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A guide to Kingston upon Thames

Kingston upon Thames is home to some of the best Universities in the UK. There is so much to see and do in Kingston and you can catch a train into Central London every 15 minutes!

Shop ‘til you drop

Kingston is one of the best places to shop! There is a huge range of high street and independent shops as well as The Bentall’s Department Store, full of designer and high street clothing brands, beauty products, homeware, book stores, stationers and more!

The centre also hosts regular events and pop ups – past events include a mini food and drinks market, gin sampling and an art pop up. I know some of our residents from Greencoat House, Kingston, enjoyed these earlier this year.

Just around the corner from Greencoat House is Old London Road, you’ll find a mixture of quirky vintage, antiques and charity shops, as well as an old record store. That Vintage Shop is super cute, inside and out, and the prices are very good compared with other vintage stores.

Don’t forget to take a snap at the Iconic fallen telephone boxes!

It’s also worth noting that the Jo Malone store, just off the main square, has to be one of the most Instagrammable ones I’ve ever seen!

The Rose Theatre

The Rose Theatre is also in the town centre. It’s a modern theatre that opened in 2008. The theatre is quite relaxed and tickets are reasonably priced – there’s even the option of bringing your own cushion and watching the shows from the floor at the front of the stage hoe cool is that! I have enjoyed every production I have seen there and always keep an eye on what is showing next!

Restaurants in Kingston

Kingston has all my go-to restaurants such as Busaba Eathai, GBK and Bill’s. But if you’re looking for something more unique, the riverside features some gorgeous pubs and restaurants – all with outdoor seating, perfect for a sunny day!

Don’t worry guys there is two McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express! 😉

Nightlife in Kingston

There are many Bars, Pub’s and Clubs in Kingston. My favourites are the ones on the river, just a short walk from both Greencoat House and Bright House. There is also the Rotunda which is opposite Greencoat House, here there is an Odeon Cinema, David Lloyd Gym, bowling and a few restaurant’s. The bowling is half price on a Tuesday!

Fun-filled walks

For those interested in discovering a little bit more about the history of Kingston, for a few pounds, there are guided walks every Sunday where you can learn all about Saxon Kings, local heroes and villains, and much more. The tours start from the doors to the Market House in the Ancient Market Place.

Richmond Park is also a 10-minute walk away:

Escape to the great outdoors in Richmond Park with its wide open spaces, grasslands and deer herds.

The park is a top UK site for ancient trees and supports a range of rare species including fungi, birds, beetles, bats, grasses and wildflowers.

Discover the Isabella Plantation woodland gardens, refuel at Pembroke Lodge tea rooms and enjoy distant views of St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry’s Mound.

Try your hand at power kiting, horse riding or golf, or hire a bike for some off-road cycling along the Tamsin Trail.

Richmond Park is a great space to clear your head of any of life’s stresses, take time for you and recharge.

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How to Take Care of Yourself During Exam Time 

It’s nearly that dreaded time in the semester once again: exams. Before the closing of the school year and the approaching holidays comes the added stress of preparing, studying and finally completing these last examinations. Although this period can be taxing on any university student, it doesn’t have to be. With a little care and extra attention, you too can beat exam stress. Here’s a few ways to get started.

Get Plenty of Rest
Rest is an essential part of our lives, and especially of importance during high-stress periods like exams. The British Sleep Council estimates that only 22% of the UK’s population gets the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep needed per night. Though it may seem impossible to get enough sleep when you’re prepping for that next high-stakes test, the reality is that lack of sleep may not only be detrimental to your exam grade, but also your overall health. So how can you get a better night’s sleep? The Sleep Council offers these strategies as possibilities:

  • Listen to music, which can calm you before and during sleep.
  • Try meditation, an ancient practice that leads to both less stress and better sleep.
  • Explore homeopathic essential oils like lavender, whose scent is used by some to relax and de-stress.

 

Make Studying a Social Event
In the midst of studying for an exam, it can be easy to neglect the nurturing of relationships with both friend and significant others. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many students find group study to be not only more enjoyable, but also beneficial to the amount of information they’re able to retain. Try making studying for your next exam a social event. Gather close friends — especially those taking the same course as you — for an evening of studying. Make it fun: order pizza, buy some drinks and celebrate the semester’s upcoming conclusion whilst making headway on studying.

Carve Out Some “Me” Time
The most important thing you can do to take care of yourself during exam time is to carve out some time meant just for yourself. Give yourself a break from studying. Participate for a few moments in doing something you enjoy. Play an hour of your favorite video game, treat yourself to some ice cream or just relax in a nice warm bath.

