It’s that time of year again, where most people are booking their summer holidays.

But, for us students, this is the time where we sacrifice food for a week in the sun somewhere.

Holidays and students don’t mix. Most holidays can be very costly and for us students, this is simply not an option.

Most students enjoy a cheap week away in Zante or Magaluf but this can still come up a bit pricey, when you think that you need to feed yourself for an entire week

This is where city breaks come in.

City Breaks don’t seem to sound as good as a week away in Zante but, a weekend away in Amsterdam can prove to be a more exciting than a week on a  Greek isle.

You could even go on two possibly three city breaks for the price of one summer holiday, if you book with the right people at the right time.

  • Krakow (Poland) is a very cool, calm and collective city. The huge, open, Old Market Town Square offers an impressive display of bars, restaurants and shops. The has an array of, parks, shopping centres and beauty spots. Student favourite and a personal favourite of mine, is the Wodkabar, situated just off the Old Market Square. Major tourism spots such as Auschwitz and Birkenau and Schindler’s Factory cost as little as £20 (student I.D must be present), with transport included. Meals and Drinks at hot spots such as, The Hard Rock Café come in at £15 per person. One way flights start from £40.00 per person.
  • Budapest (Hungary) is defiantly one of the cheapest cities. You can get some incredibly cheap deals on hotels that are right in the heart of the city. Why not visit the castle? With the national gallery close by, it’s a great way to spend a day. In the evening why not try the world famous Geothermal baths, they are most defiantly worth a visit and price start from only £15! Even just to see the unbelievable architecture and design of the buildings and outside areas. Budapest is littered with different free museums, perfect for gaining knowledge or killing a bit of time! Flights and accommodation are coming in at £150 per person for three nights.
  • Barcelona (Spain) is the place to go to if you are longing for the beach  intertwined with city streets. The beauty of this is city is that you can live the city and beach life. The streets of Barcelona are truly stunning, with local tourist hot spot Las Ramblas in the heart of the city, it’s a must visit. You can stock up on cheap, local, delicacies from the exquisite La Boqueria Market. Tourist hot spots include; Barcelona Catherdal, Sagrada Famillia and Camp Nou. With central Hotels starting at £55 per night-it would be rude not too!
  • Amsterdam (Netherlands)  is one of the most picturesque places in Europe. The combination of the busy city and the stunning canals makes this city so unique. The city has a very young culture and is the perfect sweet spot for students. Tourist hot spots include, Anne Franks House, Canal rides and Rijksmuseum. The Anne Frank museum costs nine Euros.  Some places can be expensive within the city, but what city isn’t expensive? The local delicatessens are the beauty of Amsterdam, you can fill up on the beautiful patisseries from as little as a Euro! You can also save a lot of money on transport by getting the Ferry. Prices start from £70 for two people.
  • Prague (Czech Republic) is a wonderful city to enjoy a long weekend away. Similar to Krakow with it’s Old Town Square, Prague has a wonderful array of cheap bars and restaurants, perfect for all students!  Tourist hot spots include, Prague Castle, The old Jewish Synagogue and the Powder Tower. Again, cities like Prague have a whole host of museums, most of them being free or with a small admission free. Flights start from£54 and central hotels, including breakfast, are coming up at £56 per night, per person!

Top tip for students looking for cheap travel to any of these places- look on Skyscanner.net! The home of all the cheap flights.

So, why not a try a few of these amazing city breaks this summer?

Malaysia located in the continent of Asia where it  covers 328,657 square kilometers of land and 1,190 square kilometers of water, making it the 67th largest nation in the world with a total area of 329,847 square kilometers.

Malaysia is a gastronomic delight with a wide variety of foods and dishes. With citizens from three large ethnic groups namely  Malay, Chinese and Indian, each ethnic has their own food with mix of flavours and outstanding recipes.

Malay Food, Chinese Food, Indian Food and Thai food are all common in Malaysia. Each ethnic group tends to eat foods associated with their group.

