Celebrating Christmas in Halls

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Christmas is just around the corner. Which can only mean one thing; the first semester of term is finished. And how quick has this year gone!? It’s been a busy couple of months and now it’s time to relax and enjoy the well-deserved break. But where will you be spending this Christmas? While a lot of students are getting ready to head back home to celebrate and enjoy the day, some of you will be staying put. If you’re spending Christmas in halls, then we have some advice for you to make it as festive and merry as possible!

Celebrate with friends
Why not kick start this festive season by throwing a Christmas themed party with your friends and flat mates. Dress-up (do a competition for silliest and funniest Christmas jumper), meet new people, share your story about staying in halls and you’ll see that you’re not alone. You can even club together with others who are staying and buy everything you need to cook a Christmas Day feast. Then when you’re done, head to the common room and catch up on the best of the Christmas Day TV and movies.

Explore
Now is the perfect time to get out and appreciate what your city has to offer this Christmas. It doesn’t matter where you are, there are so many great things to see and do at this time of year. Experience the beauty of a city draped with sparkly lights that brighten the mood and spread festive warmth. Wonder the local towns and enjoy food and drink fresh from the street; after all there’s nothing better to lift your winter spirits than the aroma of mulled wine or hot chocolate and the glow of Christmas market stalls. And as a student living in London, a visit to Winter Wonderland (in Hyde Park) is a must! From ice-skating and fun fair rides to an ice kingdom and circus, there’s so much to see and keep you entertained. So, wrap up, put your cosy clothes on and start exploring the city!

Be productive
With several weeks off university, you may find you have a couple of days free with nothing to do. So, if you’ve got any assignments due or exams coming up in January, why not make the most of your time by doing some work or revision now while it’s quieter and you’re not as busy as in term time? We’re not saying spend the whole of the holidays with your head in a book, but making a start sooner will definitely ease some of the pressure in January.

And don’t forget to look out for the Christmas events we have planned here at One Penrhyn Road over the festive period!

Are you looking for student accommodation in London? Rooms available for Semester 2 (January 2018) and for September 2018. To find out more about our accommodation in Kingston, please contact our onsite management team today on +44(0)203 770 9119 or kingston@host-students.com.

Christmas in Kingston

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping and the John Lewis television advert has officially been released – which can only mean one thing; Christmas is coming. And for those of you living in or visiting Kingston over the coming weeks, there are lots of things going on to get you in the festive spirit.

Kingston Christmas Market
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to a Christmas Market. And the good news is, you haven’t got to travel across Europe to find one. From 16th November – 31st December, the streets of Kingston will be transformed into an Alpine Village packed with traditional wooden cabins spreading throughout Ancient Market Place in the town centre. Warm up with a cup of mulled wine from the bar, dig into some classic street food, enjoy the live entertainment and soak up the festive atmosphere. And if you’re looking to give something more than just socks this year, there are lots of handmade gifts and stocking fillers to be discovered.

Alice in Winterland
For many, going to see a show or pantomime in December is all part of the parcel of Christmas time. If that’s you, then you’re in luck. The Rose Theatre in Kingston have taken Lewis Caroll’s timeless classic, Alice in Wonderland and adapted it for an amazing new festive stage production, Alice in Winterland. Follow Alice through a world of ice and imagination on her quest to save Winterland. The production will be live on stage from 7th December until 7th January, so there’s plenty of time for you to go on a magical adventure.

Christmas shopping
Not sure what to buy your family and friends this year? Looking for some inspiration? If you’ve got shopping to do, head to Kingston and you’re sure to find the perfect gift – no matter who you’re buying for. As the third biggest shopping destination in London, Kingston has everything from arcades packed with independent and specialist boutiques, to shopping malls with big brands such as Apple, Zara and Hollister. And not forgetting high street heroes such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Boots. Kingston has Christmas wrapped up!

