LJMU Refresher

This week’s the Refreshers Fair and with refresh in mind, here’s a little recap of all the fab FREE offers you can get for just being an LJMU student, along with a monthly countdown of all our highlights for the rest this academic year.

JAN – Try a new class at Lifestyles Fitness Centres

Kick-off the New Year with a bang and put your free LJMU Lifestyles pass into action by getting down to your nearest gym and trying a class. There are over 100 fitness classes per week and something for everyone including a fully energized spin classes to the more relaxing yoga.

FEB – Treat your loved ones to some Valentines Classics at Philharmonic

Love is in air… so on 14th Feb enjoy some of the all-time romantic classics played by a live orchestra and be swept away by the vocals of Matthew Ford. What a great way to celebrate LOVE by getting two free tickets for you and your lucky plus one to have a night out at the Phil. #Bargs

MAREat and see a play in a Chinese Restaurant

Our much-loved Everyman & Playhouse are collaborating with Confucius Institute, University of Liverpool, Angel Restaurant and On the Wire to bring you a totally unique experience. Watch the powerful love-story From shore to shore while eating one of your fave Chines dishes. Tickets start from £17.50 which includes a two-course meal. Great food, live music and moving performance… what’s not to love.

APR – See a free film, Mary Queen of Scotts at the Philharmonic

If you’ve already been interested by the FREE films at the Phil this year, including the blockbuster Mary Poppins (5th Feb 2019) and stuck for something to do during the Spring Break, book tickets for you and a friend to watch another Mary, (Queen of Scotts) on the worlds only Waldraw cinema screen. Seeing the screen rise from the stage along with the cutest organist playing a little jingle, is an experience in itself.

MAY – Be terrified by watching Sweeney Todd at Everyman

A classic is back on the Everyman stage and for a mere £5, you can buy a ticket to watch this well-known musical during this April and May. Why not use your LJMU 10% discount on food and drink before the show in bistro or café, but only if you can keep it down while witnessing the famous cutthroat story unveil.

JUN – Have a boogy with Lost Soul 2: Smiggers Wrecked Head at The Royal Court

Following the smash hit comedy, Lost Soul, a new sequel to is coming this year. If you’re wanting to experience some of Liverpool’s finest culture while having a laugh with a group of mates then this is for you. Filled with 70’s soul music, you can get upto 4 Free tickets to dance the night away.

JUL – See the best summer views from the top of Liverpool Cathedral 

There’s no better views of our gorgeous city than from one of the highest points in Liverpool up to the top of the Anglican Cathedral. If you’re already there for one the LJMU graduation ceremonies, why not do something memorable and get the best snaps of sunny Liverpool this July. For more info on how to get a ticket just email the team studentopportunities@ljmu.ac.uk

AUG – Take a walk around the Tate Liverpool

Take a walk down to the Albert Dock this summer and enjoy soaking up the rays while looking across the River Mersey. If you’re feeling a tad thirsty or hungry, stop off at the Tate café where students can get a whoppa 20% discount and not to forget the free entry to all exhibitions to go see some of the world’s best art pieces outside of London (LJMU students also get free access to both Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London).

These are just a few of the offers available to you as a LJMU student and for more information just check out our booklet by clicking here or follow us on social media @LJMUStudentOpps


6 ways to beat January blues and start 2019 feeling good

There’s no better time to get some positivity into your life than January. The infamous January blues are in the news, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are 6 ways that you can combat those January blues and get 2019 off to a great start.

1. Get some excercise

We think that the mind and body are separate. But what you do with your body can have a powerful effect on your mental wellbeing.

Lifestyles have 13 centres across Liverpool and LJMU students can sign up for your free membership here!

2. Try something new

Trying something new can help make the start of your year a vibrant one. If you’ve never been to the Phil, make sure you take the opportunity to see some classical music at one of Liverpool’s most iconic performance venues. You could also head there to watch a film on their famous Walturdaw screen and introductory organist – an experience in itself.

