Everything you need to know about scholarships and bursaries

Student finance, bursaries, scholarships, overdrafts; they’re enough to give you a headache sometimes! So here is a handy list of scholarships and bursaries, who is entitled to them and how you can apply:

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What: Essex First Bursary – amount varies depending on course, but will provide you with a selection of core textbooks and other equipment to the value of £200.

Who:  You must be eligible for Home or EU fees, have received an offer of admission for entry to one of the departments participating in this scheme for 2016 and have selected the University of Essex as your firm choice with UCAS by 4 May 2016. You must also have confirmed your place at the University of Essex by the end of September 2016.

How to apply: Automatically awarded, more information will be sent in summer once university place has been confirmed.

 

What: University of Essex Bursary – £2,500 over 3 years: year one: £1,000, year two: £1,000, year three: £500.

Who:  You must be eligible for UK home fees and ordinarily resident in the UK (international and EU students are not eligible), have an annual household income of up to £25,000 as assessed by Student Finance England or other UK student funding provider, have applied through UCAS to study a full-time undergraduate course at Essex, starting in 2016-17, and received an offer and have not studied in higher education before. You must also have made a means-tested application to Student Finance England (or other UK student funding provider) with Essex as your chosen institution and have given your consent to the sharing of financial details.

How to apply:  Automatically awarded, you will be notified by the end of November 2016.

 

What: Sports Scholarships and Bursaries – Scholarship includes various benefits such as double bed accommodation 100m from training venue. Sports Bursaries include:tier 3 athletes £ up to £500 per year, tier 2 athletes £501 – £1500 per year, tier 1 athletes £1501 – £3000 per year.

Who: Open to men and women within the three focus sports: volleyball, basketball and rugby sevens.

How to apply: Application form available on the University Website: http://www.essex.ac.uk/sport/performance/scholarship.aspx

 

What: International Baccalaureate Excellence Scholarship – £2,000 during your first year of study.

Who: You must have received an offer of admission for entry to the University of Essex for 2016, register for a full-time undergraduate degree at the University of Essex with first enrolment in 2016-17, be in your first year of study at the University at the start of the award and have obtained 34 points or more in the International Baccalaureate

How to apply: Automatically awarded, you will be notified by the end of August 2016

 

What: Care Leaver’s Bursary – £1,000

Who: You must have lived within care

How to apply: Submit evidence of care leaver status to your Student Services Hub (Email: askthehub@essex.ac.uk)

 

What: Refugee Bursary – £1,000

Who: You must have UK refugee status OR be dependant of UK refugees

How to apply: When you are a registered student, you can apply via student services hub (Email: askthehub@essex.ac.uk)

 

What: Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship – Varies per country.  Please visit http://www.essex.ac.uk/fees-and-funding/ug/scholarships/vc.aspx

Who: You must be classified as an international student for fee purposes, be fully self-funding your studies, where a country is specified, to have completed relevant school or university studies in that country.

How to apply: Read the full terms and conditions on the website and complete the application form provided and return it by 31st July 2016

 

What: Tinson Scholarship – £16,000 to cover tuition fees

Who: You must have applied to study any of the LLB programmes and be holding an offer (conditional or unconditional)

How to apply: Submit an application letter of 500-700 words which should explain why you are applying for the scholarship. Please submit completed letters to Catherine Gentry cgentry@essex.ac.uk. Deadline for 2016 entry is yet to be announced.

 

What: Bulgarian Partnership Bursary, Cypriot Partnership Bursary, French Partnership Bursary, German Partnership Bursary, Greek Partnership Bursary, Lithuanian Partnership Bursary, and Romanian Parternship Bursary – £1,000 during your first year of study

Who:  You must be a national of one of these countires and ordinarily be a resident in that country. You must have received an offer of admission for entry to the University of Essex for 2016, register for a full-time undergraduate degree at the University of Essex with first enrolment in 2016-17 and be in your first year of study at the University at the start of the award.

What 2016 Means for me

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately as 2016 is a very important year in my life.  It’s the year I will (hopefully) be graduating, as well as the year of my 21st birthday and I will also be deciding what I’d like to do when I graduate.Graduation-Cap-And-Diploma-Image

I can’t believe my three years at university are nearly over!  Needless to say they have gone far too quickly and I’ve still not warmed up to being referred to as a ‘final year’ student.  I’m also conscious that this is my last chance to ensure I graduate with the degree class I’m hoping for.  Graduation itself I’m sure will be amazing and being the first in my family to go to university I know how proud and supportive everyone will be.

