travelcards:

As a student in London you can save 30% on Travelcards and Bus & Tram Passes with an 18+ Student Oyster photocard. You can also use this Oyster card to pay as you go but you won’t receive the 30% discount.

Oyster cards are electronic smartcards that are used to pay for public transport in London. To use an Oyster card, touch the card on the yellow reader at the gates as you enter and end your journey. You don’t need to touch out at the end of your journey on buses and trams.

It may also be worth investing in a 16-25 or 26-30 Railcard and add it to your 18+ Student Oyster photocard to get 34% off pay as you go off-peak fares and daily caps for the Tube, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services in London.

It is also worth purchasing a Travelcard wallet/holder to keep your pass safe and use a designated pocket in your bag so you always know where it is

Quickest ways to travel in London as a student

Often the quickest way to get from door to door (no walking or navigating public transport involved!) is by car. However, it is one of the most expensive forms of transport in London so you would need to seriously consider the necessity of using an Uber or taxi frequently.

Uber:

The undeniable luxury of using Uber to get around London is the ease of it! Book a ride from your phone, step out your door and into the waiting car, no need to fuss paying by cash or card, and then get dropped off directly at your destination! However, it has a price tag… base fares start from £2.50 and then £0.15 per minute on top of that (or £1.25 per mile). Minimum fare is £5.00 and you can also be charged a cancellation fee of £6.00 if you book and then change your mind.

To put it into perspective a journey from Academic House student accommodation in Herne Hill to UCL will take 35 minutes by train (from Herne Hill station), costing £8.00 return (using an 18+ Student Oyster card). To travel to the same location by Uber it will cost between £14-20 (for one way), taking 35 minutes depending on traffic.

So travelling by train takes the same amount of time and could save you up to £32.00!

Surge pricing is also another thing to take into consideration when Ubering. This is when the prices either rise or drop depending on demand. During busy periods when there are more riders than drivers, Uber increases its normal fares.

Taxis and minicabs:

London black cabs and taxis are an iconic way to travel around Central London and will get you from A to B quickly. You can book in advance, hail on the street (black cabs only), or be picked up from designated taxi ranks. If the yellow TAXI sign is on, the cab is available for hire. Black cabs are metered and there is a minimum charge of £2.60.

Prices depend on time of day and distance, but it will roughly cost the same amount as an Uber.

TfL has a useful breakdown of taxi fares here.

SAFETY FIRST: Be sure you book with a licensed minicab with a Transport for London license disc: unbooked minicabs are illegal, unsafe and uninsured. Uber also has some great safety tips for passengers on their website.

Cost of food in London as a student

Eating in:

By buying and preparing your own food you will save a lot of money whilst living as a student in London. Although the choice of takeaways, cafes and restaurants in London is second to none, eating out less often and keeping it as a once a month ‘treat’ will save you pennies in the long run.

According NatWest’s Student Living Index 2018, students spend more on supermarket shopping than anything else – on average £76.30 per month.

Budgeting for a weekly food shop and planning your meals is the easiest way to save money and still eat well. Having a set amount of money to spend on groceries and a prepared shopping list means you will be less likely to ‘splurge’ on tempting supermarket offers and you’ll come away with enough food to last you the week (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks).

Become familiar with your local supermarket and work out where and when they markdown stock to clear. You can pick up some great bargains!

The cost of living in London as student
Why not invest in some Kilner jars or quality tuppawear to store your prepped meals in?

 

Meal prepping has become very popular recently. All you need is some Tupperware and to cook up a batch of your favourite dish (chilli, casserole, curry) to freeze in portions. Having a yummy meal that’s going to take a few minutes to re-heat in the microwave means you will be less tempted to get a takeaway pizza. Or settle for a Pot Noodle!

Food deliveries:

Deliveroo: You don’t even need to step outside your front door to enjoy food from your favourite restaurants and takeaways! 1. Simply place your order online. 2. Track your food to your door in real time. 3. Eat from the comfort of your own home. However, this convenience comes with a price tag; the menu price plus £2.50 (as long as the order is over £15, below and the fee goes up to £4.50).