Festive food
There’s no better excuse to get together with your friends, feast upon food and enjoy a drink or two, than Christmas. And in Kingston, you won’t be short of somewhere to wine and dine. Whether it’s cocktails or mulled wine, fine dining or pub grub, there’s a place to suit every taste and mood. So, before you and your friends all head home for the holidays, plan an afternoon or evening out to catch up and enjoy some festive fun together.

Looking for student accommodation in London? Rooms available for Semester 2, January 2018. To find out more about our accommodation in Kingston, please contact our onsite management team today on +44(0)203 770 9119 or kingston@host-students.com.

Student sport in Kingston

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Sport is often a big part of student life – whether it’s rugby, netball, swimming or simply going to the gym. But one of the most popular sports in the UK is football.

So, how many of you are big football fans? Do you enjoy watching a match on the big screen down the local pub with your friends? Maybe you prefer watching from the comfort of your own home or in the communal areas at One Penrhyn Road? Or, perhaps you’re someone who braves the chills of winter to experience the game first hand and support your local team from the side lines! Regardless of where you watch the match, it’s always great to be part of the action and atmosphere of a good game of football.

And as a student living in Kingston, there are so many opportunities for you to get involved with the popular sport yourself. You can join the local university team or the local Sunday league, have a knock around in the park with your friends or head down to the local pub to watch a game. You can even watch a match live in London. Why not head over to see Wimbledon AFC v Lincoln City play in the FA cup this weekend (Saturday 4th November)?

Now you know how to get involved in the sport, one of the toughest decisions you might have is deciding who you’re going to support for the season. Here at one Penrhyn Road, we know who we’re supporting…

This year Host have teamed up with Kingston Uni Football Club (KUFC) and we’re proud to be sponsors of the team’s kit. I think you’ll agree with us that they look great! We look forward to seeing them in action and following the team through the football season. We’d like to wish KUFC the best of luck from all of us at Host!

KUFC Mens Football Kit

Staying safe in London

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

As we all know, London is a big city. But even though it is big, it is also a very safe city – just as safe as anywhere else in the world. International students and their parents often wonder how safe it really is to study in another country, that they’ve never visited or spent much time in before. So, here are a few tips to help keep you safe while studying in London.

Student Accommodation
A lot of international students will stay in university halls of residence or private student accommodation when they come to London. These types of accommodation are safe options for students as they have secured entrances and exits which can only be accessed with a key card. You will also find there are manned receptions and staff on-site 24/7. Office staff are on-site throughout the day to answer any questions and assist students when needed. And then security staff takeover and are on-site throughout the night.

Your personal belongings
As a student living with us here at One Penrhyn Road, we provide you with free contents insurance from Endsleigh at no extra cost. This means all of your valuable items, such as laptops and mobile phones, are insured against theft or damage. You can find out more about what is and isn’t covered at https://www.endsleigh.co.uk/.

When out and about in London, you should avoid carrying a lot of cash around with you. The best advice would be to set up a UK student bank account and get yourself a debit card so you can easily pay for things and withdraw cash as and when you need to. Most shops and restaurants accept card payments in London.

Personal safety in London
London is a safe city, despite its size. During the day, you can walk around with friends or on your own and feel safe in London. Public transport including the underground and bus services operate throughout the day and night, but not all night.

However, it is very important to be aware of your surroundings at all times and you should avoid walking alone in the night time. We would always recommend to go home with a group of friends or even get in a pre-booked cab. Taxi companies also operate in all parts of the city throughout the day and night.

Are you still looking for student accommodation in London? We have short-term and long-term contracts available. To find out more about living with us here in Kingston, please contact us on +44(0)20 3770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com.

Your moving-in checklist

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

No matter what year you’re in – whether it’s your first, second or third year at University, moving house is always stressful. Trying to pack the entire contents of your room and all the essential student items into a suitcase and a few boxes can be a nightmare. And although you probably think you have everything covered, there’s always a forgotten item off the list! So, to help you out and ensure no essential items are forgotten, we’ve put together a quick checklist of what to bring with you for each room.

