Opening soon at The Curve…

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We’ve got some exciting news for both our current and prospective residents at The Curve…

We’re adding to the already extensive list of on-site facilities offered to our students; we’re opening a café on-site at The Curve. From 1st July, Café @ The Curve will open to all residents living with us at our student accommodation.

Located on Level 1 – opposite reception, the café will provide you with all the supplies you need to keep you fuelled during the day. Whether you’re in need of a caffeine kick in the morning to get you going, or a cold refreshing drink to cool you down after a busy day, we’ll have a range of hot and cold drinks on offer. And when it’s time to eat, you can grab a light bite from the café too. From savoury snacks to sweet treats, both hot and cold food will be available to buy.

Cafe @ The Curve CGI

It’ll open in the mornings for you to get breakfast, and it’ll stay open throughout the day so for the days you don’t feel like cooking you can even get your evening meal from there! And with a range of cuisines catered for, no matter what your favourite type of food is, you’re sure to find something tasty to enjoy at the café.

And don’t forget, a café isn’t the only thing you can enjoy as a resident living at The Curve. Other on-site facilities include a 24/7 gym, a games room, study rooms and TV rooms with Sky TV.

For more information about our student accommodation and living with us, speak to a member of our friendly Host team at reception by contacting them on +44(0)20 7377 5372 or at thecurve@host-students.com.

  

Mental Health Awareness Week

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This week (14th – 20th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme of this year’s campaign – which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is stress. And although stress itself isn’t a mental health problem, it is linked to our mental health because too much stress, for too long, can make us ill. If unaddressed, stress can cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, which can lead to self-harm and suicide. Stress can also affect your physical health and cause problems such as cardiovascular disease and problems with your joints and muscles.

Mental Health Awareness Week

As a student, especially at this time of year when you’re trying to meet deadlines and revise for exams, you may feel stressed or overwhelmed. That’s why it’s important to look after yourself and try to reduce your stress levels where possible. There are a few things that you should avoid doing that will help to reduce the chances of becoming too stressed. Let’s take a closer look:

1. Watch what you eat and drink: Avoid overdoing it on foods and drinks high in sugar, caffeine or alcohol. Although these are a quick fix and can temporarily make you feel better, that buzz will soon ware off and can make you feel down afterwards, which can increase stress levels in the long term.

2. Don’t overdo it: Yes, exams are important and of course you want to do well, but it’s no good overworking yourself and staying up all night to meet deadlines or revise. We all need time to relax and unwind.

3. Ditch the devices: Don’t feel pressurised to always be doing something. It’s OK to have some down time. So, step away from your computer desk, put down your phone and switch off for a short while. After a break away from your screens, you’ll feel more refreshed and ready to tackle the revision, research and assignments again.

4. Avoid chasing perfection: We all want to do well, especially when we’re putting so much time into what we’re doing, but the reality is, mistakes do happen. So, don’t beat yourself up if something goes wrong, just accept it and move on. Chasing perfection can create unrealistic expectations.

5. Don’t bottle up your feelings: If you’re feeling stressed about something, then speak to someone. Don’t keep things to yourself and assume it’s just a phase and they will go away, that can make things worse in the long run. It’s OK to ask for help and support, and sometimes, just sharing your feelings can make things a whole lot better.

If you are concerned about your stress levels, please pop to Reception and speak with our friendly team and we will be happy to help. You can also find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week here.

5 things to do before leaving The Curve for the Easter holidays

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The Easter holidays are finally here! It’s been a busy few weeks but it’s now time to take a break and of course, indulge in some chocolate goodness. And with a 4-day weekend approaching and the extended break from university, it’s likely many of you will be vacating your rooms for a few days or weeks and heading home to visit friends and family. If that’s the case, below are a few things you should remember to do before you leave.

1. Lock the door
It might seem obvious, but if you’re excited to be heading home and you’re struggling to juggle bags and Easter Eggs as you leave, it’s surprising how easy it can be to just let the door shut behind you without locking it. So, have your keys in easy reach and remember to double check everything is locked and secure on your way out.

2. Switch off your electrics
Whether you’re away from your accommodation just for the long Easter weekend, or the whole of the holidays, remember to switch off and unplug any electrical appliances such as laptops, TVs, and chargers before you leave. And don’t forget to turn off the lights in your room as you head out the door too.

3. Head for the bins
Before you leave, be sure to check your fridge and throw away any perishable food – the last thing you’ll want to come home to is a fridge full of mouldy food. And if you’re throwing it in the bin, don’t forget to empty the bins and take your rubbish out – unless you want to return to a stinking kitchen after the holidays. Plus, clearing the cupboards out will allow for plenty of room to fill them with all your Easter chocolate and confectionery when you return, (that’s if you’ve not already eaten it!)

