Leaving your student accommodation

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For many students, university has finished for another year and it’s almost time to move out of your student accommodation. But as you pack up your belongings and get ready to leave, you might be wondering what to do with some of your things. Below we have some helpful information and suggestions for moving out.

Your belongings
Pinglocker logoIf you’re off travelling, staying with family or are visiting friends for a few months before you move into a new home, you might not know what to do with your possessions as you move out. That’s where Pinglocker can help; they provide convenient and affordable student storage in the UK. Not only can they store your items, but they can collect them and deliver them back to you as well. And with exclusive resident offers including free boxes and free insurance, it’s storage made simple.

Leftover food
Host Pause Logo Donation BoxAs you clear out your accommodation and rummage to the back of the kitchen cupboard, you might find some unopened tins of beans, packets of instant noodles and the like – which you didn’t get around to enjoying. If that’s the case, and you’re not going to bother taking them with you, then don’t let them go to waste; donate them to a local food bank. Here at Host, we’re supporting the Trussell Trust who provide emergency food for people in crisis. So, when you move out, donate any non-perishable food that you don’t want to people in need. You’ll find boxes near Reception where you can drop any unopened food in, and we’ll deliver it to the local foodbank on your behalf.

Non-perishable foods include: Cereal, tinned foods (soup, fruit, vegetable etc) pasta, rice, lentils, beans and pulses, tea/coffee, biscuits, UHT milk.

Unwanted clothes
cancer research collectionIt’s surprising how much can change in a year; trends, fashions and styles all pass as quickly as they arrived. What once suited you might not anymore, and what you feel comfortable in now might not be the same as what you did a few months ago. And as you pack, you might come across clothing you arrived at uni with in September and wonder what were you thinking wearing that? But if you no longer want items, don’t bin them; donate them to charity. We have a clothes collection basket here at One Penrhyn Road with all donations going to Cancer Research UK. Providing the clothing is clean and in a good condition, your donations would be greatly appreciated.

Foreign Currency
If you’ve travelled to another country in the last year and have any foreign currency lying loose and you’re not sure what to do with it, then we have a collection jar in Reception which you can drop any change into. We’ll then donate all the collected money to a local charity.

If your current contract has ended, if you’re studying over summer or you’re arriving in London early before the new term starts in September, we have summer accommodation available here at One Penrhyn Road. Contact us on +44(0)203 770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com for more information or to book.

Classic British dishes to warm you up

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It might still be cold, dark and miserable out, but it’s not all bad. One of the best things about this time of year, is the warming home-cooked food you can enjoy; the perfect comfort after a busy day at uni. Here are some of our favourite classic British winter warmers…

Roast dinner

classic_winter_warmer_roast_dinner_

Image: BBC

A Sunday roast is the main event of the week, and knowing you have one to look forward to will certainly help you through a long week in winter. A plate piled high with your favourite meat, veggies and all the trimmings (after all, a roast dinner wouldn’t be complete without roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings); it’s what Sundays were made for. Recipes here.

Pie

steak_and_ale_pie

Image: Jamie Oliver

A sure winner to fill you up and warm you up in winter, is the humble pie. Whether it’s beef, chicken or a vegetarian pie, there’s nothing more satisfying than breaking into the crust of the flaky pastry lid. And depending how hungry you are, you can serve with your choice of sides – keep it simple with chips or go the whole hog with mash potato and a variety of vegetables. Our top choice pie recipe would be a classic steak and ale pie.

Toad in the hole

Toad-in-the-hole-with-onion-gravy-

Image: Tesco Real Food

A real British classic, but don’t threat, it’s not actually toads in a hole – instead, it’s sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter (mmm much tastier). It’s not really clear where the name came from for this hearty dish, but does it really matter when it tastes this good. Recipe here.

Beef stew

beefstewwithdumpling_

Image: BBC

For those cold days and nights, you can’t go wrong with this one-pot meal that’s easy to make and guaranteed to warm you through to the core. It’s also a great way to hit your five a day intake by using up any leftover vegetables – chop them up and chuck them in. And for that extra indulgence, top your stew with some fluffy dumplings. Recipe here.

Hopefully these dishes will help keep you warm for the remainder of winter, and before you know it the days will be warmer, the nights longer and Spring will be here!

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London in 2018 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.

 

New Year, New You?

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Ah January; a New Year, a new start and well, another opportunity to break those New Year’s resolutions. While we all have great intentions on becoming a better person and changing our ways for the year ahead, unfortunately 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail by February.

So, whether it’s to drink less, save more, get fit or attend all of your lectures (yes, even the 9am ones), what can you do to improve your chances of seeing your resolutions through and not giving up before the year’s barely begun?

Firstly, you should only make one resolution. Because, let’s face it, making one change to your current lifestyle is probably going to be challenging enough, so why set yourself up for a fall by setting yourself 10 different ones? By selecting just one resolution, you can focus your time and effort solely on sticking to, and succeeding with the one thing.

When setting your resolution, you should make it personal and not follow suit with what others are doing – it’s got to be realistic and attainable for you. For example, if one of your friends who runs several miles weekly and competes in races regularly, is setting themselves the task of running a marathon this year, but you’ve never run before – it’s probably not the best idea to throw yourself in at the deep end and join them. Instead, why not aim for a shorter 3k or 5k run first? Then, once you’ve ran that far, you can aim for even further distances such as a 10km or a half marathon. Breaking your goal into a series of smaller, more manageable and time-based steps will make that end goal much more achievable and a lot less scary. As the saying goes, we must learn to walk before we can run.