Eating out is very common in Malaysia.  The biggest part of the citizens seldom cooks at home. The main reason is that eating out is generally cheaper than buying ingredients at the supermarket and cooking your own dishes. Another reason is that eating outside is part of the Malaysian (and other Asian) culture, there is no better place to get in touch with friends and relatives than during a delicious meal.

Most dishes in Malaysia are either based on rice or noodles.

Malay dishes often contains beef, chicken, mutton or fish; but never pork as Malay food needs to be halal.

Chinese dishes often contains pork.

Indian dishes are often vegetarian; and they never contain beef (though Indians do eat chicken, mutton and fish). Most dishes will be served with some vegetables; either mixed through the dish or served as a side dish.

In Malaysia, you can see hawkers of many different populations right next to each other. This means you can buy Malay food, Chinese food, Indian food and sometimes even western dishes all in the same food court.

Mamak ( Indian Muslims) stalls tend to be popular among Malaysian youth as spots to chill, mainly due to the cheap food and beverages being served 24/7. People of all races, religions and ages frequent Mamak stalls to get-together while enjoying a cup of hot teh tarik (Hot Tea). The quality of the food is very high in Malaysia, mainly because food is prepared fresh before your eyes.

In an attempt to stub out the addiction of smoking new tobacco laws have being gradually filtered into UK society throughout the course of the last year.

As of May 2017, any companies not abiding by these laws could be subject to large fines or worse.

But in an age that promotes equality and freedom of expression, are these Government laws just persecuting a minority? Has this whole thing gone too far?

For many people, having a smoke is as important as the other necessities of life, such as sleeping and eating.

As hard as it may be for non-smokers to understand, most smokers have a love-hate relationship with their habit.Eat, sleep, smoke, repeat, right?

There’s no doubt it’s an addiction, but is it an addiction some people are happy to have?

One of the major changes coming to the UK is the introduction of standardised packaging.

No longer will big brands such as Marlboro offer a range of colourful cigarette boxes.

Instead, all cigarette boxes will be sold in the same colour, known as ‘opaque couche’, a muddy green which has been described as the world’s ugliest colour.

Why? Because the Government’s main aim is to cut the number of people taking up smoking by making it less appealing to children and young people.

According to Cancer Research, two-thirds of smokers start before the age of 18 – the beginning of an addiction which will kill up to two in three long-term smokers.

Whether or not the new law will work remains to be seen, but think about it this way…

From hiding behind the bike sheds at school, trying not to cough as one of the Year 11 kids offered you your first ‘one off’, to hastily spraying your hands with cheap deodorant to stop your parents sniffing out your bad habit.

At that age we are all aware of the bad stigma around smoking, and we know it’s wrong. So we must think, if that cigarette we were offered had come from plain packaging, would we have refused it?

It’s been 13 years since smoking was banned inside public places, which is fair enough.

I mean, smoking is a choice, you shouldn’t be forced to sit amidst other people’s smoke and bad habits. In turn, outside smoking areas have become a breeding ground for social interaction.

Some of the best nights out evolve around been sat on the alcohol swilled pavement outside a club talking to your new best friend for two hours.  I would never have met my wife-to-be if it wasn’t for a chance-happening like this.

But how are these newer changes affecting adult smokers? Many of whom enjoy the pleasure of a social smoke, whether it be in the comfort of their own home or a busy pub’s smoking area?

From now on, smokers will only be able to purchase a 30g pouch of tobacco at least, and ten packs will be taken off the market completely. In many people’s eyes, this will result in them smoking and spending more.

Of course, every argument has two opposing sides, so I contacted some of the UK’s leading smoking organisations.

Amanda Sandford of ASH, (action on smoking and health), said: “ASH is anti-smoking but not anti-smoker. We sympathise with smokers who regret ever starting and wish to stop smoking.”

“We believe that the Government has a duty to do all it can to help smokers to quit and to discourage young people from ever starting.

“It also makes economic sense as smoking imposes a huge cost burden on society.”

ASH‘s website supports this statement, not only does smoking remain one of the biggest causes of preventable death in the UK, but it also costs the NHS an estimated 2 billion pounds a year.