Though exam time can be quite stressful, you don’t have to allow the stress to consume you. With a little attention, you can make the best of exam time whilst taking care of yourself.

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How to Make Money at University?

The idea of the poor university student may seem cliche, but the simple reality is that it’s tough to have anything extra while you’re at uni. The frustrating bit? This is the one time in your life there’s always going to be something to spend that extra money on. From big ticket items like an upcoming trip during break to smaller things like a trip to the pub with friends, you’re going to need a few bob in your pocket now and then. Between classes and studying, though, where do you fit it in? These ideas might help.

 

  • Work on Campus: Many universities employ students for various positions around campus. From working with the catering service to simply placing books back on the shelves in the library, there are often small things you can do to add some cash to your pocket.

 

  • Tutor: If you’re fairly smart in a particular area, you may be able to tutor younger students in town. From helping students who are just learning a musical instrument to assisting with tough math classes, you could be using your brain to line your wallet.

 

  • Virtual Jobs: There are many jobs you can grab online these days. Often blogs need a bit of assistance filling their sites with good content. Sometimes graphic design studios need a part-time online hand to help deal with an overflow of work, too. You can even find jobs online for virtual assistants (think secretary online). Whatever you’re good at, there’s a good chance you can sell your services online, and you’ll never even have to get out of your pyjamas to do it.

 

  • Just Drive: Thanks to Uber and Lyft, you could be using your car to make a bit of extra cash. You can work around your uni schedule and make money only when you’re available. Take note, though. You do have to have a licence, and you will likely need to be over the age of 21, depending on the service you use.

 

With ideas like these, you don’t have to remain an impoverished student forever!

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Transitioning from Home to Student Life

Leaving your parents’ home can be almost as stressful as becoming a student at university. You’re likely walking away from the continual support of close friends and family. Suddenly, you’ll be on your own, forced to make new friends and adjust to a brand new lifestyle. How can you successfully navigate the shift and begin to love university life? These tips can help.

 

  • Get Out of Your Room! You’re not going to adjust if you stay in your room the entire first few weeks. There are plenty of clubs and societies you can join that will help get you out of your room and into uni life. Freshers week is often packed with events organised by your student union, so don’t hesitate to attend some of those. You’re only going to feel lonely if you stay in your hall waiting for things to happen to you.

 

  • Make New Friends: It may be easier to leave your hall if you start making a few new friends. These days, it’s easier than ever to wrap yourself in a blanket of your old social media friends, but resist the urge to do that. Instead, start making friends the moment you step on campus. Suggest a coffee or a trip to the pub together the moment you move into your hall. Those new friends will help you get through the days when you’re feeling just a bit homesick.

 

  • Manage Your Time Well: After freshers week, you’ll eventually have to go to class, and that’s when the real stress will begin. The single best thing you can do is come up with a schedule to help you manage every piece of your new life from hanging out with your new friends to tackling the reading, assignments, and test prep.

 

  • Eat Something Healthy: It’s easy to live on junk food once you move to uni, but it’s not going to do you any favours. Try to sneak in fruits and veg occasionally. Your body will thank you, and so will your mind.

 

  • Get Help: Not adjusting to uni life well? Be sure to get some help. There are plenty of staff on campus who are ready to help you deal with loneliness and depression, but the key is to ask for help when you need it most.

 

It can be tough to adjust to uni, but with a bit of extra work and a few new friends, you’ll begin to feel at home once again!

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Five Unexpected Things Students Learn at University

Students head for university for one reason – to get an education. Along the way, however, they actually pick up far more than a course of study that might guide them throughout their professional lives. Instead, they find a few unexpected skills that will be essential as they get older. Take a look at the top five.

1. Time Management: Few things are quite as important as time management when you’re a student. In many situations, you’ll not only be faced with multiple deadlines, but also the other typical pressures that come with university life. Good students, though, learn to manage both academic and personal time well to succeed on both fronts.

2. Financial Literacy: Student life is financially difficult, and the ability to pay the rent, eat, and buy other necessary items is a must. Money management can be a difficult skill to learn, especially if Mum and Dad aren’t close by for a quick cash infusion. Students typically learn the skills they’ll need in their early professional lives to make that pay packet last until the next one comes in.

3. Inner Strength: It’s hard to be a student, and often young adults must rely on themselves to make big life decisions. While students make many new friends at university, they typically also learn to rely on themselves and figure out that they’re a valuable part of society.

4. Relationship Navigation: Bad roommate? Terrible significant other? Frustrating tutor? It all happens in university, and understanding how to work with others is likely one of the most important skills students learn. Students become more resilient than ever, and they learn how to talk to others and express their feelings in a way they previously haven’t.

