Category Archives: Study

How to learn languages fast

Have you ever given up on learning a new language because it was too hard and you felt overwhelmed? That’s a common feeling for most of us. Nevertheless, there are some tips and tricks that you can use that will make the process easier and quicker:

1. Watch movies in their original version and focus on the subtitles.📝🎥

From my personal experience, this is one of the best ways to have fun while learning languages. Not only are you watching a show, but reading the subtitles and listening to the pronunciation will help you more than you think, especially if you take notes (about new vocabulary, grammar, etc) while watching the show.

  1. Use language learning apps.📱

Nowadays there are many free apps that you can easily download and use on your phone. Duolingo and Babble are two popular options that will allow you to learn on the go, from anywhere you want and in an interactive way.

  1. Talk to locals.🗣

Even though it can be embarrassing if you don’t trust your abilities, talking to local people is the best way to fully immerse yourself in the culture and learn. If you can’t afford to travel to that country, Hull university has more than 1,300 international students from over 100 different countries, and some of them are happy to have a mutually beneficial conversation with you! Hull university offers plenty of resources for you to practice with someone else.

What about you? Are there any techniques that have helped you? Share them down below!

11 free online-courses to boost your Soft Skills

Managers are interested in hiring and promoting employees with a highly developed set of soft skills. That is why soft skills are increasingly seen in the description of the requirements for applicants. According to recruiters, it is these qualities that distinguish a real manager from an ordinary employee.

Soft skills are related to working within a team, personal qualities and aspirations. The development of these skills helps to improve relationships with people, increase efficiency and increases the chances of climbing the career ladder. Therefore, if you feel that you need to work on the above qualities, there are free courses from top universities for consciously working on them.

Time Management

Teamwork and Leadership

Conflict Management

Communications and Public Speaking

Problem Solving

Emotional Intelligence

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work by University of California, Berkeley

Top 5 Tips to Deal with Stress and Anxiety During Exam Season

Getting stressed around examinations and deadlines is completely normal and sometimes a little stress can be good for productivity. However, there is a limit to how much your body can endure. Here are 5 tips to manage stress and anxiety during exam periods.

  1. Organise your days. Most exam periods you will not have lectures or lessons so keeping a structure is important to help you feel in control. And don’t forget to structure in downtime!
  2. Prioritise each deadline or exam effectively and personally to you. You may need more practise with one exam or one essay may take longer than the others so factor this time in and use it effectively.
  3. Make time for downtime. Listening to a meditation music for a few minutes when you become too stressed or overwhelmed can help you feel better and increase your productivity. 
  4. Get enough sleep! I know it may sound cliché but sleep is when your brain processes the information you have learnt that day. If you don’t sleep enough, learning and recall will become harder.
  5. Don’t revise on the day of the exam. It may be useful to read over condensed notes you have made but you should allow yourself to relax just before you go into an exam. Keeping your head clear will allow you to recall information clearly and efficiently without the overlaying anxiety blurring your memory.

Good Luck!

The Secret to Being Productive at University

University can be overwhelming at times with balancing deadlines, social life and down-time. In order to be a productive student, you need to get this balance just right. 

Planning is an essential part of organising your day so that you can use every minute effectively in order to reach your goals, long-term and short-term.


Divide your day into 30 minute segments from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep.

I know that sounds daunting but bare with me! Here are some points to get you started:

  1. Write out the 30 minute slots on a piece of paper, planner or writing a note on your phone so you always have it with you.
  2. Go through a normal day, filling in each slot with what you do naturally – Be honest with yourself here, this is the foundation of productivity!
  3. At the end of the day, go through the areas where you were least productive and learn from it. Why were you not productive? Do you need more down-time?
  4. Make a new day of time slots and this time PLAN the next day out based on what you have learnt from the previous day.

A ‘To Do’ list is a good place to begin planning each day. Write out what you wish to achieve by the end of the day and tailor your time to those targets. Make sure the to do list is achievable or you will not feel as productive. Feeling productive is half the battle.

Don’t forget about down-time and your social life – plan time to do things you enjoy!

3 Ways To Start A ‘Side Hustle’ For Busy University Students

According to NY Post, 50% of millennials have a side hustle already, turning to remote and flexible work that fits around their studies or jobs. Many have even turned their side hustles into full time businesses.

3 Ways to Start a Side Hustle For Busy University Students
An image of a laptop, notebook, iphone and a coffee on a workdesk. This image symbolises remote, online working.

If you are anything like me, I needed a job, but there was no way I could commit to 16 hours or more a week, get work experience in my industry, be a full-time, busy student and afford to live.

Here are my top 3 Side-Hustles:

1. Social Media Evaluator

Just what it says on the tin, companies will actually pay you to review ads, videos, websites and social media pages. You choose how many hours you want to do and many projects can be completed on your phone. The company I work for is called Appen.

An image of an iPhone with the app Facebook open. Alongside this, scrabble letters spelling out 'Social Media'. These are placed on top of a wooden table.

2. Brand Ambassador

An image of the author working as a Brand Ambassador for Campus Industries. She is working at a Marmite Stand, along with two other ambassadors. One example of her side hustle as a Brand Ambassador.

Agencies often hire students to promote to other students. They work with big brands, the work is varied and the best part? You can choose when and where you want to work. I worked for Campus Industries, however there are plenty of agencies to choose from.

3. Freelance Writing

Many newspapers, online blogs and magazines will often accept proposals from new writers if they offer a fresh perspective to their readers. Writers and Artists’ Year Book, has been my bible for freelance writing. It is an annual comprehensive guide of how to submit work and the types of pieces companies are looking for.