3. Enjoy some live music

Liverpool is one of the best cities in the world for music, fact. Its rich history has laid the foundation for what is a bustling live music scene in 2019. This Friday, Getintothis’ celebrate two years of their monthly Deep Cuts gigs, with a seven act lineup at Jacaranda Records Phase One (tickets). At the end of this month, the national campaign Independent Venue Week kicks off and Liverpool leads the way with a plethora of events, so you won’t be stuck for live music this January!

4. Have a laugh

Liverpool has funny bones, and nowhere puts that to the test as much as the Royal Court. The final performances of Scouse Cinderella are this week, before the Yellow Breck Road kicks off at the beginning of next month. LJMU students can get up to 4 free tickets for performances at the Royal Court, which are bound to tickle you. This Thursday, though, we’ve got a very special City Social to a performance of Love Bunker, a satirical version of a reality TV show, as part of the First Steps comedy festival, come along!

5. Delve into the world of theatre

We know, we always go on about the theatres in Liverpool. But what can we say? We’re big fans of the fantastic performances this city produces. Not only that, but we’re also big fans of the discounted and free tickets that students can get for theatres like The Everyman and Playhouse. Their Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto: The Snow Queen ends this weekend – so be quick to catch it!

6. Clear your head with a walk down the docks

One of Liverpool’s most famous tourist attractions, the Albert Dock is the perfect place to clear your mind during January. Whether it be assessments or getting back into the swing of things with lectures, a quick walk down to the Mersey can do the world of good. If you’ve a little more time, LJMU students get free entry into Tate Liverpool where you can see some world class art and creativity.

To find out about all the Exclusive Offers available to you as an LJMU student, pick up one of our booklets on campus or click here!

Student Opportunities’ New Year’s Resolutions

So here we are, the Christmas season is over, Veganuary is in full swing, and everybody is rocking back up to work and university. Although we’re only halfway through the academic year, this is a time of fresh starts, so your Student Opportunities Team have been thinking long and hard about the vibes that we want to bring into 2019.


My resolution for this coming 2019 was to do Dry January, but unfortunately I forgot and had a red wine while out for dinner on New Years’ day (epic fail). So to make it easier, I decided to change my resolution to write a gratitude diary each day to list 3 things that I have been thankful for that day.

One of the things that I’m especially thankful for is all the lovely people I meet, whether it’s while talking to students on campus to let them know what offers they can get, or at one of our fabulous City Social events. Getting to watch shows and FREE films (including Mary Poppins Returns), as part of the LJMU exclusive student offers, is definitely something to be thankful for.


nature grass bird meadow sweet flower animal cute wildlife green beak frog fauna fun figure duck yoga funny waterfowl water bird ducks geese and swans

My New Year’s resolution is to try something new. Whether it be throwing myself into yoga, listening to a new band or meeting new people – I want 2019 to be full of new experiences.

Liverpool is a fantastic city for it, there’s loads going on so you’re never stuck for something new to try. One of the things I want to do is watch more live performances, and The Royal Court being free to LJMU students means that it’s far more affordable than other venues.


Image result for greys anatomy callie

This year I’m resolving not to be so hard on myself (I nearly ruined the plot of Grey’s Anatomy for someone last year and haven’t stopped thinking about it to this day – if you’re reading this, I’m really sorry, and hope you’re still enjoying the show xoxo).

I’m also resolving to be more involved in running and being a generally more sporty person. I’m going to use my free off-peak Lifestyles gym membership this year, even if it kills me.


Keith Haring, Untitled 1983 crop [X70882]

My goal for 2019 is to create something every day. Whether it’s an illustration or my (really bad) attempt at knitting. It doesn’t have to take too long either, just 5 minutes of something creative and I’ll be on track!

I’ll have to go down to the Tate Liverpool gallery to get inspired…

💙 For all other offers, be sure to check out our booklet, and follow us on Social Media for updates! 💙

We wish you the happiest of new years, and hope that you can stick to your resolutions better than Kimberly is at avoiding the wine! 🍷

City Socials: Semester Two 18/19

It’s 2019, the start of semester two and time for the announcement of a new line-up of City Socials to kick-start the new year… we’re so excited!!! City Socials are about getting together with other students to find out more about Liverpool and what exclusive offers are available to you as an LJMU student to help you make the most of your time in this incredible city.