Uber Eats: Similar to Deliveroo, you can place your order online and get it delivered straight to your door. Uber Eats is available from 7:00 AM – 4:00 AM, seven days a week.

Eating out in London:

London has some of the best choices of takeaways and restaurants in the UK. Local takeaways and fast food chains offer cheap meals but if you’re after something a bit healthier, the average price for a meal at a standard restaurant is £15.00. A meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant (three courses) will be £50.00.

Make the most of your NUS discount and always search for voucher codes to save extra dosh! If you don’t finish all your meal, ask for a ‘doggy bag’ and have the leftovers for lunch the next day.

SAFETY FIRST: Always check the ‘use by’ dates on food and make sure you refrigerate and store food correctly. Take care when re-heating food to make sure it is piping hot. Always write the date you made the meal on the Tupperware container/freezer bag so you know how long you have to eat it.

University equipment costs

On top of the everyday essentials (accommodation, bills, transport, food and drink) you will need to factor in any costs for equipment needed for your university course. Though it might be tempting to splurge on shiny new textbooks, desk organisers, pencils, pens, etc. there are plenty of places to pick up a bargain and save some money.

Bargain books: Save some serious dosh by searching for your textbooks online. Check out used/second-hand books websites for the best bargains.

Discounted stationery: Make use of your NUS discount and check which high-street stationers offer student discount.

Borrow equipment: Buy as much as you can online. It’s often cheaper than buying on the high-street. Most universities also offer an equipment loans service where they are able to lend various items of AV/media equipment to students

Get software for free: Save the Student has a run-down of the best free software for students, saving you some serious pennies on office, antivirus, image editing, audio & video software.

Cost of socialising as a student in London

It is important to find a balance between managing your university workload and having down-time with your housemates and friends. Your university years are some of the most formative of your life, with new people, new places and new experiences.

The Student Living Index 2018 states that the longer time students spend socialising, the more likely they are to enjoy studying, and there are so many social activities for students to take part in in London.

So whether it’s a chilled pizza night with your housemates in your student accommodation or a club or society event at your university…

The cost of living in London as student

…or taking up a new hobby or going out for a student night out on the town, there is something to suit every person and every pocket.

Student nightlife in London:

You can start by checking out your own university’s SU bar and venue that will have a schedule of events. The drinks – soft and alcoholic – will be cheap and cheerful!

There are also hundreds of music venues and nightclubs to choose from in London, from swanky (and expensive) to student-friendly (and slightly more affordable).

If you want more of a low-key night out, there are literally thousands more bars and pubs to choose from.

Cost of living in London as a student

The average price of a pint in London is, unsurprisingly, the most expensive in the UK at £5.19. So it’s worth taking advantage of any offers or happy hour discounts.

Clubs and societies:

Your university will have a variety of clubs and societies to join. It is a great way to meet new people with similar interests and make a new network of friends.

Student clubs and societies can range from sports, to subject-related interests and hobbies. You can even set-up your own society with grant funding from your university.

Hobbies and interests:

London is a melting-pot of people and cultures which means there is a huge choice of hobby and interest groups to join.

Sport: If exercising is your thing there will be a gym at your university campus, or within walking distance of where you live. A lot of gyms are affordable for students and offer discounts or pay-as-you go rates. Prices start from around £14.99 per month and pay-as-you-go from £4.50 per session.

Music: MakingMusic has a free online search option so you can easily find a music group near you.

Dance: You can find the best dance classes in London here with some great discounts available for university students For example a swing dance class with Swing Patrol costs just £6 for students.

Cost of living in London as a student

Try something new: There are many weird and wonderful hobbies in London to try out. Such as butchery (£155 for a one-off session), trapeze school (£30 for a 2 hour beginners session) or weaving (£45 for 2 hours).

Get inspiration online: Meetup is a great way to join a group online. You then meet in person at an arranged event, such as a board-game or photography group. A lot of the activities are free too.

Student discounts in London

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest bonuses of being a student is the awesome discounts! You save some serious pounds by being savvy and checking out what discounts are available:

Oyster cards and travelcards: According to the Student Living Index, London students spend the most on public transport, paying on average £43.30 per month. So it is well worth getting in a student travelcard (please see section above on).