And when times get tough and you start to question why you’re changing your ways, it’s important to remind yourself of the benefits of what you’re doing. If you’ve decided you’re going to attend all of your lectures, remember why you’re doing it when it’s 5pm on a Friday evening and all your friends are off to the pub, but you’ve got an hour lecture to attend instead. It might not seem like the better option at the time, but missing that one lecture could mean missing important information that will help you answer a key question in the end of year exams.

No matter your resolution and goal, remember to stay strong, be committed, and don’t give up at the first hurdle (yes there will be set-backs and struggles along the way, but the satisfaction you’ll feel for sticking at it will definitely outweigh them). Here’s to a happy, healthy and productive 2018!

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London in 2018 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

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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.

(Seriously…) fun study tips

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It’s that time of year again; Easter is upon us and those dreaded exams are on the horizon. We can probably all familiarise with the last minute panic, the cramming of information and the all-nighter’s which make you debate your existence. But fear no more. Here at One Penrhyn Road, we’ve put together some (if I do say so myself), hilarious tips for you to take the edge off this stressful time.

1. Make up a song

“Mrs. D, Mrs. I… Mrs. F-F-I, Mrs. C, Mrs. U, Mrs. L-T-Y.”

If you’ve ever seen the film Matilda, then you’re more than likely remember the above. Why? Because this simple – but catchy rhyme on how to spell the word ‘difficulty’ sticks in our minds. So, whether its important dates in history, a sequence of numbers or a complicated matrix, put them into a jolly little tune and your brain should remember it – the mind is amazing!

2. Look at cute animalsbunny-rabbits-sunshine

According to science (and we all know that when this term is used it is legit), looking at cute and adorable pictures of animals – be it bunnies, kittens or puppies, can actually make you more productive. So when you feel your motivation slipping, take a few minutes out to admire an image of a furry friend!

3. Have a boogie

Now, this might sound like a very strange idea, but hang on in there. Let’s explain. Have you ever noticed how as soon as you leave your desk you start thinking about things? Well the next time you find yourself at a standstill with your studies, why not use this as a technique to boost your inspiration? Get up from your desk, have a boogie, head out for a walk, or even take a shower – after all, inspiration can strike us when we least expect it. Then, once you return to your desk you’ll be ready to continue your studies!

4. Doodle

chalk-board-with-doodlesWhen you’re in lectures and you just don’t have enough time to write everything down, you might end up scribbling diagrams and drawing random things to help you remember. Follow this simple method and turn your drawings into visual study notes. The brain L.O.V.E.S associating images with words. Did you know visuals are processed by the human brain 60,000 times faster than text? And we actually remember 80% of what we see compared to only 20% of what we read! If that’s not a reason to draw then I don’t know what is?

5. Give yourself a breaktime-for-a-break

If you’re going to take on board any tip from this blog today, please take this one away with you… No matter how hard you are working for those exams always remember to take a break! You won’t do yourself any favours by running yourself into the ground with too much revision. You’ll feel tired, stressed and a lack of motivation to continue. So, always allow some ‘me’ time – whether it’s lunch with your friends, a game on the computer or a film at the cinema – take a short break and when you return you will feel more relaxed and likely to absorb more information.

We hope these top tips have made you giggle and forget the life stresses for a few minutes. GOOD LUCK over the next few months and remember…

TAKE A BREAK!

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.

Christmas shopping on a budget

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The street lights are up, winter wonderlands are open and the shops are playing festive songs.  With December fast approaching and only a month to go until the big day, it’s time to start thinking about what Christmas presents you’re going to buy – and how much you’re going to spend.  But with the first semester of term almost finished, student loans may be spent and you’re probably a bit strapped for cash.  So, to help you out, we’ve got 4 top tips to help you be savvy with your spending, yet still give great gifts this Christmas.

1. Secret Santa
You’ve probably made good friends with fellow residents or students on your course and would love to buy them all a small gift – but that can be pricey. So, if there’s a number of you in a group, get together, set a budget and play Secret Santa.  This way, everyone gets a present but you’ll only buy one, and you won’t need to spend more than the set budget (e.g. £5.00) – saving you a lot of money.

2. Shop online
Sat at home on your laptop might not give you the same warm, festive feeling as walking around the department stores, but it will probably save you money. Try your luck and bag a bargain on auction website, eBay. Or use exclusive online discount codes for money off big name brands and shops. Plus, many shops offer free delivery or free collection in store which means it won’t cost you any extra to shop online.

3. DIY gifts
What better way to get into the spirit of things than with a bit of DIY to spark your creativity? Making your own presents is a low-cost alternative, which can also be fun to do. From filling glass jars with sweet treats or making novelty snow domes, to baking Christmas goodies or building your own hampers – there’s lots of homemade gifts to choose from.

4. Wait for the sales
You’ll find many shops start their ‘January’ sales early and slash their prices before Christmas has even passed. So if you can hold-off doing your shopping until just a few days before Christmas, you’re sure to make a saving. What’s more, if you’re not seeing family or friends until after Christmas Day, wait until then to do your shopping. Boxing Day sales are bigger than ever before and what you might have paid full price for the week before Christmas, you might find has 50% off after Christmas.