4. Do your washing
Though you probably just want to pack your bags and head for the road so you can see your friends and family, don’t forget about that pile of dirty washing in the corner of your room. Pop a load of washing on and get it all cleaned and sorted before you leave. Trust me, the last thing you’ll want to be faced with after a lovely break is a stack of dirty, damp washing and a smelly room. You could always be cheeky and take it home with you?

5. Bon voyage!
Ok, so it’s not forever, and you’ll be back soon enough, but you should still let your flat mates and friends know when you’re heading home and when you’ll be back. You’ve spent the past few months together seeing each other day-in, day-out – so, it’ll probably be a little odd not seeing them there every day. And most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy your break and take time out to recoup, so you’re ready to take on the last few weeks of terms and those end of year deadlines and exams.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for September 2018, look no further than The Curve. For more information please contact us today on +44 (0)20 7377 5372 or email thecurve@host-students.com.

Staying in at The Curve

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Just because you’re a student, it doesn’t mean you have to go out every night of the week. You may feel obliged to go out on the town for a night out when there’s parties, student nights and good deals to be had, but what about having a night in? Staying in will not only be kind to your bank balance and your body, but you can also have some fun too! Here are just some of the things you and your friends can do if you’re staying in…

Workout
There’s no better way to unwind after a busy day than with a little exercise. Head to the on-site gym at The Curve and sweat it out on the cardio machines or pump some iron in the weights area. You’ll feel much better and more refreshed after working out, than you would after a night out!

Dig out the board games
Everything we seem to do these days is online. Not saying it’s a bad thing, but it can take away some of the fun. So, why not ditch the phones, laptops and the like for a couple of hours, grab your friends and go old school with some traditional board games? From Monopoly and Cluedo, to Pictionary and Scrabble, it’s a great way to keep you and your friends entertained for hours – whilst keeping those minds active too!

Come dine with me
You’ve probably seen the TV programme, but now it’s time to feature in your own series of Come Dine With Me! Get together with a group of friends and Host your very own dinner party. Whether you each take it in turns to cook a meal every night of the week, and then vote who’s was the best at the end of it, or you host one dinner party and each bring a different course, what can be better than a night of food and friends?

Challenge your friends
A bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone. And with a pool table, table tennis and air hockey tables available to play in the common areas at The Curve, it’s time to get your game head on. Compete with your friends and fellow residents to become champion of the tables!

Savour the moment
If staying in for the night doesn’t happen very often, you should simply savour the moment. Why have an agenda? Just take the evening as it comes. Pop down to the common room and see what’s going on. Catch up with friends, watch the latest TV series, get lost in a book, or merely sit back, relax and watch the world go by.

Catch up on some work
Of course, if you’re someone who can’t just sit back, and you like to constantly be doing something, you could always finish off that uni work? If you’ve got nothing else lined up for the evening, make the most of your free time now so you don’t have to do it at a later date when you really want to go out. After all, you don’t want to be the one rushing to get it finished the night before the deadline when all your friends are out partying.

Get an early night
And if all else fails, the best thing to do with your night in is to hit the sack and catch up on your sleep so you’re ready and raring to go for the rest of the week!

If you like the sound of student life at The Curve, we still have rooms available for September 2018. Contact us on +44 (0)20 7377 5372 or email us at thecurve@host-students.com for more information about our student accommodation in London.

Celebrating Chinese New Year in London

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For many countries around the world – including the UK, the New Year is celebrated every year as the clock strikes midnight on 31st December and we enter 1st January. But because the Chinese New Year is dependent upon the lunar calendar, it can fall anytime between 21st January and 20th February. Each year is represented by an animal in the Chinese animal zodiac which moves in a 12-year cycle.

For 2018, Chinese New Year will be celebrated on 16th February and it is the Year of the Dog – the 11th animal in the cycle. The recent Dog years are: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018. People born in the year of the Dog are meant to be true, honest, loyal and reliable.

So, now you know a little more about Chinese New Year, you might be wondering how it’s celebrated. Well, from fireworks and lion dances, to families gathering for dinners and children being given red envelopes, it’s a big celebration with many traditions. And if you’re in London, you can join in with the celebrations too.

The city is holding a free event to celebrate Chinese New Year on Sunday 18th February between 10am and 6pm. Head to London Chinatown and the West End where the main celebrations will take place. They’ll be a colourful parade featuring a dragon and lion dance, both contemporary and traditional dance acts and artists on stage in Trafalgar Square, Chinese street food to enjoy and plenty of other free entertainment throughout the day. The day will end with a spectacular pyrotechnic display lighting up Trafalgar Square.

