- Date: 26.10.12
- Posted by: Admin
Students Urged To Start Their Property Search For 2013
Property Agent Fraser Ludlam is urging students to start looking for their accommodation for next year.
Fraser said that all of his properties were fully booked by the first month of this new university year, and that students need to think ahead as much as they can.
Fraser said: “With student properties going really quickly, students ideally need to start thinking ahead.
“In particular, second year students who are already familiar with the city and know who they want to live with may want to start their property search. This will help them ensure they get the best properties they can before they are all snapped up. “
The majority of Claypenny’s properties are in the popular Ecclesall Road area, and the agency also has properties in Broomhall, Crookesmoor and the city centre.
Claypenny’s offices are on the corner of Ecclesall Road and Collegiate Crescent just outside the Sheffield Hallam University Collegiate campus.
Claypenny’s properties range from student houses and flats that can accommodate one to 20 people.
If you have an inquiry about finding a property call the office on 0114 266 9900.
- Date: 26.10.12
- Posted by: Admin
Edinburgh Faces Student Accommodation Crisis
As students up and down the land return to university this month, or step into their new found halls of residence for the first time, Scotland has seen dozens of undergraduates start term without any recognised student accommodation by which to house them. For the second year in a row, the University of Edinburgh has seen a critical shortage of university accommodation directly affect its students before the start of term. The university's own accommodation services department has, according to sources, admitted that 48 first year students have been left without permanent accommodation just days before term is set to begin.
Many universities across the country are currently struggling to provide enough accommodation for their students. In London, universities currently provide just 60,000 beds for over 290,000 full time students. The rest are residing either in student houses through agents or private landlords, or in purpose built private apartment complexes which continue to prove very popular in the buy to let market. As such, the problems that are currently being seen in Edinburgh could well be common place across the United Kingdom. Social integration is a key factor at University and the knock on effect of events like this could be huge. As a first port of call, students will make friends with those who they live with and those who they study with. If the first of those groups is removed it will automatically become harder for them to form a quick circle of friends to enjoy the first few weeks of university life with.
The university in question had bought up an additional 1,100 beds this year in privately operated student residences. However, despite these additional measures they have still not been able to cope with the demand for places. 30 of the 48 are set be housed with Travelodge, whilst the remaining 18 will be forced to live in makeshift "mini-dormitories" in general common areas. This is the second year in a row such measures have been taken by the university. Last year saw a shortage of beds force some students to be placed in residence owned by another University over six miles outside of the city.
It is hoped that the matter will be resolved sooner rather than later, and these unlucky few can be placed in proper accommodation to continue their studying in a more normal environment. Certainly the university will be watched closely next year, and will be hoping that it's third time lucky when it comes to getting the numbers for its student accommodation correct.
- Date: 24.10.12
- Posted by: Admin
Students going crazy 'Gangnam Style'
What is it about a YouTube video that’s racked up over 220 million hits with a song that’s reached number one in ten countries including the UK?
Gangnam Style is the catchy, camp Korean pop tune from South Korean rapper Psy which has taken the world by storm. The mocking, “horsey” dance moves, Psy’s ardent dedication to garish suits and sun glasses, and an undeniably infectious beat have all combined to make Gangnam a genuine pop sensation. And now Gangnam Style has become the latest student craze with flash mobs and tributes cropping up everywhere.
Eton students go ‘Gangnam Style’
One of the most popular viral videos of students paying tribute to the South Korean singer is the “Eton Style” video in which Eton students rewrite the popular hit to include references to school life all the while imitating the classic Psy dance moves perfectly.
Cornell University students took part in a massive flash mob on campus which gathered hundreds of participants and a huge audience. Flash mobs have also cropped up at the University of Illinois and the University of Oregon.
But it’s not just America who has joined in the pop craze. Universities from up and down Great Britain have got involved. The University of Aberdeen recently held a huge Gangnam Style dance as part of its Freshers’ Week celebrations which included students dressed in an array of bizarre animal outfits. At the other end of the UK, Kings College London managed to get the general public’s interest in Gangam Style stirred up by holding a flash mob in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday 13th October. Over 300 people turned up to the event to the amusement of hundreds of bystanders.
