International students: travelling in the UK

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Although travelling in a completely new country can seem scary, the UK is very well connected and offers various forms of transport, which makes getting about quick and easy. Below are just some of the ways that you can travel in and around London…

Taxi
For shorter journeys, you can travel by road in a taxi. Taxis are a convenient way to get from A to B, such as from a station to The Hive or back to The Hive after a night out. In London, you’ll see a lot of the iconic black cabs. These can be hailed in the street. If the yellow TAXI sign is illuminated, it means the cab is available for hire.

Bicycle
To get around the city and local area, you can travel by bike. Haven’t got a bike? Don’t worry. You can hire bikes in London with Santander Cycles from as little as £2. A lot of roads in the city have dedicated cycle lanes or special cycle routes so you can ride your bike safely.

Bus
Travelling by bus is often one of the cheapest ways to travel around the local area. You will find bus stops located in various places around the city centre, with many universities having dedicated bus stops and bus services running to the university campuses.

The Underground
Living and studying in London, you’ll more than likely use the London Underground rail network (or The Tube as it is also known). The tube is a quick and easy way to travel in and around London. You can pay to travel on the tube by buying a ticket or buying an Oyster card which you top up with money. Plus, as a student studying in London, you can apply for an 18+ student Oyster card which gives you 30% discount.

Train
When travelling out of the local area and on longer journeys across the UK, you can travel via train. The UK rail network is very well connected and most towns in the UK have a train station, and popular tourist attractions are usually located within easy access of a train station. Travelling by train is a quick and convenient way of getting around the UK, and it can be a great way to see and experience some of the beautiful sites and scenery of the country.

Coach
Even though it can take longer, coaches can be a much cheaper alternative to travelling by train. Megabus and National Express offer coach services with many arrival and departure points from London and all around the UK.

So, whether it’s to university, to visit friends or simply visit places you’ve never been before, there are lots of options for you to travel to your destinations and explore the country.

The Hive student accommodation London is ideally located close to Bethnal Green underground with surrounding districts of Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Whitechapel and Aldgate only a few stops away.  If you would like to find out more about living with us here at The Hive, please contact us today on 020 3551 2550.

Make your move-in hassle-free

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Whether you’re catching a plane and travelling from abroad, or jumping in the car and driving down the motorway from within the UK, there’s a lot to remember when leaving home and starting university. On top of that, your emotions will be all over the place – excited, nervous, and everything in between, and the last thing you’ll want to do is forget something!

So, to make your move-in easier, we’ve teamed up with UniKitOut where you can pre-order your student essentials before you move-in. And what’s more, your items will be delivered to our door and waiting for you upon arrival to our accommodation.

They’ll be no mad panics to scour the shops for forgotten bed sheets and duvets or saucepans and bottle openers – you can purchase it all beforehand, without any hassle. Meaning when the day comes to move in, you’ll have more time to settle in and make yourself at home.

Once you’ve filled your basket and are happy you’ve got everything you need ready for your new adventure, enter the code HOST17 at the checkout, and you’ll receive an extra 10% off your order!

To order your student essentials at a click of a button, visit UniKitOut today. For more information about our student accommodation in London and living with us here at The Hive, please contact us on +44(0)20 3551 2550 or at thehive@host-students.com.

Making friends in London

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Guest Blog

I am originally from Mexico City and moved to London last year. Moving to a different country isn’t easy, in fact I can tell you that it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I found myself in a city that was different to my own in every single sense; different language, different food, different transport system and completely different people.

After a short while of being in London, I started to miss absolutely everything from back home. It was cold and the sun was setting at 3:30pm – this was the British winter! My brain kept telling my body to put on my pyjamas and hibernate. I really needed to go out and meet new people, but I had never been faced with having to make new friends. I had always had the friends that I grew up with and now I was all alone in a new country without my friends.

One day I decided that enough was enough! That day I would go out and I would make a new friend. I headed to my local pub and started talking with a woman that was my mom’s age. She didn’t become my first friend, but talking to her was the stepping stone that encouraged me to always try to make a new friend and after that it just got easier.

Hectic class schedules, gym sessions, and just getting from one place to another can make meeting new friends in London one of the most challenging tasks during your stay in the city. We can blame it on technology, the millennials or even the weather, but it’s a miracle we get any time to meet people in London and make friends who actually do and like the things we actually like. So, if like me you find yourself wanting to meet new people, here are some things you can do that might help.

Talk to everybody
I know that this is probably something that your mom or your aunts do, but why not try having a conversation with someone that looks interesting? You never know where your future best friend is going to come from. Wherever you happen to be – queuing at the coffee shop, browsing the grocery store, waiting for an available washing machine, or dancing at a concert, start a conversation with someone around you. Trust your instincts on who to talk to and pick the right moment so that it doesn’t get creepy. It might be hard at the beginning, especially if you’re shy or not used to putting yourself out there, but like everything else in life, it gets easier with practice.