I’m also finding it hard to believe that I’m almost 21 years old!  I feel like my 18th birthday was only yesterday and this also means I need to think of a way to celebrate with family and friends!HS_Birthdays_21st

With all of that said, the scariest decision I will be making in 2016 is what I will be doing after graduation.  It’s also the year I will be hearing back from medical schools as to whether or not I’ve been accepted.  Medical school is my first preference in what I’d like to do post graduation – however I’m aware of how competitive this route is and I need to be prepared for the fact I may be unsuccessful, so I will need to have a backup plan in place.  _1199754

For many of us, 2016 is going to be a bit daunting, but new beginnings are the perfect opportunity to really fight for what we want and in some ways, that is so exciting that I can’t wait to take on whatever the new year brings!

How to make your Christmas holidays productive yet enjoyable

So, the first term of the academic year is now officially over and a lot of students from the University have descended to their family home for the holidays. Unfortunately though, it’s quite unlikely that you won’t have any studying to do over the break, as essays and exams welcome you back in January. With lots of socialising to fit in before you get back, studying can often take less of a priority. However there is a way to get a balance…

  • Write down all of the stuff that you need to do now

First things first, take the opportunity to sit down with a cup of tea and write down everything that you’ll need to do between now and the start of next term. This way, you won’t forget anything important and you’ll be able to organise things accordingly. If you still need to do some Christmas shopping, then take a look at my guide to buying presents on the blog!

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  • Make a schedule

Once you know exactly what you need to do, schedule it all into a calendar! I normally print one off from the internet and stick it on my bedroom wall next to my desk. This way, I can write down exactly what I need to do over the break and cross it off when I’ve done it. A good place to start is putting in the dates that you know you’ve got something going on, like visiting family. Then, with the time that you’ve got left, set aside some time for studying and anything else you want to fit in. With that done, all you need to do then is stick to it!

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  • Do some paid work

Whilst you’re at home, it could be the perfect opportunity to give your bank balance a nice lift by doing some paid work. Places often become busy around this time of year, so it’s well worth giving your old part-time job a call to see if you can work a few hours over the break!

  • Make space for some time off

Whilst it’s important to get your work done, make sure that you take time to relax and enjoy some well-earned time off! Watch a Christmas film or two by the fire and eat as much or as little as you want! There might not be much opportunity to do this whilst you’re at University, so enjoy it!

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  • See your friends and family

Remember whilst your home to take time to see all of the people that you haven’t seen for months and have a proper catch up! Whether it’s going out for some food, or catching the latest blockbuster, spending this time of year with the people that you care about the most is the most important thing.

Have a very merry Christmas everybody and a spectacular new year!

The Towers Experience

To begin with, there are in total six towers at the Colchester Campus of the university: 4 towers in the North of campus and 2 other towers in the South area. Throughout my time at university, I have lived in a different tower each year and I have got all the best parts that you need to know about the towers.

Why should one consider applying for the Towers accommodation? Here are some of my reasons why:

  • you make instantly 14-15 friends, depending on the number of flatmates that are in your flat. When I came to university, I did not know that many people and it definitely helped to live with a few other students that were in the same situation as me. You get to meet lots of people from various countries in a very welcoming atmosphere.
  • close to campus. If you are like me and want to be close to your place of studies and perhaps to where you work, then the Towers are a great option. From where I am currently living, the South Towers, I am only 2-3 minutes away from my lectures which allows me to sleep that bit longer in the mornings!
  • big communal area in each flat. We call it the kitchen area and it is equipped with all the things that you could possibly need in order to prepare your meals. I find myself hanging around the kitchen most of the time to catch up with my flatmates, prepare a meal together or have a social gathering with other students on different occasions.
  • affordable rent. The towers are the most affordable from all of the accommodation that our university provides. Rental prices may vary, but if you interested please find out more on the website of the University of Essex Accommodation.

At the moment, I am in my final year at the university and I feel that living in the South Towers helps me out with saving time and in this way it is easier to manage both studies and part-time work. However, I still get to have fun with my friends and, as Resident Assistant, I get to create lots of fun events for my 3 flats of students. In the pictures below, me and the flat 6 in Eddington were having a great time celebrating Thanksgiving.

