International Student’s Guide to Iconic Australian Food

Burger and Fried with Beer denoting Australian food

From delicious barbecues to fairy bread, Australian food is a force to be reckoned with. If you’re studying Down Under or planning to move there soon, here are some iconic Australian food you must try at least once!

10. Anzac Biscuit

Named after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, these oats-coconut cookies were originally sent to soldiers abroad as the ingredients don’t spoil easily. They’ve since grown to become a classic.

9. Chiko Roll

The Aussie version of spring rolls is widely available across at fish and chip shops as well as supermarkets across Australia. Savoury and deep-fried, this go-to snack is a cultural icon Down Under.

8. Lamington

Readily available in local bakeries and coffee shops, this national dessert consists of sponge cake cubes dipped in chocolate and generously sprinkled with grated coconut. What’s not to like?

7. Tim Tams

Another signature cookie, Tim Tams have a creamy center coated in chocolate. Available in dark, white and a chewy caramel chocolate flavour, the original milk chocolate version continues to be a crowd-favourite. If you’re still not convinced, look up Tim Tam Slam to find out just how much of a cult classic it has become.

6. Grilled Roo

You may think it odd to find the national animal on restaurant menus and supermarket shelves, but this lean red meat is a delicious, environmentally-friendly alternative to beef. In fact, there are twice as many kangaroos as cattle in the country!  Many locals consider them a bit of a pest, which may explain their rising popularity as an exotic, barbecue alternative.

5. Pavlova

The longest (and sweetest!) running dispute between Aussies and Kiwis is over the Pav. This light, meringue dessert topped with fresh fruits and whipped cream is popularly served at Christmas, Labour Day, weekend barbies, and more!

4. Vegemite on Toast

People either love or hate this cult Aussie spread – there is no in between! Luckily, most Australians swear by Vegemite. It’s a thick, paste-like yeast extract that is lightly spread on buttered toast or crackers. Salty and bitter, this is definitely an acquired taste!

3. Dog’s Eye

This is just what they call meat pies Down Under. These delicious savoury pies stuffed with minced meat, gravy, mushrooms, onion and cheese are every meat lover’s dream. They’re the go-to takeaway order — especially after a wild night out.

2. Barramundi

Barramundi is the Aboriginal name for sea-bass that literally translates to “large, silver-scaled fish”. This is a staple in most Australian restaurants, and for good reason too — it’s downright delicious!

1. Beetroot Burger

We can all agree that hamburgers are delicious – but no one does it quite like Australia! Burgers Down Under are incomplete without the twang of sliced beetroot . It may sound unusual, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to stop.

These are our top picks for unique Australian food. Did we miss any? Let us know on Twitter!

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Australia is a massive country with stunning landscape and warm, friendly people. However, life can be a little different Down Under. Here are the top five tips to keep in your arsenal so you can make the most of living in Australia!

5. Always Stick to the Left

Not only do Aussies drive on the left side of the road but they walk on the left too. This applies to sidewalks, escalators and stairs as well. Always stand to the left so those in a hurry can go past you on the right.

4. The “Dangerous” Animals Aren’t So Bad

Australia has a bit of a global reputation as the home of deadly snakes and spiders, but they’re unlikely to disrupt your day-to-day life. You really don’t have to hold your breath or live in fear of an animal encounter. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to take precautions, especially when you find yourself in the outback.

3. One Man’s Trash is Another’s Treasure on Hard Rubbish Day

Hard Rubbish Day is when Australians de-clutter their homes by putting out old furniture, household appliances, electronics, sports gear and related items on the kerbside. This presents the perfect opportunity for thrifty students to score some free stuff! Each city council has an annual kerbside collection day so plan accordingly. Whatever is left behind will be disposed by the council free of charge.

2. Master the Local Slang

As an easy-going, laid-back nation, Australians love to shorten their words. This is often done to the point where it sounds like a new dialect altogether! It’s a good idea to update yourself on the local lingo to fit right in! The most common are “s’arvo” for this afternoon, “servo” for gas station, “barbie” for barbecue, “bottle-o” for liquor shop, “chuck a uey” for making a U-turn and “Macca’s” for McDonald’s.

