Top 10 Haunted Universities in the World

In the spirit of Halloween, we have put together 10 of the world’s most haunted universities and colleges just in time for spooky season. Here, student witnesses swear of seeing things that are sure to send chills down your spine and remind you never to roam the university halls by yourself!

1.  Heidelberg University, Germany 

This university has a long and dark history. Founded in 1386, the Heidelberg University campus is haunted by the spirits of women forced to undergo sterilization at the university clinic.  The clinic is considered the creepiest place on campus where students can hear the haunting screams of women even today.

Heidelberg Haunted university

The lecture halls at Heidelberg University are also claimed to be haunted by the ghosts of professors who were brutally murdered by the Nazis. They are said to manifest their presence through chalkboards that erase themselves and mysterious words written on the board overnight when the classroom would be presumably empty.

2.  Gettysburg College, USA 

What do you get when you have a 186-years-old building marked by the history of carnage and violence of the Civil War? A haunted university! The Battle of Gettysburg was the largest battle in North America and has many ghost stories. The college used to be a hospital for wounded soldiers of both the Union and Confederacy.  

Haunted Gettysburg College

Several students have seen armed sentinels crossing the campus after dark. and of the “blue boy”, a little boy whose face is entirely blue. Some college staff said they once used the lift to reach the first floor of the college but were instead taken to the basement, which is said to be haunted by bloodstained Civil War doctors. In there, they couldn’t believe their eyes as they saw what seemed like a hospital scene with wounded soldiers and doctors attending to them. 

3.  University of St Andrews, Scotland 

Dating back almost six centuries, the University of St Andrews was founded in 1413. It is the first university in Scotland and also one of the most haunted universities in the world. It is home to poltergeists and restless souls. 

Haunted St. Andrews university

St Rule’s Tower in St Andrews Cathedral is haunted by a ‘ghostly monk’, who ensures the safety of visitors venturing forth into the tower. Other notorious sightings include the spirit of the ‘white lady of St Andrews’ who strolls across the cathedral grounds, particularly in October and November. 

4.  La Trobe University, Melbourne

Established in 1964, La Trobe University was once used to house mentally-ill patients in the Mont Park Asylum. Tales of patients who have never really left are inevitably passed on from one student cohort to the next.

Haunted La Trobe university

A particularly popular story is that of a music box playing an uncanny tune in certain areas of the university. It is said that the music box was of a young girl admitted as a patient but was never allowed to play with her toys. Now, after her death, she ventures out in the night to do all the playing she was never able to do when she was alive.

And that’s not just it! According to the Student Union of La Trobe University, there have also been alleged ghost sightings in various parts of the university’s main campus. 

5.  University of Toronto, Canada

While the University of Toronto is widely known for its strong academic reputation, it’s also one of the most haunted universities around the world. Christie Mansion, a building on the university campus, was apparently the site of an illicit love affair where two stonemasons who tried killing each other over a woman.

Haunted Uni of Toronto

One of them was Ivan Reznikoff and his body was buried on campus. To this day, it is said that his ghost roams the campus. Professors, students, and even security staff have heard banging from empty rooms, objects mysteriously moving, and spectres that suddenly vanish into thin air. 

6.  University of Alabama, USA

Founded 187 years ago, the University of Alabama is rife with ghost stories. It is said that the Gorgas House, one of the oldest buildings in the campus, is being haunted by the former university president, Josiah Gorgas. Faculty and students have sometimes heard footsteps and the clanging of his sword.

Haunted Uni of Alabama

The university was initially used as a military academy in 1860 to train Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War. A few buildings dating back from the period have survived and many people have witnessed some paranormal activities there. 

7.  RMIT University, Australia

Given RMIT’s close proximity to the infamous Old Melbourne Gaol (one of Melbourne’s most haunted locations), it is no wonder that many ghost sightings in its buildings have been reported by staff and students alike.

According to some YouTubers, it turns out that buildings 1, 11, 13, 20, and 24 are supposed hotspots for paranormal activities once night falls. Looks like your late-night study sessions in these buildings may turn out to be a little more interesting than expected.

