5 small changes for a healthier day

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Contrary to popular belief, student life isn’t just fuelled by Pot Noodles and alcohol. Nowadays, students are turning to healthier options, and with a rise in social media apps such as Instagram, snapping shots of healthy, colourful meals and making your dinner time a masterpiece has become a common trend. But being healthier isn’t just about the foods that you eat, there are other small changes you can make to your daily student life that will make you feel healthier and happier!

1. Have a protein packed breakfast
It’s all too easy to hit the snooze button, oversleep and be rushing out the door to make it in time for your 9am lecture. And when that happens, breakfast can often be forgotten. But if you skip breakfast, your energy and concentration levels will be lower and as you become hungrier, you’re more likely to reach for the unhealthy snacks and junk food as a quick fix to curb those cravings. So, if you’ve got a busy day ahead, it’s a good idea to fill up on breakfast. Having a high-protein breakfast will keep you fuelled and focused for longer at university.

2. Take a walk
For the days you’re not running late or in a rush, why not take a leisurely stroll to uni instead of automatically opting for public transport? Walking will not only help to keep you fit, but getting outside in the fresh air can do wonders for your mental well-being. It gives you the chance to escape and have some ‘me’ time, process your thoughts and clear your mind. Plus, your wallet will thank you for choosing to walk too as you won’t be spending on travel costs.

3. Plan ahead
When it comes to eating well and avoiding those all too convenient takeaways and sugary snacks, planning and meal prep is key. Decide on some meals you’d like to have then do a weekly shop so you have everything you need. And on a day where you’ve not got much on, spend some time in the kitchen cooking up some meals that you can portion up and keep in the fridge or freezer to have the rest of the week. Whether it’s a packed lunch in between lectures or dinner back at home in the evening, knowing what you’re going to eat in advance will save you time, money and probably your waistline too!

4. Drink aware
For a lot of students, it’s inevitable that you’ll have a drink or two on a night out (or a night in). But rather than going heavy on the pints or guzzling the wine, why not opt for a single spirit with a low-calorie mixer instead? This choice of drink has far fewer calories in than beer and wine. And when you’re contemplating whether to have that last drink of the night before you head home, you could always opt for a soft drink instead – a decision you’ll probably be glad of the next morning!

5. Sleep longer
Now here’s one you’re probably not going to argue with; getting more sleep. Yes, you heard that right, where you can you should try and sleep for longer. Getting a good night sleep while studying will do you wonders. You’ll wake up feeling energised and ready to take on the day ahead. But that’s not the only reason sleep is important, studies have found that losing just 30 minutes of sleep a night can lead to long-term weight gain in adults. So, it’s time to hit the sack a little earlier at night or when you don’t have an early morning lecture, it’s a great excuse for a lie in.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for September 2018, look no further than The Hive. For more information please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550 or email thehive@host-students.com

The horrors of shared student accommodation

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When you think of University – apart from the studying – one thing comes to mind. Freedom. For probably the first time in your life you will be living independently from your Parents. And, while this might sound like the recipe for one long party the reality can be far, far removed…

Unless you are one of the sensible students that make The Hive your home, you may find yourself in shared student accommodation. While our Hive residents are enjoying our comfortable and more importantly CLEAN self-contained studio flats and stylish communal areas, those in shared student accommodation will be living with a houseful of other students all experiencing living away from home for the first time.

Living in close proximity to people who, at the beginning of the year, are essentially strangers, is not without its pitfalls. While at home everyone understands the hierarchy and, while you might share the chores, let’s be honest your parents do pick up a lot of the slack. Dinner is cooked for you, your washing is probably done and the bathroom doesn’t smell like someone has died in there. Often.

10 people, one house, no rules… what could possibly go wrong?

Mess
Every single room – well the communal ones at least, are, well what can only be described as squalid. The problem is, with no one to nag your housemates into not being the messiest people on the planet it just sort of happens. Any attempt at a house cleaning rota is futile and NO ONE wants to take out the rubbish.