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In all previous years, we celebrated Christmas and New Year’s Eve in the kitchens of our flats. In the pictures below, I am with some of my good friends and flatmates enjoying the holiday spirit.

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However, if you prefer living with fewer people and do not want to have shared bathrooms, perhaps the Towers are not for you. There are plenty of more options available and you can have a look what Accommodation has to offer on the following video tour of the Colchester Campus: https://vimeo.com/channels/ourcampuses/49226560

Winter break off campus

With Christmas fast approaching you might not have much money to spend on going out. So, following on from the post about things to do on campus, here are 5 free things to do off campus during the winter break.

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Colchester

Winter Wonderland – All throughout December, 10AM-9m.

In Castle Park there is a Hyde Park style Winter Wonderland with fairground rides, ice skating and stalls selling hot drinks and gifts. I personally think it’s best to go in the evening and it’s great to get you in the Christmas spirit!

From the University of Essex take the number 62 bus towards town and get off at the top of East Hill (20 minutes). Castle Park is on your left and Winter Wonderland is all around the castle.

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The Minories Christmas shop – Until 24th December, 10AM-5PM.

The Minories is an art gallery that showcases the work of local artists and designers. Both emerging and established artists from the region have created a wealth of exciting and affordable items especially for the Minories Christmas Shop. An amazing place to go if you want to buy unique presents and support local artists.

From the University of Essex take the number 62 bus towards town and get off at the top of East Hill (20 minutes). The Minories is immediately on your left.

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Christmas Fair – Saturday 19th December, 10AM-3PM.

If you’re looking for beautiful art, intricate crafts and a cafe to help warm up in then look no further. This Christmas fair is at Colchester Arts Centre, which is a converted church and my favourite venue in the whole of Colchester.

From the University of Essex take the number 62 bus towards town and get off outside the Odeon (23 minutes). Walk down the small passageway to the left of Hudson and Colchester Arts Centre is immediately in front of you after around 200ft.

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Southend

Farmers market – Saturday 19th December, 9AM-Noon.

Products from farmers and producers within the local area; including vegetables, meat, cheese, cakes, chutneys and sauces. Great for Christmas presents or for treating yourself!

Technically this event is in Leigh-on-Sea. From The Forum walk to the Victoria Station Interchange (5 minutes). Take the number 5 bus towards Basildon and get off outside Leigh Church (19 minutes/13 stops). Walk straight up Elm Road and Leigh-on-Sea Town Council will be on your left (3 minutes).

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Christmas concert – Sunday 20th December, 2pm – 3pm.

The annual Christmas concert in Southend. Join the Southend Band for an hour of festive music and audience carols at the bandstand in Priory Park. A lovely afternoon for getting festive and feeling like part of the community.

From The Forum walk to Whitegate Road, Stop VS (3 minutes). Take the number 9 bus towards Rayleigh, get off at Cuckoo Corner North (12 minutes/7 stops). From here you should be able to see Priory Park, walk to the bandstand (4 minutes).

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I hope you have a lovely winter break wherever you choose to spend it!

Revision Tips

Some of you may already be at university here at Essex, or at another university for that matter! Whilst others reading this may be just getting into their year of studying for A Levels. Whatever level you’re currently studying at, revision will be a massive part of your lives over the next few months!

My top tip when it comes to revision is: don’t leave it to the very last minute! I know we’ve all probably been there and done it, (I know I certainly have…oops!), but it’s important that you try your best not to get stuck in this position now.

 

As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, ‘by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail’.

Now, hopefully none of you will be failing anything over the course of the next few months, but read on to make sure you’re doing all you can in terms of revision to get yourself prepared for those all important exams!

I’ve recently started tutoring students in both English Literature and Language and as a requirement I’ve had to learn about the different types of learners that I might come across. This is simply so I can distinguish what type of learner my student is and from this I can plan lesson content in such a way that they will get the best out of it. This may seem completely irrelevant to you guys, but I found it very interesting and so I took some time myself to find out what type of learner I am. I would really suggest giving this a go at home guys, as it really will inform the best revision techniques for you and hopefully it will help you to get the best out of your revision!

