World Friendship Day

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Tuesday 30 July marks World Friendship Day. World Friendship Day (WFD) is a good day to show your friends how much they mean to you.
Human beings have always been sociable creatures and valued the importance of having friends. A solid friendship is formed through bonding, spending quality time together and doing that all-important communicating. Doing this can improve our mental and physical health.
Friendships can make your life stress free and help promote brain health as well as making better lifestyle choices that keep us strong.

WFD is celebrated around the world since it was founded in 1930. It’s a day not only for celebrating friendships but to inspire peace throughout the world.

What can we achieve together?

  • Allowing friends to get together and celebrate each other.
  • Rekindle old friendships.
  • Remind ourselves of the diversity of people around the world.
  • Bridge gaps between race, religion and sexuality that divide us.

World Friendship Day

It’s important to have a good support system and someone you know you can trust when studying at university. Studies have suggested that the healthier your relationships are with your friend’s links to better physical and mental health. Unhealthy relationships make us feel stressed, which is the last thing you need whilst studying.
What you can do on this day:

  • Celebrate a beautiful friendship with a self-care package.
  • Plan a day out to celebrate friendship.
  • Send a heartfelt note to celebrate friendship day.
  • Make a healthy brunch for your bestie.
  • Hug your friends more.
  • Do things you both loved doing.
  • Most importantly have fun in what you do to celebrate this day.

Be university ready with student essential packs

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If you’re getting ready to fly the nest and start your student adventure at university or college in the UK, you might be panicking about what you need to take with you.

Whilst you certainly won’t need to pack the kitchen sink, there are some things that will probably come in use when starting out as a student. From saucepans and cutlery, to bed linen and towels, having all of these essential items will help you settle into your new student home.

But do you really want to be cramming saucepans into your suitcases or spending hours searching the shops for duvets? Probably not.

Thankfully, we’ve teamed up with our friends over at UniKitOut so that you can have all of your student essentials sorted in minutes – and without any hassle.

With a range of student packs available – including kitchen, bedroom and bathroom packs, UniKitOut is your one-stop shop for all your student needs.

kitchen kit  Geo Mint Double silver  student essential starter pack

All you have to do is order your items online, select the student accommodation you’ll be living at, and they’ll deliver your items straight to the accommodation so they’re ready and waiting for you upon arrival.

It doesn’t get much better than that, right? Wrong. It really does get better, because you can even get an extra 10% off your online order simply by adding the discount code HOST10 at the checkout.

Like the sound of having all your essentials sorted in an instant? Head over to the UniKitOut website and get everything you need to kit out your new home.

If you’re still looking for student accommodation in London for September, why not live at The Hub? Rooms still available, contact us on +44(0)20 3770 9120 or at thehub@host-students.com for more information.     

Student living in the heart of London

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If you’re starting university in 2018, you’ve probably been busy attending open days, researching universities and applying for courses. But have you thought about where you’re going to live?

As a student moving to London to study, you’ll need a place that you can call home while at university. And with bookings now being taken at The Hub for September 2018, there’s no better time to start looking for student accommodation.

The Hub is located just a short stroll from Vauxhall station and The River Thames, meaning you can discover the best of London in no time at all. Its location makes it a great choice for anyone studying at London South Bank University (LSBU), Kings College London, Chelsea College of Art and Design and University of Arts. There’s plenty to do in Vauxhall too, from underground clubs to quirky eateries. There’s even a city farm, when you need a slice of the country.

And when it comes to the accommodation itself, step inside The Hub and you’ll feel right at home. After a busy day at university, our comfortable and stylish common room with games table, TV and seating areas provides you with a space to socialise and enjoy with your friends. Then when it’s time to get your head down for the night or focus on your work, our luxurious studios have everything you need – with an en-suite bathroom, fully fitted kitchen and a private study space.

Sounds great, right? Well, that’s not all. Our accommodation is all-inclusive, which means you simply pay one price and we take care of the rest. So, there’s no need to worry about having to pay different bills each month or keep money aside for things such as electricity, water and internet. We’re on it.