8.  University College London, UK

Founded in 1826, the University College London is haunted–that is, according to some of its 215,000 students who have had the unfortunate supernatural experience. It is said that the campus is haunted by a young girl Emma Louise, who would appear if her name is called thrice.

Haunted University College London

She is said to have been killed in a tunnel that connects the modern campus building, now used for student accommodation, to the older Cruciform building. A group of students once decided to say her name three times and reported that they heard a young girl’s laughter and found the words “help me”, “die”, and “murder” written on the wall.

9.  Ohio University, USA 

Ghost hunters and paranormal activists are quick to call Ohio University one of the most haunted colleges in America. It is said to be harbouring ghosts and ghouls. According to believers, it was built on a burial ground having the unsanctified graves of patients from the Athens Lunatic Asylum. 

Haunted Ohio University

There is a famous legend that the dead body of an asylum patient in 1978, was found on the now-abandoned top floor of the university’s museum and art centre. It is also believed that the notorious Room 428 of Wilson Hall, where two students supposedly died mysterious deaths is extremely haunted. 

10.  University of Cambridge, UK

Founded in 1209, University of Cambridge is one of the world’s top universities and also among the oldest in England. So it should come as no surprise that it has a few resident ghouls. Amongst which the most famous is Oliver Cromwell, the late Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. 

Haunted Cambridge University

He was executed and his body was supposedly dug up, hung, and beheaded three years after his death. Since then, his ghost has reportedly been spotted around the campus, perhaps in search of the rest of its body.

Are you brave enough to attend any of these universities?

Tips to Open a Bank Account in the UK

If you’re going to study in the UK for more than a few months, then opening a bank account is a good idea. You can use it to pay your rent, manage daily expenses without incurring any extra charges.  As an international student, it’s easy to open a bank account in the UK, but before that, it’s important to know your options to make the right choice.  

What Type of Bank Accounts are Available?

Each bank has different types of accounts, such as international students account, credit account, and savings account. It is advised to open a student bank account which is mostly similar to normal current accounts but come with some added perks to sweeten the deal like interest-free overdrafts.

Which Bank Should You Choose?

There are a variety of banks in the UK to go for but which is the one that fits your needs as a student. For a student, an ideal bank will be the one which offers unlimited deposits and withdrawals, no overdraft fee, no minimum balance or monthly service charge. It should be close to your place of stay or the university so you don’t have to trek across half the city every time you need to deposit cash or hand over documents.

Which bank account in the UK should be opened

There are a lot of financial institutions working closely with various universities like Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Natwest, and RBS. Many of these also offer freebies and incentives like a free 4-year 16-25 railcard, a National Express Coachcard or a Tastecard, and more. 

Time Duration to Open a Bank Account in the UK

Once decided which bank to opt, you need to make an appointment at the nearest branch to your hall or private accommodation. The process of opening a bank account in the UK is easy but it can take a few days to a couple of weeks. 

Time to Open a bank account in the UK

Instead of going through all the hassle, you can simply use our account opening service Unizest Aspire. We will help you set up a bank account even before you land in the UK.  

Documents You Require

Once you have made up your mind about where to open your bank account, it is time you complete the documentation and make an appointment with the bank. 

As an international student, you will need the following documents to open a bank account in the UK: 

Documents require to open a bank account in the UK

  1. An ID card or Passport.  
  2. Proof of address in the UK ( any recent utility bill or your tenancy agreement).
  3. Proof you’re a student in the UK university ( admission letter from your university, UCAS confirmation or your student visa). 

Before setting up a bank account, you will need to have a permanent residence in the UK. If you are having trouble finding quality student accommodation, visit UniversityLiving.com and choose from the best accommodations near your uni. 

7 Reasons Why Australia is the Best Place to Study

Australia is a multicultural and dynamic country with energetic and friendly people. When you think of Australia, the first thing that comes to mind are kangaroos, wide-open spaces of the outback bush, koala colonies, Great Barrier Reef, and clean air and water. 