We will meet before each event at a different campus location, this will usually be either the Liverpool SU John Foster Social Zone or the foyer of the James Parsons Building. Find out more details about the meeting locations and what’s on by clicking on the links below to our Facebook page (please note these will be added the w/c 7th Jan). If you would like to go to any of the events, please contact studentopportunities@ljmu.ac.uk or message us on social media. You can find us @LJMUStudentOpps on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

All of the events are FREE and all about having the best experience in Liverpool. Check them out below and don’t forget to use #SOCitySocial if you come along!

Wk| Date (Time)
Event | Venue

17| Tue 15/01 (18.30)
FILM: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald | Philharmonic

17/18| Thu 17/01 – Sun 20/01
CULTURE: First Steps Festival | John Foster Drama Studio

18| Thu 24/01 (18.30)
MUSIC: Mahler 5 | Philharmonic

19| Tue 29/01 (16.00) 
ART: Tate Liverpool tour | Tate

20| Mon 04/02 (19.00)
THEATRE: Yellow Breck Road | Royal Court

20| Tue 05/02 (18.30) 
FILM: Mary Poppins Returns | Philharmonic

21| Thu 14/02 (18.30) 
MUSIC: Valentines Classics | Philharmonic

21| Thu 14/02 (19.00)
FITNESS: Lifestyles Fitness Sessions | Lifestyles Millennium

22| Tue 19/02 (18.30)
THEATRE: Caroline’s Kitchen | Everyman

23| Wed 27/03 (18.30) 
THEATRE: YEP present Crowd | Playhouse

23| Fri 29/03 (12.30)
MUSIC: Bolero | Philharmonic

24| TBC
THEATRE: The Brilliant Bard | Everyman

25| Mon 11/03 (18.30)
THEATRE: The Girl on The Train | Playhouse

25| Wed 13/03 (18.30)
FILM: Stan and Ollie | Philharmonic

26| Wed 20/03 (18.30)
THEATRE: Us Against Whatever | Everyman

26| Fri 22/03 (12.30)
MUSIC: Best of Petrenko | Philharmonic

27| Mon 25/03 (18.30)
THEATRE: Abigail’s Party | Playhouse

28| Thu 04/04 (18.30)
MUSIC: Enchanting Tales | Philharmonic

29| Fri 12/04 (18.30)
THEATRE: Sweeney Todd | Everyman

30| Tue 16/04 (18.30)
FILM: Mary Queen of Scots | Philharmonic

30| Thu 18/04 (18.30)
THEATRE: Around The World In 80 Days | Playhouse

31| Thu 25/04 (TBC)
CULTURE: Culture Crawl Finish at Cathedral

32| Mon 29/04 (19.00)
THEATRE: My Fairfield Lady | Royal Court

33| Thu 09/05 (18.30)
MUSIC: Giltburg plays Beethoven I | Philharmonic

35| Thu 23/05 (TBC)
ART: Tate Liverpool tour | Tate Liverpool

36| 30/05 (14.30)
Culture: Tower Tour | Cathedral

37| Tue 04/06 (18.30)
THEATRE: Cooped | Playhouse

38| Mon 10/06 (19.00)
THEATRE: Lost Soul 2 – Smigger’s Wrecked Head | Royal Court

39| Thu 20/06 (TBC)
FITNESS: Lifestyles Gym Sessions and Health Checks | Lifestyles Millennium

41| Thu 04/07 (18.30)
MUSIC: The Music Makers | Philharmonic

42| Tue 09/07 (TBC)
CULTURE: Culture Crawl Finish at Cathedral

Merry Christmas from your SO team

Hello lovely students, we are officially turning in for Christmas this week – what an amazing semester it’s been!

We just wanted to wish everyone happy holidays, and remind you that the university offers loads of support if you have any issues, or need somebody to talk to.