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My Personal Top Tips: 

FLASHCARDS

Being a visual learner, these little cards work like magic for me. I use them to record key dates, key names or key ideas that are important for me to remember for my exam. Then, I look over them multiple times a day until the image and idea sticks in my head. It sounds simple, but this really works well for me.

COLOUR CODING

Highlighting and colour coding your notes can really help to break down massive chunks of writing that you probably anxiously scribbled down in a rush, before the Lecturer changed the slide within 2 seconds! Make sure you’re going over and rereading your notes and picking out the most important sections for you.

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POSTERS

I’m the kind of person that will draw tonnes of different posters, usually one for each topic and then cover my bedroom walls with them. Just being able to visualise my notes and seeing these posters every day helps me to expand my knowledge on the topics.

TIMING

You’ll find that some people around you will seclude themselves in the library for hours on end, trying to cram every last piece of information into their heads. Trust me, this is definitely not the most efficient way for you to be revising. Find an amount of time that will maximise the amount of work you can get done. For example, I find that working in hourly slots works well for me, because after an hour of intense work, my brain tends to switch off and I start to become distracted. When you find yourself at this point, get up and take a break. Make sure you’re moving away from your revision environment too. Go and make yourself a drink or get some food, watch 15 minutes of television, or even go and take a quick 10 minute stroll. This will really maximise the way you work, because when you come back into your revision environment, your brain will be refocused and ready to work!

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There are tonnes of helpful tips across the internet on how best to revise, and I hope this post has helped you in some way! But the best piece of advice I can offer you is find out what ways you work best as an individual, and do your own thing to get it done!

Good luck!

 

 

How to manage university deadlines

University deadlines are a lot different to college. No one reads the draft of your essay, you get no reminders about that very important lab report and your lecturers won’t be too keen to help if you email them the night before it is due. So here are my tips on keeping on top of your deadlines and balancing work with fun whilst you’re at uni.

List

So a list probably sounds very dull but it is important to have one when it comes to organising the work you need to do to. If you forget a piece of work or some reading, then it is not going to get done and that will only create more stress for you. Every week I keep a list in my bag of work that I need to do so that I don’t forget anything.

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Diary

Diaries are very important for visualising your deadlines. I always find if I don’t write a deadline in my diary, I don’t quite realise how soon it is due. “Oh it’s due on the 10th, I have plenty of time!” Except I probably haven’t realised that it is already the 4th so I have less than a week until my deadline! Using a diary means that you can see which deadlines are coming up sooner and thus spend your time working on the soonest deadlines accordingly.

Diary

Timetable plan

A timetable plan is something I should do every week, but I admit that I don’t. However, I do always do one during revision or exam periods. Basically, I print off my university timetable and then add to it when I am going to do my additional work and what I am going to work on. This makes sure that I am spending enough time on each topic and I can pencil in working for longer on the topics that I am less sure on. It also stops me from thinking that I probably have nearly done everything I need to do, so I can start watching that new TV series…bad idea!

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How to fit in paid work

Working whilst you’re at university isn’t always ideal, but let’s face it, you probably need to. I currently work two jobs with some occasional student ambassador work on the side. My advice is don’t take too many shifts; this will vary person to person, but for me my maximum is 12 hours work a week. Of course, working is important and sometimes not optional for students, but try and fit it around your studies. You may find that working means that you have to give up going out sometimes in order to still fit in your deadlines, but that isn’t always the case.

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Plan your socialising

Planning your socialising…sounds like great fun doesn’t it?! I’m not saying never go out spontaneously, but maybe don’t go out spontaneously the night before that lab report is due that you still have 300 words of it to write! If you keep up with your university work and fit your paid work around that then there is no reason why you can’t go out with your friends. Not that you have to listen to me, it’s your degree and your choice!

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Hope some of these tips help, I’m not trying to sound too much like a nagging Mum, I promise!