And it’s not just first-year students who stay with us at The Hub. Whether you’re a first, second or final year student or even a post-graduate student, you can make The Hub your home for the 2018/19 academic year. Contact us to find out more about our student accommodation or visit our online portal to book your room.

7 apps for university students

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Student life can be tough. You’ve not only got to worry about university and getting the grades for your degree, but you’re probably living away from home for the first time as an independent adult, which means you’re now responsible for a lot more things. Fortunately, technology is on hand to help and there are some great apps to help you sail through student life. Here are 7 of our favourite apps we think will be useful while at uni…

1. Dropbox
Whether it’s lost, stolen or you spill a drink over it, there’s nothing worse than your computer or laptop being gone forever – especially when all of your work is saved on it! The last thing you want to be doing is re-writing assignments, that’s why it’s a good idea to save all of your documents, photos and work elsewhere as a backup for these unfortunate occasions. Dropbox allows you to store and access your files across all of your devices at any time.

2. Evernote
Evernote is your one-stop shop when it comes to being organised as a student. If you’re in a lecture, capture all of your notes in one place. If you’ve got assignments and deadlines approaching, create a check list to ensure nothing is missed or forgotten. And if you’re working with others, effortlessly share your notes and ideas with one another.

3. CityMapper
If you’re a student living in London, then having CityMapper on your mobile is a must; it’s the ultimate transport app. No matter where you’re going, tap it in and CityMapper will let you know the public transport options available, routes, estimated times and even the price. If you fancy walking, it’ll even map out the quickest and driest routes too! For students outside of London, you can download other mapping apps such as Google Maps.

4. Strava
If you’re out and about being active, why not track your activity? See how far you’ve walked, ran, swam, cycled and much more all at a touch of a button. Connect with friends and other athletes, map out new routes and challenge yourself by striving to beat your personal bests. It’s a great way to stay active and competitive while at uni.

5. BBC Good Food
Living away from home, means you might be cooking meals for yourself regularly for the first time. Which means some recipes to refer back to might come in use. And on the BBC Good Food apps, you won’t be short of a recipe or two. With delicious dinners, tasty snacks and sweet treats to choose from, the question is, what to cook first?

6. Just Eat
For those nights you don’t fancy cooking or want a takeaway with your friends, have the Just Eat app at the ready and order your favourite meal in an instant. Whether it’s Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican or Lebanese (and the list goes on), find all available restaurants that deliver in your area and once you’ve ordered, you’ll be able to follow the progress of your order to see how far away your food is.

7. Banking Apps
Whether you bank with Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds or other high street banks, most banks provide an app so you can stay on top of your finances. The apps make it quick and easy to manage your bank accounts and money. You can check your balance before a night out so you know how much money you have available to spend, transfer money between accounts, pay your bills and even locate the nearest ATM to you, all from your mobile phone.

 

International students: life in the UK

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If you’re an international student living in the UK and have recently arrived here, the past few weeks have probably been a whirlwind. Leaving home and waving goodbye to your friends and family, before departing for university and starting your degree.

But on top of that, for many international students, you’re probably setting foot in a country you’ve never visited or lived in before. It can seem daunting at first, but this really is an exciting time in your life and an opportunity to explore and experience life in a new country.  And as you settle into the UK, we’ve pulled together some information and fun facts about the UK so you know more about your new home and where you are…

So, you’ve heard of it, you’ve travelled to it and now you’re here in the UK, but where exactly are you in the world? Well, the UK is an island nation located in the north-west of Europe. The UK is actually made up of four countries; Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the official name for the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The size of the UK is approximately 242,000 square kilometres, which in terms of area, is smaller than the state of Oregon. The UK has a population of approximately 62.8 million people and the main language spoken is English. Did you know, there are actually more chickens in England than there are humans?

If you’re trying to figure out what time is best to call home and want to avoid waking your family up in the middle of the night, it’s worth knowing that the UK uses Greenwich Mean Time and British Summer Time. So, if you’re from China for example, and want to call home, from October until March, the time difference is 8 hours – with China being 8 hours ahead. However, the UK uses daylight saving time through spring and summer, meaning the time difference from March until September is 7 hours.