Find out more about Chinese New Year and the celebrations in London here.

Beat the January Blues by exercising

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January isn’t exactly the most favoured month of the year. Not only is it cold, dark and wet outside, but after all of the festive fun and excitement of December, coming back to reality and routine in January can be tough. The long lie-ins, excessive consumption of food and the joyous reunions and celebrations with your family and friends from back home over the holidays felt so good. But now instead, you’re sat facing reality which consists of 9am lectures, upcoming exams and a busy semester ahead – it’s no wonder you’re feeling fed up.

But January doesn’t have to be all bad. There’s lots you can do to take your mind off things and lift your spirits, such as exercising. Be it working out in the gym or heading outside for a walk or run around the city, we guarantee you’ll feel a whole lot better after exercising.

In fact, within just a few minutes of exercising your mood can improve for the better. How, you ask? Well, as you start to move and your heart rate increases, your brain reacts by releasing chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine which all play a role in happiness and therefore will make you feel good!

And with this in mind, if you’re feeling stressed about assignment deadlines, upcoming exams or the like, a trip to the gym could be the solution. It’ll not only make you feel better because of the happy chemicals being released, but a break away from your computer or revision notes is sure to help too. Exercising will take your mind off your worries and when you return to your work, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to give it another go.

Still not convinced exercise will help beat the Blues? Surely feeling healthier and fitter will though? Lifting weights or sweating it out with some cardio will help to keep you in shape and you can even burn off any excess weight you may have put on after over indulging at Christmas. Exercising can transform your body, and in turn can help you feel stronger, more independent and confident – which is great way to start the year, right?

Although we’ve just suggested that exercising can make you feel more independent, it doesn’t mean it’s an activity you have to carry out on your own. Exercising is an activity that can be enjoyed with others. Whether you join a running club, workout with your friends or simply strike a conversation with other members in the gym, it’s a great way to socialise and meet new people – while keeping fit too!

And for those of you that are trying to save money after an excessive few weeks, you’ll be pleased to know that you won’t need to reach for your purse to exercise. Outdoor activities such as walking and running won’t cost you a penny, and if you’re a resident living with us here at The Curve, you gain free access to our on-site gym which features both weights and cardio machines.

So, no more excuses? Exercise your way through January and you’ll probably feel a whole lot better for it.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London, stay with us here at The Curve. Contact us on +44 (0)20 7377 5372 or email us at thecurve@host-students.com for more information about our stylish en-suite rooms and studios and our comfortable and spacious communal areas.

Christmas gift ideas for those on a budget

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If you’ve raided your piggy bank, checked behind the sofa, and sifted through all your coat pockets for any extra cash, and you still don’t have much money to spend on presents this Christmas, fear not. There are lots of things you can make at home to give as gifts to family and friends – that won’t cost you a fortune!

Indulgent treats
At this time of year, it’s acceptable to over indulge in your favourite treat. So, if you know a family member or friend has a soft spot for a certain snack, why not bake up a batch and present them with a festive decorated jar, box or dish full of their much-loved treat? From cookies and brownies, to cupcakes and gingerbread men, the options are endless.

Captured memories  
You may have gone your separate ways to university, but it doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten about your oldest and closest friends from back home. Make sure they know that by capturing some of your best memories over the years and putting them together in a multi-pocket frame, clipping them to photo clip stands or pinning them to a cork board for them to hang in their room.

Festive novelties
Nothing says Christmas more than novelty, festive ornaments to brighten the place up. Whether it’s decorated candles and candle holders, or handmade snow globes and Christmas tree decorations, dig out your arts and crafts box and show off your creative streak. Plus, this special festive gift means the recipient can put it on display every Christmas for years to come and be reminded of you.

Sweet jars
Cheap and cheerful, this gift idea is perfect for those people in your life with a sweet tooth. Simply fill a mason jar or similar with a mix of sweets. Whether you’re filling them with chewy love hearts and rings for the love in your life, bonbons and pear drops for the nostalgic family member, or pic ‘n’ mix favourites for everyone to enjoy, customise the jars and give a gift with a personal touch.

Pamper packages
If you’ve had your eye on that expensive beauty gift set for someone but really can’t afford it, then why not make your own? Sometimes pre-made gift sets aren’t all that great; they can be more expensive, the products inside can often be smaller and sometimes you end up with items you don’t really want. So, buy your own beauty bag or even just a simple paper gift bag and then hand pick individual items to go inside. You’ll likely find full size products for a similar price – if not cheaper, than the convenient travel sized items. So, you’ll be getting more for your money and you can tailor the products you put inside to each individual instead of a ‘one fits all’ pre-packed gift set.