An increasing number of international students are opting for Australia due to its world-class education, hospitable climate, post-study work opportunities, and a high standard of living. 

If you’re thinking of studying abroad, here’s why Australia is one of the best places to live and study. 

Affordability

Australia is currently ranked as the third most popular study destination for overseas students in the English-speaking world, behind the UK and the United States.

Study in Australia affordability meme

Most of the courses taught in Australia are of shorter duration but are packed with an educational punch, so to speak. The courses offered in Australian universities are a lot cheaper than those offered by their counterparts in other popular education destinations.  

Quality of Education 

Australia has some of the best universities in the world with six of them featured in the prestigious top 100. Students have plenty of options to choose from in terms of courses in their chosen field as well as universities offering those courses. 

The Australian approach to vocational and technical education is recognised as one of the most innovative in the world,  thanks to its high-quality teaching. All the universities are focused on practical teaching and believe in nurturing student needs through a deep understanding of subjects. 

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Australia is quite high but cheaper when compared to the UK or US. The good thing is that a student gets value for their money in terms of the cost of living while staying in Australia. 

study in Australia meme

To reduce your cost of living, opt for a purpose-built student accommodation which provides various amenities like Wi-Fi, gym, lounge area, and more. These amenities are usually included in the rent so you don’t have to pay anything extra from your pocket. 

Graduate Prospects

Overseas students are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week while studying in any Australian university. You can use this opportunity to earn some money to offset living expenses during your stay. It will also help you to gain work experience in your field of interest while you study. 

Job opportunities after study in australia

After studying in Australia it’s quite easy to find a job so that you can make ends meet. There are several jobs on offer in an array of disciplines like agriculture, aeronautics, data analysis, cyber security, digital marketing, commercial analysis, software development, and more. 

Even if you decide to return back to your home country, your employer will surely be fascinated by your Australian degree and your international exposure.

Cultural Diversity 

Australia is among the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Its people are known for their sociable, open and relaxed lifestyle which will help you to make friends easily. The country has a reputation for being safe with a low crime rate and strict gun control laws. It has a vibrant art scene and charming laid-back atmosphere, and a high quality of life. 

Spectacular Landscape 

Surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans, Australia is a wonderful blend of sandy beaches, breathtaking rainforests, deserts, world heritage sites, and inspiring landmarks. It is home to over 10,685 beaches, over 500 national parks, and a whopping 8,222 islands.  Enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling around the great Great Barrier Reef. 

Global Recognition

Any course or training undertaken by the students from any Australian university is highly valued by the companies and other educational institutes across the globe. These courses are covered by the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF), which is a system of learning authorised by the Australian government.

Check out this link to know about some mind-blowing facts about Australia.

 

5 Types of  Roommates You Will Meet in College

Moving to university is pretty daunting, and having to share a room with a complete stranger only adds to the anxiety. If there’s one thing about studying abroad that you should know, it’s the types of roommates to expect and how to deal with them!

1. The Clean Freak

These types of roommates are a challenge if you are someone who is quite lazy and has a habit of keeping things messy. These type of roommates will clean non-stop and insist that the room be clutter-free and spotless at all times.

Expect pep talks and snide remarks every now and then on your hygiene standards, but know that they mean well. 

Clean Freak types of roommates

How to deal with them: You can talk to them about creating a schedule for cleaning that suits you both. Lead with compassion and try to keep the mess to a minimum! 

2. The Party Animal

These types of roommates will never let you live or study in peace as they will always find an excuse to party. They constantly blast music, invite friends over and party hard till dawn.

Such roommates can be fun to hang out with. They’ll introduce you to new people and places. There will never be a dull moment! 

Party animal types of roommates

How to deal with them: Try talking to your flatmate about scheduling parties away from exams and weekdays. You can also try out some alternate places to study in, like the library or local cafe. 

