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Preparing for Student Living (our 6 TOP tips!)

It’s never too early to start thinking about who you’re going to live with and where you will live, in the next academic year. We recommend that if you’re applying to live in one of our properties get them in ASAP to make sure you’ve got your first choice. Now is the time to start thinking about who you want to share that new beginning with.

Choosing flatmates should take some level of consideration. After all, you’re going to be literally living with these people for a year or more so it’s extremely important you make the right choice. You don’t want to be tip toeing out into the communal kitchen, hoping you’re alone or being stuck with other people’s dirty dishes to wash because the kitchen is that dirty and no one is pulling their weight.

Making sure you’re picked the right people to live with can be daunting and making the right choice of student hall, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few things to keep in mind when looking at this. Amro Vantage share 6 top tips;


When we say know them, we mean really know them. They can be close relatives or good friends. Things to consider are; Do they leave their washing in the communal washing machine after it has finished its cycle or clothes in the tumble dryer? Do they live by night and only come out after sunset when you prefer to live by day? Do they love having people over and you’re more of a “my own space” type person. Make sure you know the person you’re going to live with. You don’t want to fall out in the first semester because of the way you all live. Whether they’re super on it with cleaning, messy, out all night, studious, sociable etc, it needs to work with the way you lead your life.


(photo taken at Bright House showing a typical Friday kitchen hangout!)

The easy option is to ask your current flat mates or on your course but your current flat mates isn’t always the best option. Spending too much time with people, regardless of how much you get on, isn’t always a great thing. Too much of anything is not good for you. If you go to tutorials, lectures and live together, it might be too intense to handle. If you fancy someone, don’t live with them. Chances are it’s only going to end up super awkward, frustrations and disagreements can occur. You stand more chance to get together if you are not living in the same flat.

It might be a good idea to consider asking people from other parts of your university life, for example friends you’ve met through clubs and societies. Having a variety of people in your flat is also a good idea. Your bestie might be your course mate so asking someone else from another social circle helps balance out the work/play aspects of your life.

Flat shares aren’t for everyone. That’s totally fine. Don’t feel any pressure to move in with people or a person if you don’t want to. Living alone is perfect for people who want their own space, prefer their own company or just want to have a quiet sanctuary. There are loads of studios available that can let you have all the privacy you need.


It’s not a marriage or a mortgage so don’t make it a big deal. Ask how you’d ask someone out for a night out. Casual, over text or while you’re out walking to lectures are great ways of taking the pressure off. The worst that someone is going to say is that they’ve already found somewhere to live with another group. No one will ever say “No, I don’t want to live with you.” We’re all adults, it never happens!

Creating a circle of people who are focused on their studies, organisation, getting up early could be great if you need some motivation to make better choices, the perfect accompaniment to your existing priorities.

On the flip side, that sounds hellish if you’re the one who’s known for being big on parties all the time. It’s not just you either. Think about the impact you could have on the other person. Ensuring your priorities and university goals correlate is essential for a healthy living situation.


Moving to the right student halls can make all the difference, it can make or break your university experience. Let’s not kid ourselves moving into halls which is not right for you can make university life nightmarish, meaning you miss out on enjoying it to the max. Are you interested in sharing a kitchen which is great for meeting new people and socialising over lunch or the opposite whereby you’d prefer to go alone and choose to have people around when you choose to.

You may wish to have a communal room where you can relax away from your room and watch TV or watch a movie. Do you prefer large spaces? You may wish to live as close as possible to your place of study so after that great night out, getting to Uni will not be such a challenge when the alarm rings 2 hours later. Having lots of light might be your thing or not. Choosing the room in the right location of the building should also be considered. If you are a night owl you’d prefer a west facing window for example. Does the student hall carry out regular events? It is also important to arrange a viewing prior to booking or arranging a virtual tour to get an idea if it is a place you are going to love or loth.


student rules

Set flat rules from the get-go – and we mean now, before you even have a place confirmed. Establishing rules and expectations around housework, having people over, bills, food, work schedules etc. needs to be done before you move in so you’re all on the same page.

Some of your friends might have a job, different lecture timetable, large groups of friends, hate/love cleaning – sharing and creating a framework of how you’re going to manage the flat makes life easier in the long run. Trust us when we say, it never sorts itself out.