1. Barbecues are a National Right

Australia’s love affair with grilling is legendary. This is why public parks across the country feature free barbecues to encourage this delicious national pastime. The council cleans them each morning but users are still advised to keep things tidy for fellow residents. It’s a great way to meet your neighbours and experience a real sense of community.

Got a tip for living in Australia that didn’t make the list? Tell us on 803-587-0358 for a chance to get featured in our next blog.

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Sydney Opera House beautifully lit up.

If you’re thinking of studying in Australia, you’re in for quite the ride! Things can be pretty different Down Under, so our definitive list of truth-bombs is here to set your expectations straight before you make up your mind.

1. Scoring a “D” Isn’t Bad At All

Australian universities have a unique grading system with HD (High Distinction), D (Distinction), C (Credit), P (Pass) and F (Fail). So getting a D on an essay is far from tragic – it’s actually quite impressive!

2. The Quality of Life is Second to None

There’s a reason why three of the World’s 10 Most Livable Cities 2018 are in Australia. In fact, Melbourne was at the top of that list for three years straight between 2015 and 2018. Along with Sydney and Adelaide, the city ranks high in education, economic stability, healthcare, culture, and infrastructure. Life here is quite relaxed with friendly locals and an efficient public transport system that’s easy on the pocket.

3. Surf Therapy is Real

Schools in Western Australia have taken to the waves to help reduce student anxiety and improve class performance. Even veterans use surfing to cope with PTSD and depression. With nearly 11,000 beaches to choose from, you’re never too far from the surf and sand. Why not make the most of this and learn to ride the waves? It sure beats a day at the gym!

4. Coffee is Sacred

The rumours are true – Aussies take their coffee very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that even Frappuccino giants Starbucks has failed to crack the market, shutting down 60 of its original 84 outlets across the island. With over 10,000 operational cafés to choose from, the caffeine culture is alive and kicking. You’ll grow to love your morning cuppa, and probably become mates with your local barista.

5. Finding a Job is Easier than You Think

International students pursuing a full-time degree in Australia can work up to 20 hours a week. Getting a part-time job is a great way to not only support your expenses but to also add work experience to your CV. After you graduate, you can apply for a Graduate Work Stream visa to stay on and find full-time employment. This visa is usually granted for 18 months. Those having successfully completed a higher education degree may also qualify for a Post-Study Work Stream visa of two to four years.

Hopefully these facts will have given you more perspective when it comes to studying in Australia. If you have more questions, reach us on Twitter and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have!

Best UK Universities for a Baller Social Life

The verdict is out — these are the best UK universities for an extraordinary social life. Here’s why they deserve to be on the list:

#5 University of Bath

The University of Bath just about made it, all thanks to their Student Union. The sheer volume of societies you can join is absolute bananas!  From sci-fi, video games, Harry Potter, and anime, to yoga, meditation, pole dancing and circus tricks — there is something available for everyone, no matter how quirky your hobbies are. The Freshers’ Week is pretty dope too —you’ve got endless pizza, board games and movie nights for a chill, retro vibe that’s the perfect icebreaker.

#4 Newcastle University

Of course Newcastle is one of the best UK universities. With the finest nightlife in the entire North-east, you best believe that students are having the time of their lives. With over 160 societies and 65 sports clubs, there is an endless supply of activities to keep you entertained. Some of the most unusual societies are on Pokémon, roleplay, Marxism, and swing dancing. You’ll also get the chance to go on epic bar and pub crawls for a wild taste of the city after dark.

#3 University of Sheffield

Ranked the best in community atmosphere, this university sure knows how to show its students a great time! After all, the city is home to one of the best live music venues in the country with routine performances by major artists and international bands. Another cool highlight is the truly unique “Festival of the Mind”, where lecturers collaborate with Sheffield’s creative community to set up spectacular events for students and locals alike. Our personal favourite is the Food Festival with pop-up restaurants, master classes, and free food for days!

