Thursday, 12 June 2008

Student Discounts - How To Get The Cheapest Deals

We all know how student life is all about partying, being with your friends and having a good time. To sustain this rhythm of life, students are always looking for the cheapest deals.

A good way to do so is to have a student card which enables you to have student discounts. How does this work? Many websites including and explain the concept of student discounts, student cards and many more handy things to know before you go to university.

There are different types of student cards; the most effective are the “Student Advantage Discount Card” and the “International Student Identity Card” otherwise known as the ISIC.

The Student Advantage Discount Card is the nation's most widely accepted discount program for students. The Card provides students with exclusive discounts up to 50% off at more than 20,000 locations around campus, online and at many national businesses. These locations and websites include Urban Outfitters, Footlockers, NBA stores, People Magazine, Vision Direct and many more… To get your card simply go to

The International Student Identity Cardholders gain access to special discounts with many companies, especially with travel-related services such as airplanes, buses, trains, ferries, and rental cars. You can also have discounts on various attractions, historical sites, museums, hotels, bars and restaurants…The card generally costs
$22 in the US or £9 in the UK. In the United States, cards come with international travel/medical insurance, hence the increased cost. To get your card go on

We can also note that the International Student Identity Card is indispensable to the well-being and education of foreign and international students.

To sum up everything that has been said, student life can be quite hectic therefore it is very important that you have one of these cards. So, think about it when you are getting insurance or filling in your UCAS forms.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Student Guide to Newcastle Nightlife

Guide to going out in Newcastle

Newcastle is legendary for its nightlife. If you choose to study at Northumbria or Newcastle University, you are signing up for a tremendously buzzing student life.

Newcastle is crammed full of students, over 40000! That amounts to 1 in 7 of the population of the city. Students are everywhere which makes Newcastle one of the most vibrant cities in England and its Nightlife has been voted 8th best in the world! So if you’re looking for a fun time then Newcastle is certainly the right choice.

The Universities both have great student unions which you will discover in your fresher’s week. This guide is to give you the low down on where to go in the city. Quayside is a popular area for students with bars like Flynns, who on Monday and Wednesday evenings have drink promotions, giving free shots on arrival and pints at a pound. Easy on the bank balance – havoc on your liver…..Flynns is a great place to start your night with your mates, or, if heavy drinking is your thing, try some of the other bars that do deals on trebles; The Mushroom, Bar 42 and Basement.

Jesmond is one of the most student friendly areas of Newcastle and Osbourne Road is where you should be heading. A good bar to mention is Blanc, which is part of Whites Hotel. It’s quite trendy but has cheap drinks and there’s plenty of space to sit. Also around Jesmond is a bar called Mr Lynch. This place is really cool, they have live funk and jazz, djs, acoustic nights, and they take kitsch décor to a whole new level. They do great food and drinks at student friendly prices. It’s a place to chill out with groove vibes. Open till 2am – it’s a nice place to end a timid night or to start a mental one.

5 minutes from Quayside, and part of the Mr Lynch family, is Nancy’s Bordello. It’s new and has a similar vibe to Mr Lynch, kitsch and cool. If you like these bars then you should also check out As You Like It and Apartment – a bit swankier but good for an occasion.

Monday nights usually see the students hitting Tiger Tiger for student night Vodka Island. The main attraction being the very cheap drinks offers. The DJ’s will be spinning Hip Hop and R ‘n’ B and the best music of the 80s 90s and now.

Alternatively go to Digital for their 80’s night on Mondays. Its 80p entry if you were born in the 80’s and drinks promotions at 80p too. Digital is also home to Stonelove on Thursdays, Newcastle’s best indie night. It is also the club where you’re going to see the best gigs and dj sets, this month they have Ladytron, Wax:On, MSTRKRFT, and Tokyo Police Club.

Newcastle’s newest club The Cosmic Ballroom on Stowell Street should go on your list of places to go. The weekends see it at its busiest but through the week it is worth going there, especially on a Tuesday. £4 entrance and drink offers of double spirits and mixer for £1.50. The DJ’s play Drum and Bass, underground through to mainstream and progressive house, electro, techno and psy-trance. Mid-week raving, not always a good thing but it is Wednesday tomorrow so you’ll be able to sleep all afternoon, so long as you’re not on a sports team…..

Blu Bambu is always rammed full of students on a Wednesday night, especially the sports teams. The drinks are cheap and there’s a good mix of chart music and cheese. It’s a fun atmosphere and a great night out with your mates.

Liquid and Envy host an epic student night every Thursday. It’s called Skint. You can’t get much more suitable than that for a student night. £1 entry all night, all drinks £1.30 and no dress code. Music is broad with dance, chart, indie and more. The best student night by far.

