The ability to manage one’s personal finances has become an increasingly important skill in today’s world. One key to financial success as an adult is living within your means, which begins with being aware of how you spend your money and saving where possible.  Making ends meet as a student has its challenges as we’re limited to student loans or bursaries to sustain our daily needs which is why financial literacy, making informed and effective decisions about your finances, is crucial in maintaining a healthy financial status. How do I start? With the basics. This is a short guide on making small adjustments to your daily spending habits that will help you keep track of your finances as a student.

  1. Needs over luxuries

Whether you’re receiving an allowance, or you’ve taken out a student loan, make the most of what you have. This starts with having a clear budget. Sit down and make a list of all your expenses for the month, making note of what’s necessary and what can be regarded as a luxury. Prioritize your basic needs and allocate a specific amount of money to category – toiletries, groceries, entertainment. It may seem like a tedious task if you’re not into numbers, which is why apps like Monzo etc come in handy. Budgeting will help you see where you are overspending, where you can cut costs and have that extra bit of money to save.

  1. I’ll grab a sandwich later

Eating out, even something as small as a sandwich every day accumulates into unnecessary expenses that can be curbed when you develop the habit of preparing your own meal. There’s always a valid excuse for grabbing a takeaway – ‘class ended late at night’, ‘there’s an assignment to do’, ‘the deadline is tomorrow’ and in no time the year has already whizzed by and you still haven’t saved a pound. If you’re a resident at International Students House, don’t miss the free breakfast! Plan your meals in advance when you are working on your budget so you can stay within your personal limits. And if you’re utterly helpless in the kitchen, make friends who can whip up a decent meal and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Maybe in the next article, we’ll look at cheap and easy meals for the busy student?

  1. Yes, I’ve got my Uni card

From transport, food to tech, flashing your student card can get you discounts across the UK. Before you make your next purchase, check if there’s a student discount being offered, and start saving your pounds. Sites like Unidays are free to use and give students a range of ongoing discounts. Some offers include 10% off at ASOS, 35% off at Dominos, 12% discount on 16-25 Railcard, £10 off Papa Johns, 15% off at National Express tickets and 35% off at HP.

  1. Buy second-hand books

Unless your professor is being a little nit-picky and insisting that you have to buy the latest version of a particular textbook, stick to second-hand books. If you’re really on a save drive, you will have to get over shiny new books – remember why you’re doing this! Amazon has an option for you to select ‘Used’ when buying products which almost always dramatically reduces the price. You could also try sifting your way through second-hand books shops or charity shops – ones near your university often receive a heap of uni textbooks at the end of the term. Also, ask previous students – a quick Facebook post or email to the department will get you in touch with those keen to offload their books for some easy cash. And when your turn comes, target the newbies and make an offer for your textbooks.

  1. Walk away from the SALE stickers

As Kenny Rogers sang, ‘Know when to walk away, and know when to run.’ This applies to sales. Don’t get trapped in the ‘but it’s a sale’ syndrome. If you can live without it, then walk away.

  1. Get stepping

Ditch the bus and the tube whenever you can and take a walk. Not only will this save you unnecessary transport costs, but it’ll help you get fit as well. We spend the most part of our days of hunched over laptops screens, consuming endless cups of coffee with little effort in exercising. Take new routes to university and clear your mind while you explore London on foot.
7. How do you take your coffee?
Disposable or reusable? You don’t have to be a tree hugger but either take ten minutes to enjoy your coffee in-situ or take a reusable cup with you when you want a hot drink. There is no shortage of stylish, practical alternatives to the paper cup. Our resident bar, The Thirsty Scholar has a variety of reusable cups available, and every time you bring it in, you get 30p off every coffee purchase!

These tips are meant to just get you started on your financial journey. Through practice, diligence and patience, you will develop a financial maturity that will equip you with skills that for life.

The John F Kennedy Memorial is back at International Students House in a new weather-friendly location.
Cast by the renowned sculptor, Jacques Lipchitz, and unveiled by the late president’s brother Robert F Kennedy, the memorial has stood on our site for more than 40 years. Unfortunately, due to vandalism in 2017, the bust has had to be removed for conservation work and for security and insurance purposes he has now been re-homed inside International Students House.
Why is JFK with ISH?
International Students House was being built and it was agreed it was the most suitable site in London for a memorial for a youthful president who had become identified with liberal ideas.

What is ISH?
International Students House (ISH) is a residential, social and cultural centre for international and British students in central London.
We believe every young person should have the opportunity to succeed whatever their background. Together with our university partners and supporters, we provide scholarship opportunities, a safe home and a social programme to enable students to succeed while giving them a place to belong.
Help to Build a better futureand join ISH today.

