What the Hull Are You Doing Here?

What are you doing here? This is the question posed whenever a taxi driver, or a Hull local, learn that I am from Barbados. Prior to my arrival, I inquired about what it was like to live in Hull. Interestingly, persons with whom I inquired didn’t have many compliments for the city. However, now I am here, I am enjoying it.
As a student, the cost of living is one of the most satisfying benefits enjoyed in Hull. According to the 2018 NatWest Student Index, Hull is the most affordable city for students in the UK. It ranks 1st in England for rent costs, 1st in terms of night life and 1st in cheapest takeaways. Inter-city travel for students is also affordable especially with the use of the 16-25 Railway Card.
Other impressive features of Hull, though not unique to the city itself, include the efficiency of the transportation system, the friendly customer service, and general interaction with the people. Not only this, but the efficiency of the NHS in Hull is also another feature with which I am satisfied.

If there were to be a down-side to living in Hull, it would be the fluctuating weather and the temperature. In the tropics, temperatures are generally within the 25℃ – 30℃ range, varying between sunshine and rain, but the maximum temperature in Hull varies annually between 7℃ and 21℃, according to the Met Office website. So; what the Hull am I doing here? Having a Hull of a time! 

References

Met Office (2019 ) Kingston Upon Hull Climate, Available at: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/climate/gcxcb25c4(Accessed: 31st January 2019 ).
National Rail (2019 ) 16-15 Railcard , Available at: https://www.16-25railcard.co.uk/ (Accessed: 31st January 2019 ).
NatWest (2018 ) Student Living Index 2018 , Available at: https://personal.natwest.com/personal/life-moments/students-and-graduates/student-living-index.html (Accessed: 31st January 2019 ).
University of Hull (2019 ) Get Real Value for Money in Hull, Available at: https://www.hull.ac.uk/clearing/affordability.aspx(Accessed: 31st January 2019 ).

Photos from Pinterest

5 Places you Must Visit on Your Next Trip to Barbados

Apart from its aquamarine waters and white sandy beaches, here are five (5) of the top “Must Visit” tourist attractions in the island of Barbados

1 .       Oistins Bay Garden

Oistins is a small fishing community located on the south of the island. Each Friday night the village comes alive with music, dancing, singing and lots of food. Most of the dishes on offer feature seafood, but other food options are also available. 

2 .       The Garrison Savannah

The Garrison Savannah is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At this location in 1966, Barbados was declared an independent nation.

Since then, it is has become the home of Barbadian horse racing and is abuzz with activity on the first Saturday of March for the Caribbean’s most prestigious horse race, the Sandy Lane Gold Cup.

3 .       Harrison’s Cave

Harrison’s Cave which ironically got its name from Thomas Harrison, is in the rural parish of St. Thomas. The cave is active and features a stream cave system as well as some of the world’s most beautiful stalagmites.

4 .       The Animal Flower Cave

The Animal Flow Cave gets its name from the sea anemones found in the pools of the cave. It is found in the north of the island and is among the most popular tourist attractions.

5.       St. Nicholas Abbey

St. Nicholas Abbey is one of the most exquisite and multifaceted pieces of property in Barbados. It features a plantation great house, rum distillery, steam mill and recently a heritage railway. It is a popular spot for destination weddings and a favorite of many visitors to the island.

References

Abbey Holdings Limited (2019 ) St. Nicholas Abbey , Available at: https://www.stnicholasabbey.com/ (Accessed: 31st January 2019 ).
Britell, A. (2019) Barbados Tourism Continues to Surge, Available at: https://www.caribjournal.com/2017/10/09/barbados-tourism-continues-surge/ (Accessed: 31st January 2019 ).
Ciniva Web Agency (2019 ) Oistins Fish Fry , Available at: https://www.barbadosbarbados.com/activity/oistins-fish-fry/(Accessed: 31st January, 2019 ).
Go Barbados (2019 ) Animal Flower Cave, Available at: https://barbados.org/aniflow.htm#.XFNJ7VVKhdg (Accessed: 31st January 2019 ).
Go Barbados (2019 ) The Barbados Garrison , Available at: https://barbados.org/garrison.htm#.XFNNqlVKhdg (Accessed: 31st January 2019 ).
Harrison’s Cave (2019) Harrison’s Cave Barbados , Available at: http://www.harrisonscave.com/ (Accessed: 31st January 2019 ).

Photos from Pinterest

Have smartphones killed conversation?

Phones were originally invented to allow people to talk and stay in touch while not physically with each other. However, ever since phones became smartphones with thousands of different apps it appears as if the actual phone part is one of the least used parts.