Friday nights everyone heads down to Baja Beach Club. Free entry for students, amazing drink promotions - £1.50 for a vodka redbull, great music – a really fun night out.

Saturday nights see’s Northumbria Student Union’s Wiggle. Its now in it’s tenth year and is still the biggest student night in Newcastle. The drinks are cheap everyday and there’s always something going on at the union. The crowd is always quite diverse.
Head down to Stereo on Sunday nights, if you still have the energy after the heavy week. Again, expect cheap drinks and a funk/soul vibe. Good wind down venue. No one wants a full on Sunday night, with the week ahead of you full of lectures and deadlines, you need to start to take it easy.

Hope this guide is helpful to Newcastles new students. Drink Responsibly!!! Haha


Thursday, 15 May 2008

Guide to going out in London

So you have selected to go to University in London. London is huge. There is so much going on. No one should ever be bored, ever. However as a new student in London it can all be quite daunting and you may find yourself get in the habit of hitting the SU Bar and the walkabout and keeping in your comfort zones – which is ok I suppose but you’d be missing out on a hell of a lot of fun and that would be a big shame. So I have constructed an area by area guide to the bars you must go for a drink in and the clubs you have to go and shake your ass in. Deep Breath………

I’ll start off with the legendary Camden Town. Camden is associated usually with Goths, Punks and Emo’s, but there is so much more going on. Camden is packed full of gig venues; The Dublin Castle, Barfly, Dingwalls, Proud Gallery, Koko, The Lock Tavern, The Round House, The Monarch, The Underworld… the list can go on and on. Every year the Camden Crawl makes great use of the long list of gig venues with a two day festival hosting gigs all over the area showcasing the best in new music. Acts this year featured Crystal Castles, Sam Sparro, Noah and the Whale and loads more.

I’ll pick out a couple of Camden’s best bits for you. My favourite place for a drink with my mates is probably The Lock Tavern; there is a roof terrace and a beer garden and really good food. In the summer they have a barbeque too. All my favourites! And the music is always really cool with surprise DJ’s and residents. Just up the road from there is the Barfly, the local rock and roll sweat box. Generally the gigs there are the best of Camden’s new music scene, it’s usually rammed full on Friday and Saturday nights, drinks aren’t too expensive they have cheap shots and on their club night Casino Royale you can play roulette and win drinks.

Proud Galleries recently relaunched in a new venue about 100 times the size than the old one. It is seriously huge. Situated in stables market, there are two massive rooms and then loads of seated areas in the old stables. Expensive drinks but great nights. The launch kicked off with The Enemy playing a gig and things have just been getting better and better since then.

Koko is home to club NME and Xfm do their awards show there. It’s really stunning inside and if you’re an indie scenester then it’s the place to be on a Friday night. There is usually discount for students on entry as well.

Shoreditch has become the trendiest place to go out. The area is flooded with artists, musicians, poets, photographers and fashionista’s. The vibe is very chilled and bohemian through the day times and then at night the pubs and clubs come alive. Hoxton Bar and Kitchen is home to Sunday nights BoomBox, the club that started a fashion revolution. It became the place to be with the likes of Naomi Campbell, Lindsay Lohan and Kelly Osborne swinging by to party and a tribe of regulars who dress not to impress but to gob smack. It sounds like it would be full of egos and posers but it is so open and welcoming and has free entry, everyone is there for a great time. The after party is held at Bar Aquarium, Wet Yourself. It’s basically a club playing good electro with a pool and Jacuzzi, soooo much fun I can’t even get started. Don’t forget your Speedo’s!

Also in Shoreditch its worth checking out Brick Lane. There are some great bars around like 93 feet east and café 1001, hosting all kinds of gigs, short film nights and DJ sets. Great food is available too.

The Old Blue Last on Commercial Street is a cool venue. It’s owned by Vice magazine and there are usually gigs upstairs most nights. Check out club night BOSH! one Friday each month. It’s free to get in and always has an awesome line up and great DJs.

Goldsmiths students have a pretty good selection of places to go down in New Cross. London’s most stylish students hit the Amersham Arms for gigs and club nights. Check out SKIPtheatre, it’s a night of live music and theatrical performances from girls who love to skip, sounds quite bizarre but it’s very cool. There are good gigs at the New Cross Inn and the Goldsmiths Student Union host some great nights too with very cheap drinks on offer.

Hanging out in central London can be a bit hit and miss. You may find yourself in a heavily over priced pub or cocktail bar and the atmosphere lacks a sense of community due to the amount of tourists. However there are some really great places to go. For the student with a tight budget I would recommend going to one of the many Sam Smith’s pubs dotted around Soho. My favourite is the recently refurbished Princess Louise on High Holborn. It is truly beautiful inside and a standard pint is £2.10!! If it’s too busy in there then move on to The Crown on New Oxford Street and take your beer outside where there are loads of people gathering around drinking and chatting.