When it comes to views about Europe, it’s well known that Germany and the UK differ sharply. Research after the Brexit vote shows that 68% of Germans are in favor of the European Union and only 11% would support withdrawal. Compare this with 54% of UK respondents who are favorable to the EU.

Similarly, during the 2017 general election campaign in Germany, nearly one third of Germans backed politician Martin Schulz’s idea for a “United States of Europe” by 2025. The corresponding figure for Britain was just 10%. And it seems these differences might run as deep as the way children are taught about Europe in school—as the findings of our latest research indicate.

We analyzed the treatment of the European Union in a sample of social studies and politics textbooks from both Germany and England. And we found that the way Europe is depicted in some English and German textbooks for secondary schools differs considerably. In English books there is less coverage of Europe and a more critical approach compared with the German textbooks.

In the English textbooks, Europe was seen almost exclusively in political terms—with strong emphasis on the EU being a controversial issue. In one book for example, although there are references to the European Convention on Human Rights along with the European court and a brief mention of the European Economic Area, most of the limited space given to Europe is about the European Union—and about “different viewpoints on EU membership.”

In the German books there was a very different approach: Europe is seen more expansively and positively with an integrated approach to politics and identity. The German textbooks also had references to Europe being “our historical, cultural and intellectual home,” a “community of values,” and, a place where “enemies became friends.”

The research

We looked at four English textbooks and nine German textbooks and compared the way Europe was covered. Overall we found that the textbooks from Germany deal with Europe in much greater detail and with more of a positive angle than those published in England.

We found that Europe not only receives more prominence in German textbooks but is covered with more breadth. Both sets of textbooks place a major focus on the political system of the EU but German books also include economic and cultural dimensions. And a number of German textbooks had separate chapters or sections on the political system of the EU and Europe as a cultural entity. Unlike the English books, some German materials also presented clear anticipated loyalties to Europe.

The project was informed by previous research, particularly, work undertaken by one of the project team which involved interviewing 2,000 young people across 29 European countries. The project aimed to find out how young people in Europe construct their political identities—which we found often transcend traditional boundaries of state and nation.

But we found that although both the English textbooks and German textbooks largely reflect the prevailing political climate in each country, they don’t necessarily reflect the views of young people. Young people in Germany and England share rather similar views about Europe. They are committed to certain values (which are seen as both general and European) and although young people are not just accepting of European identity and European loyalty without questions, there is, among both groups—but particularly the Germans—a sense of being European. This is not reflected in English textbooks.

Young voices

The range of activities in the German books is also far wider than those provided in the English books. Whereas the German books build on a sense of European identity by providing opportunities for varied student interaction including more work than the English books on advocacy, representation, and informed and responsible action.

By contrast, English books use brief individual reading exercises to consider the pros and cons of European membership. One book, for example, provides a list of “benefits and costs of EU membership” and then asks students to “design slides or charts to summarize the benefits and costs of EU membership.” The English texts also encouraged students to visit the websites of UK political parties for news on their position on EU membership.

This echoes the political context in England, where the Brexit debate is not one concerned with dynamic engagement but one associated with an equally balanced weighing up of pros and cons of membership. And in this way, we found that the nature of the educational activities that are available to teachers and students in our sample of textbooks tends to reflect national narratives.

Education in both countries is principally a matter of socialising young people into an established national narrative. This may seem to be easier to justify in Germany where there is a stronger alignment between the views of young people and (according to our textbook analysis) the content of learning resources. But in both countries, there are issues about the extent to which schools are the mirror of society and essentially engaged with promoting established views.

It seems then that in both countries, the most contentious issue of the 21st-century—the European Union—is simply being presented as a reflection of the existing national narrative for future generations.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

ISH want every young Londoner to be safe.
London is one of the safest cities in the world. Yet knife crime is ruining far too many lives, devastating communities and leaving families bereaved. We want the young people of London to realise how incredible they are and the potential they have.
As part of our new Volunteering Society, we are planning to get involved with local community projects and work with young people to help them shine and inspire them. We need inspirational young adults such as yourselves to be involved. Would you be interested in helping transform lives? Get in touch now.
If you are worried about knife or gun crime you can contact anonymously online at for more information about gun and knife crime and the law. Or, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 if you want to report a crime that has already happened.
If you don’t feel safe in any situation you should leave/run and then tell someone why you have left. Go to a nearby home of somebody you trust, a friend, ISH, police station or local government building i.e. town hall, where you will be safe. Also, speak to your Universities International Student Adviser / Security Officer who can help you find a safe route to and from University.
Don’t be afraid to be strong and do the right thing.