Follow this link to find all of the services that Student Advice and Wellbeing offer.

We will be back in the office on 7th January with a host of exciting City Socials planned – we can’t wait to get started!

Here’s to 2019.


(Please excuse the way we look, it’s been a long semester!)


First Student Opportunities Music Day this Wednesday in James Parsons

LJMU’s James Parsons Building cafe will host the inaugural Student Opportunities Music Day this week, a chance for students and staff to enjoy live music as the university winds down ahead of the Christmas period.

Kicking off with a performance from LJMU’s own Gospel Choir, the event is aimed to improve the student experience while showcasing talents of LJMU students and the university’s cultural partners.

The JMSU Musicians and Choral Society will follow, while Luke Fenlon of Liverpool band Lemonade Fix will perform some of his original material. The day will conclude with a performance from the Royal Court Community Choir.

Event organiser Lewis Ridley said: “Everyone in the Student Opportunities team is in agreement that an event like this has the potential to create a great atmosphere in the university, we’re delighted to have JMSU, Sound City and Royal Court Liverpool on board for what we hope can be a really enjoyable day. A big thanks must go to everyone who has helped put the event together, please do come and get involved!”

The Student Opportunities Music Day will start at 11am on Wednesday, December 12 and will run until 3pm.

More information can be found on the Facebook event page here.

Set times for #ljmumusicday are below:

SO Music Day Dec Img

7 Things I Wouldn’t Have Done Without Summer Camp

I had the most incredible summer of my life, and it is all thanks to Camp Leaders. I flew all the way to Utah, United States to work as a Camp Councillor and to make memories I’ll never forget. I’ve learned so much about myself and about the world, but here are 7 things I would never have experienced if I hadn’t got on that flight:

1. Met my people

Ask anyone who’s been to camp what they miss most, hands down they will say the people. The people make all the long days and tiresome hours worth it. Everyone is crazy, wild and unbelievably approachable. Some of my favourite memories are just sat in the staff room during breaks talking about anything and everything or exploring Utah and seeing their favourite spaces. Even now, I’ve been home for 3 months, I’ve seen my camp friends about 6 times since leaving and we’re taking a trip for New Year’s Eve. I could go on forever, but these are the purest friendships you will ever have. Also now I have friends all around the world, what’s better than that.


2. Met so many awesome kids

The kids you meet at camp will stay with you for life. They are the happiest, purest kids you’ll ever meet. Ignore the ‘brat’ stereotype because out of the 100 kids I had in my care this summer, about 3 of those were difficult. The 97 others, just want to mock your accent, make friends and get to know you. They look up to you, you’re interesting because you’re different. I spent the majority of summer explaining what a bin was, in my South Yorkshire accent. They loved it. Anything you do is amazing to them, even when they mocked me for eating chips (fries) with a fork.

3. Discover America

I chose to travel with Trek America at the end of camp as it can be a little daunting to be 18 and in America for 12 days alone, so I decided to go for Trek (a lot of people travel together, I didn’t want to chance it). I chose the Western Wonder as I was placed in Utah, the west, and it was packed of some insane sights. To be honest Trek America had so many bucket list things, I’ll list them:

San Francisco – Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, meeting all my new friends, meeting Karl (the locals call the fog Karl).

Yosemite – I love hiking and this is something I never thought I would do. Hiking and camping in Yosemite is something you could never imagine. We explored different hikes, we chose Vernal Falls as it was a stunning waterfall and wasn’t too strenuous. We then chilled and had pizza in the visitor’s centre.

Las Vegas – A long car trip, around 12 hours, in fact. But it was here I found a love for the musical Hamilton, a bit late – I know. We stayed at the Golden Nugget which is situated on the very famous Fremont Street, where many there is Casinos and the exhilarating Zip Lining is located. Being under 21 in Vegas can be quite intimidating but I had a truly unbelievable time. Party buses, casinos, exploring the strip until the early hours of the morning, deliberating the need for 6 ‘I ❤ Vegas’ shirts, then tanning around the shark tank at the pool. To top it all off the hotel even had dressing gowns! What more could you want?


