The life of student is hard. Long hours watching TV, partying… and on occasions, studying.
However, it’s not all fun and games, and sometimes you need a helping hand.
Moving out of home and into a new environment can be at times daunting but at the same time exciting. Organising yourself and adapting to your new surroundings can take time. Maybe you will have problems managing time, getting to know your city or designing your new room, as these are all new aspects of living in a new environment.
Whether it’s tips on how to get on with your roomies or how to live on a budget, we here at Live and Study can help with our living tips. In this section we want to give you inspiring, useful and informative tips for living in your new home and living your new life.
Live and Study is written for students, by students.
Living Tips - Some useful advice on how to live as a student
International incoming student tips - Practical information for students coming to the UK
Tips for decorating your student pad - Some cool ideas to brighten up your new room
Living alone in a new and unfamiliar environment requires good organisation. Perhaps you may have heard or been given suggestions from your family and friends, but below is a top 5 list of key living tips in regards to student life:
- Recipe Book – A recipe book is a great investment and can save you time and money. A well cooked meal is a must when going to university.
- Travel offers – Check out local offers with regards to travel. Nationwide offers such as the 16-25 Railcard (£28) and Young Person’s Coachcard (£10) offer around a third off fares
- Discounts – The NUS Extra card (£11) and the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) offer students great discounts at various high street retailers.
- Insurance – Make sure you organise and invest in an insurance policy. This could be worthwhile in case a burglary occurs.
- Allowance – Set yourself a strict allowance. This can be done in weekly or monthly terms. It will help you control you funds and not notice where the most of your money is going to.
For many international students, the daunting feeling of studying abroad can at times be overwhelming and difficult to overcome. To make the transition much smoother and easier, one should organize many things before arrival. Studying in a foreign country means new regulations, laws and requirements in all areas. We have therefore constructed a checklist of key items of importance when studying in the UK.
In terms of documents, passports and visas are the most important items when studying in the UK. University documents are also very important, especially when being identifying as an incoming student. Details of how to reach your university accommodation and important contact numbers in case of an emergency can also come in handy.
In terms of medical forms, it would be wise to bring your medication along with a relevant translation of your medical report so that British medical officials have a good idea about your medical history and any pre-existing conditions.
When it comes to money, you must declare any cash of over €10,000 or more when travelling to or from a country outside the EU, including the United Kingdom. Once you arrive in the UK it would be wise to open a bank account, especially if you are planning on studying for a longer period of time.
TIPS FOR DECORATING YOUR STUDENT PAD
You’ve made it into your new student place! It’s probably your first time away from home, and you want to create a room that shows off your personality to others. However, at the same time you don’t want it to cost the earth. You are living on a student budget after all… So, here we have complied a few suggestions for how to make your student room your own.
This might sound like an obvious suggestion, but they are a cheap and easy way to brighten up a room. Being away it’s nice to be reminded of your friends and family back home. If the idea of a simple frame bores you, there are many different types out there. If you buy a digital frame the pictures will change as often as you want them to in order to give you something new to look at each time.
Posters and more ways to decorate your walls
As a student, it is a necessity to have at least 1 poster in your room! Again, they are a cheap way to decorate a room and show off a bit of who you are. Stereotypically as a guy, you should get a poster featuring girls or a car (buying a poster with both on will kill two birds with one stone). Girls might be known for getting a nice landscape, like a beach view or the Eiffel Tower, or a cute animal.
To further decorate your wall comes another student classic: postcards. Postcards can be cheaper than posters or even free if you are luckily enough to come across free postcard stands in various bars.
If you feel like being a bit creative, you could make a collage from magazine and newspaper scraps. It’s guaranteed to be something individual that will be sure to impress others.
During exam time, get your geek on and put your study notes on the wall. It’s not the most fun decoration, but it’s really useful to see them there to remind you of what you should really be doing! Make sure to write the key points and write important things in bright colours or use highlighters.
Candles are a girly cliché but they can create a nice atmosphere, and come in handy in there is ever a power-cut. However, be aware of where your fire alarms are, because setting off a fire alarm in the halls of residence will not please your fellow students!
A boring tip, but nonetheless essential: buy a good lamp for those long and late study nights at your desk.
Flora and fauna
To literally bring some life into your room, why not buy a plant or some flowers? Bear in mind that most need to be watered and/or fed at regular intervals. If you are looking for something low maintenance, try bamboo- they require only a little sunlight and are easy to grow.
Keep in mind that many student halls of residences and student digs might be strict with what they let you do with the room. Blu-tack and tape might be ok on the walls, but generally nails are a no-go. Always make sure to ask your landlord or residential advisor.
Here are a few places where you can buy some bits and bobs for your student pad:
Primarily a stationary store that sells lots of little funky nick-knacks.
Addictive shopping at this ever expanding Danish chain with many cute finds.
High quality Japanese household goods.