And if you’ve arrived in the UK and you’re finding it a bit wet, don’t be surprised. The UK is often associated with wet and rainy weather. The rainfall is plentiful all year round, so make sure you have an umbrella handy – and try not to lose it; each year, it is estimated that over 80,000 umbrellas are lost in London alone.

You’ve just missed the warmest season here in the UK – summer, which runs from June until September. We’re now in autumn; the transition between summer and winter. Starting in September until November, it’s best noticed by the colour change in leaves and the harvest. Winter follows autumn in December through to February. This season is usually the coldest with the shortest days and the most unsettled weather. Spring which starts in March until June, is a season welcomed by most people in the UK. After the cold and dark winter months, the days start to get longer, temperatures get warmer and plants start to blossom.

Although the weather can be unpredictable, it is rarely extreme. Temperatures do vary throughout the seasons, with winter typically being the coldest and summer the warmest. But temperatures rarely drop below -5°C in the day or rise above 30°C.  When the weather is warmer, many people in the UK visit the beach. And with no point in Britain being more than 75 miles away from a coastline, it’s no surprise that we all love a trip to the seaside!

So, there you have it, a quick guide to and facts about the UK. Now it’s time to sit back, relax and make yourself at home in the UK. And with 165 million cups of tea consumed in the UK every day, don’t forget to put the kettle on and enjoy a nice cuppa too!

Like the sound of life in the UK? Contact us to find out more about our student accommodation and living with us here at Host.

Settling into your new student home

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As you pack up your things and get ready to leave your family home, you’re probably feeling a mixed bag of emotions. Happy, excited, nervous, curious – you name it, you’re probably feeling it. And there’s no doubt, that you’ll feel home sick at some point during your first few weeks or months at university. But there are a few things you can do that will help make settling into your residences even easier, and make it feel like a home from home.

Fill your cupboards
Just because you’re living in a different place, doesn’t mean you should go without. Stock up on all the essential day-to-day items of food and drink that you would normally find in your kitchen. Whether it’s milk and cereal or bread and spread, make sure you have everything you need for breakfast so you don’t feel like a stranger waking up in your own home.

Personalise your room
Add that personal touch to your new room and make it feel like your own by bringing along some items from home. Snap some photos with your school friends and family before you leave and pin them to your notice board – it’ll not only bring a bit of colour and life to your wall, but you’ll be reminded of the good times and people back home. But that’s not all, pack some soft toys, colourful cushions or decorative ornaments to soften your room and make you feel right at home.

Know your neighbours
Although you’ll be moving to university and your new home on your own, remember, you’re not alone. Everyone will be in the same situation as you. So, give your neighbours a friendly knock, say hello and get to know your fellow residents. You don’t have to be best friends, but it’s always nice to have someone to chat to instead of avoiding eye contact and conversation as you pass one another in the corridor. And to make breaking the ice even easier, we’ll be hosting numerous social events in the common areas at The Hub throughout the year for you to attend and mingle with other residents.

Stay connected
Ok so you’re leaving home, but it’s not goodbyes forever. In this day and age, it’s quick and simple to communicate with anyone from around the world, at any time. From Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp or Messenger, to Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, as long as you’ve got an internet connection it’s easy to stay connected. And that won’t be a problem when living with us at The Hub, as we provide free wired internet and Wi-Fi so you can speak, share and Snapchat until your heart’s content.

Explore the city
Ok, so you’ve managed to navigate your way through the city and have safely arrived at your accommodation, you have a rough idea of where your university is, but what about everything else in between? Take a walk outside your accommodation and spend the afternoon sussing out the local area. Find out where the nearest supermarkets, bars, shops, bus stops and train stations are so you’re familiar and confident with your surroundings. It’s worth finding out your local delivery takeaway outlets too – you never know when you might need some comfort food delivered to your door!

 

Summer Stays at The Hub

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The mornings are getting lighter and the days are getting longer – summer is on its way! And as you work towards coursework deadlines and revise for end of term exams, you’re probably counting down the days until the summer holidays arrive!