The Grand Canyon – The first thing our tour guide, James, said was that on average, people only spend 12 minutes there in total. They take pictures and they go, whereas we were lucky enough to enjoy the view at sunset. So we spent forever taking pictures and enjoying the tranquility. We returned the next morning and were able to hike around, which also meant taking some terrifying photos, i.e. pretending to hang off the edge.
Arizona – During the final night of our journey, we had the opportunity to sleep on a beach… In Arizona! At 34 degrees! Even though we were sweating cobbs, definitely a tick off the bucket list.

Los Angeles – I feel like this is on most peoples bucket lists, and we all know why. Who doesn’t want to accidentally see a celebrity in Starbucks? (I wish) We didn’t have a massive amount of time in LA as it was the end of the tour but we explored the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theatre, saw the Hollywood Sign and found some great gift shops. The dream. However, our tour guide was amazing and took us up to the Griffith Observatory after the tour finished, which had the most breathtaking view of Los Angeles.

4. Went out of my comfort zone

There are many different roles you can have at camp. You can be support staff – i.e. kitchen staff, cleaning, security – or a counsellor, i.e. program specialist or general councillor. I was hired as the program specialist councillor for Outdoor Cooking, this meant I taught our campers how to outdoor cook during activity times but also had a cabin at the same time. This was great as I got to know all the girls in my cabin individually but also got to know a lot of the other campers. I have never taught cooking before so I had to adapt myself and learn how to make the session work for every kid. The best comment I had while teaching was when explaining the safety rules of fire, one child explains that “guys if you wanna be a bagel, now’s not the time.” You get used to (and love) the absolute madness from kids.


5. Sleeping in a hammock next to a mountain

Even better, got paid for it! I was able to work with the Rising Star program at my Camp, kids who are too old to camp but too young to begin the leadership program. I was able to take them camping with a couple of other councillors. We cooked outside, had a huge campfire and all became besties. Cringe I know. Then I climbed into my hammock and slept under the stars next to a mountain. Another wild moment of realisation. Just thought how 2 months before was chilling in my suburban house and now I’m chilling in a hammock in the Uinta Mountains in Utah.

6. Hiked a mountain at 1 am/Rode a horse/Spent my life in Walmart/Tubing down a river

I was very lucky to have the weekends off at my camp, which meant that we could spend our free time exploring Northern Utah. Salt Lake and Park City are gorgeous (and great for spending) and even chilling around camp. For instance, we decided to hike Moose Mountain (right next to camp) at 1am which seemed like a good idea at the time and was hilarious but totally dangerous and stupid. Another time we spent a couple hours riding the horses around camp and the mountain area, which was terrifying but funny and something I’ve never done before. Walmart will be your best friend. The bargain bin DVDs, best friend. Massive selection of oreo and M&M’s, best friend. Random homeware that you really don’t need, best friend. Plus it’s cheap, what more can you want. Lastly, one of my favourite weekend memories was when the entire staff went tubing down Provo River, literally 50 people floating down a river, cannot get better than that. Plus, there was a rope swing at the end, and who doesn’t love a good rope swing.


7. Explored cities alone

Something that was really great for my self-confidence, was travelling to an entirely new city on my own for the first time. As long as you’re safe, prepared and know the local emergency numbers! There’s no better feeling than having the freedom to do as you please. I was in alone in San Francisco for a day: I had the opportunity to see so many impressive sights, Pier 39, Alcatraz and Fishermans Wharf. I literally walked from Pier 1 to Pier 39, ate a hot dog, it was great.

Overall, Summer 2018 was a game changer for me. I’ve grown as a person and try to experience life as it comes. Camp will change who you are, for the better. So seriously, if this is even a slight interest, head onto Camp Leaders website, call them up, have a chat, and start the adventure of a lifetime.

Georgia Chapman

How to have a laugh in Liverpool

Laughter is the best medicine and this week we’re celebrating the John Bishop visit to LJMU by sharing the laughter. Check out our jokes at the bottom of this blog and let us know who you think it’s funniest (even though we all know that it’s Marcy).

