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Friday, 4 October 2013

Things to consider before choosing your student accommodation in London

When it comes to choosing student accommodation it’s important not to rush your choices, it’s not uncommon for some students to sign the first contract that they see, leaving them regretting their accommodation choices a bit later. Or, on the other hand not committing to any student digs and being left with the dregs. There are lots of aspects to consider before choosing the type of accommodation that will fulfil your student experience that you are looking for:

Do your research

There is plenty of student accommodation in London to choose from, so don’t settle for the first property
you view. Do your research and shop around before making the decision -after all it’s going to be your home for at least the next year, so it’s important to choose somewhere where you will feel at home.

If you are feeling lost with where to even begin finding the ideal accommodation for your student lifestyle, your university should have a student accommodation office which can offer you advice and have a list of trusted landlords and letting agents that you can get in touch with.

Alternatively, seek out various letting agents in London on your own. They will advertise student houses for the next academic year but the down side to using a letting agent, is that it is based on first come first serve, and therefore properties can get whipped up quick. What’s more, letting agents tend to charge an agency fee, so if it’s possible, it might be worth finding a private landlord as this is generally cheaper, however it is advised that you select a private landlord approved by your University for your own peace of mind.


The downside that comes with living on your own, is that you have to pay the bills. Therefore, before you choose your student accommodation, consider what you can actually afford with your student budget. As you look around different properties, it’s always worth asking the current residents roughly how much they spend on bills a month to get a better idea of what your outgoings will be like during your academic year.

In addition, remember to pay for your TV licence as it’s really not worth the risk of getting a big fine. It costs £145.50 for the year, but if you are staying in shared accommodation, you will only need one between you, meaning you can share the cost.


Although getting around London as a student is easy with the excellent transport system, it’s worth considering how far you will want to commute to get to university. If you’re not one for getting up early, then maybe a 1 hour commute to your university isn’t the best idea if you are planning on making your 9 o’clock lectures.

Also consider the costs of transportation. Although, students get discounted travel benefits in London, costs can mount up significantly. Therefore, the closer you are to everything in terms of both university and social aspects, the less money you are likely to spend of London transport. However, at the same time, generally the more central you are and closer you are for things to do, generally the higher accommodation costs will be. So, it’s really about weighing up the costs of each and working out which is best for you.

Another aspect to acknowledge when choosing your location, is to consider the amount of noise in the area. For example, if you’re beside a busy road, question whether it will annoy you or distract you from your studies in anyway.


The first question and sometimes only question that often crosses many students’ minds when looking for student accommodation is: is this accommodation going to be good for socialising and parties? While having a good time and socialising is a huge part of university, you need to be realistic and remember the real reason why you are actually at university! Consider whether the bedrooms have enough space for you to be able to study and complete your work in a comfortable environment. Look at the communal areas, and question for example, does the kitchen have enough space and all the facilities you require?

Double glazing

Unless, you want to be spending a fortune on heating, an essential aspect to look out for when viewing different accommodation is whether your accommodation has double glazing. This is something many students forget to do before signing the contract and find themselves wrapped up in 5 layers of clothing around the house, with their student budget restricting them from splashing out on heating costs.


Student houses can often be victims of break-ins and burglaries –they know they are almost guaranteed at least a couple of laptops. So make sure that you choose a secure property. What’s more the safer your student property is, the cheaper your contents insurance will be, so you can spend your student loan in better ways! Check with more than one insurance company to establish their minimum security requirements before you start the process of looking for accommodation.

The NHS Needs Nurses

"Call the Midwife" fans take note: the NHS needs nurses!

Students interested in the healthcare field, who have an interest in helping others, or who simply want a
steady job in a currently understaffed industry, should consider taking on nursing as a career choice. The 2012 UK nursing labour market review begins with two words: "Overstretched. Under-resourced." It goes on to indicate that the NHS is facing "increasing problems with the supply of nurses."

This news is not new, although recently-matriculated students may be unaware that this NHS nursing shortage has been predicted for some time. As early as 2001, the Royal College of Nursing was warning of nursing shortages, noting England's 20,000 nursing vacancies. That was over a decade ago, and the nursing shortage has not yet been solved.

What should students interested in the nursing field do to secure positions? To start, you need a nursing degree. Previously, you could simply get a nursing diploma, but as of September 2013, the nursing program has become graduate-entry only.

Students entering a nursing degree program from a secondary school need at least five GCSEs at or above Grade C, with at least two and often three A levels depending on the desired degree programme. If you currently have or are about to complete a non-nursing college degree, it is still possible to re-enter a university nursing program and complete a second degree. Many of your previously-earned university courses transfer, meaning you are able to focus your second degree solely on the courses required for nursing.