How to do a Gangnam Dance
If you watched a couple of these videos and you’re keen to get involved in a Gangnam style dance then the first thing you need to learn is how to do it! The Gangnam is something which can’t be rationalised but most certainly can be imitated. Here’s our guide to getting it right:
· Practise, practise, practise! If you want to get a really flawless dance then you need to practise the moves! Here’s a step-by-step dance tutorial to learn the basic steps and here’s a quick lesson from the man himself.
· Get the outfit right: Take a look at video and make sure you get yourself a cheesy, garish suit to fit right in with the Gangnam style.
“When you dance you’ve got to think you’re riding an invisible horse in your lower body” – and that comes straight from the horse’s mouth. Dress is also pivotal to achieve a true Gangnam Style.
“This is the point of the Gangnam Style – dress classy and dance cheesy.”
Follow these top tips and you’ll be sure to perfect the Gangnam Style flash mob. We’re big fans of Psy here at Claypenny and that’s why we’ve decided to plan our very own Gangnam Style dance! Keep checking facebook for up to date details – the horsey moves of Gangnam Style will be hitting a
street in Sheffield very soon!
- Date: 21.10.12
- Posted by: Admin
How to Survive Your First Term at University
As Fresher’s week comes and goes at universities up and down the land, undergraduates are waking up in their new found student accommodation with sore heads. Not just from an over indulgence in cheap alcohol, but trying to process all the information that has been thrown at them during the initial few weeks of university. The first three months at University is probably the hardest period until the last three months. You are in a new environment, with new people and with a whole host of new responsibilities to fit in alongside your new found independence. Below is a guide to the six key issues you will face and the pitfalls to avoid you doing become one of the 25% of students who drop out of university early.
1. Beware of being homesick
This is easier said than done, you can’t necessarily control your emotions and to some people, being in a completely new environment away from their friends and family can be a real struggle. It is best to be prepared. Make sure you take some home comforts with you and know that those who are close to you are now just a text message, phone call or e-mail away. It’s not like 20 years ago when a letter taking several days to get there was your only means of correspondence. Be aware that you may get homesick in the first few days and prepare yourself for it. If you try and ignore it you’re more likely to crash and want to return home because you can’t cope at the first available weekend.
2. Don’t try and do everything in the first month
When I went to University I was a year older than most having taken a gap year. I had already lived independently (in part) and enjoyed socialising thanks to a large network of good friends from my home town. During the first few weeks in my new surroundings I watched some people go absolutely crazy with the power of suddenly being able to do what they want, when they wanted. Understand that you’re at University for a long time, usually three but sometimes over four years. Take time to explore your new surroundings and don’t try and visit every bar and club in the city during the first few weeks!
3. Realise that you have to budget for a term, not just for fresher’s week…
Running out of money is amongst the most common occurrences in student housing up and down the land. Yes it sounds like the sort of thing your mother would say, but try and at least have some awareness that if you’re out every night of the week drinking and eating you’ll probably run out of money pretty soon. Target the cheaper nights, almost every bar in every major city will have student deals on at some stage. Above all though, realise its ok to have a night in with the books once in a while. Failing that, getting a part-time job is a must for several students these days. Don’t leave it too late to apply for one or everyone else will have beaten you too it.
4. Don’t panic at the initial seminars and lectures.
The first few sessions you attend at University can be pretty daunting as you get bombarded with all sorts of information. Suddenly you realise you have ten books to read at once, four essays due in a month and exams looming over your shoulder the entire time. In short, don’t panic. Some people will find putting together a study plan helpful from the beginning to make sure they have an allotted time each week to read or research your chosen subject. If that sounds a bit too formal for your first few weeks, just know that by attending the necessary lectures and seminars most of the information will go in via osmosis and when you come to the harder work further down the line, you’ll probably have learnt more than you realise.
5. Learn to Cook.
A diet of takeaway pizzas and all you can eat Chinese buffets is not going to be good for either your bank balance or waist line. One of the quickest and simplest ways to save money as a student is cooking for you and ideally for a crowd. It is so much cheaper to cook for multiple people, so even if you’re not dining with company, make enough each time so you have plenty of leftovers for another day.
6. Have a sense of humour.
University can be a scary place. Few people will have had any experience of anything quite like it before. You’re suddenly living in a house or halls with a dozen other people who you’ve never met; you might even be sharing a room. On top of that you’ll have people lining up to tell you what to do, where to go, where to eat and what you need to do to survive. So whatever you do, don’t take yourself too seriously. Be relaxed and don’t try and get wound up with people during the first few times you meet them. They might be nervous or scared or trying to over compensate and it can lead to some pretty feisty moments as you’re suddenly asked to share living space with new people. Try to laugh as much of it off as possible and you’ll make friends quickly and easy. Ultimately, when the going really gets tough later on in your student life, it’s those friends that you’ll need to help get you through.