3. The Slob 

These are some of the hardest roommates to coexist with as they literally never clean up after themselves. They also completely ignore the chore list that you both agreed to and are experts at making new excuses 

slob types of roommates

How to deal with them: Don’t bang your head against the wall if they repeat the same things again as old habits don’t die easily. Try to talk it out and if they still don’t change their habits don’t worry University Living has got you covered.

We provide a room replacement service in which you can have your room replaced if you are unhappy with the existing one due to any reason. 

4. The Passive-Aggressor 

This is the worst type of roommate you can encounter. They always find something to complain about but will avoid confrontation like the plague! You’ll recognise them from all the sticky notes they leave you to convey their disapproval. 

Passive Aggressive types of roommates

How to deal with them: Lay down ground rules from the very start to set expectations and encourage frank but polite communication. 

5. The Clinger

Ever had a roommate appeared right behind you every time you turn around? You’ve got a clinger. They will never leave you alone, be it shopping, watching a movie, eating out or meeting friends. 

The clinger will follow you everywhere and ask endless questions on just about anything.  They will be invested in the smallest details of your life and are least likely to take no for an answer. 

How to deal with them:  Resist the urge to call them a creep. It’ll only make matters worse! Try to be sensitive and focus on what they could do better instead of their flaws. 

No matter what kind of roommate you encounter, it is always important to talk things out. The best thing you can do is be calm, respectful, honest, and considerate because you’re roommates. Everyone needs their space, but you also need to live together peacefully and learn not to let things affect you too much. 

Just in case you can’t cope with the situations and want to replace your room. Don’t worry, University Living will always be there for your rescue.  You can also tweet us about the types of roommate you’ve lived with! 

Best UK Student Discount Cards for Irresistible Offers

Studying at a university is the best time of your life, but this memorable time comes with its costs. There are miscellaneous expenses apart from student accommodation which can burn a hole in your pocket. So it is better to save a little money while studying at university. There are a variety of student cards available in the UK, that can provide great discounts on things such as shopping, travel, and food. So we’ve curated a list of 7 of the best UK student discount cards that are worth your time! 

UK Student Discount Cards 

  1. NUS Discount Card
  2. University Student ID Card
  3. International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
  4. UniDays Discount App
  5. 16-25 Railcard
  6. 18+ Student Oyster Card
  7. Student Debit Card
  8. Tesco Clubcard

What is an NUS card?

Run by the National Union of Students, an NUS card is one of the most popular UK student discount cards. It is aimed at helping students make their lives easier and more economical by availing discounts at various stores. 

TOTUM UK Student Discount Card

TOTUM, which was earlier known as the NUS Extra card, entitles you to student discounts in loads of major high street stores. It is also the only student discount card that can be used while shopping online. It provides unlimited music at half the price, access to student rates on TV and internet bills, and great deals on pizza, all for only £1 per month! You can get an annual card for £12 and it will help you save around £500 a year on an average. 

International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) offers discounts to students in 130 different countries, with access to over 42,000 student benefits and discounts in close to 125,000 locations.

ISIC UK Student discount card

You can enjoy special discounts and offers on food, books, shopping, accommodation, and travel. Therefore it’s a perfect fit for both travelling and studying overseas. It is also considered an acceptable form of student ID in many UK stores.

UniDays 

UNiDAYS is a popular app among students as it offers them discounts both online and in-store. Signing up for it is completely free! You will just need your academic email address to create an account on it.

UNiDAYS offers student discounts on a variety of leading brands and retailers such as  Apple, Missguided, Benefit, Bella Italia, ASOS, Urban Outfitters, and more. You can receive a 10%-50% discount, depending on the store, at the time of checkout. 

Requirements to use UNiDAYS

Anyone over 16 years old studying at a college or university in the UK can join UNiDAYS. You can set up an account by simply visiting their website and filling a quick registration form with an academic/institution email address (including ‘ac.uk’).

Student Beans

It is a student discount platform similar to UNiDAYS, offering UK student discount and student deals in-store and online. You can gain access to a wide range of discounts by just signing up to the Student Beans website. The best part? It is absolutely free. 