Kitchen

  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Cutlery
  • Mugs
  • Glasses
  • Shot or wine glasses (depending on how many friends you’re planning on inviting over)

Depending on your culinary skills and how much you intend on cooking throughout your stay, you may also be interested in investing in some good cooking equipment such as:

  • Saucepans
  • Frying pans
  • Baking trays
  • A spatula
  • A knife
  • Chopping board
  • Mixing bowl
  • A can/bottle opener

Bathroom

  • A bin
  • Towels
  • A bath mat
  • Shower mat
  • Laundry Basket

You may want to consider getting a clothes airer so you can hang your clothes up to dry instead of having to wait until the driers are free. It will save you some money too in the long run by not having to pay for the driers! Of course, you will need to remember the essential toiletries such as shower gel, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo and conditioner.

Bedroom

Your bedroom is the place you’ll spend a lot of your time during your stay at One Penrhyn Road so it’s important to make it feel as homely and as comfortable as possible.

We recommend buying two sets of bed sheets so you have a spare one to put on when another is washing and drying. Going for a design and pattern that is quite light will make your room feel more spacious. You will also need to bring:

  • A new duvet
  • Pillows
  • Blanket
  • Cushions (great for cuddling up to on a movie night)
  • Clothes hangers
  • Storage boxes
  • If you purchase a TV, you’ll need to have a license for it

Don’t forget to bring photographs of you with your family and friends so you can pin them up in your room. You’ll be reminded of the good times when you see them and they’ll help add that personal touch to your room.

Clothes

When it comes to fashion, you have nothing to worry about. Nowadays you can look cool in pretty much anything. Pack your casual clothes (t-shirts, jeans, skirts), a few party dresses or smart shirts, trainers and flat shoes (trust us you’ll need them with all the walking you’ll do as a student). And if there’s one item of clothing to remember, it’s a fancy-dress costume as you’ll probably need one for Fresher’s week!

So, that’s the essential items, check these off your list and you’ll have everything you need to get you through the year and survive living away from home.

If you’re still looking for student accommodation in London we have short-term and long-term contracts available. To find out more about living with us here in Kingston, please contact us on +44(0)20 3770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com.

Make sure your student essentials are waiting

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

As you count down the weeks and days until the first term of university starts and you move into your new student home for the year, it’s the perfect time to get organised.

Don’t leave everything until last minute, make the most of the remaining weeks at home and sort out everything you need ready for university now.

From pens and pads, to raincoats and sunglasses, you might have already thought about the stationary and clothes you’ll be needing to take with you – and if you’re really organised (or simply just too excited), you may have even started packing these things! But what about the essentials you’ll need to kit out your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen?

You’ve probably become so used to bedding, pots, pans, utensils and the like being available to hand in your current family home, that you haven’t even considered that you’ll need these items. But don’t panic, we’re here to help…

We’ve teamed up with UniKitOut – the UK’s number one provider of student starter kits, to make moving into your new home at One Penrhyn Road as easy as possible. Pre-order kitchen, bedroom and bathroom packs before you arrive and UniKitOut will deliver your items to our door here at One Penrhyn Road, where we’ll have them waiting for you upon your arrival.

So, head over to UniKitOut and check the items off your list in an instant, and enjoy spending your last few weeks at home without the worry of buying and transporting all the essentials to university with you. And don’t forget to add the discount code HOST17 at the checkout to receive an extra 10% off your order.

Looking for student accommodation in London? We still have rooms available for September 2017. To find out more about our accommodation in Kingston, please contact our onsite management team today on +44(0)203 770 9119 or kingston@host-students.com.

Short-term student accommodation in London

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

For a lot of students, they start the academic year in September and finish in June; staying in the same city throughout. This means they need accommodation in the same city for that whole period of time. However, this isn’t the case for everyone.