However, this still doesn’t seem to stop people from picking up a cigarette. There’s no wonder there’s such a high death toll, with approximately 1.1 billion smokers in the world, and 4000 chemicals per cigarette, well, you do the maths!

Simon Clarke, director of the pro-smokers group Forest, said: “Standardised packaging is incredibly patronising.”

“It treats adults like children and children like idiots. It’s an attempt to denormalise a legal product and, by association, the consumer, the overwhelming majority of whom are well aware of the health risks of smoking.”

“The suggestion that people start smoking because they’re attracted by the packaging is not born out by evidence. The reason most people start is because of peer pressure or the influence of close family members.

“Standardised packaging is a major attack on the consumer. It will almost certainly fuel illicit trade across Europe because consumers will be driven to buy the cheapest brands, including counterfeit cigarettes.”

Well, there we have it. It’s been proven that 100% of people that smoke die, yet it’s also been proven that 100% of people that don’t smoke die too. The choice is yours, or is it?

Moving into student halls or student accommodation can be tough, especially if you don’t know anyone on campus and you’re shy. The good news is that there are lots of ways to make new friends and get to know your housemates, and below we’ve rounded up some of the very best options.

Prepare a meal

One of the simplest and most exciting ideas is to prepare a meal with your new housemates. Set a budget, all throw in £5, and then head to the supermarket together to do some shopping. Once you’re back, you can decide who’s going to do what, and then sit down and enjoy your meal together. Simple and effective.

Go for a night out

The chances are that you’ll be wanting to spend a lot of your free time going to the pub or the club, so bring along your flatmates so that you can get to know each other a little better. The best part is, once you’ve had enough and want to get back to your student digs, you’ll have someone to walk back with! Win-win.

Join a society

University societies can be great fun and give you a chance to make new friends, so ask your flatmates whether they’re interested in signing up for one together. You don’t necessarily have to stick it out and attend every week, but going along to a couple of beginner’s sessions can give you some ideas as to whether or not it’s right.

Make a joint bucket list

Meeting new people that you’re going to be living with can be awkward, but as soon as you’ve got to know each other and your traits, it’ll become a whole lot more simple. Consider making a bucket list, where you all pitch in an idea or two of things you’d like to get up to before the end of the term. That could include going to a local karaoke night, making your own homemade curry, finding a girlfriend/boyfriend, or simply going for a road trip.

Decorate together

If you’re not happy with the communal spaces in your new shared accommodation, then consider asking everyone to get involved in a decorating session. Paint and pizza parties are a great idea – you order a couple of pizzas and buy a few tins of paint, and within no time at all, you’ll have painted your house and have bonded.

There you have it – five simple ways to bond with your new housemates. Give these ideas a go and see where they take you,  and you might just be surprised by the results!

Whether you’re in school, college or university, being a student can be an expensive business. On top of the school supplies you’ll need, like stationery, books and a laptop, there’s the cost of living in student accommodation, food and socialising with your friends.

Today, we’re putting together five of the simplest ways that you can save money as a student.

 

Sell unwanted stuff

The chances are that you have hundreds of pounds worth of technology, books, games and furniture lying around your house, so what better way to get rid of them all than by selling them? There are so many ways that you can sell unwanted stuff, but the most popular nowadays include Facebook Marketplace and eBay. Put your items up for sale and ask people to bid – or choose a price outright and wait for people to get in touch with you. If you live in a university city, then you’ll be able to find buyers for furniture and textbooks within days, so don’t delay!

 

Move back home

This point is targeted towards students who are studying in their hometowns or close to home rather than those who are living far away. If you’re renting an apartment or living in halls while you’re at university, then consider the benefits of moving back home with your parents. Sure, you’ll be giving up some of your freedom and independence, and it might make it more challenging to make new friends and go on nights out, but living at home can save you thousands of pounds per year – and mean that your cooking and washing will be done for you.