For clubbing in central London, the most popular places for students are Madame JoJo’s, The Roxy, Punk and Metro. They’re all gig venues that have club nights too, usually pretty rock and roll but there can be lots of different stuff going on too. The End is a great club in the west end. Home to Durrrr the successor of the iconic Trash club night where the theme is to be as eccentric as you can and have an amazing time. Other nights are good too, there’s a lot of variety; dub, techno, electro, drum and bass etc. And on the weekends it is open until 6.

There are also loads of club nights put on for students with very cheap drinks. There is Vodka Island at Tiger Tiger every Monday; Lost in London at The Zoo Bar every Tuesday; Game On every Wednesday at Zoo Bar and Mystik Disco at On Anon every Thursday. They are all very popular with students probably due to the low prices for drinks and the vast genre span of the music. It’s also a good place to go to meet other students when you are settling into London life.

West London has a great scene too. It is more likely to drain your bank account but there are ways to make the most of Notting Hill on a budget. Notting Hill Arts Club is home to Alan McGee’s Death Disco, the legendary punk, rock, electro club every Wednesday. The drinks are reasonably priced and it’s free to get in before 8 so definitely worth going down for. There are lots of nice pubs and bars in the area too, check out Neighbourhood at 12 Acklam Road for a mix of funk, soul, jazz, afro-latin and more.

I could go on but you’d never get any homework done – so I will leave it there. Party On!! x

Guide to going out in Liverpool

So, you’ve moved to Liverpool to embark upon your degree. You’ve just had your student loan dumped into your new bank account with a hefty overdraft. Your mum paid your first accommodation instalment and you’ve got your text books and insurance sorted. You’re all kitted out in a new wardrobe and you’ve just made a load of new friends and you’ve still got a very comfortable looking bank balance. How about you go and spend it on what it was meant for – partying!

Liverpool is not only home to the tracksuit wearing, perm sporting, Scouser; The Beatles; Everton and Liverpool FC’s, WAGs and the cast of Hollyoaks, oh no. It has three universities and has been named the capital of culture. Liverpool is a vibrant student friendly city with a hell of a lot on offer to make your student years there truly special.

I will introduce this guide with one of the most decadent, beautiful drinking establishments in Liverpool, The Philharmonic Dining Rooms (or the ‘Phil’). It was built in 1990 to cater for wealthy locals and concertgoers. Decorated in a stunning Art Nouveau style with exquisite mosaic carpet, wonderful craftsmanship on the woodwork and outstanding architecture, you may find yourself forgetting why you went in there in the first place. And then you remember: Beer. The beer does not let down the surroundings and has found a slot in the good beer guide a number of times. John Lennon allegedly said when asked about the down points of fame, ‘not being able to have a drink in the Phil.’

Being a student you may have to stick to a very tight budget; Liverpool has many a drinking hole to accommodate this requirement.
The Camel Club is a stylish tucked away bar with a chilled out vibe. On Monday nights you can get a spirit and mixer for 99p and bottles for £1. Thursday nights are also ridiculously cheap drinks with bottles sold 2 for 1 and shots at £1 .If you’re into R’n’B then this is the place to go. If you’re not, you can drink so much for so little money that you can block the music out probably within the first hour of being there.

Also popular with students is The Office on Concert Square. It was once called RSVP and was generally quite a hectic place but it has been renamed and reinvented as a mellow bar with good food. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the most student friendly nights.

A good night out can be found in Heebie Jeebies on Seel Street for the Indie types. The drinks are cheap, the staff are friendly and there are three dance floors to offer lots of musical variety.

If you’re a Beatles fan then there’s no doubt about it – you have to go to The Cavern. For those who don’t know, The Cavern is ‘the most famous club in the world’ because The Beatles used to play there when they were first starting out in the early 60’s. The Cavern makes business out of this reputation but they are still pioneers in showcasing new music in Liverpool. There are Live acts every night and the drinks are decently priced. There’s lots of memorabilia around and the brick wall outside has names inscribed in the bricks of lots of acts that have played there

Bars that you can go to any night of the week and expect very cheap student drink offers include; Modo, Bar Ca Va and Font.

If after you’ve had a few drinks you feel like moving on to a club, Chibuku put on some of the coolest house nights in Liverpool. Recent acts have included James Holden, Fabio, Scratch Perverts, Killa Kela, Yousef and Pendulum. Chibuku host nights at Barfly and Nation and you can get discounted tickets as a student. I went on New Years Eve 07/08 and it really was the ultimate party – I strongly recommend embracing Chibuku. Rave safe students!