5. Minimalism: Student lives tend to be a creative place where you do quite a bit with very little. Whether it comes to DIY furniture or creating culinary gold out of beans and canned tomatoes, understanding how to do more with less is one skill set students may need forever.

Uni isn’t all about the books. Sometimes it’s about the little life lessons you learn while you’re there.

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How to save money on your weekly food shop

UK Students: How to save money on your weekly food shop

Did you know that the students currently studying in the UK are spending an average of £30 a week on their food alone! That doesn’t sound like a huge amount but if you can half that you could be saving yourself around £800 a year!

Below are some points that can influence your spending as well as hints and tips to save:

1. Shop later in the day

If you try and arrange one day a week to go and shop for food in one of the larger supermarkets after 7pm you will find a lot of reduced items. These items are being reduced because they go out of date the next day or the day after. You can purchase and freeze these items, make sure you defrost them on the morning you would like to use them and they will be just fine!

2. Plan your meals before you go

Make a list before you go, it will stop you from buying items that you don’t need! If you are shopping just for yourself then a 2 pack of chicken fillets could work for two of your dinners! Just buy some different vegetables to accompany it and you have two dinners there.

3. Buy own brand products

Don’t be afraid to use own brand products they are often just as good as the branded ones and are a fraction of the price. Try setting yourself a challenge for your next shop; buy only own branded items, see how it all tastes for that week!

4. Look out for online vouchers and deals

There are often deals to be had out there, keep an eye out in magazines and newspapers too.

5. Loyalty cards

We often ignore this offer because it is presented to us at the end of our food shop and we just want to get home at that point. Next time take a leaflet, you can usually fill out an application form online to be sent a loyalty card. You should then keep the card on you for each shop and ensure your points are added each time you shop. This will earn your money off your shopping bill and or other benefits, all at no extra cost!

6. Be vigilant of the ‘deals’

Try not to be drawn to apparent deals, if you look closely at some of them they aren’t really deals at all. Keep an eye out for this, if you stick to your list you may not be looking anyway!

7. Don’t let your food go to waste!

If you cook up a lovely batch but there is just too much for you to be able to finish it all; have an air tight storage pot to use for storing it. You can usually leave this in the fridge for a day or two depending on what it is, alternatively freeze it and have it again the following week.

8. Don’t shop on an empty stomach

If you haven’t eaten all day and you go into a supermarket you are much more likely to rush and panic buy. This is when you will end up buying the expensive unnecessary items.

9. Price Match!

Take advantage of the supermarket wars here in the UK. The major brands all want the best price label so fight hard against their competitors to prove to us that they are the best value for money. They offer money back if their competitors sell some items for a smaller amount, ask your local supermarket what their price guarantee is and make sure you pull them up on it when you catch them out!

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Eating Healthy on a Student Budget

Your years at university are among the best of your life. The friends. The parties. The classes? Well, the friends and parties anyway. But for many of us, they are also quite lean years. Money is tight, and any step you can take to stretch your budget is well worth it. So does that mean you’re left with a steady diet of Super Noodles and vending machine crisps? Fortunately no! Try these tips for eating healthy with limited funds.

 

  • Eat those legumes! All right, it’s not pizza. But a good stew, chili or rice dish made with whole beans is cheap, filling — and delicious, if you do it right. The key? Soak the beans overnight, and add your favourite seasonings. Powdered garlic, cayenne, chili and red peppers are inexpensive, but they can pack a punch. If you’ve got room in your budget, add a bit of meat for extra flavour.

 

  • Buy frozen. Foods like vegetables and fish are flash frozen at the peak of freshness. They’re also relatively inexpensive. Buy a few packages as you can, store them and dream up some feasts. Spinach and a pan-fried filet (with those powdered seasonings), for example, is ultra-healthy and filling.

 

  • Stock your staples. It’s tempting to just go out or order a take-away when you’re tired and stressed. If you’ve got some basics in your cupboards, though, you can resist! Beans, rice, tinned meats and peas and other essentials are great for a dinner. For that quick hunger fix: keep instant snacks and meals on hand, like nuts, in-season fruits and cheese slices.

 

Better yet, when you cook a meal, make enough for leftovers that’ll feed you for a few days. You can spice things up with…spices to change the flavours up.

 

  • Count on your friends. Instead of going to a restaurant for a pricey dinner, have your mates over for a potluck. Have them bring a dish they love to make, make one of your own and supply some plates and silverware. Pop in a movie, and you’re the hero that saved everyone tons on a night out.

 

Eating healthy on a budget is not difficult if you have some ingenuity, imagination  — and a whole lot of powdered herbs and spices!