I just want to make particular mention of the bathrooms and kitchens of shared student accommodation. Shared bathrooms in partticular are a warm, damp breeding ground for everything nasty. This is movie filth. Toilets, surprisingly, don’t flush themselves and WHY IS THERE SO MUCH HAIR EVERYWHERE. The poor person that ALWAYS ends up cleaning the matted, slimy (why is it slimy) hair from the plug hole deserves a medal. If you have ever endured the sheer grossness of someone else’s hair gunk actually touching your bare skin, you’ll know why.

‘Borrowing’
Some say borrowing; others may call it theft, but that’s just splitting hairs (see previous point). Now, this could be anything from food – which was quite clearly marked as yours – to books, clothes and lovely clean smelling toiletries that you mistakenly left in the (gross) shared bathroom, rookie mistake. There’s always one housemate that is perpetually broke who pilfers from the communal kitchen with promises to replace once they have some money….

Washing up
There is no magic washing up fairy. If everyone just washed what they used instead of trying to recreate the leaning tower of Pisa in mouldy plates then the house would be a happier place. It’s not too much to ask for there to be clean mugs in the cupboard right?

Uninvited Guests
There always seems to ‘extra’ people in the house. And what don’t these extra people do. Clean. That’s what.

Living in shared accommodation is no walk in the park but, for the students that make their University home at The Hive well, they get all the good bits of student living and none of the bad. Each of our self-contained apartments has a fitted kitchen and en suite bathroom. That means the food in the fridge stays in the fridge. The hair in the plughole is your hair – slightly less gross to clean out and when you want some peace and quiet you can have it.

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

Things to do in London this Easter

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The pressure is on over the next couple of weeks. With dissertation deadlines fast approaching and exams to revise for, you probably won’t be heading home to enjoy the Easter break. Now, while we know it’s egg-stremely important that you get on with your studying, it’s also just as important to take some time away from the books.  We don’t want you to CRACK under the pressure – you know like an egg, because it’s Easter.

With Easter comes the first bank holiday of the year and hopefully a glimmer of spring sunshine, and you know what that means… London gets her party dress on and plays host to some cracking Easter events. You’ll be pleased to know that whilst not all of these are egg themed, you WILL have an egg-ceptionaly good time.  No yokes… (Sorry, yes I know, I’ll stop now).

Goat racing
Here in the UK we REALLY enjoy a strange tradition or two. Gloucester has the (incredibly) dangerous cheese chase, also taking place over Easter bank holiday, while in London we have the Oxford vs Cambridge Goat Race. Yep… goats racing. This egg-strodinary event takes place on Easter Sunday (the 27th March) at Spitalfields Farm. There’s booze, bands and all sorts of Goat-ery going on, £13 for adult’s, kids (baaaaaaa) go free.  Nothing says Easter like a little Goat racing, right?

The actual Oxford vs Cambridge boat race takes place on Easter Sunday too if you fancy it, nowhere near as exciting as the Goats though – find out where to watch it here

Get some fresh(ish) air at a country fair…
If you fancy stretching your legs a little and getting out of town – don’t worry you won’t be going too far! Lee Valley Country Fair is a two day egg-stravaganza of all things well, country. Get back to nature (well wander around big park) and enjoy such things as bottle feedings lambs, miniature pony shows (I KNOW!) and jousting, on actual horses. It’s worth going for the tiny pony’s and the jousting alone, (I don’t think they’re doing the jousting on the tiny pony’s). The fair takes place on 27th and 28th March and you can get your tickets in advance here.

Dust off your Party shoes
The first bank holiday of the year tends to send London into a bit of a party frenzy and why not take advantage of one or two of the epic events that are taking place over the four days. All the major clubs are playing host to a raft of different nights and DJs but if you dig a little deeper there are so more unusual things going on.

If you LOVE Beyonce, like really REALLY love her, then the Yonce experience, 24th March, Picadilly Institute, will be the night of your life.  Wall to wall Queen B and an egg-ceptional start to the Easter holidays! Tickets just £5 in advance £8 on the door. Not a mega fan? There’ll be a room playing funk, pop and party tunes too.