This image is a close crop of a person writing and drawing a storyboard with a blue pen. In the background, there is a notebook and coffee cup. The image has a soft light.

Whilst these are a few I have personally tried and tested, there is a side hustle for absolutely everyone.

Are there any side hustles that you have tried and enjoyed? Share your ideas by commenting below!

Picture Credits: Unsplash

Overcoming Networking Nerves For Students

For students and especially those that are introverted, networking can be nerve-wracking.

According to LinkedIn Corporate Communications (2017); “Eighty-percent of professionals consider networking important to career success”

Being both a student and an introvert, I avoided networking for as long as I could but eventually I had to take the plunge.

What have I learnt? – A lot of people don’t actually enjoy networking, they’ve just learnt ways to get better at it.

How I overcame networking nerves:

  1. Create an elevator pitch

What do you want people to know about you? Here is a great guide on creating a pitch. Practice it and that way when your asked, you’ll be a natural.

Image of a person writing their action plan in their notebook

2. What do you want to achieve from the event, and how?

Write an action plan and you will feel more in control of your day.

3. Be kind to yourself

You don’t need to speak to everyone. Decide who or how many people you would be happy to talk to. Once you’ve reached those goals, reward yourself.

Image of two women in an interview

4. Treat networking events like University Open Days

How did you know your University was right for you? You visited the campus, you talked to lecturers and got involved in activities. There are so many different networking events. Find a style that works for you.

I still get networking nerves but using these techniques, it gets a little easier.

Did this help? Comment below, It’d be great to hear about what works for you!

Picture Credits: Unsplash and Pixabay

How An Entrepreneurial Skill Set Can Help You Get That Graduate Job

Is your graduation slowly approaching and you’re panicking about what to do after University? Perhaps you are a proactive student looking to build up your skill set?

So why are Entrepreneurial skill sets relevant to you?

Increasingly more people are attending University every year meaning a high grade does not guarantee a graduate can walk into their desired job anymore. Graduates with entrepreneurial skills and mindsets according to Target Jobs are highly sought after by employers.

Behind every business is an entrepreneur. However an entrepreneur does not have to own a big successful business to have an Entrepreneurial skillset. According to Forbes, an entrepreneur has a group of 8 recognised skills (the 8 P’s) (see diagram by Forbes above).

How can you learn and demonstrate these skills?

  1. You might possess some of these skills already. Draw out a mind map and identify your current skillset. How would you demonstrate your skills to a prospective employer?

A picture of a group of women playing lacrosse on a grass field

2. If not, how can you gain those skills? Societies are a brilliant way of doing this, can you get involved with a student led social enterprise such as Enactus? Or a sports team to demonstrate team work?

3. Skills are transferable, working in retail, cafes, pubs etc is a brilliant example of people skills. You are engaging with customers and placing their needs at the forefront.

A picture of a work desk containing a camera lens, an iPad, a pen and a mug with the words hustle across it.

4. You could even set up a ‘Side Hustle’ and put those Entrepreneurial skills into action, see my post for creative ideas on starting one.

Comment below on what your entrepreneur mind map and action plan looks like.

Picture Credits: Forbes and Unsplash

Let the notes be your tutor: 5 benefits of listening to music while studying

Music is an important part of our lives. For university students, music is a way of relaxation, work-out aid or having fun. It seems like it has nothing to do with studying, right? Well, hold on to that thought. Because there are various benefits of listening to music while studying.

1. Better visualization

The efficiency of Mozart Effect is being debated for decades, which claims that classical music makes you smarter. It has been found in the research that classical music increases the ability of manipulating shapes mentally for a limited time.

2. Less Anxiousness

According to a recent survey, 1 in 4 of every British students experience anxiety and stress in academic life. According to a Cambridge University study, hip-hop music helps in management of mental health problems.

3. Brain Exercise

Prof. Brenda Hanna-Pladdy’s paper published in online Neuropsychology journal states that music is a cognitive exercise for the brain. Early-age musical training decreases the chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

4. Memory Improvement

Cornelius Eckert suggests that an earworm occurs when a song gets stuck in your head and is a way of improving your memory. Music is used as a tool of language teaching, which helps the information to be embedded in the brain.

5. Better Stress Management

Every people listens to music they connect emotionally. A 2013 study in Chicago Journal found that people only listen to music they relate to, which helps them deal better with stress.

How does music help you in your studies? Please comment to let me know!

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.




Contact Hull’s international office or search for external programs online, like 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! 

Mini study guide for online research

Whether you are doing a dissertation or independent studies, it is inevitable that you will end up doing online research. If you don’t know where to start, where to look for information, or how to share your work, here is a condensed guide for you.

Have you thought about social media?

Social media can be very useful to start with when it comes to finding information, especially Twitter. If you are looking for research ideas or potential partners, you can easily follow conversations thanks to hashtags, and it can also be useful to gather data. LinkedIn can also be a way to link with businesses or professionals who can help you during your research.

Academic social what?

Yes, academic social networks, creating an account on such websites like Academia, Research Gate and Humanities Commons allows you to connect with other researchers and share your work. Academia and Research Gate can provide you with articles that you can’t automatically access via the University log in, by simply requesting them to the author. The following video introduces each of these academic social networks.

Pay attention to ethics

If you have any doubts about intellectual property and want to know how not to breach the law and how to protect your work, check out the University guide about Intellectual Property Rights to get an insight.

For further help, the Hull University skills team created a dedicated website covering topics ranging from research networking to mapping your digital world. 

Have you already tried these research techniques? Have you got a favourite way to carry out online research?

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