Of course, there are many other factors to consider when starting University than these. But hopefully this guide will give you a prod in the right direction as you set off on the biggest adventure of your life to date. Be sensible, have fun and don’t worry too much about the little things. Your University years should be ones you remember for all the right reasons later in life.
- Date: 16.10.12
- Posted by: Admin
Buy To Let Houses For Students Still A Big Pull
Despite house prices crashing and it being harder than ever to make profit on property, people are still investing in the short term housing market, designed to attract students or young professionals paying a premium in rent. Even in a recession, student accommodation is considered by professional investors as a serious and highly lucrative asset class. This is not to say that people who have just one or two properties should seek to get some students in it straight away; the market is still a tough one after all. However, for those lucky enough to be at the higher end of the wealth scale, the potential influx of foreign students following rising tuition fees means there will be greater number of people looking for luxury, higher value student accommodation.
One of the factors that have affected this market has been the shortage of funds that so many Universities now have. As a result of this, they haven't been able to build the levels of student housing that they previously had been able to. This has created a shortage that has been picked up by private companies and investors. In London alone, there are almost 300,000 full time students and barely 60,000 University provided beds. Whilst UK students often prefer to find traditional houses to share with their friends, the ideal university "experience" is very different to cash rich foreign students. These students can afford higher rates of accommodation and crave comfort and luxury when they come to Britain to study. At well over 100,000, students from India, China and Nigeria now outnumber all foreign students attending UK universities from the EU. Students from these countries crave something aspirational and come to world renowned cities like Manchester, Liverpool and London and want a quality of lifestyle that fits.
Investing in student housing, if done right, can be a perfect "armchair investment." This is the appeal with purpose built apartment blocks which will often have an onsite manager and maintenance staff. As such, whilst the owner will still have to stump up the cash for unwanted repairs, they know they won't get a call late at night out of the blue because a student has blown up the oven or accidently trashed the communal bathroom. If you are serious about investing in the market, it's still important to choose the area and accommodation carefully. Whilst London is the most expensive place to own accommodation, it is also the most profitable. However, cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds & Sheffield also have a constant stream of new students flooding into the area each September and are unlikely to suffer from a sudden financial collapse like universities in smaller towns may do.
Student numbers overall may be dipping, but the increased fees will inevitable result in the average student coming from wealthier backgrounds. The merits of this can be argued at length, but for landlords and property investors, it represents a chance to make real money in the right locations.
- Date: 11.10.12
- Posted by: Admin
International Students Bring Culture As Well As Wealth
With rising fees across the country for people looking to go to University, the UK is preparing itself for a higher influx of cash rich, international students. Whilst there are some negatives that can be drawn from this news (less places for UK students, more foreign talent will eventually end up in higher positions around the country) it is worth looking at the positives of this relationship as well. Aside from the obvious factor that foreign students bring with them plenty of wealth, they also bring intelligence and knowledge of difference cultures, all of which can only enrich the country and in particular their fellow students.
Many universities and higher education facilities are facing increasing scrutiny over their strategy towards attracting international students. The fallout from the UK Border Agency’s decision to strip London Metropolitan University of its ability to host overseas students, has had an obvious knock on effect on other faculties looking to find the right balance between getting its courses filled up, generating revenue and not saturating its admissions with foreign students. The simple facts however, show that overseas students make a major contribution to the UK economy, not just to the universities themselves. Aside from the fees, foreign students are more likely to spend higher sums of cash on student accommodation. Preferring city centre flats and apartments which tend to go for a more premium rate than out of town, more traditional student houses; several new build blocks have been constructed up and down the country specifically with international students in mind.
Contrary to a lot of beliefs, funding is not the sole driver for overseas recruitment. Research has found that universities need overseas students to actively contribute academic environment. Any university will benefit from the ability to attract the most able students possible. By making close ties with their students, universities hope that they will in turn be able to see the students stay on and do their research in the same place they have studied. This will enrich and drive forward the university and in turn make it a more attractive place for other students to come and study.