If you are looking for something a little edgier than a night of wall to wall Mrs Carter then The Church’s God Damn Easter Service will be the perfectly irreverent end to your Easter weekend. The twisted gospel choir deliver their own brand of rock and roll cabaret on Sunday night (when else) to a congregation gathered at The Lexington in Pentonville, advance tickets £8/£10 on the door – find out more here. Get ready to sin, be saved and sin all over again!

After all the egg-citement you’ll be glad to get back to the books. Maybe…

The Hive provides egg-cellent student accommodation for international and domestic students. If you would like to speak to us or arrange a viewing of our egg-strodinary living spaces please contact us on 020 3551 2550.

Six Study Smart tips for savvy students

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It’s coming up that time of the year again… EXAM time. Whether you’re in your first year or, heading towards your finals, this can be a nerve wracking and overwhelming time.

We know what it’s like when you have a lot of work to do. The tiniest thing can distract you. You stumble upon some cat videos on You Tube. Minutes turn into hours and, PANIC… you’re pulling an all-nighter trying to cram as much in as possible. Except, nothing seems to go in…

You may be thinking that studying as hard as is humanly possible is the ONLY way you have a hope of getting the results that you want. While this might work for some people, it’s the not the only way. It’s proven that, by taking some of the pressure of yourself you could achieve more. So, here are SIX tips to help you destress revision, become more efficient and study SMARTER not harder…

1 – Don’t try and learn EVERYTHING by heart
You don’t need to. You are university students, you’re not being tested on your word for word recall of the text book, it’s your understanding of the subject and your ability to draw conclusions that matters.

2 – FOCUS
Don’t just dive into a topic – create a DETAILED study schedule and stick to it. What day are you going to start, what will you study and how long for. Be sure to allow some time away from your books, it’s important that you give your brain some downtime. Studying can get lonely so why not team up with someone on your course to help keep your mind on the job. Set an alarm for when time is up and make sure you have a reward lined up, you’ll have earned it!

3 – REMOVE distractions
Adopt a ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’ policy. Now I know this is easier said than done when you are living in student accommodation but, it really works. Declutter your study space, remove ANYTHING that might distract you – I find the Chrome site blocker browser extension comes in pretty handy, come on, cats playing the piano are VERY hard to resist – now there is nothing for you to concentrate apart from the job in hand. Study!

4 – Don’t CRAM
If you’ve created a study schedule AND stuck to it you, hopefully, won’t find yourself needing to study through the night before an exam. It’s a waste of energy. You’re panicked, probably rushing through the data and missing important things and then, you turn up to your exam utterly exhausted. Nobody does their best work when they’re that tired.

5 – UNDERSTAND what type of studying works for you
Are you a Visual, Auditory, Emotional or Kinesthetic studier? When you know which one works best for you, you can adapt your study methods accordingly. For example a visual learner is more effective when learning material is presented in a.. you got it, visual way! Find out what type you are here.

6 – Be KIND to yourself
Exam time can be stressful, but you need to take time for yourself too. It all comes back to your study plan. A good plan allows for some relaxation time too. We aren’t suggesting HUGE nights on the town but why not go see a film with some friends and allow yourself to relax a little. Make sure you don’t neglect your diet either. Fuel and rest are vitally important for effective study.

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.

 

6 quirky(ish) things to do in London before you graduate

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As a student living in London you will undoubtedly want to make the most of calling the best city in the world (we might be a bit biased) home.

Sure, you’ll visit the Tower of London and shuffle past the Crown Jewels. You’ll definitely spend some time dodging pigeons in Trafalgar Square and you absolutely, definitely will get down to Horse Guards Parade to see the changing of the guard. But wait… you are NOT a tourist. So, make like a native, get under London’s skin, step off the beaten track and discover some of the quirkier things you can do before you leave. That is if you leave, of course!

1. Find the stone nose of Admiralty Arch
Yep, there’s a nose on the wall near Trafalgar Square (the arch on the left if Nelson’s Column is facing you). The subject of many an urban legend it transpires that it was put there by artist Rick Buckley as a protest against the ‘nosey’ anti-crime cameras being installed in London in the 1990’s.