The UK has long been known as a top destination for higher education. With universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, qualifications from UK institutions of higher education have a reputation for world-class quality and excellence. Not only are students attracted to opportunities that the UK provides, but the country is also admired for its multicultural and tolerant society. With Scotland, Wales and North Ireland in its boundaries, the UK has also been regarded as a gateway to Europe as the English Channel Tunnel gives access to mainland Europe. However, the UK’s change in foreign policy by voting to exit the European Union threatens the future of the UK as a top destination for study.


With universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, qualifications from UK institutions of higher education have a reputation for world-class quality and excellence. Not only are students attracted to opportunities that the UK provides, but the country is also admired for its multicultural and tolerant society. With Scotland, Wales and North Ireland in its boundaries, the UK has also been regarded as a gateway to Europe as the English Channel Tunnel gives access to mainland Europe. However, the UK’s change in foreign policy by voting to exit the European Union threatens the future of the UK as a top destination for study.

Impact of Brexit on EU students

According to the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA), European students account for more than 80 000 of the 1.6 million first-time graduates and nearly 50 000 of postgraduates. The UK has always attracted more international students than other European countries, capitalising on the growing demand for English-language instruction. However, research has shown since June 2016, there has been a slight drop in the number of first-year students from EU member states and while the economic and political consequences of Brexit have dominated media coverage, the concerns of the students have been drowned in the discourse. It has also been suggested that the perception of the UK since the referendum has changed, with current and potential students regarding the change in foreign policy as hostile to foreign students as well.

While the referendum to leave the European Union did not have any immediate implication for the status of EU students in the UK, developments over the last three years have revealed that Brexit will diminish many of the advantages they enjoyed. One of the significant consequences of exiting the regional body is the limitations to the current form of free movement. As it stands, EU students are treated as home students, which means they can enrol into UK universities without restriction and pay the same amount in tuition as UK students, which is significantly less than what other international students pay. Students from the EU have also been exempt from English language proficiency tests, proving sufficient maintenance fees and academic ability checks, all of which currently apply to other international students and may be extended to include EU citizens after Brexit.

While it is necessary to establish genuine interest and ability to study in the UK, such restrictions may have the adverse effect of turning away potential students away who form an important part of the economic landscape of the UK. Migration benefits the UK – economically, culturally and socially – as students not only pay tuition but add to labour, skills and ideas. As the deadline for Brexit inches closer, the challenge now is to ensure that the UK government commits to providing international students with a compelling reason to continue pursuing their education in the UK. While the greater responsibility of ensuring that the post-Brexit policies continue to attract students from the EU, it is also crucial that universities and organisations that work with students send a loud and clear message – international students are welcome and matter!

Study Abroad – Erasmus+ Programme

Not only will European students feel the pinch that Brexit will bring with it, but UK students also stand to lose the opportunity to study abroad. Erasmus+, a programme designed for education and training across Europe, has allowed students from EU member states to study, volunteer and gain work experience abroad. However, the future of the UK’s continued participation in the programme looks bleak. In February, the government issued a notice addressing the position of the Erasmus+ programme in the case of a no-deal Brexit. This resulted in the Universities UK International launching a social media campaign #SupportStudyAbroad to highlight and amplify public support for the study abroad program and to encourage government commitment to funding study abroad programmes. While the government maintains that securing a deal is its top priority, the reality is that this is the last cycle of the Erasmus+ programme, which ends in 2020. Although assurances have been made for the continuity of funding for current participants and projects that extend beyond 2020,  in the event of a no-deal Brexit, alternative agreements and arrangements need to be consolidated. The interests of students looking to study abroad need to be protected and with possible new bureaucratic hurdles such as immigration rules, changes in policies and legal statuses, there is a greater need for a serious discussion on the future of current opportunities and partnerships.



Have you ever considered gaining work experience or supplementing your student budget through a part-time job, vacation placement or internship? Don’t worry you’re one of many! Studies have established that more than 50% of students are enrolled in full-time degree programmes have part-time jobs. Reasons vary from the financial pressure of student loans or in order to maintain the standard of living before committing to full-time studies to some students who are actively seeking to develop themselves and gaining work experience. Employers today are increasingly interested in specific attributes and behaviours from university graduates; skills that are developed by through a combination of academic accomplishments and work experience. While universities have adapted their curricula to provide opportunities for practical learning, through placements or internships, some students proactively engage in part-time employment to develop soft and transferable skills such as time management and teamwork. Most international students enrolled in full-time programmes are allowed to work part-time during term time for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during the holidays. This article unpacks the realities of taking up a part-time job which will require you to step up your time management skills to find a balance between the books and the job.

