Newcastle Upon Tyne plays home to more than 50,000 students every year, between Northumbria University and Newcastle University, and it should hardly come as a surprise, the city was ranked the top destination in the UK by Student Hut. Thanks to its well-connected transport system, vibrant nightlife, despite what is often, shall we say, ‘mild weather’, and incredible variety of shops, Newcastle fought off stiff competition from the likes of Liverpool, Manchester, and Leeds.
Asides from the evident positives regarding lifestyle, one of the main reasons Newcastle has established itself as such a popular destination for 18-year-olds fleeing the nest after A-Level results is an undeniable value for money. Few cities throughout the country could boast that their taxis services charge less than £10 to travel the lengths and breadths of the metropolis, while rent prices often come in at half the price of that in the capital.
Even the most affluent among us struggle to turn a good old British bargain, and let’s be realistic, it is highly unlikely, as a student, your bank balance will resemble that of dot com millionaires. That said, finding the little life hacks that get you through will go along way in making your university journey not only enjoyable, but that little bit more comfortable. Here, with Northumbria University, we run through the best ways to take advantage of student discounts.
There are a whole host of apps out there that make your student life easier, and some actually relate to studying! Unidays, however, is much like your student card, yet it’s a digital version. From clothes to travel, your new virtual pal has it all. Fortunately, this app is actually available to college and sixth form students as well as undergraduates, so prior to heading off, download the app and get to grips with everything it has to offer. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Apple Shop deals, especially if you are interested in investing in a new MacBook Pro, to assist in the competition of assignments, or to watch Netflix.
Food and drink
Your university student card will grant you access to discounts at a copious number of bars and eateries, including a free burger when you buy any meal at McDonalds. However, don’t be fooled into thinking you have to spend your days chomping down on takeaway burgers — that’s for the walk home after a night on the town. Holy Hobo, located on the cusp of the city centre and student area, Jesmond, offers utterly mouthwatering cocktails at almost half the price when you’ve got a valid student card, while scrumptious tapas dishes come served with a significantly diminished bill — everything tastes better when it’s cheaper! A stones throw away you will find The Hancock, which, similarly, when presented with a proof of education, will knock 10 per cent of your bill, just for being a student.
Eating out all the time will certainly be enough to destruct the bank balance and wither away the student loan, so we would highly recommend making it an occasional treat. Unfortunately, student discount isn’t offered at the major supermarkets, however, Grainger Market, nestled deep in the city centre, boasts a variety of butchers and fruits shops who all cut prices for students — ensuring that your diet doesn’t have to be solely Pot Noodles and Rustlers Burgers.
Getting the day in
As a first-year student, you’ll be glad to hear that you aren’t in university every hour of the day. Of course, there will be intensive periods of study throughout the year and deadlines will sometimes creep up on you like a poorly disguised pantomime act, however, in order to enjoy the experience of university, you need to partake in more than just reading. As the age old saying goes, ‘a healthy body is a healthy mind’, and there is no better way to keep yourself focused than to indulge in some exercise. Most gyms throughout the city will offer student discounts, including Sport Central, which, for students often throws up annual deals, helping you save the pennies and shred the pounds.
It isn’t only one-off purchases that your student card unlocks — it gives you access to a wide range of subscription services. Spotify and Amazon Prime are just two examples of entertainment services which offer annual discounts with a student email address. Often coming away to university can result in you spending a lot of time with very little to do, particularly if your flat mates are in class, or away home for the weekend, therefore tucking into a meaty series can be a perfect way of combatting the boredom. Likewise, you will probably never listen to more music in your life, when exercising, revising, and walking from A to B, so a Spotify membership for £4.99 will never be a bad idea! Streaming is cheaper than TV anyway.
From pints to pizzas, haircuts to honey roast hams, your student status goes a long way in throwing up opportunities to save, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!