16-25 Railcard

Travelling can be expensive in the UK, especially by rail which can burn a hole in your pocket. So if you are planning to use train a lot for getting around the UK, investing in a railcard will be a smart move.

16-25 Railcard

It can be availed by anyone aged between 16 to 25 years, or over 25 and in full-time study. It is a worthy investment as it gives you 30 percent off standard rail fares and costs only £30 per year. You can add your railcard to your Oyster card if you’re planning on travelling around London and enjoy a 34 percent discount. 

18+ Student Oyster  

An 18+ student Oyster photocard offers 30 percent off adult-rate travel cards for use on all Transport for London services (i.e. underground, overground, buses and trams).

Oyster UK student Discount card

This card is only available to students aged 18 or over, staying in London and enrolled on a full-time or part-time course with the university. It is quite easy to apply for a Student Oyster photocard. You just need to pay a £20 administration fee and give a recent photo of yours.

Student Debit Card

When starting university, it is highly recommended that you sign up for a student bank account, designed exclusively for university students. Having an undergraduate bank account is quite helpful, as there is no minimum balance to be maintained and entails additional benefits such as an interest-free overdraft. 

Tesco Clubcard

Tesco Clubcard (commonly known as Clubcard) is the loyalty card of British supermarket chain Tesco. It is not a discount card but will help you while you do the weekly shopping. When you will shop at a Tesco, you will earn one point for every £1 (for every €1 in Ireland) spent whereas, for other services such as fuel, one point is earned for every £2 (€2 in Ireland) spent.

Tesco Clubcard: UK Student Discount Card

You will receive a statement and vouchers equivalent to the value of the points earned. These can be used with any of Tesco’s partners, including Pizza Express, Cineworld, and Uber. 

Think we missed something? Tweet us your favourite discount card and tips which can help students save money. 

Guide to UK Healthcare for International Students

Moving to a new country is a very difficult time for every student as there are a lot of things to work out. For instance, there are differences in weather, food, rules, and customs to deal with. In all these things we fail to pay attention to our health and fall prey to illness. However, you don’t have to worry as the UK healthcare is considered as the best healthcare system in the world. It provides free healthcare to all under the NHS (National Health Service) including full-time international students.

UK Healthcare

If you become unwell during your time in the UK then you’ll need to know the following things about the medical care you can receive. 

How does the UK Healthcare System work?  

In the UK, you’re entitled to receive NHS (National Health Service) Primary care medical services at a GP (general practitioner) surgery without charge. This is the first place to visit for medical treatment. You will need a letter from your College and your passport as proof you are a student. Most problems and illness can be treated by the GP, but if you need to see a specialist for specific treatment or tests that they may not be able to provide onsite. You have to take a referral from your GP and set an appointment before your visit.

Health Centres and GP surgeries are normally open during the daytime and early evening. In case of any emergency, you can visit the local hospital near your college which have an NHS Walk-in Clinic. If you have a minor health problem such as a cold, sore throat or dry skin, you can visit a pharmacy (chemist) to buy medicines.

However, if you are applying for a Tier 4 student visa and coming to the UK for 6 months or longer you will be required to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application fee. You are not required to take a shot of any specific vaccinations to enter the UK. However, people of certain countries require screening for tuberculosis. You can bring vaccination records with you to show to a doctor if you need to.  

UK Healthcare stats

 If suffering from Pre-existing medical condition?

If you are suffering from a medical condition and are already receiving treatment for it or are on specific medication then it is even more important to register with a GP as soon as you arrive. This is important because it is highly likely you will need to see a doctor at some point during your stay at the university, even if only for a prescription or a check-up. This is also useful to you if you are awaiting test results or diagnosis from your doctors at home.

Priced Healthcare Services: 

Dental Treatment

In the case of dental treatment, you have to contribute towards the cost of your dental treatment even though you are covered under NHS treatment. If you are not covered under NHS or the dentist does not take NHS patients, in such case you have to pay the full amount of your treatment. 

UK Healthcare

However, you may be able to get free dental treatment from the students studying at a dental hospital. The best thing is that it applies to everyone whether they are entitled to NHS treatment or not.