Not only are the above inexpensive gift ideas, but there’s no better way to show your appreciation to family and friends with a handmade gift that adds that special personal touch.

7-day autumn meal planner for busy students

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After a busy day at university, come home to some hearty and warming food that’s quick and easy to make this autumn. And to make things even easier for you, we’ve pulled together a suggestion of meals you can make for the week…

Monday

Broccoli-soup-recipe
Image: GoodtoKnow

Fuel your busy week with one of the healthiest vegetables about; broccoli. This superfood is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, fibre and iron and it tastes great in a soup. And this broccoli soup recipe is quick and easy to make so, after a long day, you haven’t got to spend hours in the kitchen.

Tuesday

pasta-bake
Image: BBC Good Food

Pasta; a student’s best friend. It’s not only cheap and quick and easy to cook, but there’s so much you can do with it. A firm favourite during the colder months is a pasta bake; it’s filling and warming, and requires little effort. Sit back, relax and wait for the oven to ping when it’s ready.

Wednesday

roasted-beet
Image: BBC Good Food

If you thought salads were only to be enjoyed during the spring and summer months, you’re wrong. Try adding different seasonal fruits and vegetables to your salad and warm the salad ingredients through for an autumnal twist. Take a look at this delicious roasted beets, plum & pecan salad recipe for some salad inspiration.

Thursday

sausage-stew
Image: BBC Good Food

Nothing says winter is on its way more than a hearty stew. And this one-pot sausage stew recipe is no different. Throw all the ingredients together and in no time at all you’ll be mopping up the rich tomato sauce with some crusty bread.

Friday

omlette
Image: Jamie Oliver

If you like eggs, then you’ll love omelettes. They’re so quick to make and you can pretty much have them with whatever you like. Take a basic omelette recipe, throw in any leftover ingredients from the fridge – cheese, mushrooms, ham, spinach, etc. and make it your own.

Saturday

vegetable-chilli
Image: Eating Well

As the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler, cosy up on a Saturday evening and enjoy a homemade, warming vegetarian chilli. And one of the best things about a chilli, is you can serve it with whatever you like. From rice or couscous, to tortilla chips or salad, the choice is yours – you could even add some garlic bread or chips – it is Saturday after all!

Sunday

beef-stew
Image: BBC Good Food

There’s nothing quite like a cooked dinner, especially on a Sunday. End the week feeling fulfilled with this beef in red wine one-pot casserole recipe. It’s a great meal to serve with potatoes and vegetables to reach your five a day, or try it with pasta or chips as an alternative.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London, stay with us here at The Curve. Contact us on +44 (0)20 7377 5372 or email us at thecurve@host-students.com for more information about our stylish en-suite rooms and studios and our comfortable and spacious communal areas.

7 things to do in London this Halloween

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Pumpkins and fancy dress costumes at the ready, it’s that time of year again. Halloween is just around the corner and we know how much students love to get involved. So, this year we’ve pulled together a list of some top events taking place in the city; you’re in for a real treat…

1. Halloween in The Sky
Head to The Sky Garden and take Halloween to new heights this year, 35 floors above London. The sky-high venue will once again be transformed into a haunted destination featuring live music from The Soul Jets as well as a late-night DJ. Enjoy Halloween themed cocktails and food will, and don’t forget to dig out your best Halloween attire as they’ll be a prize for the best dressed!

2. Pumpkin Carving
It’s something you’ve probably tried at least once in your life, but how good are your pumpkin carving skills? Get together with your friends and put them to the test, while also learning how to creatively carve pumpkins from the professionals at Fortnum & Mason’s annual Halloween Pumpkin Carving Classes. There’s even a prize in each class for the best pumpkin.

3. Halloween Rave
If you’re looking to party hard this Halloween, look no further than the world-famous Ministry of Sound Halloween Rave. Taking place on Halloween itself, join thousands of partygoers and dance the night away to the sounds of 10 DJs playing freakishly good music across 4 rooms, right through to the dead of the night. Throw in trick or treat giveaways, zombie dancers, horror décor, lasers and much more and you’ve got yourself a Halloween night to remember.

4. Harry Potter Dark Arts
If you like Harry Potter, you’ll love this experience. Head to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour of The Making of Harry Potter for a special, Dark Arts feature. From floating pumpkins in the Great Hall to a live dual with Death Eaters, take a look behind the scenes and see the darker side of the Harry Potter film series.