2. Wellcome Collection
London is home to arguably some of the best museums in the world. However the Wellcome Collection is a bit different – describing itself as the ‘free destination for the incurably curious’ it explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. Also home to the world famous Wellcome Library the quirky collection is well worth a visit. Find out more here.

3. Buy an umbrella in the past
James Smith and Sons is literally the shop that time forgot. Established in 1830 and, for the last 176 years has remained a family run business making and selling umbrellas. That in itself is pretty remarkable but it’s probably not until you stand outside, looking up at the untouched Victorian frontage that you will understand why this should be on your list of things to do. (Umbrella purchase optional!)

4. Live your own Night at the Museum
Many of the London museum’s run sleepovers for Adults, they can be a little expensive and are definitely a ‘London bucket list’ item. The Natural History Museum’s Dino Snores for Adults features an after-hours roam around the museum, three course meal, music, bars and an all-night monster movie marathon. How cool is that?

5. Abseil at Olympic Park
Calling all adrenaline junkies: how do you fancy abseiling from the top of ArecelorMittal Orbit? Not only is it the UK’s highest free fall abseil but you’re doing it from the UK’s tallest sculpture – that’s a pretty spectacular 2-for-1! For those brave enough to try this you’ll enjoy a phenomenal view of London dangling 262 feet above the city, there are not many people that can say they have done that! Find out more here.

6. Visit the oldest wine bar in London
Gordon’s wine bar has been watering the great and the good of London since 1890 and is still owned by the Gordon family. Located on Villiers Street in series of arches pretty much directly underneath Charing Cross station, you’ll need to get there early to grab a table inside but it’s definitely worth it. Where else in London can you drink a glass of wine, by candlelight, in a cage, in a cave…?

The Hive provides secure student accommodation in the heart of Bethnal Green. For more information please call us on +44 (0) 3551 2550 or book your viewing here.

Festive food fun in Bethnal Green…

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The Christmas break is almost upon us and you know what that means…. you’ve made it through the first term of University in one piece! 2015’s freshers have made new friends, taken on new responsibilities and, for International Students, found their way in a completely new country. If that’s not cause for celebration I don’t know what is!

There are so many amazing places to choose from right on the doorstep of The Hive that you’re pretty much spoiled for choice! So, if you’re having problems deciding whether a cat cafe (seriously), a down and dirty curry or a proper pub is the perfect venue for some festive fun with friends (sorry couldn’t resist) we’ve done the hard work for you and picked out 5 of our most favourite, quirky, student friendly venues all within a stones throw of The Hive!

Lady Dinahs Cat Emporium
152-154 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 6DG
Open daily 10am – 5pm (except Wednesday when they’re changing the cat litter, probably)
We couldn’t leave this fabulously quirky cat cafe out of our ‘best-places-to-go’ list. It’s not a place for a wild night out but you DO get to stroke the resident cats that wander around this 2-storey spot for coffee and cake, lined with sofas and bookcases. Food on offer includes brick lane bagels, afternoon tea and seasonal goodies, prices vary and you’ll need to book to get close to the kitties!

Tayyabs
83-89 Fieldgate St, London E1 1JU
Open daily Midday to 11:30pm
This LEGEN……(wait for it) DARY curry house should, according to Time Out, be on the bucket list of any visitor to London. So, living in such close proximity you’d be foolish to miss it. Neon lights, excellent food, great value and and with a full on raucous atmosphere Tayyabs have been serving the finest Punjabi cuisine to Londoners since 1972 so they must be getting something right.

E Pellicci
332 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 0AG
Open daily this vintage Art Deco workers’ cafe has been serving the East End since 1900…! First rate fry ups that’ll cure any hangover, superb Italian classics and puddings to die for a greasy spoon this is not. Food prepared with love and a good old east end welcome set this ‘caff’ on a totally different level.

The Star of Bethnal Green
359 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 6LG
Open Fri, Sat and Sun midday to 2am the rest of the week 4pm to 12am
Large and laid back you’ll find quiz nights, karaoke rooms (screech your heart out in private), festive shenanigans and Djs. Food prices start at a very reasonable £7 and you can even get a LOCALS reward card… What’s not to love?