TOTUM (NUS Extra) or ISIC card:  A TOTUM card (formally known as an NUS Extra card) is a great investment for just £12 a year. You can get great discounts across university essentials such as books, eating out, entertainment. So pretty much everything a student needs. For a 2-year card it’s £22 or £32 for a 3-year card .

An ISIC (International Student Identity Card) allows students the world over prove their official student status. It also allows access to thousands of targeted student benefits and discounts in over 130 countries. With no travel insurance, a card costs $20. With Premium travel insurance it costs $99 and with Explorer travel insurance it’s $199. 

If in doubt, when you’re at the checkout ask if they accept student discount – you might save yourself some dough!

UNiDAYS: UNiDAYS is free to join and also offers great discounts, such as 50% off Amazon Prime and 40% Virgin trains.

Cheap eats: Google is your best friend. Have a good look online to find out the cheapest and best rated places to eat near you. Also, check out our eating out in London guide above for more ideas.

The London Pass: If you’re keen to soak up the sights and sounds of London, then The London Pass will be great for you. The credits package give you access to over 80 incredible attractions, tours, and museums. You will also get fast track entry at many of London’s top attractions and 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour.  A 1-day pass is £75 and up to a 10 day pass is £199.

Cost of living in London as a student
Spend some time sight-seeing and save some pennies!

 

Working whilst studying in London

Studying can be expensive. There’s accommodation bills, food, transport, books, equipment, clothes… and pretty much everything else to pay for. So you might be considering getting a part-time job? Luckily there are plenty of student-friendly jobs in London. These include:

  • Hospitality
  • Event staff/waiting staff
  • Bartender
  • Babysitting
  • Cleaning
  • Promoter
  • Retail

A job can be part-time, evening or weekend only, zero hours contract, or seasonal if you only want to work during the holidays. It’s a great way to earn some extra cash, but try not to let working get in the way of your studies. UCAS has some great tips to make sure you’re picking the right part-time job for you here.

A part-time job as waiting staff is a great way to earn some extra pennies (plus tips!)

 

National living wage: From April 2019, the National Living Wage will increase by 38 pence-an-hour to £8.21.

International students: If you are an international student in full-time undergraduate or postgraduate study, you are allowed to work part-time. You can work during term time for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during the holidays. This means you could earn up to approximately £656 (before tax deductions) per month during term-time.



Top 5 shopping tips for students on a budget

Black Friday is traditionally the day which follows Thanksgiving in America and is now thought of as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season across the world. Each year, big retailers use Black Friday to give massive price reductions to shoppers just before the festive season.

Black Friday shopping students

However, being shopping-savvy on a student budget isn’t just for Christmas time! Check out our top 5 tips for grabbing the best bargains all year round:

1. Food

According to Save the Students! yearly National Student Money Survey, students spend on average £108 a month on food alone – that’s more cash than you will spend on anything else apart from accommodation… so take a look at their ways to save money on food. Our favourite tips are freezing foods in portions, planning your meals and investing in a slow cooker.

Meal plan student shopping

2. Student discount

If you haven’t already, sign up for an NUS card and a UNIDAYS account which will give you access to amazing student discounts across loads of high street shops and food chains. Possibly the simplest way to save you money, ever!

3. Online shopping

Which? has listed 14 tricks to use to make sure you get what you need at the best price when shopping online, from getting voucher code alerts, signing up for newsletters and checking for cashback, all from the comfort of your student accommodation!

4. Charity shops

If you don’t mind sparing a bit of time, charity shops can be a trove for all sorts of treasures that won’t break your student budget. From high street and designer clothing, books and home wear for your accommodation, if you want a bargain and don’t mind hunting for it, get yourself to your local charity shop.

Charity shop student shopping

5. Upcycle

All it takes is a little imagination and you can create useful storage and decorative items for your student accommodation. Do your bit for the environment and take a look at these ingenious upcycling ideas. Using everyday household items or stuff you were going to throw away, they cost pennies to make and save you from having to shop.