It’s no joke when we say the best places get booked up fast. After you nail who you’re going to live with, make sure you find a place ASAP.

Check distances to university, amenities, flat size etc. and anything else that’s important to you. Chances are, you won’t be the first person to want it all so get cracking. More often than not there are more students than bed spaces in the closest proximity. Making sure that you have finances to cover the costs of your student life prior to booking is also essential.

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It’s time to Recharge! 

It is important to have some time to yourself, just to relax before another busy week ahead. When you are in a good mood and full of energy, you will be able to concentrate more on uni exams, perform well at work and just be a better company to your family and friends. Here are 3 tips on how you can quickly recharge when you need it most.

Tip 1. Disconnect

Can you (honestly) answer few questions for yourself: ‘Do you use your phone during the meal time? Or maybe you being on your phone whilst watching Netflixor that new vlog on YouTube?’ Well, studies have shown that majority of young people feel lost and bored if they are not on their devices and not connected to the Online World.

Around a third of people say they feel either cut off (34%) or lost (29%) without the internet, if they can’t get online, and 17% say they find it stressful. Half of all UK adults (50%) say their life would be boring if they could not access the internet. 

But we all need to have a break! Social media has an influence on our mental health, where is phones and laptops on physical. People who spend a lot of time on their devises often experience headaches and eye discomfort from constantly watching the screen. This does not help when you are trying to relax. We all need sometimes to switch off and get a fresh air. Disconnecting for a day does not mean ignoring the world around you, it means enjoying a day without any distractions.  

Tip 2. Have a Fresh Air

Speaking of fresh air, if you are based in Winchester Student Accommodation – consider yourself lucky. Within the city center there are green parks to have a walk in the evening or enjoy a morning run, the great example would be North Walls Recreation Ground. Being outdoors makes such a huge difference to your health and mind. Even better if you can exercise, for example every Saturday at 9 a.m. there is 5k run which is open for public. This way you will boost hormone serotonin which impacts the whole body, lifts our mood, improves sleep and energy level.

Tip 3. Be present

When you finally decide to give yourself a break from studies, take it slow. Literally, start your day with no hurry. There are plenty of ways to enjoy present moment, for instance cook a healthy breakfast or go to the cafe that you always wanted to go, but never had a time before; Josie’s on 28 Jewry St, Winchester is definitely a good option. Also, don’t forget your good old-fashioned book to read, pick one that would make you feel positive or listen to it, Audible has a great selection.

Another, way to be present is meditation. It has been proven that meditation helps with our health; it regulates the anxiety, helps to increase length of attention and improves sleep. Good start for a beginner would be guided meditation, which helps to understand how it all works. You might heard about Headspace, Breathe or Calmapps before,if you have not, why not give it a go? We all need to be more present and mindful to ourselves these days.

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Making your Student Room feel like a home!

We’ve all looked at student accommodation and wondered how we can turn a house into a home. Make your room Instagram-able with these handy tips!

1. Home Comforts
Everyone has one item that they can’t live without. Be it a dressing gown, a cushion or a teddy (yes even adults have these), bring these to your halls with you for a piece of familiarity.
Home décor to liven up your room will always help so think clever and purchase storage boxes with an arty pattern or reed diffuser to make the space truly yours.

TIP: Look at our Instagram for inspiration of a decorated room!

2. Photos!
Surround yourselves with photographs of your family and friends. This will be comforting when you are feeling a little home sick; especially in the first few weeks!
Add to these throughout the year with your new friends and memories made whilst staying in Winchester Student Accommodation.

TIP: Try using a piece of string or ribbon and print off polaroid to make it more creative.

3. Bring the Outdoors In
Believe it or not there will periods of time where you will be studying in your room; so bringing the outdoors in will allow you the best of both worlds.
Here in Winchester we are lucky enough to have vast amounts of greenery so bring a taste of this into your room; plans are said to have a calming effect and will also boost your oxygen levels so win win whilst studying.

TIP: Something easy to look after is key – go for a cactus.