Sông Quê Café
134 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8DY
Opening hours are varied, check the website for more details.
Often with queues around the block Sông Quê Café has been serving London’s finest Vietnamese cuisine and authentic Phở in a basic street-kitchen setting since 2002 and it just keeps getting better! Pho starts at just £9, delicious and reasonable. One not to be missed.

The Hive provides secure student accommodation in the heart of Bethnal Green. For more information please call us on +44 (0) 3551 2550 or book your viewing here.

How NOT to eat like a student (while you’re a student)

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Now you’re a student it doesn’t mean you have to survive on a diet of chips from the canteen at lunch and beans straight from the tin for your dinner (although chips and beans are good). While you’re studying it’s important that you eat well, feed your brain… healthy body, healthy mind and all that. Now we’re not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy a late night kebab on the way home from the Student Union but with these simple tips you can strike a ‘healthy’ balance between the good and the bad AND stop your Parents from worrying about you… well, worrying a little less. Maybe.

COOKING isn’t hard
You may think it is but it’s not. Find a recipe and follow it. Don’t deviate, until you’re more confident, just do what it says and you’ll be eating something delicious before you know it!

Tastes of HOME
Food is comforting and some dishes more so than others. So, if you’re feeling homesick whipping up your Mums spaghetti is like putting a little bit of home on the table. So, before you leave for University ask your Mum, Dad, Nan, chef in the local takeaway, to write down a couple of your favourite recipes. Make sure they keep it nice and simple, don’t miss out any of the steps AND use ingredients you have a chance of finding in the supermarket!

Get TOGETHER
You’ll meet a LOT of people in your first weeks and what better way to cement new friendships than by getting together to eat and drink? Take it in turns to make one-pot-crowd-pleasers. Simple, tasty and shareable, a chilli or a stew is dead easy – pop it all a pot together and cook it long and slow. Get 3 or 4 friends together and. if you all do once a week you share the cost and the work! Also, this is an opportunity to share with your new friends the food that you enjoy eating at home.

EGGS
Quick, not too difficult to cook AND with a protein punch to that’ll keep you going for hours. Whether you have a morning full of lectures or a hefty revision schedule you don’t want to be distracted by a rumbling tummy. Why not whip up a filling tortilla or frittata, chuck in those vegetables that are wilting in the bottom of the fridge, some bacon and cheese and it’ll last you a few days.

Invest in a WOK!
The ultimate in fresh fast food. Throw in some veggies, meat if you wish, noodles, a splash of soy sauce some a dollop of sweet chilli and you have a delicious, SIMPLE, vitamin packed meal in minutes.

SHOP SAVVY
This may be the first time that you have had to manage a budget and food is surprisingly expensive. But, with some simple idea’s you’ll make your money go further than you ever thought it could do. Hit up the supermarket around 5pm… this is when the reduced items go out. Buy in bulk and look for offers 2-4-1’s or multi buys, although do the maths as those supermarkets are tricky so, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is. And, I know it’s tempting but don’t always opt for the convenient option. Ready made dishes are not only more expensive but packed full of salt, additives, preservatives and other nasties. You can find some excellent student friendly recipes here

All the apartments at the HIVE have a fridge freezer and are fitted with a top of the range hob, oven, microwave and EVEN a dishwasher, so our residents have no excuse.  And, our reception staff are always on hand to answer any culinary questions or, stop the smoke alarm going off at least…!

The Hive provides secure student accommodation in the heart of Bethnal Green. For more information please call us on +44 (0) 3551 2550 or book your viewing here.

 

 

What I learned during my first year studying abroad

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My first year studying in the UK was a roller-coaster ride. So many things to learn and being so far away from your family is tough. Here are the most important things that I learned in my first year… I hope it helps!