Don’t get discouraged if the other person is unresponsive or as cold as a penguin. After all, this is London and people here are used to keeping themselves to themselves. Here are a few conversation starters that could come in handy so you always have something to say to kick off a conversation:

The weather (yes, the British love to talk about the weather), complementing an item of someone’s clothing, recommending something relevant to the place where you are, randomly asking “where are you from?” (and asking follow up questions) and if you are very brave just go up to someone and say “You look like a very interesting and relatable person, I am new to this city and I was just wondering if you’d like to be friends.” Seriously, it’s just how kids do it!

Take a London tour
Get to know this city and find out everything it has to offer. Walking is the best way to truly get a sense of your new home and fall in love with it. There are free walking tours all over London, where groups of people are guided around the city. The people that you might meet here may be tourists, but it will give you the opportunity to practice and boost your confidence when talking to strangers.

Take a new class
One of the most amazing things about living in a huge and multicultural city is that classes for almost everything are available. Some of them are even free! You just need to go online and book. From pottery and cooking classes, to first aid and hair colouring, whatever you’re willing to learn, London is willing to teach and I can guarantee you’ll meet some of the most interesting and memorable people.

Join a sports club
Find a group or club who shares a physical activity you enjoy and become a regular member. Strike up conversations with other members and suggest meeting for coffee, wine, or beer after an event or meeting. For runners, for example, they have races that end up in social events like The Colour Run.

Volunteer
Why not make great friends and save the world at the same time? From dogs, kids, grannies or the homeless, there will always be a place in London that needs a helping hand. The hours can adjust to fit around your study commitments and whatever time you are willing to provide.

Talk to your neighbours
Have you introduced yourself to the people around you when you moved in? Sometimes the people we’re looking for are just next door. Have you reached out to your neighbours lately? If you see your neighbour walking in the corridor or courtyard, walk over and start a conversation. It’s always nice to know that there’s someone just around the corner that knows how you are. Why not make a little extra soup or an extra dozen cookies and walk them to the flat next door? The odds are that person is in the same situation that you.

Reach out on Facebook or other social media
When I first moved to London, I looked on Facebook for other people from Mexico. I remember I posted something about missing the tacos and missing my family. People reached out to me and gave me advice, restaurant recommendations and basically let me know that there is a whole community of people that look out for and understand each other. Through Facebook, you may discover some old friends or acquaintances that you didn’t know live nearby.

Eat dinner at the bar of your favourite restaurant
It can be intimidating to go to a restaurant by yourself, but try dining out and sitting at the bar instead. Chat to the bartender (if he/she isn’t too busy) and make conversation with the people around you. Whatever you do, don’t put your head in a book or your iPhone. Try to appear approachable and friendly.

Attend social events at The Hive
Throughout the year, there are a number of social events organised at The Hive, so that everybody can get to know each other. There will be reminders in the common areas so just pop by and start making new friends.

By extending yourself just a little, you might meet some wonderful new friends within a short walk of your home. Having fun with strangers can be a totally normal and fantastically pleasurable experience. Life is all about who you share your journey with. The memories and friends you make today will truly be a treasure when you’re older.

If you’d like to find out more about our student accommodation at The Hive for academic year 2017/18, please contact the onsite management team who will be happy to help.

Short term student accommodation in London

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At The Hive, most of our students join us in September and stay for the entire academic year – some even stay with us through the summer holidays. But we understand that these contract lengths aren’t for everyone. That’s why, we offer short-term contracts to coincide with your semesters – giving you student accommodation with greater flexibility.

And with the end of 2016 drawing even closer, you may be starting to think about where you’re going to live for the upcoming semester. If so, look no further.

At The Hive we have a limited number of Studios available on a 25 week contract – perfect for your second semester. Move into The Hive on 7th January 2017, and enjoy luxurious en-suite studio accommodation with a fully fitted kitchen and private study space until 1st July 2017. And to make living with us even more hassle-free, our student accommodation is all-inclusive which means you don’t need to worry about bills. We even provide free Wi-Fi so you can stay connected with family and friends, and browse the web until your heart’s content.

Now you know about the accommodation, what about the location? The Hive is situated in the increasingly popular area of Bethnal Green. A desirable location for students because of its excellent transport links and bustling local community. Right on the doorstep of Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Whitechapel and Aldgate, and only 5 stops on the Underground’s Central Line to Central London – you’ll never be short of things to do and places to visit.

If you would like to find out more about our semester bookings and living with us here at The Hive, please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550.