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Saving Young Drivers Money

Sainsbury’s How To Get Cheaper Car Insurance

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The Amazing Opportunities Available At Kingston University

The Fantastic Clubs and Societies 

The first thing you will want to do once you have settled into your accommodation at Kingston University is to start exploring everything the campus has to offer. You can start by looking into all the different clubs. You will find over ninety societies and clubs available at Kingston University. You can make a connection with your community, political group, faith or country. You can join other people interested in your subject for entertaining and educational events. You can make new friends, enjoy a wide selection of films, fun games, great music and delicious food. You can join forces to promote numerous worthy causes. You can even begin your own society to share new ideas and concepts with the other students.

The Sensational Campus Events 

One of the best things about having an accommodation in Kingston University is attending the wide variety of events on campus. The college frequently hosts events on campus such as theater performances, lectures, dances, movie screenings and so much more. These events are usually free for the students, provide the opportunity to meet new people and are much safer and more satisfying than attending a wild Uni party.

The Variety of Jobs on Campus 

The various Kingston University campuses offer a wide selection of available jobs. You can choose to be a part of the bat staff, help out in the library, organise different events, etc. There are a lot of worthwhile opportunities.

Student Government Participation 

You can be a part of the student government. You can even do a lot more than just join. You have the opportunity to become involved with the important matters happening on the campus and improve your resume at the same time. You will improve your leadership skills, be able to show you have been a participant in an activity for making central decisions and connect with a diverse and wide body of students. One of the best parts is you are going to hear about all the upcoming events at all of the Kingston University campuses. You will enjoy just getting out and attending these events.


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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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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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Halloween ideas for Uni Students 2017

Halloween ideas for Uni Students 2017

Fun facts about Halloween:

  • Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green!
  • The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
  • Black cats were once believed to be witch’s familiars who protected their powers.
  • Originally you had to dance for your ‘treat’.
  • Jack-o-lanterns were once made out of turnips, beets and potatoes – not pumpkins.
  • Halloween used to be a great day to meet your soulmate – this doesn’t have to be past tense!
  • Ireland is typically believed to be the birthplace of Halloween!

Places to celebrate Halloween in and around Kingston:

The Viper Rooms are holding a Nightmare on Thames Street night!
Full club décor and live actors on the night!
Entry from 10pm Fancy dress welcome!

Thorpe Park Fright Night every night from now until October 31st!
All of Thorpe Parks thrilling rides in the dark! Including new hair-raising events and live actors on site throughout the night!

Tulley’s Farm is in Crawley, West Sussex
Shocktober Fest scream park is back and scarier than ever with 8 haunted attractions, live music and great food.

Or if you are on a budget, why not have a party in your accommodation! Planning a DIY party like this can be as much fun planning as it is to attend! Get together with some others in your building and have a spooky get together! All prepare one dish and bring a bottle!

Here are examples of some quick and easy Halloween party food recipes:

Stuffed jack-o-lanterns: Cut the top from any colour pepper, carve in some spooky eyes nose and mouth and add cooked long spaghetti – pull the spaghetti through the holes!

Ghost Kobabs: Skewer some fruit and mix with marshmallows, draw a face on the marshmallow with edible pen!

Rice Krispy Brains: Mix Rice Krispies with Golden syrup, butter and sugar. Shape them into brains … leave to cool and set in that shape then decorate with red icing pen!

Spider Jelly: Simply make and set any colour jelly. Once set mix it all up and add some jelly worms! Or plastic spiders look most effective!

Once you are all together with your drinks and spooky treats you should play some spooky Halloween games:

Apple Bobbing: A classic … fill a big bowl or bucket with cold water throw in a load of apples and the game is ready! Each player has to have their hands tied behind their backs and drop to their knees! You can make it more interesting by putting a time limit on them and if they have not caught an apple using their mouths only within 1 minute they should get a forfeit!

Pass the Mini pumpkin: All stand in a line, the first player places the mini pumpkin under his or her chin and passes it to the next player in any which way …. Without using hands!!

Guess the Villain: When your guests arrive at the party, attach the name of a movie villain onto their backs so they can’t see it. They can then ask other guests yes/no questions to try to guess which villain they are, and they can have conversations with other guests to help them figure out theirs.

Photo Booth: Set up a corner in the room with scary props including a large frame made from cardboard … use your party name and where you party is … set up a hashtag and ask everyone to use it when they post their pics!

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