The Carling academy is where you want to be if you read the NME. All the hottest new bands are lined up to play there in the coming months; Lightspeed Champion, Bat for Lashes, Foals and Dirty Pretty Things to name a few. So shrink your skinny jeans, don your trilby hat and get ready to pose, scenester.

Guide to going out in Leeds

Leeds has more bars and pubs then anywhere else in the north. If you’re planning on going to university there, then you may want a little help in discovering where to go.

Leeds has something for everybody. When you first arrive you’re sure to go to the student unions to begin with and make friends but soon afterwards you’ll be taking the adventure of the city and choosing your favourite pubs as your locals. A lot of students find the ‘Otley Run’ useful in this process. The concept being that you start in the afternoon and following the pub crawl along the A660 at Otley road and fit in as many pubs on the way into the City centre as possible. Certain rules apply – girls can drink half pints and if the time is running out then the ‘Shotley Run’ may be more appropriate: this is very similar to the original game but rather than a pint in each pub you have a quick shot in each pub. I’m not sure which is more destructive and to be honest I don’t think I have the stamina to find out.

Some of the pubs on the run are worth a quick mention. The crawl usually starts at Woodies Ale House in Headingley. This pub was regularly featured in ITV’s ‘Fat Friends’. Also the ‘Dry Dock’ is one of the most popular pubs in Leeds for students – it is a ‘Scream’ bar so has cheap drinks but it is also an old gravel barge that has been converted into a bar and sits opposite Leeds Met in town.

Ok, for those of you who like to get stupidly drunk and dance like idiots without the challenge of moving pubs every 10 minutes, I will give a brief introduction to night clubs in Leeds.

The Cockpit is probably one of my favourite gig venues, I have seen some legendary bands in there. It’s really big with great sound, good drinks and just a rocking atmosphere. ‘The Session’ is the club night every Friday night, 11pm – 3am. There are 3 rooms playing a range of genres; guitar and electro, 80’s pop and disco punk and then all kinds of other stuff in the third room. Drinks are cheap at £1.70 for a pint and a double spirit and mixer for £2! Amazing, good times to be had in the cockpit I think. Gigs coming up are also looking pretty hot: MGMT, Black Kids and We Are Scientists are all on the list.

The Faversham has a similar vibe to the cockpit but with a touch more pretence. The uber cool club night ‘Bad Sneakers’ is every Saturday night 9 – 3 with djs spinning indie, electro, new wave and Rock&Roll. Past gigs include The Long Blondes, Arctic Monkeys and Hot Chip. Coming up they have Slow Club, Johnny Foreigner and Animal Collective. It’s £4 entry with NUS or £5 otherwise. Don’t forget to take you ray bans and if your feet aren’t turning blue then you jeans are definitely not tight enough.

Lots of students live in the Hyde Park area and there a lots of tucked pubs and bars around. My favourite is the Brudenell Social Club. It’s a non profit members bar (but membership is free…..I’m guessing it’s a bit of a joke) and is famous for hosting secret gigs with bands like Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand. Its really chilled and relaxed and everyone goes there is just really into music. Go along – you never know which major band will take to the tiny stage.

I’ll just throw in a few other bars/clubs worth giving a bit of time to. HiFi is well known in Leeds and is fairly legendary – winning multiple awards for best bar and best venue. There is a mix between Dj’s, live music, soul, funk, jazz, indie, hip hop and every Saturday evening the very popular comedy club. Also, check out The Cardigan Arms and Trash to see up and coming bands from the buzzing Leeds music scene – you might spot the next chart toppers.

Leeds also has a plentiful selection of student club nights in some of the larger venues with great drink deals. Monday nights hosts Chic Beat at Discotheque, playing Funky House, Electro, R’n’B and Hip Hop. On Tuesdays go to Tiger Tiger for Vodka Island with vodka jellies at £1 each and lots more offers. Music is generally indie and chart music with a bit of Hip Hop and R’n’B. If you’re still not all partied out by Wednesday then get down to Gatecrasher Seven for a mix of House, Dance and Electro with drink offers all night, different themes each week and a capacity of 1300!!! Massive!

Majestyk and Creation are probably the most popular main stream clubs in the City. Both are very big and have been prominent in the Leeds scene for many years. It would be worth checking them out but they are far from my favourite places to go. It’s all very hectic in these clubs.

Well I hope that this is helpful to students of Leeds, but try not to go over board – it’s hard to get your essays done if you’re hung over everyday, it can be done though! I guess that’s one of the biggest challenges you face at university. If it was marked by how hard you partied I think I would have gotten a first. Oh well.