Eye Treatment 

Eyecare is also not free under the NHS and you will normally have to pay a minimum charge for an eye test, around £20 on the NHS.  

UK Healthcare

Tip: You can apply for help with the cost of your eye test and glasses or contact lenses based on low income in the same way as for prescriptions and dental treatment.

These are some of the things to know before starting a new chapter in the UK.  

Top 5 Tips for Moving to Uni for the First Time

Moving away from home for the first time can be scary, especially when it’s the start of a whole new life. But don’t worry – the following tips will help you settle down into university life!

Set Yourself a Student Budget and Stick to It

It is important to give yourself a student budget every month to ensure you don’t excessively spend. Make yourself a spreadsheet with all your outgoings but save a little for those monthly treats. Shop the basics at supermarkets and cook up a gourmet meal for yourself at less. Check out this blog for saving money at food shops.

Attend the Fresher’s Fair and Fresher Events

In your first few weeks of being a newbie, make sure you get yourself down to the Freshers’ fair and grab yourself as many freebies as you can! Attend lots of fresher events for a chance to mingle and make some new friends.

Don’t forget to kit out your room with our good friends at UniKitOut

Purchase your bedding, bathroom, kitchen packs and all your extras BEFORE you arrive – don’t wait until the last minute for the shops to sell out and don’t waste your social time shopping for your bedding. Receive 10% off your orders when using the discount code TUL10 at checkout.

Get to Know Your City

Before you arrive in your chosen city of study, do some research to find out where the local shops, supermarkets, gyms, restaurants and doctors are. When you have arrived, spend your spare time walking around the city and getting to know the area.

Keep Fit and Healthy

Ensure you are eating a balanced diet and getting daily exercise. Meal prep healthy meals instead of getting a take away and walk to uni and to the nearest supermarkets instead of Uber-ing it. If you don’t want the expense of a gym, go for a run in the park.

5 Tips for Living with a Roommate

Roommate tips

Living with roommates can be an incredibly fun and memorable experience that everyone should try at least once. Communication is vital, especially when it comes to living with others as it can be a challenging mix of different personalities living in a small space. The individuals have to be willing to make compromises when they decide to live together. Check out these roommate tips and tricks to help you learn how to live with a roommate and enjoy your time at university.

1. Discuss Sleep Schedule 

Having a good night’s sleep is important to have a fresh start in the morning. It is vital to discuss with your roommates about when it is appropriate to have the lights on. You should respect their sleep and they need to do the same for you.

Roommate tips Sleep Schedule

Be sure to ask when they usually wake up, as pressing snooze multiple times in the morning makes it difficult for others to stay asleep. Avoid those loud alarms and try to opt for a silent alarm clock instead, such as a wristband that vibrates when you need to wake up.

2. Plan Bathroom Habits

Certain things can only be done in the bathroom, like brushing teeth, bathing, and using the toilet. But there are plenty of other things which can be done outside the bathroom to ensure both you and your roommates have equal time to use the facilities.

Roommate living tip Bathroom habits

Make a schedule for taking a shower on weekdays to ensure you always get to class on time. Also, talk about where you’ll keep and how you’ll label toiletries and personal items to make it obvious that they belong to you. Always be courteous and replace the roll if you use the last of the toilet paper.

3. Talk it Out

If something is bugging you, bring it up as soon as possible. Don’t let it linger and fester and don’t assume that your roommate has any idea that there is something wrong. For example, if your roommate is talking on the phone when you’re trying to study, address it.

Roommate living tip Talk it out

Simply being annoyed and expecting your roommate to notice is not going to work. Letting your opinions be known avoids any potential conflicts and puts you on the fast track to best-roommate-forever status.

4. Do Not Disturb

Discuss with your roommate about how to manage phone conversations and visitors in these close quarters. Decide how you’ll manage if one of you wants to talk on the phone while the other is studying.

