Celebrating Christmas in Halls

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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.

Staying safe in London

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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.

Short-term student accommodation in London

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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?

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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.

May Day madness from around the world

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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.

Celebrate Chinese New Year in London

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Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival as it is also known as, is one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar. The first day of the New Year falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice, and ends 15 days later on the full moon. Each New Year is represented by one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar.

This year is the year of the Rooster, and the first day of the Chinese New Year falls on Saturday 28th January. And if you’re looking to join in the celebrations, there are lots of festivities going on in London to welcome in the New Year.

Head down to Trafalgar Square on Sunday 29th January where an opening ceremony with special guests will take place to kick off the celebrations. Then follow a colourful parade through the city, and stage performances including acrobats, dragon and flying lion dances, martial arts and much more. Don’t forget to visit a stall-filled Chinatown for even more fun and activities with food stalls and dancing. Then make your back to Trafalgar Square to end the evening where they’ll be fireworks and a spectacular show.

Check out visitlondon.com for more information about the celebrations. If you’re a student living at Host, pop down to reception and find out if there are any events taking place in the hall to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Here at One Penrhyn Road all our luxurious studios have a purpose built study area as standard and our students are able to take advantage of our clean and airy communal study areas. To find out how you can join our thriving student community in 2017 please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 for more information and to make a booking.

Kingston Carnival returns this weekend

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With September here, last month’s Olympic games in Rio feel like a distant memory. But what if you could re-live the wonderful colours and excitement of Rio all over again?

This Sunday (4th September), sees the return of Kingston Carnival to the streets of South West London. And this, year, there’s a special Brazilian-theme and green ideology inspired by the Rio Olympics.

Now in its 14th year, Kingston Carnival brings together local communities and celebrates diversity. Along with dancing, live music, stalls and food available between 12pm – 7pm, there’s also the main street parade taking place at 12pm from Guild Hall.

So, head down to Kingston this weekend where you can join in with the fun and celebrations – what’s more, it’s free to attend!

Ravens Ait Outdoor Cinema

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Fancy a trip to a secluded island this summer? Then look no further than Ravens Ait in the Thames, London. OK, so it might not be the Maldives or Seychelles – and we can’t guarantee the weather, but we’re quite confident you will still have a fun and unique experience at Ravens Ait Outdoor Cinema.

From sing-along classics such as Grease and Mamma Mia, to action packed new releases such as Deadpool and Star Wars: Force Awakens, with 6 different films showing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this August. Not only will you get to experience some of the greatest movie stars on the big screen, but your cinema booking also includes a boat ride across to the island, and a bean bag and headphones for you to sit back and relax in.

Tickets cost just £16 each, and even though films don’t start until 9:00pm, the island is open for you to arrive from 6:30pm. The BBQ will be lit ready for some pre-cinema snacks and the bar will be open to wash it all down with, and of course, what cinema trip would be complete without some popcorn or sweets! So, what are you waiting for? Get together with your friends this summer and make an evening of it.

For more information, a full list of showings and to book your tickets, click here.

Staying in Kingston this summer?

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Are you planning to visit or stay in Kingston this summer? Well, we have found a few things that you have to see while you’re there…

Richmond Park
Richmond Park is a National Nature Reserve near Kingston. It was created by Charles I in the 17th century as a deer park, and it is now the largest Royal Park in London. On top of the various wildlife and range of sports and leisure activities, the park is also the ideal place to go for an enjoyable walk. The park has a variety of flat and hilly routes – with options for either shorter, easier routes or longer, more challenging routes.

“Out of Order” by David Mach
Described by the locals and tourists as a “work of art”. The “Out of Order” by David Mach has turned into an unusual exhibition that people will travel to see. Unveiled in 1989 and still standing today on the Old London Road, it’s definitely a must see!

Chessington World of Adventures
Only 17 minutes away from central Kingston, Chessington World of Adventures is a theme park and zoo – and even has accommodation complexes for overnight stays. The zoo has over 1,000 animals, including a Sea Life Centre – a great day out guaranteed!

Bentall Shopping Centre
If you feel like shopping, why not visit the largest shopping centre in Kingston? Bentall Centre is home to over 75 stores and over a 1,000 brands – which means you can make it a family day out and let dad pay for it all, or take a few friends and shop until you drop.

The Hippodrome
Known for being the largest night club in Kingston, find out what’s on at The Hippodrome. The venue hosts the biggest names and biggest DJ’s on the scene right now, with a wide range of music from live rock to indie.

One Penrhyn Road is a great location to get the very best out your student life. If you would like to find out how you can join them, please call us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 to arrange a viewing.