Student travel in and around London

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As you settle into your new home at The Hive, you’ll probably want to get out and explore the city. Whether it’s a shopping trip, a catch up with friends or a spot of city sightseeing, jump on the London Underground and reach your destination.

But before you do, you might want to think about investing in an Oyster card. The Oyster card is a plastic, reusable pay as you go card which you can add credit to so you can easily hop on and off the tube without the need for cash and tickets every time you need to get around the city.

Plus, as a student, you can apply for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard and get 30% off the price of an adult fare. Visit the Transport for London website to find out more and to make a saving.

The Hive student accommodation London is ideally located close to Bethnal Green underground with surrounding districts of Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Whitechapel and Aldgate only a few stops away.  If you would like to find out more about living with us here at The Hive, please contact us today on 020 3551 2550.

A student’s guide to fresher’s week

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For many new students, fresher’s week is one of the most anticipated dates in the calendar when starting university. But before you head on down to the students unions, fresher’s fairs and local student events, here are a few things to consider:

Do the paperwork first
OK, so it’s not much fun standing in a queue waiting to register and have your photo taken, but it’s got to be done. We suggest getting all of the boring, admin stuff completed first so that it’s all done and dusted, and you can enjoy the rest of fresher’s week without worrying!

Purchase in advance
There will be lots of social events scheduled for fresher’s week – from foam parties to the fresher’s ball. But if you wish to make the guest list, purchase your tickets early or you could end up being turned away on the night if it’s a sell-out. You might even save yourself a few pounds when purchasing in advance!

Know your limits
With lots of new faces, you might want to make a good impression in front of peers, but don’t feel pressured into drinking if you don’t want to; you can say no. After all, the last thing you want is to be ringing for a taxi before the nights up, while everyone else stays and enjoys themselves.

Grab a bargain
During fresher’s fortnight, local retailers, fast food outlets, restaurants, bars and clubs – plus many more, will be out in force making sure you know that they’re there for you to visit and use. Whether it’s at the fresher fair, outside the students’ union or on the high street, many will be handing out coupons, discount cards, merchandise and even free samples – so make sure you get yours!

Have some fun
One of the most important things to remember when starting university is to make sure you have some fun! Fresher’s week is all about meeting new people, joining new societies and embracing the student lifestyle – so don’t forget your fancy dress outfit!

Want to try a new hair-raising experience in London?

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With the 2016 summer Olympics about to kick off in Rio, it got us thinking about when the Olympics were held here in London, 4 years ago back in 2012. Along with the thousands of athletes that took part, supporters that visited and medals that were won, you might also remember a very striking and visual landmark that was developed to commemorate the occasion; the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

olympic-Built from 60% recycled steel and 114m in height, the ArcelorMittal Orbit stands as the UK’s tallest sculpture and offers stunning panoramic views right across London. From parks and waterways, to Big Ben and Wembley stadium, see it all and take in some of London’s most icon sites with a 360-degree view of the city.

But that’s not all, NEW for 2016, you can now experience the ArcelorMittal Orbit – and London’s skyline, like never before, by speeding straight down a super tunnel slide! The Slide is one of London’s hottest new attractions and in just 40 seconds, you can go from top to bottom of the world’s tallest – and longest (178m) tunnel slide. Why take the stairs eh?

What’s more, as a student you can get a reduced price ticket at a cost of just £12, which will give you general entry to the ArcelorMittal Orbit as well as your pass for the ride on The Slide. So, what are you waiting for? Find out more and book your tickets here.

Located less than 3 miles away from the ArcelorMittal Orbit, our London student accommodation at The Hive is comfortable, stylish and affordable, and provides an ideal location to carry out your studies whilst in London. To find out how you can join our thriving student community at The Hive please contact us today on 020 3551 2550 to arrange a viewing.

Why choose The Hive?

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When you’re searching for a holiday, you probably have an idea of the type of hotel you are looking for and a list of criteria that you want the destination to meet; is it close to the beach? Is there a swimming pool onsite? What’s the nightlife like? Well, the same goes for student accommodation. A big part of coming to university is about where you will be living. You will probably be looking for a comfortable and safe place to live, situated in a central location, close to university, transport links and nightlife. If that’s the case, then look no further!

Our student accommodation at The Hive is comfortable, stylish and affordable, and provides a home away from home for both international and UK students who are looking for a safe, friendly and secure community to base their London student experience. Let’s take a closer look…

Location
Bethnal-Green-UndergroundSituated just 2 minutes’ walk away from Bethnal Green’s Overground and Underground tube stations, and right on the doorstep of Shoreditch and the surrounding districts of Brick Lane, Whitechapel and Aldgate, The Hive is a much desired location for student’s studying in London. Queen Mary University of London is just 15 minutes away on foot, and others including City University, London School of Economics and University of the Arts London are only a short car or tube journey away.


the-hive-studioA space of your own
At The Hive, all of our rooms are en-suite studios; which means you’ll have your own private space to study, sleep, shower and cook. There’s plenty of storage and shelf space for your belongings, a large desk for you to knuckle down with your studies and there’s even a dishwasher – so they’ll be no more washing up!