5. Horroctober
Nothing says Halloween more than watching a scary movie or two. And we all know there’s no better place to watch a movie than at the cinema. So, why not head to The Prince Charles Cinema for a month of screams, chills, blood and guts… if you dare. Films being shown include The Exorcist, Scream, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

6. Halloween Carnivale
Get into the spirit of Halloween with a Friday night party at Cargo – a venue built into existing railway arches. With freakishly good music and DJs playing right through from 6pm – 6am and a Halloween dress code, it’s the ultimate haunted destination to dance the night away.  And with Cargo handily located just a mile away from The Curve, you haven’t far to go to party!

7. Ghost Bus Tour
Think you know London? Think again. Hop on board a vintage double-decker and ride London’s only fright bus service to see another side of the city. You’ll discover the darker side of London as the strange conductor guides you through the city and uncovers its murky past.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London why not stay with us here at The Curve? Contact us on +44 (0)20 7377 5372 or email us at thecurve@host-students.com for more information about our stylish en-suite rooms and studios and our comfortable and spacious communal areas.

International students: getting started in the UK

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Starting university can be a daunting experience for anyone, especially if you’re an international student who has travelled across the world to study here in the UK. Not only is the whole student experience new, but so is the country, the language and the lifestyle. So, if you’re an international student and have just arrived in the UK, here are a few things to help get you started with living here.

Staying connected
Now that you’ve arrived in the UK, you’ll probably want to let your family and friends know how you’re getting on and that you’re settling in ok. But can you use your mobile phone to contact them? If you have a mobile phone, then yes, it is likely that it will still work in the UK. However, if you use your current international mobile service provider in the UK, there will be extremely high call and message charges when contacting home and even ringing local numbers.

So, if you’re staying in the UK for a long period of time, you’ll probably want to purchase a UK SIM for everyday use. But if you want to make international calls, you might find it cheaper to use a provider such as LycaMobile or RebTel as they offer low-cost international calls.

And remember, at The Curve, we offer free internet and Wi-Fi in all rooms and throughout the building, so you can make free calls and video calls via apps such as Skype, Whatsapp and FaceTime.

Opening a UK bank account
If you are staying in the UK for a long period of time, it’s worth setting up a UK bank account. Having a UK bank account will make it easier for you to pay any bills, help keep your money safe and it will also mean you’ll avoid having to pay any foreign currency charges.

There are lots of banks in the UK that you can open an account with including HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Santander, Halifax and Barclays. To open an account, you will need appropriate identification and documentation. Click here for more information about UK bank accounts.

Registering with a doctor
When you arrive in the UK you should register with a doctor at a surgery or health centre in your local area as soon as possible; don’t leave it until you are unwell to register. The local doctor – also known as a ‘GP’ (General Practitioner), will be your first point of contact if you are ill and require medical treatment. See these lists of local doctors in England.

Once you have registered, and have been added as a patient on the NHS (National Health Service) list, you’ll be able to access medical care free of charge.

Travelling in the city
Travelling in a new country can be daunting. But the UK is well connected and offers various forms of transport, which makes getting about quick and easy.

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 train station to The Curve, or back to The Curve after a night out.

To get around London you can travel by bike, bus or the Underground. A lot of roads in the city have dedicated cycle lanes or special cycle routes so you can ride your bike safely.

Travelling by bus is often one of the cheapest ways to travel around your 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.

But as a student living 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. If you’re a student studying in London, you can apply for an 18+ student Oyster card which gives you 30% discount.

Eating and drinking
In some countries, it might not be safe to do so, but in the UK, it is safe to drink the water from the taps. However, if you prefer not to drink the tap water, bottled water is readily available from all supermarkets, cafes and coffee shops.

In the UK, you’ll find a variety of large, 24 hour supermarkets to shop in. Some of the main UK supermarket chains include Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s Aldi, Lidl, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose. In London, you’re more likely to find these supermarket chains as smaller, more convenient, express stores which offer extended opening hours and are conveniently located on street corners and busy high streets.

Many of the supermarkets have aisles dedicated to international cuisine, where you can find foods and ingredients that you are familiar with back home.

But if you want to try some traditional British dishes, fish and chips, sausages and mash, a full English breakfast, a Sunday roast and afternoon tea are favourites in the UK.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for 2017/18, stay with us here at The Curve. Contact us on +44 (0)20 7377 5372 or email us at thecurve@host-students.com for more information about our stylish en-suite rooms and studios and our comfortable and spacious communal areas.