Movies to Watch this Summer

Read on to see what current films our Scape Blogger Sandip recommends

FilmWith the start of August the summer break is nearing its end. Though considering the turbulent and overcast weather we’ve been experiencing recently it might feel like summer was over a while ago. If you’re struggling for things to do, part two of our summer blog series might offer some inspiration. Or you might want to get active, if so check out our top five sports to do this summer. However if neither are to your taste there are many tantalising new films being shown on your doorstop – at the Genesis Cinema in Whitechapel for Scape East students, and the Greenwich Odeon for Scape Greenwich students. Here’s a rundown of our favourites…

 

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

It’s commonly considered that sequels never match the original, but Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is an exception. Set ten winters after the original, Caesar and his ape community are now living peacefully in the forest. However the human population, or what remains after the outbreak of a deadly virus, live in constant fear of the apes and see them as the cause of their problems.  This is an epic film, using evolutionary film methods culminating in a must-see summer movie.

How to Train Your Dragon Two

For those who have a soft spot for a little animation, the sequel to How to Train Your Dragon is a great choice. Hiccup, Toothless and all our favourite Vikings and dragons from the first instalment are back. This film is set five years after the original, and sees the Vikings and dragons living as one community in peace. That is until Drago Bludvist begins capturing dragons to build his army. Cue an adventure filled with all the warmth, laughter, and emotion of the original.

Guardians of the Galaxy

This one should be top of the list for Marvel movie fans. Guardians of the Galaxy sees the universes most unlikely heroes, including a half-human, a tree and a talking racoon, set the unenvious task of saving the galaxy. This is similar to the Avengers, only it’s set in outer space, innovative, funny and visually brilliant.

Boyhood

Scape Greenwich students will have to venture to the Picturehouse to watch this one, but it’s worth it. Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Boyhood is a ground-breaking film that will leave you in awe of what is possible with a camera. Director Richard Linklater breaks all the rules of Hollywood in a film that is beautifully directed, emotionally charged, and will leave you full of warmth. The story follows the life of Mason as he navigates through his school years all the way to college. A tender and touching story, it doesn’t have the feeling of a documentary; it’s just an extraordinary film.

Top 5 Summer Sports to Try

Our intern Josh has come up with a list of 5 sports to try this summer.  Read on and find out how climbing and windsurfing are closer then you think!

Windsurfing

In the few hot summer days we have here in England the best way to spend them is in the water, a great way to cool off. For those of you who aren’t content just swimming and seek an extra thrill in the water, windsurfing will be perfect. Not only is it an exciting and Summer sports to tryinteresting sport but it’s a great way to keep fit, important over the summer when barbecue food starts to pile on the pounds. There are a few clubs that can help train you: Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre, East London Windsurfing School, or BYTC Sailsports (others can be found with a quick Google search). Alternatively your university may have a club or society dedicated to this activity.

Frisbee Baseball

If you can construct a makeshift baseball field, have a Frisbee and some friends then you’ll be ready to play Frisbee baseball. The “batter” takes the Frisbee and has to throw it as far as they can, without the other people catching it or the Frisbee going out of bounds. This is a great way to involve everyone in an energetic and fun game, which keeps everyone fit and happy. A guide and other Frisbee games can be found here.

Skateboarding

Sometimes typical transport methods just aren’t exhilarating enough, if you feel this way why not try skateboarding? Cruising around on four wheels in the sunshine of a a summer’s day is surely the best way to travel and get some exercise at the same time.

High Climbing

If you’ve always felt like there’s an inner monkey inside you, waiting to jump out and swing from the trees then Go Ape is perfect for you. Even if you just fancy a day climbing in the peaceful forest, this activity is perfect. The closest location for Scape students is in Trent Country Park, a 10 minute walk from Cockfosters tube station. Go Ape is an unforgettable experience and a great way to get some exercise and fresh air.

Crazy Golf

Now when people say golf you may not initially assume a fun-filled day out with friends. However, with crazy/mini golf that’s exactly what you get. Instead of the long ritual of a normal golf game, crazy golf is played on a miniature course full of obstacles and challenges. Perfect for a bit of gentle competition with friends! There are courses in Wandsworth Park and Wimbledon Park.

 

Huskr: Kit Your Place Out On the Cheap

If you’re looking for new and innovative products on the cheap to enhance your summer or kit out your new student pad, keep reading!

A brand discovery platform for innovative, independent stores with great promotions. This is the idea that three Bristol-based students pitched to ‘Webstart Bristol’, a technology business incubator that accepted the idea and has been funding its growth. No longer just a concept, it is a now a fully functioning business called Huskr. Imagine a cool and edgy cross between Groupon and Not On The High Street, that’s Huskr!