In addition to the general NHS nursing shortage that has lasted for over a decade, it is essential to train as many new nurses as possible to prepare for the upcoming population shift. As Britain's population ages, more and more people will need geriatric nursing services, and there are growing opportunities in every field from assisted living to nutrition to hospice care.

Countries across the globe are preparing for this upcoming shift. Many United States peers enter nursing programmes that offer online programs for RN degrees. You can get a list of these programs from The College Network and see the variety of nursing careers out there. Expect international cooperation as countries share innovations in cancer treatments, diabetes management, Alzheimer's research and other diseases that disproportionately affect older patients.

Britain's population is also scheduled to steadily increase over the next 15 years, and 56 per cent of that increase will come from new infants. If you are interested in midwifery, it is possible use your nursing degree to train as a midwife and welcome new babies into the world. You must first complete your nursing degree to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, but then you can follow in the footsteps of Jenny, Chummy, and the other "Call the Midwife" nurses.

In short: the NHS needs nurses, and today's students are just the people to fit the bill. Whether you are interested in helping people recover from injury, monitoring the results of new cancer treatments, or aiding a new baby's first breath, there is a nursing career for you. To learn more, visit the NHS careers website at

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Pot Noodle launches its first scholarship to create a university legend

The Pot Noodle Scholar to be rewarded with a prize worth over £20,000

Today Pot Noodle is launching a nationwide search to find its first university scholar – the one person who will have their tuition fees paid for the year, have a Pot Noodle-branded life, an epic party and the ultimate university experience.

The scholar will be the supreme brand ambassador; wearing and using nothing but Pot Noodle-branded merchandise, from t-shirts and trainers to bed sheets, bus pass holders and even condoms, all paid for by the brand, as well as leading various activities on campus throughout the year. In return, the chosen scholar will have their university debt cut by up to £9,000 with their 2013/2014 fees paid for them.  This is a sure-fire way to make them famous on campus and raise them to “legend” status amongst their peers.

The competition, run through Facebook, will also name nine runners up as members of the first Pot Noodle Fraternity, led by the scholar. These nine members will become official brand ambassadors and lead various Pot Noodle activities on their university campus. All ten fraternity members will  receive a cash reward for every campus challenge they complete. With the number of full-time higher education students with part-time jobs increasing - up 54% between 1996 and 2006 - this is an ideal opportunity for students looking for an easy solution to rising tuition fees.

Karl Roche, Pot Noodle brand manager, comments: “We know many Pot Noodle fans are students, and we’ve been helping them through uni for years. So, we decided to take it a step further and give students the chance to have the ultimate ‘Easy’ uni experience by sponsoring them for a year. But there can only be one overall winner and we’re looking forward to the search! After all, becoming the first “Pot Noodle Scholar” is definitely a unique claim to fame for the CV.”

Pot Noodle is calling students nationwide to take part in the scholarship challenge by submitting their entry via From a short-list of the 20 best entries, the public will be asked to vote for their favourite, whittling the number down to 10 – and confirming the Fraternity members. But the battle will still be on as they fight it out for legendary scholar-status. 

Visit for more information and to enter for your chance to be part of the unique scholarship programme. Follow the conversation on #PotNoodleScholar

Tips for gambling responsibly

Playing online at a casino can be incredibly fun and allow you to win money from the comfort of your own home. This is just one of the many reasons why millions of people every day, play at online casinos for their entertainment and relaxation time.

As so many different people play, you can be sure that those not playing responsibly end up feeling guilty about overspending and playing too much. However these are easy problems to solve with just a few simple steps.

Take for example the overspending aspects of gambling, this is incredibly easy to stop as in most gambling sites like you have to credit your account before playing and don’t just play off a card.

Because of this you can set a hard budget of how much you’re willing to spend each session so as to not overspend and feel guilty about it after. In many ways this might actually help your gaming as well because with less money available to you will be stricter on what you gamble on and so will make better decisions.

Also, if you want to be safer with your money many online casinos allow you to pay into your account through money services such as PayPal. These services keep your bank details secret from the casinos and so will not allow the casino access to your bank accounts. It also means that if you want to play multiple online casinos you can give them all your PayPal details and it is much simpler information to remember.

Worried about the online casino that you’re going to play? There are many different casino review sites which will tell you if they are trustworthy or not, with just a simple search.

Remember, gambling is not a substitute for getting a part-time job, and it’s probably not going to make you rich… If you can’t afford to lose, don’t gamble!