Furthermore, what I’ve noticed from sitting around my own family and friends as well as observing others at the restaurant I work at is that they spend more time on their phones than talking to each other. It seems odd that invention designed to bring people together also makes us ignore those around us. This begs the question: have smartphones killed conversation?

There’s two sides to this: the first being the positives in how smartphones have brought people together that may not usually be able to talk as much strengthening friendships. Group chats have become “the thing” among younger audiences so that we are never away from “the lads” or “the girls” and in this sense they are positive for our social lives.

However, it’s sad to see families sat at the dinner table not talking to each other as they are on their phones and in this way the cheery family meal has become a thing of the past for some. Moreover, if we talk so much on our phones what is there left to say when face to face with one another. The key to this issue is to not lose touch with our surroundings.

Has YouTube overtaken television?

Has the time for TV as the main visual entertainment platform come to an end with the rise of YouTube? For a long time television has been the late night entertainment of choice for families with high quality programs. Yet now there seems to have been a plateau in the viewing figures and even possibly a decline while YouTube viewing figures have been soaring in last few years. Big shows, such as Game of Thrones, still grab the attention of the public but other than these big box sets, TV shows do not appear to be relevant to the masses.

This is for two main reasons: the first being accessibility. The smartphone has made it so easy for people to access the internet wherever you are. A TV can’t be brought on the tube or walking around yet a smartphone can. Because of this YouTube has seen its views rise as more people get smartphones wanting constant entertainment.

The second reason is quality. It could be argued that both platforms have been rising in quality if you see a program like Game of Thrones, it would not have been possible even 10 years ago. However, the free roam of creativity on YouTube allowing creators to post videos with no restrictions in time or content has allowed people to find gaps in the market that TV cannot fill due to regulations.

Top 3 places to eat on Newland Avenue, Hull

Zoo Café , a vegetarian café on Newland Avenue

3. Zoo Café – In at number 3 is Zoo Café, a vegetarian Café. This hidden gem on Newland Avenue may put some off by the vegetarian tag for meat lovers. However, as a meat lover myself I was surprised, when taken here for the first time, to find how flavoursome vegetables could be made. Serving paninis, veggie breakfasts, smoothies, shakes and the infamous zoo burger! With a cosy feel to the upstairs, garden area and friendly staff, Zoo Café is very deserving of its place in this list.

Sleepers, a bar/restaurant at the bottom end of Newland Avenue

2. Sleepers – Both a restaurant and bar, Sleepers offers a wide range cuisines from Spanish omelettes to lamb kleftiko and the best selling beef stroganoff. As a restaurant, the portions are filling and the staff make you come back for more as much as the food. Furthermore, to wash down the food are a refreshing cocktail; all the classics and few more!

Level – bar/restaurant on Newland Avenue
  1. Level – Top of the pile is Level, a bar/restaurant, well deserving of its crown for many reasons. The food is sophisticated with an Italian theme and relatively cheap lunch time deal on pizzas, pastas and salads. It is less of friendly vibe from staff, more highbrow, but the food and drinks are what you come for. Moreover, the cocktail is as vast as any in the area, you’ll have an enjoyable time getting through that!

Live to Accessorise, Personalise & Customise

Moving away from home has never been easy to say the least. I have moved to two different cities and countries in the last 5 years while studying at university: Hull, England and Rohnert Park, California. I have found it important to have a little space you can call your own whether it be in the student accommodation or dormitories; and adding your own personal touch can make your experience at university enjoyable.

Ready to style your room? Read on!

Wall Art

A simple way to brighten up the walls is by adding posters to take away from the bland white walls that surround you, and have the colours reflect your personality.

Photos

It is common to miss friends and family while at university. Hanging photos will be keepsakes of their presence in your life, and bring back the good memories.

Home Decor

Cushions, blankets, or houseplants can be an amenity. Even simple fairy lights can allow you to express your personality. These home comforts can be satisfying when you are studying or having guests over.

Entertainment

University life may not be as jammed packed as you might expect, so having a collection of books to read, Netflix to catch up on a new series, or a sound system to fill the room can be pleasurable.

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Remember when it comes to the decorating essentials, it is all about you! Keep your room full of what makes you happy, and in return, your university experience will be just as gratifying!

Need more inspiration?
Follow this pinterest board for a variety of dorm decorating ideas.

Tell us your “must-haves” for dorm decor in the comments below.

Four Reasons to Study Abroad

Hesitant to study abroad? Go! It’ll be an experience you won’t forget. Don’t worry about leaving friends and family behind, remember that everything will still be there when you return. I know that was my main concern before making a decision to study abroad. Now, take a breath and walk into your university’s study abroad office and see what programmes are out there for you!

Still unsure? Then here are the top 4 reasons why you should study abroad.