Communal space
the-hive-commonWhile it’s great to get away and relax in your own private space, we understand that sometimes you will want to relax and socialise with your friends. That’s why The Hive offers plenty of common areas – both inside and outside, for you to get together. Catch up in our lounge, watch your favourite programmes in the TV room, work together in the study area, enjoy some fresh air in the courtyard, and you can even challenge one another to a game of pool!

the-hive-external-2-800x450Roof top terrace
If all of the communal space wasn’t enough, we also have a rooftop terrace for you to enjoy. When the sun’s shining, why not take a break from your studies – or take your studies outside, and revel in some amazing views of London while you work, right from our rooftop.

To find out how you can join our thriving student community at The Hive please contact us today on 020 3551 2550 to arrange a viewing.

10 places for students to visit this summer

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With university finished for the year and the sun shining, that summer feeling has well and truly kicked in; and the need to travel is a must. But if you’re not sure of which direction to head, we have found a few places where you can enjoy the summer break:

1. Cornwall, England
Where else in the world can you camp with a wonderful view for as little as £9 a night? Cornwall is not only home to the famous Cornish pasties, but it has some of the most amazing views and beaches in England. It’s definitely worth a visit if you are looking for a beach break that is cheap, cheerful and worth every penny!

2. Malaga, Spain
Looking to party? Well look no further; Malaga in Spain is known for its vibrant nightlife. Plus, let’s face it, nobody parties like the Spanish! You can find cheap return flights with both Ryan Air and EasyJet, and if you book with a few friends and share an apartment, it’ll be a fraction of the cost compared to staying in a hotel.

3. Rome, Italy
If you’re looking for a city break or a location with a bit of culture, then look no further. Rome is one of the most traveled to places in Europe and with epic landmarks and architecture, it’s the ideal relaxing getaway. A book and a cocktail is all that is needed to complete the trip!

4. Valencia, Spain
Valencia is more of a quiet city break that promises sunshine, culture and walking tours around the old towns. To make this trip even better, you can stay with our sister site Victoria Hall Valencia that offers luxurious studios at competitive rates, why would you want to stay anywhere else?

5. Ibiza, Balearic Islands
Recommended by students as a cheap, yet full of fun and much deserved break, of course Ibiza was going to make it into the top 10. Wake up to beach views, spend your days shopping, and then turn up the heat in the evenings with beach parties, boat parties and dance until the early hours – remember, nightlife starts at 12am! Plus, with Island Guides to show you where the parties are and what you need to do while you’re there, you can be sure to make the most of your trip!

6. Glasgow, Scotland
Are you a Hiker? A mountain climber? An abseiler? Well, Glasgow has it all. With panoramic views and a little Scottish culture that will get you doing the Highland Fling! You can also stay with us to keep costs down at Victoria Hall Glasgow; student living just got better!

7. Cardiff, Wales
Cardiff is the capital of Wales, and is home to Europe’s largest waterfront development, Cardiff Bay. With plenty of must see tourist attractions – from Cardiff Castle and The Principality Stadium, to the Doctor Who Experience and Wales Millennium Centre, there is something for everyone. So, whether you’re staying for a long weekend or just visiting for the day, Cardiff should be on everyone’s bucket list.

8. Paris, France
If you have never been to Paris, then this is a must. You have to go at least once in your life to see just how the French live. You’ll find fresh pastries on your door step and attractions such as the Notre Dame, Moulin Rouge and not forgetting the Eiffel Tower! Return flights from London start from as little as £31 on SkyScanner, or you can take the Ouibus to Paris from London for only £15!

9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
One of the most traveled to destinations by students, you’ll never guess why… because of the well-known canals of course! Amsterdam is also known as a tolerant, progressive city with a diverse culture and an active nightlife (well that’s what the brochures say). You can also get the Ouibus to Amsterdam for just £7 – which is probably one of the cheapest trips to Europe.

10. Europe – 30 countries, 1 Pass
If you really can’t decide where to go, then why not visit them all? Students can get a Global Pass from Interrail which allows you to travel by train through Europe at a fraction of the cost. You only live once hey!

So, there you have it, 10 wonderful locations for you to visit this summer for a well deserved break. Getting away will allow you to relax and recharge your batteries ready for the start of university in September!

Here at The Hive all 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 3551 2550 to arrange a viewing.