Huskr

The way it works is pretty simple, explore the curated deals and once you’ve found a product that you like just share the deal on whichever social network you’ve signed up with, and after that… it’s all yours. You will be sent the promo code and link to the store so that your purchase is just a few clicks away.

Whether you’re looking to kit out your wardrobe with exciting new gear, your larder with luxury foods, a bike to get you to uni and back affordably and in style, or a stack of magazines and art to decorate your living room, Huskr will deliver. Recent deals have included 15-40% offclothing brands, discounts on fixed gear bikes, free independent magazines, exclusive prices on wooden sunglasses, and money off funky confectionery.

As Huskr is run and founded by students it’s the perfect place for fellow students to find brands and items that will actually excite and engage you. All the brands on Huskr have been carefully handpicked by the team so as to not dilute the quality of the site’s product range. There is also a section where visitors to the site are encouraged to suggest independent brands that could be hosted on Huskr, to make the site a platform for brand democracy.

Huskr not only helps students and young people with an interest in edgy products, it also helps support the growth of independent stores. All the stores that sign up create their own pages much like a social network profile, where you can gain information on their brand and the other products they sell. You know exactly what you’re getting with in depth descriptions of the products and links to the sites where the products are sold.

If you’re a student looking for new and exciting brands that won’t break the bank this summer, take a peek.

How to Find an Internship

You may be in your second or third year of university and looking at the job market. It may be daunting for new graduates, with reports that in 2013 there were 12 million graduates in the UK. However, many businesses hiring new grads take them through internship programmes. Internships give you experience in your chosen area and are a useful addition to your CV. They allow you to network with the influencers in your field, and they give you hands on experience. In addition to these advantages, you will also be financially compensated. Legislation now dictates that ‘workers’ must receive at least the minimum national wage. (International students whose home country is outside of the EU will need to check with their university if they are able to work on their visa.) Instead of working in food service or retail while you study, a paid internship gives you the chance to advance your career. Start your internship search by following the tips below.Student information blog internship jobs employment work experience

Use your university

Your tutors and careers service may know of companies which work with the university to offer internships. For example Queen Mary University has its own programme (QInterns), and the careers section of their website has lots of useful resources.

Utilise online internship searches

Several websites specialise in compiling internship information for students. Prospects has some good suggestions, and other useful information on internships. If you have dream company choices who aren’t actively offering internships, don’t be afraid to use a site such as LinkedIn to find hiring manager contact details. Talk to them to see if they would be interested in taking on an intern.

Consider your field

Some industries are much more likely than others to offer paid internships. Banking, IT, and government fields are likely to offer paid positions. Hard sciences also have a higher tendency to offer paid internships compared to arts programs.

Research your companies

Once you’ve found the paid internship of your dreams, make a great first impression. With the job market languishing, you will face a fair amount of competition for your internship opportunity. This is especially true if you are in a field that doesn’t have wide access to paid positions. Research the company, its goals, its products, and the company culture. You want to go into the interview with passion and energy. Show the company that you want to learn everything you can and that you already have the basics out of the way.

Say thank you

Once you complete the internship, stay in contact even if you don’t receive an immediate job offer. Send a thank you letter to all of your major points of contact within the company. You never know when a polite gesture may lead you into being considered for an opening in the future.

Make Your Uni Accommodation Your Own

Many students don’t want to change much in their flat aside from adding a collection of your favourite takeaway menus, however many students don’t feel at home until you really stamp your mark on your room. There are endless options open to you and so to help you on your way, we put together a few of our top tips.

1) The easiest way to inject life into a room is by adding colour. But before you rush off to get a pot of paint, remember that you are renting, so any changes will have to be temporary and may end up getting charged back to your deposit.

Room a homeA great way to get around this is by using accessories to inject colour and personality into a room. Different colours are said to invoke different feelings and moods, for example colour psychology suggests that blue has a calming effect, whereas yellow promotes confidence and positivity, both of which might come in handy when the exam period starts.

2) Photographs instantly bring a little piece of home into your room. It might be tempting to plaster your whole wall with pictures of nights out and holiday snaps; however, picking your favourites and displaying them in a photo frame will give more impact.

3) Your favourite band, film or even famous tennis player posters are another great way to brighten your room. You can get a real bargain at student poster sales which normally happen throughout the academic year.

4) Lighting can change the feel of any room. Adding a strong lamp will brighten a dark corner, or fairy lights can add a subtle glow. Make sure to stay away from candles, in the hustle and bustle of a student flat, it can be easy to forget they are still alight.