What do I need to know? 

Before you start combing through job sites, you need to be aware of the restrictions of your visa. If you’re on a Tier 4 Visa, you have limited working rights in the UK and the visa states the number of hours you are permitted to work per week. These hours include any paid or unpaid work, voluntary services or internship. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but the recommended 20 hours ensure that your studies are not affected by your side hustle – if you manage your time well that is. Keep in mind that your priority is your degree! The second thing to note is that even if you’re not a UK citizen you will at some point need to pay tax and make National Insurance contributions, so most employers will require that you have a National Insurance number before you start working, although you can start with a temporary one as you wait on your application for one.


Keep a calendar – on your wall, on your phone, on your desk

How do I find the balance? 

Taking up a part-time job will require effective time management – every minute counts. While there is no perfect formula for balancing your studies and a part-time job, there are a few adjustments you can make to ensure that you are able to deliver the best at both.

  • Don’t procrastinate. If you pile up your readings and assignments to the last minute, you will find yourself pulling unnecessary all-nighters and compromising the quality of your work. The key to optimizing your time is making a schedule and sticking to it. Whether its an app on your phone or a calendar on your wall, keep a schedule of all the important dates and deadlines.
  • Be honest. Your employer knows you are a student and that your studies are the main priority, so be sure to communicate your availability and ask for time off when you need to put more hours in your books. Be honest with yourself about how much work you can take and take stock of how you are managing your time.
  • Avoid multi-tasking. When you’re in the library, focus on your reading or writing and when you’re at work, concentrate on the job. Multi-tasking will only affect the quality of your work and leave you feeling burnt-out and stressed because you constantly feel busy.
  • Don’t over commit. The 20-hour provision is the maximum, but if you need to dedicate more time to your studies, it’s okay to take on less work. Take on a workload that you can manage.

Finding the balance between your studies and a part-time job is challenging, but not impossible. It requires dedication, sacrifice and strategic use of every minute and if you put in the work, you can succeed.

In 1948, the shadow of World War II was still hanging over London. Students from around the world had started to trickle back into the city to study at some of the great universities in the area. But, despite the popularity of London as a study destination, there was a serious shortage of student accommodation, rationing was rife, multiculturalism had not yet been invented and London was still trying desperately to recover from a war that had left it broken and underdeveloped.

This was the London in which Mary Trevelyan found herself working as Overseas Students adviser at the University of London and it was in this role that Mary began to meet some of the students of post-war London. She met students who were lonely, who were desperate, who had nobody to talk to. She met students who would tell her how every day felt as long as a year. Students who had nowhere to go on weekends when the universities were closed so they just sat in their rooms, alone, and waited for the weekend to end. Students who came to visit Mary regularly because she was someone who would listen to them. But luckily Mary saw these lonely students for what they really were: not a problem, but an opportunity.


“Here are great opportunities and great responsibilities.  In London the seed can be sown; there are many clever and unscrupulous people who realize this and know that in each student generation there is for their purposes much potentially useful material, for loneliness, bitterness and fear are weapons which in the hands of such people can be used with deplorable effect.  But it is also possible to sow the seeds of real friendship, tolerance and understanding and much else that is good among the products of a free and democratic country.  It is possible to send back to many lands young people with happy memories of England, people who look forward to acting as interpreters between their countries and ours.  These people can make a real contribution to the peace of the world”.


And thus was founded the most exclusive club in London: Goats. The very first meeting was held in 1956 and was attended by 65 students. From then on meetings were held every Tuesday evening and membership steadily grew. Speakers changed weekly, and were always a surprise.  There was always a waiting list but the size of the space they had to meet in restricted the numbers that could be accommodated. The Goats Club was, at the time, a wonderful experiment in race relations – the first inter-collegiate, inter-racial club to be established in the University of London with one main aim: give students from as many different countries as possible the chance to make friends with each other. But Mary’s vision went further than just a weekly meeting. Her vision went to the founding of an international students clubhouse with facilities for meals, recreation, studies, games and meetings as well as residential accommodation. And, as is always the case with great ideas, her vision grew and it ultimately became International Students House just over ten years later.


It makes me so grateful to know that this world has compassionate people like Mary Trevelyan in it; people who could see how lonely and isolated students from overseas might feel in a new country. Who could imagine the paths that these students might take, seeing them as future leaders of the world. Who understood the need to make their experience in the UK a good one that they could carry back to their countries. International Students House was born out of a need a to combat hatred and fascism. Born to bring people together from every walk in life. Born to show that there is far more that unites us than divides us. So why am I telling you all of this? Well, ISH was formed at a point of international crisis in an attempt to help save the world and that goal is just as relevant today as it was back in 1948. One of the joyous things about what we do at ISH is that by making young people happy and giving them opportunities to broaden their horizons, we can truly help make a difference, both on a small, individual scale, and on a much wider level.