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…



Top 5 cheap and easy student recipes for National Baking Week

This National Baking Week 14th – 20th 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*

  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 apple turnover (4 in total) = £1.90

 

  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

 

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.

*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 



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



The Bradford Guide for Prospective Students 

Being a prospective student can be both exciting and stressful, especially when you are about to move to a different city or even country.  Not only do you not know much about the area, but it can also be quite difficult to find information about it, thats relevant to students. But help is at hand! We have created  a Bradford guide for prospective students, which will tell you everything you need to know about the city.

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Transport: 

  • In Bradford the most used and affordable means of transportation is the Free City Bus. And as the name says, it is free- for everyone. There are bus stations for it all around Bradford city centre, where it stops every ten minutes. The University of Bradford is one of the stations, for those who live far from it.

Free city bus map

  • Also, the students from School of Management don`t have to worry about their transport there because the university provides a bus, leaving every 30 minutes from the University gym, which is at the top of the main campus.
  • If you want to take a trip to the surrounding areas, you have two choices: the train or the bus. In Bradford there are two train stations: Forster Square and Interchange and the tickets can be purchased on the National Rail website.
  • Buses that go to the surrounding areas of Bradford, you can look them up here: Metro Bus
  • For long distance travels, you can either go by train or use one of the cheap coach services. These are National Express and Megabus.
  • For short-distance travelling, you can use one of the local taxi companies. The fares usually start at £2.50 a mile and the most you will pay to get across the city centre is £5.  Its always best to call a cab rather than flag one down as they are normally cheaper!

Shopping: 

  • Bradford might not be a huge shopping city, but there are a few options you can choose from. If you want to go shopping for food, the places you might consider are ASDA , Tesco, Sainsburys , Morrisons  Lidl and Aldi. All of which are on the free city bus route.
  • Boots and Superdrug  are for health, beauty, skincare and hair products, pharmacy and prescriptions they are situated in the main shopping centre of the city.
  • For clothing, Bradford has all the main staples (like a primark and newlook) in the Kirgate Shopping Centre, but a new shopping mall is being built in Bradford, with plans for completion in December 2015 with even more options.
  • There is also a brand new development called Sunbridgewells Tunnels which is planned underground market right in the heart of Bradford’s historic trading quarter.
  • If all else fails hop on a train and head to Leeds for more shops than you could ever need!

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Night life & Takeaways:

  • Bradford doesn’t have a huge range of nightclubs, but they are friendly and the relaxed atmosphere definitely compensates for it. The most popular nightclubs for students in Bradford are: Tokyo, Flares & Reflex, Love Apple and Tequila. Nor forgetting the Student Union Bar and nightclub. Wednesdays are fridays are the main student nights to go out, with drink offers tailored just for you!
  • If that isn’t enough for you there is the clubbing mecca that is Leeds, where there are literally 100’s of bars and clubs. A train to leeds is cheap enough and the first train back is about 5am in the morning (but if you can’t hack clubbing all night long a taxi costs about £25, which is pretty cheap when split between 4 people)
  • Chinese, Indian, Italian, Pakistani and even Greek- there is a takeaway for every taste (and every night of the week). Most of them have a delivery option, and the best place to find them is Just-Eat. However, a quick Google Search will show every takeaway in your area.

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Leisure& Travel :

  • If you want to relax, there are plenty of things to do in Bradford; Cineworld Cinema, the Hollywood Bowl, the Ice Arena and the National Media Museum are just a few places you can go.
  • Bradford also has an IMAX cinema located at the National Media Museum  they do a lot of midnight showings and all the latest IMAX blockbusters.
  • Bradford has a thriving Independent quarter (around North parade at the top end of the city shopping area) with many quirky shops, bars and restaurants its a great place to meet people and hang out.

  • Still, being in Bradford for three or more years requires more than the aforementioned, so if you feel adventurous, feel free to visit the most popular surrounding areas. Some of these are: Saltaire, Ilkley,  Airedale, Keighley, Bingley which are only few minutes away by train.  If these are not enough, you might want to visit some of the bigger cities such as Leeds, Manchester, York or Sheffield. All of which are only an hour or so away via train or bus!