Overseas students bring a certain level of intellectual and cultural wealth that will be very hard to regain if it is lost. Britain stands at a crossroads at the moment with rising tuition fees and falling university applicants placed against the backdrop of an anti-immigration government. International students form the future links that will support the development of economic partnerships between the UK and overseas companies. This relationship needs to be protected and in times of economic adversity, international students welcomed more than ever.
- Date: 28.09.12
- Posted by: Admin
Beating homesickness at university
University is full of new, exciting opportunities. For many people it means moving away from home to live in a new place with new people. In Freshers Week, everything is designed to help students make friends, stay busy and settle in. However, this can be overwhelming for some students and it is not uncommon to miss home during this time, but if homesickness is overly prominent in your mind, there are ways of overcome this and start to feel better about the new changes.
Freshers Week usually begins at the weekend, with Saturday and Sunday being the time most people move in to their new accommodation. With halls of residence this tends to be a fixed date, whereas those in privately owned student property can usually collect their keys much earlier and can move in as soon as their tenancy begins should they wish to. Often students like to kick start their Freshers Week with some sort of party or celebration, be it a house party or a night of clubbing. Usually house parties are preferred on the first night so that people have a chance to talk and get to know each other, making a few connections early on. This tends to make people feel more comfortable about the rest of week and even the rest of the year. Talking to lots of new people should take your mind off homesickness and keep you busy.
Joining clubs and societies can help to give you something to do, not only in Freshers Week but for the rest of the year. This is also a chance to meet new people and do something you enjoy. Joining a sports club means you can exercise and keep fit, which will release the chemicals that boost your mood and help you to be happier so that homesickness may not affect you so severely. Sometimes clubs and societies will hold a taster session during Freshers Week to allow you to try new things, and again it allows you to keep busy and meet people and take your mind off homesickness.
When setting up your room, you may find it useful to keep some items from home on display. For example, photos are cheap and easy to print, and seeing familiar faces may help you to cope with homesickness. Organising your room in a similar way to your bedroom at home can also be helpful, or you may opt for a completely different style if this makes you feel better. You can also organise regular phone calls home, as hearing the voice of a family member may be more comforting than an email or text message. Ultimately, if you are seriously struggling with homesickness, a brief visit home may be the best way to help you cope, although students should remember that a certain amount of homesickness is to be expected when moving to a new place, and that these feelings frequently become much less intense as time progresses and the surroundings become more familiar.
- Date: 21.09.12
- Posted by: Admin
From halls to a house – making the transition.
As a first year, most students have moved out of the parental home for the first time and opt to move into university owned accommodation. Usually this will be halls of residence, allowing students to meet new people and presenting opportunities to make new friends, whilst also giving students a smoother transition in terms of looking after themselves for the first time without family members.
Although many universities choose to give the option for returning students to continue living in halls, it tends to be preferable for students to move into a privately owned house. This can be done as an individual moving in with other single students but is more commonly done as a group of friends. However, this puts pressure on first years to form a group to live with for at least the next year. This can be problematic for students, especially with the added challenge of groups beginning to hunt for houses as early as October, sometimes having known each other for merely a few weeks. Although it is easy to feel as though you should agree to moving in with people so as not to be left out and to make sure you get the best pick of private accommodation for the next year, you should remember that there are plenty of options you' and you make friends slightly later into the year.
When you have found your housemates and your accommodation, you should then think about arrangements for moving in. Sorting out things such as finance before you arrive will ensure that things go smoothly and arguments with new housemates are avoided. For example, sorting your payments and the relevant dates, and making sure everybody knows when and how to pay the bills is something that can cause friction if not done correctly.
As most students go home for summer, houses can be left unattended for a number of weeks or even months during this time. It can be useful to store items such as cooking equipment, toiletries and cutlery, although it is better to take anything of value home for safety. It may be useful to stock up on tinned and frozen food as well as dry food such as cereal. As a general tip it is good to have these foods stocked most of the time, but it is likely to be particularly appreciated on the day you move in so that shopping is one less thing to do.
Lots of students find that university life in private housing is a positive experience, but inevitably there are students who come across difficulties. Sometimes these are minor squabbles with housemates that can be easily sorted, although there can be much more serious situations created. This is much more likely among those who chose their groups early in the year and have since grown apart from those people. If this happens and a student becomes desperately unhappy, there will usually be an opportunity to move elsewhere. Unsurprisingly this will change the financial situation and so it can be difficult to break away from the original contract, but by making a good choice and not feeling pressurised to sign a contract too soon, plenty of students find that they have an enjoyable and happy experience of shared accommodation.
