Many of our students are either currently moving into their new accommodation, or are due to move-in soon! Here are 5 tips to help you get settled in!
1. Make a check list!
Whether you’re a minimalist or not, creating a check-list is a simple way to make note of everything you need to bring with you, and will certainly help you keep track of your belongings! Although, don’t be surprised if you leave something important at home – it happens to the best of us!
2. Get to know the area
The first week is always a busy one – there’s moving in, unpacking, food-shopping and cooking to think about! But we also suggest that you do a bit of research about where you are living, and find the location of your nearest supermarket, doctor, dentist and of course, takeaway!
Covid restrictions might limit certain activities, but there are endless ways to socialise with the people you live with! You could arrange a virtual pub quiz, a game of cards against humanity, or even a Netflix party – it really doesn’t matter! Having fun and talking to new people is a great way to take your mind off things and get connected!
Within your first week, we advise creating a budget sheet. From this, you can plan out how much you’ll be spending on things like food and socialising. Whether you plan weekly, monthly or even for the whole year – you’re much less likely to need to ask your friends to buy you a drink when you fully understand your expenses!
5. Learn to cook
We’re not talking about turning you into the next Gordon Ramsay here, but when you learn how to cook quick, simple and healthy meals, not only will your diet improve, but so will your mental health and wellbeing!
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 Belfast – the 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 Gaol – just 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 Market – variety 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 Bridge – is 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.
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!
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?
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!
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.
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’ .
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
Normally highlighted by a week long event, RAG is designed to raise money for charities locally and national. Some University’s have dedicated societies that run RAG campaigns all year, while others have it run by a committee from within the Student Union. Either way its great to get involved in; from silly fancy dress, posh dances and sponsored activities to scavenger hunts, skydiving and jailbreaks. RAG is always great fun and you are doing something for other people, so you get to enjoy that warm fuzzy feeling.
October the 31st or whatever weekend falls the closest is a great time to be a student! Who doesn’t love dressing up? There are always house/ flat parties as well as some of the best club nights of the year! It also falls at a great time in the University calender, its close to the start of the year so you are not broke and you can still get away with turning up to lectures with a hangover- also if you are a fresher then its a good chance to test out the new friendships or forge new ones with that guy dressed as a Zombie gorilla in the kebab shop at 3am!
Halloween is an event not to be missed!
Even if you are not in to sports, you will be during Varsity! As a University student your honour is at stake as you play sports games against another local(ish) universities over the course of a few days/week. It is different at every university, but traditionally around 12 sports are played at one of the the hosting university’s sports facilities. The wining team takes the Varsity Cup and gets to spend the next 12 months lording it over the rival university.
Running in them or just watching them play out, they can be a lot of fun! It also gives you a chance to practice being an ‘informed voter’ watching all the Hustings, speeches and campaigning on campus before you eventually pick the person with the best slogan/ costume. Its also a great time to play ‘election bingo’.
Freshers is great! There is nothing like it, and the good news is it gets better in your second year! You know the venues, you have friends and you know how to handle your drink! Nothing will be like your first year freshers it will always be a hazy glittery memory that can never be topped, but that doesn’t mean that you cant enjoy it every year!
What is there not to love about them?! It’s a second Sunday! An extra day to be hungover, cramming for an exam, writing an assignment, surfing the net or sleeping!