During the summer months, you’ll have the time and freedom to explore and do as you please. Whether you’re travelling, attending festivals, visiting friends, have got yourself onto an internship or intend on working part-time for some extra money and experience, there is so much you can do with your time. But you’re probably wondering where to stay during this time? Well, look no further than The Hub.

If you need a place to stay in London but don’t want to pay the price of a hotel, and don’t want to commit to lengthy tenancy agreements of privately rented flats or houses, then we have a room for you at The Hub.

Our summer accommodation 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 available from the start of July right through until September.

And what’s more, all bills are included in the price – even Wi-Fi. So, once you’ve checked in, you won’t need to worry about anything else, we’ve got it covered. You can sit back and relax in the comfort of your own luxurious Studio – complete with private en-suite bathroom, fully fitted kitchen, study area and lots of storage space.

But that’s not all. Venture outside of your room and you’ll find a variety of modern and stylish social areas to enjoy. Catch up on the latest hit shows on the large SKY TV in the common area, challenge your friends to a game of pool or practice your swing at the ping pong table.

If you’re heading out, then you haven’t far to go to be in the heart of the action. Named The Hub for a reason. The Hub is close to the action of buzzing, Central London. Just a short stroll from Vauxhall station and the Thames, you can discover the best of London in no time. Want to stay local? There’s plenty to do in Vauxhall too. From underground clubs to quirky eateries – there’s even a city farm, when you need a slice of the country.

And did you know, you don’t actually have to be a student to stay with us during the summer? Our doors are open to the general public throughout the summer months. Friends, families, couples, business men, business women – and of course students, are all welcome. If you’re a student already living with us, why not extend your stay through summer? Or if you’re a student visiting from another city or accommodation provider, don’t worry that you’ve not stayed with us before – we’d love to have you stay with us for summer. Whether it’s work or play, we can accommodate you.

If you like the sound of spending summer at The Hub in London, please contact the on-site management team on thehub@host-students or 020 3770 9120 who will be happy to give you further information and prices.

How to spend a night in at The Hub

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Staying in doesn’t have to be boring. There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself occupied if you’re in for the night. So, whether you’re trying to save some money, you want an early-ish night, or you just want a quiet night in, here are five things you can do.

1. Escape reality
Comedy? Horror? Love story? Action? Take your pick. If you’ve got a night in and no plans, then this is the perfect opportunity to sit back, grab some popcorn and zone out from reality. Go on a journey and escape to another world with a film of your choice.

2. Have a binge
If you don’t fancy a film then how about an evening catching up on the latest boxset? If a series has eight episodes and each episode is approximately 45 minutes long, that makes no biggie to watch the whole series in one night! After all, no one likes to be left on a cliff hanger with just one episode to go, so you may as well watch them all!

3. Cook up a storm
If you’ve got a few hours spare in the evening, then it’s time to put your cooking skills to the test. Dig out and dust off that recipe book you were given for Christmas and try something new. From spaghetti bolognaise to chocolate brownies, experiment in the kitchen and enjoy a tasty treat at the end of it!

4. Play a game
Shut down the computers, put down the smart phones and turn off the TVs – it’s time to go old school! Round up your friends to spin the dial and see how far you can stretch playing Twister, pile the bricks and test your nerve with Jenga or roll the dice and fight for ownership of the board with a game of Monopoly.

5. Plan
Having a night in isn’t all bad. You can use the time to plan ahead for your next adventure. Whether it’s a big night out to celebrate a birthday, a day in the city with your friends or a holiday for when term ends, now is the time to get planning!

And if you’re still struggling for something to do during your night in, then relax in our comfortable and friendly social areas with your fellow residents. If you would like to find out more about living with us at The Hub, or to arrange a viewing, please call us on +44 (0)20 3770 9120 or email us at thehub@host-students.com.

How to survive Semester 2

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Where has the time gone? Christmas and January have been and gone and here you are, faced with the second term of the year already. You’ve got used to the long lie-ins and lecture free weeks, and you know getting back into routine will be a struggle. But it’s not all bad. There’s still lots to look forward to and things you can do to get through the coming months…

1. Focus on learning
Your first term in university was probably spent getting to know each other, being introduced to the subject/course, and not looking like the geek at the front of the class asking all the questions. Not forgetting the lectures you missed because of the hangovers from Fresher’s events. But now it’s time to get serious. Attend all your lectures, do some research and dig out that reading list to expand your knowledge. And if you don’t understand something or you want to know more, don’t be afraid to ask – after all, you’re there to learn!