#2 University of Leeds

Leeds’ student life is second to none. There are weekly club nights like the Mixtape Project at Hifi and Wire’s Fuzzy Logic. The famous Mint Club with its stellar disco ceiling and prolific DJs is another crowd favourite. There’s plenty on offer within campus as well.  From belly dancing and bhangra to mixed martial arts and archery, you’ll never run out of fun things to do!

#1 Loughborough University

This is the eighth time Loughborough has taken the top spot among the best UK universities. Student life here is truly unmatched, with over a hundred societies covering everything from Shakespeare to skydiving to get you involved in campus life. The Student Union also organizes extraordinary events around the year. From international DJs and daytrips to roller discos and sing-offs, you’re in for the ride of a lifetime!

Think your university should’ve made the list? Tell us why on info@universityliving.com.

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Piggy bank and rows of neatly stacked coins to indicate earnings from part-time jobs in the UK

Now that you’ve settled into student life abroad, you may want to set up a steady supply of cash to fund those epic nights out in town. Before you start applying for part-time jobs in the UK, here are a few things to consider.

1. National Insurance Number

If you are a citizen of Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you may have already received a National Insurance Number (NINO) from the government on your sixteenth birthday. International students will need to apply for one as well. Those in England, Scotland, and Wales can call the application line (08001412075). Students in Northern Ireland can contact the nearest NINO processing centre.

2. Work Hours

International students may work up to 20 hours a week, as stipulated in their student VISA. You may choose to work fewer hours when lectures are in full swing and make up for it during term break.

3. On-Campus Options

You’ll find plenty of opportunities to earn extra cash on campus. From working at the college bar to the central library to even joining the catering team, there’s plenty of options to choose from. Set up an appointment at the careers’ center for some expert advice on the best course of action. If you stick around in summer, there may be professors in need of research assistants as well!

4. Off-Campus Options

There are a plethora of part-time jobs in the UK available off-campus. Here are our top picks:

(i) Retail: The best part about working in retail? Flexible hours and employee discounts! Additionally, you can score longer hours during the holidays to pocket some extra cash for a festive pint or four.

(ii) Mystery Shopping: This is perfect for students who love retail therapy. It involves going shopping and trying out new restaurants without spending your own money. All you have to do in return is provide honest, impartial reviews. A simple internet search will help you find mystery shopping agencies near your area.

(iii) Hospitality: This industry is open to everyone due to the variety of roles available. You can choose from hotel management, event planning, food operations, and front-of-the-house roles (front desk, concierge, and bellhop).

5. Career Fairs

Your campus will organise these fairs at different points throughout the year. It’s an excellent opportunity to get inspired, explore your options, and learn about apprenticeships, jobs, and youth-friendly employers. Attending at least one of these is an excellent opportunity to go window shopping for a variety of career paths which will come in handy not just for part-time jobs in the UK but also for life after university.

That’s it! Follow these simple steps to land your dream job and plump up your CV. Good luck!

Free Things to Do in London

English currency on a table

UK’s capital can be expensive, especially for students on a budget. Lucky for you, we have a list of free things to do in London. Here’s how you can enjoy the city without spending a penny!

1. Museums & Galleries

As the cultural hub of England, London is chock full of beautifully curated art galleries and educational museums with free entry! Science enthusiasts can check out the National History Museum with hands-on exhibits or the Science Museum with historic collections and an IMAX theater. Other popular options include the National Gallery with stunning collections by masters like Van Gogh, the British Museum with artifacts ranging from the Rosetta Stone to Elgin Marbles, the National Portrait Gallery for a walk down history, and Tate Modern for its incredible, modern art exhibits. The Museum of London deserves special mention – it is home to the memoirs of Ignatius Sancho, an 18th-century British writer and the first person of colour to vote in a British election.

2. Public Parks

No visit to London is complete without taking a stroll through its lush public parks. The city is home to eight picturesque parks with free entry. Popular choices include Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Green Park, and St. James Park. When the sun’s out, head over with a book and a snack for some fresh air. Hyde Park is also known for its Speaker’s Corner, where every Sunday, people from all walks of life talk about everything from aliens to movies.