SU Winter Fayre 2015

On Friday 4th December, Square 3 became very festive as the Societies Guild hosted their annual Winter Fayre. The event is always a really nice opportunity to have a break from essay writing and to enjoy this time of the year with all of your friends at University, before the majority of us go home for the winter break. There were loads of things to get involved in at the Fayre, but here’s a few highlights…

  • Over 50 societies had stalls and sold anything from charity naked calendars to mulled wine. In particular, a lot of the cultural societies also sold items from countries around the world. Saffy, a friend of mine from Malaysia, bought me a delicacy of theirs; a curry puff. It was quite delicious!christmas fayre
  • A few societies also performed at the event; singing Christmas carols or promoting what they have been up to over the year. French Connection performed some French carols and the Theatre Arts Society performed an excerpt from this year’s Pantomime “Jack and the Beanstalk” which is being performed next week. This is a picture from me performing a section from last year’s pantomime at the Winter Fayre. Of course, as you can see, I was playing an intensely focused ice statue!Perry statue
  • Father Christmas and his helpers were on hand to see all of the excited students in his very own Santa’s grotto. Visitors were invited to have a talk with the big man himself to make sure that they’re on his good list and to tell him about what they would like for Christmas. A few of these wishes are set to be selected and bought to life over the next week or so!christmas santa
  • A free photo booth also gave everyone a little souvenir to remember their evening by. There were items to dress up in and even some snow! Here’s a picture of me at the photo booth at last year’s fayre. christmas photo booth

I hope you were able to go to this great evening, but if not then bare it in mind for next year!

Season’s greetings everyone!

Winter Break on Campus

So, it’s coming up to winter break and all of you lovely people that are staying on campus may be wondering about how you’re going to spend your time and what you can do on campus. For me, this is my first winter break where I will be spending most of it here on campus, so I decided to do some investigating of all the cool things we can do together during the winter break!

Here is a list of events for the first week of winter break that are being put on by the ISA. There’s lots of trips, sports and Christmassy activities we can all get involved in!

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December 12th– Southend Christmas Trip!

Here’s a lovely opportunity to spend the day visiting the Southend campus and town centre, watching the lights show and doing lots more exciting things! Travel will be provided

Here’s the Facebook event for if you want to find out more: https://www.facebook.com/events/1654183934845198/

Also, here’s a handy link to all the events put on at Southend on Sea: https://www.facebook.com/eventsonsea/events

December 13th– Brightlingsea Christmas Trip!

The very next day you will also have the opportunity to go to the Brightlingsea Christmas tree festival!

Find out more by joining the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1648917592044880/

December 14th– Indoor football and decorating the tree!

Two lovely activities to get involved in on this day! Indoor football in the sports hall from 2-4pm and then head down to the SU bar to decorate the tree from 5-8pm!

More information on the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1675878195986304/

December 15th– Sports hall and SU bar!

For this event you’ll definitely need to join the Facebook event to find out more, as they are yet to release the details of what exciting activities you’ll be getting up to!

Event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/145804909113924/

16th December- Sports hall and Cine 10!

Come along to the sports hall to play basketball from 2-4pm and then head to cine 10 at 7pm for a nice relaxing screening of Bad Santa!

Join the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1692663514280045/

17th December- Volleyball and Bingo!

You know the drill by now! Head to the sports hall from 2-4pm for a fun game of volleyball and then straight after go and play some bingo in Level up from 4-6pm!

Find out more by joining the facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1054341041285404/

All of that was just the first week! There are plenty more events throughout the winter break and these will be released on the winter break Facebook group which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1621496388112906/?fref=ts and the winter break event page that can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1652974381641982/

Please join these groups and events to find out more about everything you can get involved in and make the most of all of these events. Its the perfect way to make new friends and new memories!

Another Study Abroad Adventure! From Australia to New Zealand…

Summer holidays in Australia has now begun! I am currently traveling the North and South Islands in New Zealand for 3 weeks. We have taken a tour bus which takes us to each place and provides us with accommodation that is usually hostels.

So far it has been a great experience. The scenery is amazing and different in every place, it ranges from snowy mountains to beaches. There is such a small population in the country that it seems really quiet and New Zealand is great if you like outdoor adventures, for example you can sky dive, kayak, paddle board, horse ride, bungee jump etc.

I find that the accent is very similar to the Australian accent and the people are very friendly! However, they have some different sayings, such as ‘sweet as’ which I have never heard before. As a country, it is very different to Australia. For example, the towns and cities are a lot smaller and a lot less busy. Everyone seems so relaxed and there is not the hustle and bustle like there is in Australia. The climate in New Zealand is also cooler, the weather has been warm but not as hot as it gets in Australia.

I am still at the beginning of my New Zealand trip so in my next blog post I will post pictures!