2. Broaden your horizons
You might have played it safe in the first term by sticking with your flatmates and people you already knew, or by doing things you’ve done before. Now you’ve settled in, you’re probably feeling more confident, so why not push yourself? Leave your comfort zone and try something new. Whether it be trying a new sport, joining a new society, putting yourself forward in class or simply mingling with new people, it’s not too late to do it – now is the perfect opportunity!

3. Say no to nights out
Did you feel obliged to go out and attend every single Fresher’s event last term just because you were a Fresher? Now things have settled down and you’re not so ‘new’ to student life, the pressure to go out will have died down. Learn that it’s ok to say no. If you want to stay in or do something different then you can! Who knows, you might actually have more fun doing exactly what you want to do rather than what people expect you to do.

4. Plan your summer
There’s no better way to get through the next few months of hard work than knowing you’ve got something to look forward to at the end of it. So, start making plans for the summer. How are you going to spend your time? Whether it’s a holiday with your flatmates, going back home to visit family, festivals with some old friends, or enhancing your CV with a summer job – there are lots of fun and worthwhile things you can do with your time off.

And if that wasn’t enough to get you through the next few months, then how about knowing you have a place to live for September? We’re pleased to say that we’re now taking bookings for academic year 2017/18! If you would like to find out more about living with us at The Hub, or to arrange a viewing, please call us on +44 (0)20 3770 9120 or email us at thehub@host-students.com .

7 money saving tips for students

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Throughout your time at university, you’ll learn a lot on your chosen course, and there will also be many valuable skills you will gain as a student. One key skill will be how to effectively budget and manage your finances. While it might seem like a great idea to splash the cash when your student loan comes in, you should keep your eyes open for money-saving opportunities and grab a bargain where you can. Here are 7 ways you can make a saving:

1. Get a travel card
If you’re travelling around the country visiting friends and family, or simply jumping on the train to visit the local hotspots, save up to 1/3 off your rail fare for the year by purchasing a 16-25 railcard. You can also apply for a Student Oyster photocard and save when travelling in and around London.

2. Join NUS Extra
For just £12 a year – or £32 for 3 years, having an NUS Extra card will give you big discounts across a whole range of top clothes brands, entertainment venues, food outlets and much more. So, whether it’s pizza or cinema tickets, make huge savings doing (and eating) the things you love.

3. Check for coupons
If you have a smartphone, be sure to download popular coupon apps such as VoucherCodes, Groupon and Vouchercloud. Having these apps handy on your phone, will allow you to check out what deals and discounts are available in the area, no matter where you are.

4. Purchase second-hand books
For each course and year of study, you will likely be given a list as long as your arm with the recommended books for reading. But before you go breaking the bank, why not have a look online (e.g. Gumtree or EBay), or search the university notice boards for anyone who is selling second-hand books? Though they won’t be this year’s publication, most of the content from recent years won’t have changed – and the price will be much cheaper.

5. Shop at the end of the day
If you’re planning on taking a trip to the supermarket then you might want to hold off until the end of the day. Most supermarkets heavily discount food items which are due to go out of date just before they close. So get yourself a cheap dinner and fill up the freezer with food for the week!

6. Take advantage of happy hour
If you’re strapped for cash but still want to go out, then get down to the local pubs, bars and restaurants early. Many places run offers such as 2 for 1s, or 50% off drinks (and even food) on particular days of the week (Mon-Thurs) and before a certain time (9pm).

7. Cook at home
As tasty and convenient as they might be, the cost of takeaways and meals out can soon add up. So instead, why not bulk buy ingredients from the supermarket and cook at home? Ingredients for a spaghetti bolognaise will cost you less than a fiver and serve four – compared to costing £10 in a restaurant, for just one person.

Here at The Hub all of our rooms 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, please contact us today on 020 3770 9120 to arrange a viewing.