Roommate living tip Do not disturb

If you find the noise is loud in general, consider purchasing a sound machine – it makes wonderful white noise and should help drown out bothersome sounds. This is also useful to have if your roommate snores. Alternatively, you can also purchase some earplugs.

5. Set Ground Rules

This is one of the most important roommate tips which everyone should follow. When you get settled in your new room or apartment firstly, agree on some guidelines right away. Talk about each other’s preferences, habits, and the things that you think might be important.

Roommate living tip Set ground Rules

For instance – discuss the most important everyday activities such as cleaning, air conditioning and heat, noise levels, shared meals, allergies, and so on. Make a chores chart and try to work accordingly. Establishing a clear set of rules upfront could help you avoid disputes later on.

By following these 5 roommate tips, you can essentially eliminate those disagreeable roommate issues. Sometimes things can get out of hand in bad roommate situations, but you must try to be calm and handle things maturely. Try to make your time with your roommate a memorable one. Send us a tweet to share the most memorable experience you have with your roommate.

Ultimate Guide to Supermarkets in the UK

Supermarkets in the UK

There are many supermarket chains in the UK from where you can buy food, groceries, daily utilities, etc. without straining your budget.  To make your life easier, we have curated a list of the best supermarkets in the UK! 

Tesco

Tesco Supermarkets in UK

Tesco is the biggest chain of supermarkets in the UK. Tesco Superstores are standard large supermarkets, stocking groceries and a much smaller range of non-food goods. You can look out for its ‘Everyday Value’ range for the cheapest prices. Tesco Extra shops are large and stock nearly all of Tesco’s product ranges. Tesco Express is like a convenience store, which is open late (usually till 11 pm) but keeps a smaller quantity of stock with slightly raised prices. 

Pro Tip: Sign up for their loyalty “Clubcard” to earn a point per £1 spent. These can be redeemed against future purchases & save you big bucks in the long run!

Sainsbury’s

sainsbury's supermarkets in UK

Sainsbury’s is the second-largest chain of supermarkets in the UK after Tesco. You can get everything from groceries and clothing to home-ware and electricals. While Tesco and Sainsbury’s are similar, the latter has a better reputation for quality. Similar to Tesco Express, there are Sainsbury’s Local stores which are smaller in size and offer basic supplies at steeper prices.

Pro Tip: Check out the Sainsbury’s Basics range for economically priced, everyday essentials.

Aldi 

Aldi supermarket in UK

Aldi is a German chain of supermarkets, which is growing in popularity in the UK due to its pocket-friendly prices. It has stores opened in affluent locations, including Knutsford and Bury St. Edmunds. You will tend to find Aldis outside central London and when you find one, we recommend you stock up its value-for-money branded goods. It has recently launched smaller stores called Aldi Local, with the first store in Balham, southern London. The store has a slightly smaller number of products than a regular Aldi, with a preference for fresh products. 

Pro Tip: The store’s own brand products are about 50% cheaper than similar items from bigger brands but just as great in quality. 

Lidl

Lidl supermarket in UK

Similar to Aldi, Lidlis another German brand which is perhaps the cheapest option. It offers a large range of lesser-known brands but stocks a huge variety of products. There are over 760 stores across the UK, so you’re sure to find one near you for groceries, fruits, and more.

Pro Tip: The in-store bakery offers freshly baked goods from just 15p! 

Asda

Asda supermarkets in UK

Owned by the US retail giant Walmart, Asda operates over 500 stores in the UK. It stocks a wide variety of products at reliably low prices. Just like Aldi, most of Asda’s larger stores are located away from central London.  It is worth visiting an Asda store if you are planning to stock your trolley with anything other than groceries.

Pro Tip: The George range is your best bet for reasonably-priced home-ware and casual clothes. 

Poundland

Poundland supermarkets in UK

Poundland is a British variety store chain founded in 1990. In Poundland, you can find all kinds of products for £1, from chocolates and stationery to cleaning supplies & home accessories. 

Pro Tip: Use the MySupermarket app to compare regular prices of products to their discounted prices in Poundland to get more bang for your buck! 