I CAN survive without my Mom
My Mom is a super woman. She just knows. Knows where things are, how to do things, what temperature to cook things on, what detergent to buy – the list is endless. But you know what, so do I now. Mostly because I Skyped her and asked her. A lot. BUT… I’ve learned how to cook, clean, study… l’m proud of myself and, more importantly, so is she.

The teaching style was different to what I was used to
PANIC… actually I didn’t need to worry as there was so much support available. My teachers were great and easily contactable if ever I had a problem. The people on my course were a great help too and if you’re really stuck there will be learning support available.

Make friends and make plans
In the first few weeks while everyone is settling in and finding their way around there were definitely times that I felt lonely and with my family thousands of miles away it was tough. Then I joined the international society and found lots of friends. They may not be from your country BUT you’ll meet people that either are or have been in the same position as you and who will give you the support you need. Also, what did you love doing at home? There will definitely be a society for that, (there’s one for EVERYTHING) that way you’ll meet new people with the same interests as you.

Everything costs… EVERYTHING…!
Did your Mom every say ‘You treat this place like a hotel’?  Mine did. It was a bit of shock having the responsibility of managing my finances and paying for everything. The beauty of living at The Hive is it that your rent, heating, telephone, Wi-Fi are all taken care of in one all-inclusive monthly payment!

Budgeting is critical to your survival. Download a ‘Home Budget’ app and use it! Put your monthly allowance in, then all your outgoings. So, for me that is my Hive payment PLUS, travel, food – don’t under estimate how much food costs, cell phone… and that way I definitely know how much I have left to spend in the Student Union!

Living in London is amazing
Truly, truly amazing. And, contrary to the above point there are LOTS of things to do for free. You probably won’t have much money, so make the most of the free museums and galleries.

Some things just taste better at home
I don’t know what it is, but the UK version of whatever food you are craving just won’t be the same. My suggestion. Monthly food parcels… you get some home comforts, your family feel like they are still looking after you and you save some money. Win, win WIN.

There are a LOT of accents in the UK
You know that English accent you think everyone has. Like the Queen. They don’t. There is an array of accents you’ll have to deal with and at first understanding everyone will be exhausting. But you’ll soon know your London from your Liverpool and everywhere in between.

You’ll need a coat
It rains in England. It can be cold, wet and unpredictable. Take a coat, if you don’t have a warm one buy one when you get there. And, gloves. You’ll thank me for it.

The Hive provides secure student accommodation in the heart of Bethnal Green. For more information please call us on +44 (0) 3551 2550 or book your viewing here.

3 Fun things for students to do in Bethnal Green

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Life at University isn’t all about knuckling down to hard work (ok, it is a little bit about that, but bear with us).  Sometimes, a break from your studies is required, and that’s when it comes in really handy to have the delights of London right on your student accommodation doorstep.

The Hive is situated right in the heart of cool London, with Shoreditch, Old Street and Brick lane just moments away.  So, with that in mind, here are our top three things to do in Bethnal Green when you want a little time off from your studies.

  1. 120 years ago, Bethnal Green was a very different place. Neighbouring Whitechapel was the haunt of notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper, and buildings today that house quirky and cool pubs, cafes, and boutique shops, might once have been frequented by this infamous London resident.  Relive the horror of yesteryear (and learn the fascinating history of Victorian London) with Jack the Ripper tours, which are held daily.  If you dare…
  2. Looking to experience London from a slightly more… modern… perspective? Things don’t come more contemporary than ever trendy Shoreditch, located just a few minutes walk from The Hive student accommodation.The evolutionary home of the London hipster, Shoreditch is famous for great coffee, cool cocktails, and amazing street art, as well as the newly redeveloped Old Spitalfields Market, where you’ll find boutique shops sitting side by side with big brand eateries, live events and gigs, and delicious street food stop offs.
  1. You can’t be a student living in Bethnal Green without at least hearing about the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. Timeout Magazine describes this London oddity as “A must see on the night life map” and the venue is an ever popular destination for students and locals alike.  Once seen, never forgotten!

There’s a whole lot more to Bethnal Green than the above, of course (we haven’t even started on Brick Lane), but we hope we’ve given you a little taste of inspiration for what your London student experience has to offer.