5) You may think your desk and chair are just a handy place to fling your clothes but keeping your workspace tidy and separate will help break up you room. It will also help you get into the studying mind set. If you want to customise your workspace, do this through your choice of stationery and study calendar.

Customising your room can easily be done on any budget. No matter what your style, putting your character into your room will bring you home comforts to help with the settling process.

 

Open Air Theatre and Regents Park: An Extraordinary Evening Out

Read Sandip’s glowing review of the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Outdoor theatres are often forgotten in the midst of today’s technology obsessed society. Most of the big West End productions like The Lion King, 1984, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and the short-lived I Can’t Sing, put great emphasis on extravagant set design, which you might think can’t be done in an outdoor theatre. However, upon visiting the opening night of Hobson’s Choice at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park, I would argue that you really haven’t experienced real theatre until you’ve been to the Open AirTheatre, which is rustic, old-fashioned, traditional theatre at its storytelling best.Auditorium_at_Regent's_Park_Open_Air_Theatre

I know theatre isn’t everyone’s cup of tea; some may consider it a middle-class hobby, others just aren’t interested in what it has to offer. But outdoor theatre is an affordable evening out on any student budget. Based in Regents Park, the Open Air Theatre is one of the largest auditoriums in London with 1,250 seats and a remarkably intimate atmosphere.

Nearest to the Bakerloo station, set within Regents Park, head to the centre of the park past a numerous lush green spaces and impressive water features, including the impressive Boating Lake, until you reach the Jubilee Gates. Once you’re through the gates you find yourself in the mesmerising Queen Mary’s Garden at the centre of Regents Park.

On my visit I saw the thought-provoking 1960s drama Hobson’s Choice which runs until 12 July, to be followed by The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess from 17 July – 23 August; and To Kill a Mockingbird from 28 August until 13 September. Although the Open Air Theatre is renowned for its marvellous atmosphere, mouth-watering barbecue, and delightful summer café, at its heart it presents remarkable stories, acted to the highest standards. For instance, in Hobson’s Choice, Mark Benton was a comedic marvel on stage, just as Jodie McNee was an extraordinarily determined talent.

The added bonus of the Open Air Theatre is that it’s based in one of London’s most exquisite parks. Regents Park, one of the Royal Parks of London, was originally used by Henry VIII as a hunting ground, and is now a stylish, beautiful landscape, perfect for evenings out with friends. Even if you don’t fancy theatre, be sure to visit Regents Park.

I thoroughly enjoyed my evening out at the Open Air Theatre’s production of Hobson’s Choice.

Click here for more information on the Open Air Theatre, or to find out more about the beauty of Regents Park, check out their website.

Check Out Our Chinese Site!

London is a desirable study destination, according to the UKCISA 2012-13 Annual Review over 100,000 students came from abroad to attend London universities. Our city is a popular choice as it hosts some of the world’s highest-ranked universities with award-winning facilities. The capital also has a rich artistic and cultural heritage, and is a global centre of business.

Scape Living China Weibo Chinese site student accommodation LondonMoving to a new place where the language and culture are totally different can be hard, however Scape Student Living are supporting international students and we are trying to make their journey to the UK as easy as possible. Our Chinese language website should go some way to help this; you can take a look at www.scapeliving.cn.

It’s always good to use a second language where you can, but if you’re moving abroad it’s comforting to know you can research this in your native language. The Chinese Scape Living website contains everything featured on the English-language version – information about the buildings, the student experience at Scape, room types, pricing, local area information and the people that make up the Scape team. Full of detail and images, it’s a great help in understanding where you could be living whilst studying in London.

Scape Living China Weibo Chinese site student accommodation London blog

We are very active on social media (check out our links on the right of every page), and now Chinese students can connect with us over Weibo too. Weibo is a Chinese social network which incorporates aspects of both Facebook and Twitter. Posts are 140 characters (around 70-80 words) so there is little more room for expression than on Twitter, but both are ‘microblogging’ sites. Scape’s Weibo feed will keep users updated on room types, interesting facts about London, cool places to visit, and images of the city before you even book your plane ticket! Appropriate articles from this blog have also been translated and these will feature on Weibo around every other week, so future Scape residents can read our advice on everything from saving money to revision tips.

Once you arrive Weibo can also provide news of events that are happening at Scape. We try and devise events to cater for everyone living with us; and these are a great way to meet new people which live in the building.

We want to help all students moving to London, whether they’ve made a long journey or live just up the road! If you want to travel light and bring only the essentials, we also provide room packs for bedding, cooking, cleaning or for your bathroom. If you purchase them before you arrive they will be in your room when you arrive.

Take a look at our Weibo feed and let us know what you think!