Marks & Spencer

Mark and Spencer supermarket in UK

Marks and Spencer, popularly known as “Marks and Sparks”, or “M&S”, has 959 stores across the UK, including 615 that only sell food products. Their largest shop is at Marble Arch, on Oxford Street in London. M&S main shops feature a selection of the company’s clothing, home-ware,  beauty products, and M&S Foodhall. You can also find ‘Marks & Spencer Simply Food’ shops at the railway stations which specialize in food. Although M&S is one of the more expensive supermarkets in the UK, it’s “Dine In” specials offers has cheaper evening meal options. 

Pro Tip: Keep an eye on their bargain shelves for products close to the expiry date at throwaway prices. 

Waitrose

Supermarkets in the UK

Waitrose is the most high-end supermarkets in UK with so much stuff that you will get puzzled, what to buy and what not to. If Waitrose is your only supermarket option, seek out their Essentials range for more affordable basics. You can also apply for a Waitrose loyalty card which entitles you to free tea and coffee from the store. If you shop in-store and spend over £10, you are entitled to a discount off your shopping to the value of the newspaper of your choice.

Pro Tip: Offers change on the first Wednesday of each month, so be sure to stock up before they run out. 

These supermarkets in UK are present at very convenient locations, so you can easily visit them and stock up the items you require. Got a pro-tip you’d like to share? Tweet us to be featured in the next blog!

Ultimate Guide to UK Currency Exchange

UK currency

When you are moving abroad for studies, the biggest dilemma that we all face is when, where, and how we will exchange our home currency to the local currency. There are many ways by which you can get your currency exchanged but most of them turn out to be quite disappointing due to various reasons. But you need not worry, with the following tips, you’ll make the most of every cent you spend. With these tips, doing UK currency exchange will be a cakewalk.

Currency exchange is the process of exchanging one’s home currency into the currency of the country he/she is visiting. The exchange can be for anything be it tourism, studies or commerce, etc. For those visiting UK, the currency used throughout the UK is British Pound (GBP- £), made up of 100 pence (p). The pound is also known as Sterling or pound sterling. In slang term, pound or sterling pound is called quid and pence is referred to as “pee”. The coins come in denominations of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, and £2 whereas the notes come in denominations of £5, £10, £20, and £50. These are the denominations that you will get when you will exchange your local currency to pound.

UK currency in notes and coins

Why should you avoid exchanging currency at the airport?

Which is the best place to exchange currency before a trip? The answer should never be the airport. Avoid UK currency exchange at the airport as it the worst place to exchange foreign currency. On exchanging currency from popular booths like Forex, and Travelex that can be easily spotted at the airports, you may end up losing about 15% of the cash you require.

UK currency exchange at airport

Why should you contact your local bank?

You can contact your local banks before travelling and find out what are the UK currency exchange rates. Local banks are more likely to offer better exchange rates and may not charge a fee for it. Also, try to practice the70/30 rule, in which you load 70% of your total expense in forex card and carry the rest 30% in cash in the form of local currency.

Which is the best place to exchange currency?

No matter what your destination is, exchanging foreign currency at a government institution is always better. Visit your nearest post office or a government bank as they can provide you with better exchange rates than local agents or private dealers.

Click on this link to know how to open a bank account in the UK

Should you pay using your debit/credit cards?

Don’t overuse your international debit card or credit cards because that will result in unnecessary convenience and transaction fees. Make use of credit card only for large purchases and debit card for withdrawing money from the ATM.

You can also read this blog: How to find part-time jobs in the UK.

Which places should you avoid?

If you don’t want to pay high conversion fees plus get a poor exchange rate, you must avoid exchanging currency near popular tourist attractions or in the city centre. Instead, we recommend you to opt for less popular tourist areas so that you can get better exchange rates and thus save some money.

If you need more help regarding forex exchange, send us a tweet! We’re always available to make your student experience truly hassle-free. We will help you purchase, sell, and transfer international currency anywhere in the world through our trusted partners at Niyo. Indian students can use their Niyo Global card worldwide with zero Forex markup.