Experience Different Cultures

You will immerse yourself in a different
environment where this cultivating experience will allow you to see and do things unimaginable. You will be able to taste the local cuisine and listen to traditional music. It’s refreshing to learn to see your own culture through the eyes of someone else!

Career Opportunities

Doors open to graduates with international experience and education. You pick up new languages and overcome challenges faced while living in another country and gaining a new perspective of the world. Many modern businesses look for these qualities when hiring.

Making New Friends

No matter where in the world you go, you’ll always meet new people and make friends, who may be in the same position as you! Lifelong friendships are built, where you live, learn and travel together!

International Travel

Discover new parts of the world will greatly affect your individuality and worldview. Traveling itself can be a rewarding educational experience.

 

 

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Contact Hull’s international office or search for external programs online, like StudyAbroad.com if you are interested!
Take this opportunity to travel the world while studying and learning about new cultures.

Comment down below where you want to study abroad! 

Exploring Modern Mixology in Hull

Finding the best cocktail bar is not always easy. University students are always on the hunt for something new to try. You know the saying  “happy hour is the best hour,” but why limit the happy to just an hour? Keep up with the mixology to concoct the finest cocktails in Hull whenever you want. If you are interested, learn how to create the cocktails you love to drink at these locations!

Bar82 

A boutique cocktail bar located in Hull Old Town which creates an upbeat socialising experience for students. Bar82 hosts cocktail masterclasses where you can receive lessons on the classic cocktails. It is an experience you won’t forget, so contact for more information.

Steinbeck and Shaw

With its nightclub exposure and bar service, discover the art of mixology with the highly crafted cocktail masterclasses. Learn the ins and outs required to produce the perfect cocktail, from mixing, to adding garnishes, and shaking techniques! Register for a class here.

Atik

Mix and shake to your heart’s content with the standard cocktail making masterclasses offered, and learn the tools used throughout the session. Book a session with this link here.

Rift & Co

Learn the history and techniques from an expert mixologist. Along with the masterclass, you will receive a sharing platter. Click here to make a booking inquiry.

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Now that you have been exposed to the cocktail masterclasses in Hull, impress your friends and family by honing the skills you have developed to create traditional and unusual cocktails at home!

Have you been to any of these cocktail masterclasses? Take a picture and share your cocktail creations below in the comments section.

Easy Breakfast recipes for Sluggish students

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, But sometimes we get lazy, I’ve put together 2 easy recipes, that are both simple and cheap to prepare, Perfect for every student before a long day at uni.

1)Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein and are packed with selenium, vitamin D and B12, making them a great option for breakfast

This recipe is simple to prepare and is guaranteed to keep you full for a long day at uni.

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

1 sausage

Salt and Pepper (according to taste)

Parsley

Method:

  1. Heat some oil in a non-stick pan.
  2. Add a sausage, I like to cut one beef/chicken sausage and fry it lightly
  3. Crack in a few eggs
  4. Lower the heat and cover the pan with a lid
  5. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper
  6. Garnish with some parsley and serve with a couple of slices of toast

2) Pancakes

Pancakes are a great breakfast option and are so simple to prepare.

Ingredients:

100g plain flour

2 large eggs

300ml milk

1 tbsp sunflower oil

Method:

  1. Mix the flour, oil, milk and eggs in a bowl or jug and add a pinch of salt
  2. heat a medium sized frying pan
  3. when hot cook your pancakes for 1 minute until golden on both sides
  4. serve with honey or chocolate sauce

Please let me know if it turned out for you leave a comment below 🙂

Mini survival guide for visiting France

Are you planning on making a detour to France? This mini guide is here to help you out during your journey.

Let’s talk about food

Buy your bread, baguette, or croissant in a proper bakery, it’s the same price as in supermarkets and it tastes so much better. Regarding wine, you may be a bit confused seeing all the different sorts, if you don’t know what to order at the restaurant an easy rule is red for meat based dishes and white for fish based dishes.

Social life

Always be late. This is an unwritten rule but being late is normal when you are invited at a party, if your friend told you it starts at 8pm, don’t come before 8:30pm MINIMUM, it’s the rule. And if you are currently panicking because the nightclub is empty, relax, because they go out later most people arrive around 1am. As a result, most nightclubs open at 11pm and shut at 5 or 6am.

On the move

If you are a globetrotter, two bus companies are available to travel within the country, Ouibus and Flixbus. They are very affordable and you can even travel to Germany, Spain, Italy or Switzerland. You can also register on Blablacar, a car-sharing website, where people offer all sorts of different journeys for a third of the price of a train ticket.

If you have any experiences or travel tips that you would like to share, feel free to drop a comment in the box below!

You liked it? Find more mini guides with the Mini travel guide and the Mini study guide!