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How students can help reduce the carbon footprint

How students can help reduce the carbon footprint

Carbon Dioxide is on a high agenda for politicians and the population because of the impact it is having on Climate Change. Some of the effects of climate change we have seen are increased extreme weather conditions and holes in the ozone layer which in return exposes everyone to dangerous UV sunrays.

Although greenhouse gases do occur naturally, human activity contributes a great deal to greenhouse gas emissions. Your carbon footprint or your impact on the environment measures the greenhouse gases that you are responsible for creating.

Recycling and reducing waste plays an important role in climate protection by keeping rubbish out of incinerators and landfills, where it can produce powerful greenhouse gases.

Here at Amro Vantage student accommodation, we want to make a change and we have come up with some helpful tips on how you can reduce your Carbon Footprint and make a difference to the world in which we live in to help preserve it for future generations.

Top 10 Tips:

  1. Walk or cycle to University
  2. Choose a laptop over a desktop
  3. Buy coffee from a recycled cup not a plastic cup
  4. Reduce the amount of food you throw away- Freezing food can help preserve it longer
  5. Filter your own water
  6. Turn the lights off when not in use
  7. Unplug your gadgets when not in use
  8. Buy local organic foods
  9. Let cooking oil cool down and throw in the dustbin rather than down the drain
  10. Switch off your heating when not in use
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Remembrance Day 11th November 2017

Remembrance Day 11th November 2017

Remembrance Day is a day when we remember the end of the First World War, it is a day to remind ourselves of the members of the armed forces who died in their line of duty. This day of remembrance is also marked in many other countries to recall the end of the hostilities caused by World War I in 1918.

In the United Kingdom, the main observance is on the Sunday nearest to 11th November, this year that will be Sunday 12th November, a two-minute silence is held at 11am to remember our armed forces and the effects of World War I.

Ceremonies are held at local war memorials, these are usually arranged ex-service men, this day is naturally very close to their hearts. In this ceremony poppy wreaths are laid by representatives of the Crown, the armed forces, ex-service men, and local civic leaders. They are also usually children that are a part of cadet forces, the Scouts, Guide’s and representatives from St John’s Ambulance and the Salvation Army.

Remembrance Day in Kingston

The service and wreath laying will take place at the War Memorial. The Remembrance Day commemorations include a March Past, from the Ancient Market Place to the Guildhall at approximately 12 noon.

Remembrance SundayResidents can help show the nation that Kingston remembers by posting photos from the borough’s remembrance events, formal or informal, on social media using the hashtag #KingstonRemembers.

We will be encouraging our students to get involved on Sunday and visit Kingston to watch the service, the service is well organised and one that will stay with them. Taking part in the two-minute silence will help show a mark of respect if they cannot make a service. I will be suggesting my students put an alarm on their phone to remember this time on Sunday.

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How to De-Stress During Exam Time

How to De-Stress During Exam Time

Exam season is coming, and it’s easily the most stressful part of university. In fact, it’s likely to be the one time you don’t miss after you graduate and move forward. At the moment, though, it’s something you still have to face, and keeping your cool throughout exam time is an absolute must.

These tips can help.

  • It All Starts with Time Management: You know exams are coming. One of the best things you can do is prepare early. Create a revision timetable to help you stay organised throughout your course and during exam time. Whether you use an app for your phone or a more traditional diary, looking closely at the time you have available is a must to help you stay on track. One study found those who had cluttered schedules (and study spaces) had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Wondering why? Too much on your mind works like clutter. It’s distracting, and that can interfere with your brain’s ability to process information. Carefully scheduling the entire study process, though, means finishing in a reasonable time and leaving your brain a bit freer to focus on what you really love.

 

  • Take a Break: Be sure to take regular breaks during your study sessions. Generally, you should study for about 45 minutes, then take a fifteen-minute break. During that break, go for a brisk walk, meditate, or cook a healthy snack. After your time is up, though, make certain you get back to your schedule.

 

  • Sleep: Students don’t always sleep as much as they should, particularly during exam time, but sleep is absolutely essential. When you sleep well, your brain moves the knowledge you’ve gained from short term memory to long term memory, and that can actually help you perform well on your exams. It can’t happen, though, without six to eight hours of sleep each night.

 

  • Make a Date: While you certainly need to schedule time to study, you should also make a date with friends to take your mind off those tough concepts for a while. Leave your flat or your corner of the library, and meet some friends for a coffee. Go out for the evening and hit a club. Just don’t stay out too late!

Exam time doesn’t get any easier as you work your way through university, but a little stress relief can make things a lot easier!

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