- Date: 17.09.12
- Posted by: Admin
Boredom by Library Isn’t the Only Option: Studying in Shared Accommodation and You
The picture painted of students is often one of partying all night and sleeping all day but, as many students quickly learn, the reality is very different, especially during exam periods. The libraries are packed, the books fly off the shelves and everybody is studying hard to prepare for their exams. It can be difficult to study at such a busy time and with all the pressure, so the best thing to do is to find your preferred conditions for revising.
Firstly, find the best time for working. Some people like to set an alarm and work in the morning, whereas others will find that they will be more productive during evenings or even into the night. With night revision you should be aware of how much you are sleeping, as your revision may become less effective if you lose too much sleep. While some universities have 24 hour facilities, others have more conventional opening times. This means that if you prefer to work during evenings or very early mornings, you may needs to revise at home rather than at the library.
When revising at home, there can be a difficulty with distractions. Often the most pressing of these is noise, especially in student accommodation. However, most courses have the same exam period, which means that your housemates are likely to be revising too. If you find that your revision times do not coincide and this causes a problem, talking calmly to your housemates should enable you to organise some sort of compromise without arguments during what can be such a stressful time. For example, if you prefer working with music but like to work at night when others are likely to be asleep, use headphones or play the music very quietly. If you find that working in a communal area is preferable to working in your bedroom, you may need to be more tolerable of your housemates using the room for other purposes, although it is likely that everyone will respect and support each other.
Another way of combatting problems with housemates is to each produce a timetable of your planned revision. This way you will know who not to disturb and when the quieter times will be. Although many students living together are studying different courses, you may also consider arranging a revision session in which everyone studies individually but in the same room. This may not work for some people who prefer absolute solitude, but for others it can help to feel part of a group even when undertaking an individual task as this may increase motivation. Alternatively, you could come together with your housemates during breaks, maybe even taking it in turns to cook the evening meal so you can all continue to socialise without being locked away with textbooks. Each of you is likely to have slightly different methods of revision and preferred conditions, but with respect and consideration you should be able to build a network of support for each other.
- Date: 13.09.12
- Posted by: Admin
Taking on Freshers’ Week in Sheffield: Where and Why!
So you’ve studied hard, you’ve finished the exams and now you’re ready to start university in Sheffield. Freshers’ week will be full of opportunities to familiarise yourself with the city, meet your course leaders and take a walk around university buildings, and of course go out with new friends and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.
Both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University have a student union that boasts plenty of activities. They each hold a freshers fair during Freshers Week that allows you to explore the various clubs and societies and choose which, if any, you would like to join. The range is diverse, from course subject groups to special interest clubs to sport societies. There are often special taster sessions during Freshers Week at a reduced price that can help you to decide whether or not to join as a member.
There are also plenty of club nights held across both unions. The Hubs, Sheffield Hallam’s Union, holds ‘Pounded’ on a Monday night. As the name suggests, tickets are only a pound before 11pm and there are a selection of drinks available for just a pound. This is a popular night that quickly sells out, and is sure to be packed in Freshers Week. This is a perfect opportunity to meet other students, both freshers and returners, and will suit both small and large groups of friends.
The University of Sheffield Union is under refurbishment for 2012, so the club nights will be taking place in alternative venues for Freshers Week. One of the most popular occasions is The Tuesday Club, which will be taking place at The Leadmill for 2012 Freshers Week. This is a dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass night that always attracts large crowds. Other nights at The Leadmill include ‘Gaga’ on a Friday and ‘Sonic Boom’ on a Saturday, both of which are great for indie music as well as current chart hits, as the party is spread across two rooms.
There are also various pubs around the general area of student houses in Sheffield. If clubbing isn’t your thing, or perhaps if you want to wind down at the end of a hectic week, going for a quiet drink with a few friends is a more relaxed option. Plenty of local pubs hold events such as the pub quiz at the Fox and Hounds or the weekly comedy night at The New Barrack Tavern. There are always plenty of options during Freshers Week whether you prefer the electric vibes of The Tuesday Club or a more chilled out atmosphere in one of Sheffield’s numerous pubs. For more information specific to your university, go to either the Sheffield Hallam website or the University of Sheffield website.