Yuri Dojc was travelling home to Czechoslovakia on the evening 21st August 1968 when he found himself suddenly caught in the eye of the storm: the Soviet Army had just invaded his country and he found himself completely stranded in London. He doesn’t remember how he got there, but someone sent him to International Students House where he was able to join others who, like him, were locked out of Czechoslovakia and unable to go home. It was an emotional time for them all.

We were desperate and lost, with no idea what the future held for us. We didn’t have any money, didn’t speak English and all we wanted was guidance and help. And we found it at International Students House and in Liz Ware, who listened and helped and cared for all of us jointly and individually, as if we were her own family.”


Liz Ware helped Yuri to find an English class to join and then, later on, a place to study at Bournemouth University. When he ultimately decided to emigrate to Canada, Liz Ware put Yuri in touch with a Goat she knew out there who became Yuri’s first friend in his new country. About his time at ISH Yuri says: “I will always treasure these memories which changed the direction of my life forever.”  He is now a well known photographer.

But as well as changing the lives of individuals, ISH also has the ability to move people on a much larger scale.

David Owen-Jones, now Judge Owen-Jones, joined ISH at a time of political conflict. South Africa’s Apartheid was a huge political issue and the conflict between India and Pakistan was erupting and making headlines daily.

“But somehow,” he says, “students from these countries all got on together, argued their conviction in a civilized and constructive way without resentment. This was the ethos and principle of the House – it was about transformation and students from all over the world with differing religions, tradition and cultures getting together and learning from each other.”

David says that he can’t even begin to count the number of things he learnt from his international friends, things that have gone on to help and shape the Judge that he has become.

Justice Shirin Aumeeruddy-Cziffra who later went on to become a Member of Parliament in Mauritius as well as Attorney General and Minister for Women’s Rights and Family Affairs, tells us the same story, citing ISH as having had one of the greatest influences on her life and work, specifically citing the openness and international membership of the house as pillars of learning for her.

This is a theme that permeates the stories and quotes of the many ISH alumni who went on to become leaders in their respective fields.

There has been a continuous string of special people at ISH: people who have worked here, lived here, and made it what it is. People who have lived the mission and worked beyond all limits to maintain it. And it is so important that each of us helps continue that legacy. We must never forget that this isn’t just a company, this isn’t just accommodation, this is a charity, a cause and a mission and everyone who interacts with the organisation contributes towards its continued success.

Remember the history of this place and why it came into existence so that you can keep its mission going. Most importantly, you are part of something truly special and whether you have direct daily contact with our students and Goats or not, you are precious is this process, in this mission, in this adventure. Never forget that.

In the Duke of Grafton’s words:  “Long may the House and its members set an example to the world in mutual respect, tolerance and friendship.”

Written by Jilly Borowiecka
Alumni Relations Consultant, ISH

Do you ever find yourself missing the furry friend that you had to leave behind when you came to study in London? The inexplicable joy that comes from petting a purring ball of fur is all you need on a cold and gloomy day and it’s the best stress relieving activity during exam season. Well,we have good news!!! You can always visit one of the many cat cafes in London for a cup of tea in a room full of cats playing all around you. Cat cafes were invented 10 years ago in Japan but they recently became very popular in the United Kingdom and cater for all who just want a purfect getaway. If you are really lucky, you might get some attention from these famous cats that get hundreds of visitors. While you can pet and play with them, just don’t disturb them in their sleep or while they’re grooming and as tempting as it is, don’t try and pick them up.

We went to the Lady Dinah’s cat Emporium in Bethnal Green/Shoreditch, but you can also try out Shakespaw Cat Cafe in Stratford, that draws its name from its proximity to Shakespeare’s Birthplace.

If you’re not in London, you can always find the cat cafe nearest to you:

Kitty Cafe in Nottingham

Mog on the Tyne in Newcastle

CatPawCino on the Quayside, Newcastle

Maison de Moggy in Edinburgh

Cat Cafe in Manchester

You and Meow in Bristol

Book your visit in advance and enjoy!

On the 5th of february according to the Chinese tradition the new year has started. At International Students we welcomed the year of the pig with a themed supper for our Residents. It was an occasion for students living with us to meet each other and celebrate togheter in an evening of Chinese cuisine, music and entertainment. Find out more about our events on the events page!