3. Changing of Guards

If you’ve moved to London, you’ve got to witness the changing of guards at Buckingham Palace at least once. It happens almost every odd day, but it’s best to check the website for exact dates. The action begins at 11 AM and lasts for about 45 minutes, but we recommend showing up at 10 AM to get a prime spot near the fence line. Keep an eye out for pickpockets!

4. Sky Garden Observatory

This is a uniquely built public space that offers 360 degrees uninterrupted and spectacular views of the city. The free entry makes this an obvious crowd favourite, so we recommend booking online a week in advance to reserve your spot! There’s also a bar on the property so you can grab a bite after soaking in the sights.

5. Street Performances

The city is home to fabulous street performers who operate near popular tourist hangouts, especially around Covent Garden. All performances are free to watch, but an appreciative quid or two is always welcome! From street dancing, magic shows, and puppetry – there is a whole new world of entertainment just waiting to be discovered.

These are just some of the many free things to do in London. Which one are you doing first?

Freshers Week Described in 8 Genius Tweets

Image of pink panther passed out on a bench, surrounded by beer bottles

Anyone who’s lived through Freshers’ Week knows that it’s basically one giant party that rages on for seven days straight. From world-mourned and dancing on the streets to body paint and lots of glitter, it’s mostly an excuse for no-holds-barred, round-the-clock drinking. Here are eight genius tweets by students this year that capture the magic and mayhem of freshers’ week!

1. This dude knows exactly what he signed up for

Tweet by @niall_95 on freshers' week

2. Prepare to test your limits

Tweet by @Katie_ecock on freshers' week

3. Watch out for the massive hangover

Tweet by @highasnope on freshers' week

4. Your bank account will take a major hit

Tweet by @zhanenaomi on freshers' week

5. Like we said, MAJOR hit

Tweet by @orbitaoa on freshers' week

6. You’ll bite off way more than you can chew

Tweet by @minghao__o on freshers' week

7. Someone will eventually call the cops…

Tweet by @chioma_kwelu on freshers' week

8. But in the end, it’ll all be worth it!

Tweet by @finaljade_ on freshers' week

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You may be tempted to bring everything with you, but that’s neither practical nor fun. Check out our list on what to pack for university to cut through the clutter and grab the essentials only!

1. Bed Essentials

Most accommodations will give you a bed with mattress and mattress cover. You’ll need to bring bed sheets, pillow and pillow cover, a duvet for the colder months and a duvet cover as well!

2. Bath Essentials

You’ll need to carry bath towels, toilet paper, bathroom mat, and toiletries! It’s also handy to carry bathroom slippers and a shower caddy for all your bath products if yours is a shared bathroom!

3. Electronics

If you’re an international student, make sure you have a travel adapter for your host country. Other basics include a mobile phone, laptop and accessories, USB stick, and extension cord in case your room doesn’t have too many electrical sockets. Additional appliances like a steam iron and hair dryer are also recommended. A music system and/or camera may come in handy depending on your interests!

4. Stationery Supplies

It’s advisable to carry the essentials for the first week of lectures while you’re settling in. Bring textbooks, pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, sharpeners, highlighters, paperclips, binders, sharpies, sticky notes, scissors, envelopes, and glue.

5. Medical Supplies

Don’t forget a First Aid kit with bandages, Band-Aids, burn medication and more. Pack in pills for common ailments like headaches, common cold, and digestive problems. This way you won’t need to run to the pharmacy when you’re actually sick!

6. Laundry Products

While your accommodation will have washing machines and dryers, you’ll still need to bring your own cleaning products. These include laundry pods, fabric softener, stain remover and bleach. Bring a laundry bag/basket for convenience.

7. Personal Care Items

Carry a few objects that remind you of home. Surrounding yourself with your favourite books and posters or even photos of friends and family is the perfect pick-me-up for when you’re feeling blue. You’ll thank us later!

8. Money

Make sure to carry enough local currency to tide you over the first few weeks while your student bank account is set up. Carrying some cash even after your debit card is issued is good practice for emergencies.

Some of these items may seem a bit obvious, but it doesn’t hurt to double check when you pack for university. Happy packing!