Some students may need to be in a different city for a period of time during their course because of placements or exchange semesters in the UK, and some students may be completing a short course which only lasts for a single semester and therefore don’t require a full year of accommodation. If that’s you, and you need short term accommodation in London, look no further.

Here at One Penrhyn Road in Kingston, we have a limited number of our Premium Studios available for students looking for a place to live during either your first or second semester of university. Giving you the flexibility to study and live in London, without the commitment of long tenancies.

If you’re looking for accommodation for semester one, we have Premium Studios available from 10th September 2017 until 7th January 2018 on a 17 week contract. If you’re not arriving in the city until the New Year, then our second semester contract is available from 7th January 2018 until 1st July 2018 on a 25 week contract.

No matter which semester you choose to stay with us at One Penrhyn Road, you’ll find everything you need to enjoy your student experience. Our totally self-contained Premium Studios come complete with a fully fitted kitchen, en-suite bathroom and study space. And not forgetting our comfortable and stylish social spaces for you to make the most of including a study area, games area and common area.

If you would like to find out more about our semester bookings, please contact us on +44(0)20 3770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com.

Need a place to stay in London for summer?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Summer is here and exams are finished, which means sunshine and ice-creams! But as much as we love them, there’s more to summer than just that. So, how will you be spending your time during the summer months?

London has so much to offer, and with university finished, there’s no better time to explore in and around the city than now. Do all of the touristy things you’ve wanted to do but not yet had chance to do, discover hidden gems to take your friends to when term starts in September, or use London as a central base and venture to the other corners of the country.

And whether you’re simply enjoying your summer break in London, continuing your studies, or even working in the city, why not stay with us here at One Penrhyn Road?

We have summer accommodation available in the beautiful area of Kingston – a historic town located in south-west London and situated on the picturesque River Thames. A place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of Central London, but still reach it within 25 minutes by train when you need to.

Our accommodation at One Penrhyn Road gives you the convenience and flexibility you need to enjoy yourself over the summer months. Whether you need a place to stay for just a few weeks, or perhaps the whole of summer, we have a range of Studio rooms – all with a private en-suite bathroom and fully fitted kitchen, available now right through until the 3rd September.

Starting to like the sound of it? Well, that’s not all. One of the best things about our summer accommodation is you can stay with us for as little as £178 per person per week – that’s just £25.43 a night! Plus, all of your bills are included in that price – even the Wi-Fi and internet!

And when you arrive back to us after a busy day out exploring, working or studying, you can relax and unwind in our modern and spacious social spaces. Put your pool skills to the test in the games area, catch up with your friends in the common area or watch the latest TV shows from the comfy seating area. Fancy a night out? One Penrhyn Road is just a stone’s throw from Pryzm nightclub and Kingston’s main high street. Not to mention Richmond Park, London’s biggest open space for you to enjoy on a sunny day.

Our doors are open to all students this summer – even if you’ve not stayed with us before. If you’re a student already living with us, why not extend your stay through summer, or visit another city and stay at one of our other halls? Whether it’s work or play, we can accommodate you.

To find out more about our summer accommodation, or to book, please contact our onsite management team today on +44(0)203 770 9119 or kingston@host-students.com.

Finishing University

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Students all around the country are finishing university. For some of you, it’s the end of your first year. Phew, you made it! But for others, it’s the end of your final year and your time at university. If that’s you, how are you feeling right now? Excited? Sad? Nostalgic? Nervous?

Well, you’re probably not alone. This time in your life is what we know as “the end of an era” (you may have heard the saying before, perhaps when you finished primary school and then again when you left high school). It’s the end of a journey, all of your hard work and determination has paid off; you’ve made it. No more exams, no more revision, and no more coursework – dissertation complete!

It won’t be long until you’re holding your certificate, wearing your gown and jumping in the air with your hat at your graduation. This is when the emotions really kick in. Life is changing and it’s time to move onto the next chapter of your life.

