Meeting new people is a daunting prospect for many students, but rest-assured, everyone is in the same boat! Getting to know the people you’ll be living with is important, especially during times like these. Who knows, your first meeting could be the start of a life-long friendship! Here are three tips to help you break the ice with your new flatmates:⠀
1. Utilise social spaces where safe to do so ⠀
If you are sharing a communal area with the other students in your bubble, join the private residents page of your site and arrange a get-together! Whether you chat over a nice cuppa or make a meal together, this is a great way to break the ice quickly and engage in conversation!⠀
2. Arrange a pub/virtual quiz ⠀
If you don’t feel comfortable socialising in person with your flatmates, platforms like ‘zoom’ make it possible for you to talk to them from the comfort of your own room! A funny quiz or a game of ‘Cards Against Humanity’ is a sure-fire way to get the jokes cracking between you and your new friends!⠀
3. Go on a walk, run or bike-ride⠀
Your flatmates are also new to the area, why not explore together? Naturally a new environment will spark tons of conversation and interesting topics to chat about. Being outdoors amongst nature is also a great way to boost your mood and well-being!
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!
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
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
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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.
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!
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!
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.