Student Accommodations in Newcastle: Grab ‘Em Before They’re Gone!

With its exquisite Georgian architecture, delicious brown ale, and legendary nightlife, Newcastle is a student favourite. In fact, it has been named the UK’s best city, twice! If you’re lucky enough to be moving here, check out these student accommodations in Newcastle before they’re booked for the year.

1. paleologist

Only 12 minutes’ walk away from the Newcastle University, iQ Collingwood is the student pad of your dreams. You can head down to River Tyne for some fresh air and then hit up Eldon Square for lip-smacking food and retail therapy. The property features ensuite rooms and studios with high-speed Wi-Fi, kitchen, and a beautiful rooftop. Rent begins at just £113 a week. The best part? Get up to £500 cashback when you book today!

2. Vita Student at Westgate

Located right in the city centre, Vita Westgate is a mere 15 minutes’ walk away from both Newcastle and Northumbria Universities. The bus station is just 3 minutes away and the property also offers free-to-use bikes for traveling short distances. Make the most of your living experience here with the best facilities on offer. Take your pick from weekday breakfasts, networking events, and graduate schemes to special discounts, in-room smarts TVs, and housekeeping service. Rooms start at £149 a week, with a £50 cashback exclusively from University Living!

3. (267) 693-7072

Strategically located on Howard Street, Mansion Tyne is 5 minutes’ away from the city’s finest univrsities via bus. The property is a brisk walk away from the River Tyne so you’ll be living right in the lap of nature. Onsite amenities include a kitchen with a dishwasher, cosy living area, a double bed and a spacious study space. The rent is a steal from just £108 a week!

4. bedull

This accommodation is only 10 minutes’ by foot to both Newcastle and Northumbria Universities. The apartments feature a mini kitchen, a double bed, and plenty of storage. There is an amazing social space where you can Netflix and chill, or play table football and pool with your friends. Make it yours from £119 a week and enjoy a £50 cashback!

If you need help booking any of these properties or simply have a question about student accommodations in 3203806020, we’re here for you! Shoot an e-mail to info@universityliving.com or 858-682-7184 for expert advice on university life.

Student Accommodations in Edinburgh Available Right Now

Once a medieval powerhouse stretching below its mighty castle, Edinburgh is the cultural heart of Scotland. With a colourful history that’s entertaining to boot, the city’s quaint little cafes and old-world charm have plenty to offer. It is also home to nearly 40,000 students with a bustling, international community. It is no wonder, then, that the city struggles to accommodate the influx of students every year. Lucky for you, these fantastic student accommodations in Edinburgh are still up for grabs:

1. Canal Point: The University of Edinburgh is just 20 minutes on foot from this student pad. The Canal Point is strategically located a 3 minutes’ stroll away from the Home Street tube station. The property features ensuite rooms and studios with high-speed Wi-Fi, onsite laundry, kitchen and a beautiful social space. Rent begins at just £154 a week.

2. (334) 726-2683: Gateway Apartments has a terrific location and offers the epitome of comfortable student living. The city’s top universities are all within 5.2 miles radius of this student accommodation. The apartments are all fully-furnished with a modern kitchen, ample storage, flat screen TV, and so much more. There is also an in-house cinema room for you to pull off movie marathons in style! Make it yours from £162 a week.

3. 3236098359: Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s history and heritage, students living here can reach the University of Edinburgh in less than 15 minutes! The studios offer housekeeping service, free Wi-Fi, bikes, a networking app, weekday grab & go breakfast, free-to-use bikes and so much more! There are also large social spaces where inspirational talks by industry leaders and exciting social events are organized regularly. Rent is inclusive of all bills and begins at £220 per week!

4. New Park: New Park is only a 20-minutes’ scenic walk away from the University of Edinburgh. It features both ensuite and shared rooms with spacious beds, designated study areas, smart TV, and plenty of storage! The onsite team hosts regular social events to foster student interactions and bonding. All of this can be yours from just £185 a week.

If you need help with booking any of these properties or simply have a question about student accommodations in Edinburgh, we’re here for you! Shoot an e-mail to info@universityliving.com or reach us here for expert advice on university life.