And whilst saying goodbye to your sidekicks may be difficult right now, just remember the good times you’ve had together. They’ve been by your side since the beginning – through thick and thin. You’ve lived, partied, laughed and cried with them. You’ve supported each other and been there for the selfies through the fun times, and let’s not forget the hard times, whilst under pressure – you’ve listened to one another moan and been there to cheer each other up. After all, that’s what friends are for.

Now you’ve all finished your degrees and university is officially over, you should get everyone together for one last celebration before you all leave. Saying goodbye will never be easy, but this should be a happy and exciting time, so enjoy it! And don’t worry, just because you’re leaving university, all the amazing memories, achievements and friends you made will always be there. They never change. The main thing is that as you all go off in different directions, you’ll stay in contact with the people that mean the most to you. Think of all those great reunions and get-togethers you can organise for the future!

But what about now, what will you do? Move back to your family home? Get your own place? Travel the world with friends? Move to another city for work? There are so many opportunities flying your way… Do WHATEVER makes you happy!

So, although your “uni days” are over, summer is here (which makes everything better), and so is the start of many more good times to come. There’s no exact way to feel right now, it’s a rollercoaster of different emotions. Just relax, enjoy the sunshine and wait patiently for your results – you’ve done it!

Once again, from everyone at One Penrhyn Road, well done for finishing university. Whatever you decide to do from here we wish you the best of luck, and remember the world is your oyster!

If you’re heading back to university in September, or if you need a place to stay over summer, why not live with us here at One Penrhyn Road? Contact us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 or email us at kingston@host-students.com for more information about our luxurious studios and clean and airy communal areas.

May Day madness from around the world

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

This time of year isn’t easy for students and is often dreaded by many. Spending your days endlessly studying to meet deadlines and remembering everything you need to know for your exams. But in the end, those hours you put into revision will pay off as you graduate and enter the world of work. And while you might find yourself working some longer hours now and again in employment, the typical working day will be eight hours a day.

But did you know that our ancestors in London were also thinking a lot about eight hour days too? So much so that almost 1027 years ago to the day, 300,000 of them were demonstrating in Hyde Park in support of a change in legislation for an eight-hour working day – as opposed to the 10 to 16 hour days they were experiencing. And that demonstration was just the beginning of what we now know as May Day.

So, not only do we have our ancestors to thank for the eight hour working day, but also for the extra day off and the long weekend ahead for May Day. How will you be celebrating the long weekend? Well, if you’ve not got any plans and want a break from your revision, why not take some inspiration from others? Here are some fun facts about how people around the globe celebrate May Day:

Germany
In Germany, the night before May Day, men cover trees with streamers outside the house of a girl he likes. Whilst the women place flowers or rice in the form of a heart at the house of their beloved one.

Greece
It is tradition in Greece to pick flowers and use them to create a May Day wreath to hang on your door.

France
In France, Lily of the Valley or Dog Rose flowers are given as a symbol of springtime.

Finland
Towns across Finland see statues crowned with student caps.

Bulgaria
In Bulgaria, rituals are followed to protect people from lizards and snakes, as their May holiday is associated with these ravenous reptiles.

Scotland
Students in St Andrews in Scotland run into the sea at sunrise to celebrate spring. This often involves very little clothes…!

England
If you head to Durham in the northeast of England, you’ll come across another student tradition to celebrate Spring. Students gather on Prebends Bridge to see sunrise, and they celebrate with a BBQ breakfast, folk music, dancing and singing.

Italy
The Italian’s celebrate Spring with a seasonal feast.

And what about here in London? Well, the traditional way to celebrate May Day include Morris dancing, the crowning of a May Queen and dancing around a Maypole. But, if you don’t fancy doing that, then here are some top events going on in and around the city this weekend.

If you’re in need of a place to live while you study in London, contact us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 or email us at kingston@host-students.com for more information about our luxurious studios and clean and airy communal areas at One Penrhyn Road.