 

Walk to classes

We get it: after a heavy night out on town, getting up early and sitting on the bus or walking to your lecture can seem like an impossible task. Because of this, you might choose to get in the car, hire a taxi or book an Uber to get to your class – but doing so can be expensive. Instead, walk to your classes, or buy a bike and get there in style. It might take you a little bit longer, but walking is good for you, and can save you a fortune over time. What’s more, while you’re walking to classes, you can listen to podcasts and audiobooks that will enhance your learning.

 

Make your own lunches

Subway, McDonalds and Nando’s are popular lunchtime treats for students, and with a student card, it’s easy to save money when you’re out and about. But eating out can be seriously expensive, especially if you’re grabbing lunch on the go and don’t really care what you’re eating. Making food at home is a sensible idea, as it allows you to make something relatively healthy and inexpensive, and save you time during the day when you should be studying. And a quick fact; if your University has three ten-week terms and you buy a meal deal for £4 per day, you’d be spending more than £600 a year on lunches. Buy your own bread and fillings at home, and you could save HUNDREDS of pounds in food bills alone. It’s a serious saving that cannot be ignored.

 

There are hundreds of money-saving ideas for students, but today we thought we’d round up five of the most obvious and commonly-overlooked ones. Let us know how you get on – we’d love to hear from you!

Father’s day is fast approaching, however the dilemma every year is what do you get a man who has everything.

It’s the same every year, it’s gets to the day before so we all frantically rush out and buy the same thing we got him last year – socks, slippers, chocolates, beer, whiskey.

That’s all a little safe, these gifts are thoughtful but thinking outside of the box can take hours of trawling through website after website only to go back to the safe option. With most men it all about giving them the tools to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.

Being a student, there’s no time to search and money to spend especially coming towards the end of term. If you want something a little different for under £20 then look no further.

Here are five gifts that your main man will certainly enjoy this Father’s Day.

Xinantime M1 Waterproof Bluetooth Smart Watch

Amazon: £9.35

It’s not quite a Fitbit but it’s still a smartwatch and looks pretty similar to the real deal.

This bargain smartwatch comes in a range of different colours, features include; an alarm clock, Bluetooth facility, it monitors and records sleep, calorie consumption and captures your daily movements.

Smartwatches are a great way to stay fit and monitor your health, they also double up as a watch, monitor your health and link to your phone.

Divoom Bluetune Bean Portable Bluetooth Speaker-Blue

Boots: £14.99

This Divoom Bluetune-Bean is a portable wireless speaker, it connects to all Bluetooth-enabled devices and has a powerful microphone and speaker for clear sound.

It also comes with a carabineer to clip on to a belt loop or backpack for those long walks in the countryside or working in the garden.

According to research from the University of Missouri, music can have a very positive effect on our wellbeing. Music makes us feel uplifted, content and can improve health.

So, if you are wanting to get your dad in a good mood, this is the gift for you!!

14 in 1 Solar Robot

Boots: – £18.00

This cool little solar powered robot kit is every techy dad’s dream. It comes with the tools to build 14 different moving styles of robot that operate on both land and water making it a challenging, playful and stimulating gift.

Although this is more towards the higher end of the budget, if your dad is into gadgets then he’s sure to be impressed with this gift.

Smartphone Projector 2.0 – Copper

IWOOT: £16.99

Projectors are no longer the thing of the past, if you were born in the 80’s then you all know projectors were the in thing and the only way to display those memorable experiences.

This smartphone projector magnifies images on your phone, and the silicone grip holds your phone securely in place, transforming any wall into a cinema experience.

Black iBed

IWOOT: £7.99

If you really want to show your dad how much you mean to him this Father’s Day, why don’t you make him breakfast in bed with his favourite movie or show all set up for him to enjoy.

It not only means he gets a warm welcome in the morning but he can then use it to watch what he wants when he wants.

This ibed will allow your dad to use his iPad or tablet in bed, on the sofa and on the plane.

It’s filled with microbeads for added comfort, a slot to place the hold the tablet and a non-slip surface to hold drinks and plates.

What more could a dad ask for this Father’s Day?