Whether you were lucky enough to have to see John Bishop or not, here’s a list of things to do around Liverpool to give you a giggle:

First Draft Scratch Night – Everyman Theatre


If you’ve never been down to a scratch night, First Draft at the Everyman should definitely be on your Liverpool bucket list. The event is free to attend (although they do accept donations to the food bank), and you never know what performances you will see, it could be anything from stand up comedy to mime, there have also been performances of monologues, spoken word, sketches, poetry, music, magic and much more in the past.

Hot Water Comedy Club

Image result for hot water comedy club

The Hot Water Comedy Club is the home to all things stand up, they have been the launch pad for many comedians on the journey to Edinburgh and beyond. The club is lovingly co-owned by brothers Binty and Paul, and has a really familial vibe – you go more than twice and they’ll probably remember your bar order.

Scouse Cinderella – Royal Court

Royal Court Building Image 9

Realistically, the title of this alone should be enough to convince you that this is going to be pure banter. The Royal Court are famed for their scouse spin on productions (with past examples such as Hitch Hikers Guide to Fazakerley). This year’s panto Scouse Cinderella is set to be a riot with main characters including a prince with a foot fetish (?) and a pumpkin that turns into a delta – what an idyllic mix of scouse and magic.

Laughterhouse Live – Philharmonic


If you’re looking for some big names in comedy then look no further than Liverpool Philharmonic’s Laughterhouse Live on 1st December. The event is hosting not one, not two, not three… four… five or six, but SEVEN comedy giants. The line up is as follows and it looks immense:

Johnny Vegas
Lost Voice Guy
Lee Nelson
Luisa Omielan
Tom Wrigglesworth
Matt Reed
Chris Cairns

Student Opps Comedy Night

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

Now, this is a while off, but the anticipation is all part of this fabulous event. Student Opps are hosting our very first comedy workshop and open mic night on 20th March 2019! The day will consist of a workshop for anybody who is looking to improve on their own stand up routine, or are just looking to give it a go, and this will be followed by an open mic night where students are invited to perform. The focus on this day is to use comedy as a way of combating mental health issues, and a much needed respite from studying – do make sure you come along because it’s going to be amazing (We have also invited our good mate John Bishop – we’ll keep you updated on that front!)


Finally to finish we’ve picked out our favourite jokes and we’d love to know which one’s the best (not saying we’re dead competitive or anything).

Why did the dinosaur cross the road? … Because the chicken hadn’t evolved yet. (Kimberley) 

A man was milking his cow, and a fly was buzzing about his head. He swatted it away and he could have sworn he saw it fly right into the cow’s ear. He ignored this and continued to milk his cow, when all of a sudden the fly comes out – it went in one ear, and out the udder! (Marcy)


Breaking: Theresa May spotted in Warrington’s IKEA as she continues her struggle to find a fit for purpose cabinet. (Lewis)


To vote just check out our Social Media pages and comment with the team members name on who you think is the funniest.

Let’s talk cyber security…

I remember the joy of my first internet experience over twenty-five years ago. In fact, I still remember purchasing my first flip brick with T-mobile! From that magical hissing and clicking sound the modem made; with the ridiculously slow speeds but oh the joy once connected! Less than 1 Mbps download speeds.

Today  we surf at over 300 Mbps using fibre optics, tech that’ll run power over Ethernet. Modems are more sophisticated, routers all singing and dancing to include modems. I just love this stuff. Our TV’s have got smart, artificial intelligence lives in our homes, manages our heating, household electrics, lighting and even toasters, kettles and smart plugs to go with it! We are connected, plugged in to the world wide web through our electronic devices. Gaming, speaking, creating, communicating, working, building, shopping, banking, teaching and connecting, I could go on.

When you leave the house in the morning, do you leave your door wide open? No?

What do you do to protect your house? We close the door and lock it. Why?

when we come home at night, do we leave the door open behind us when we enter? We close the door and lock it.

Many of us have other safeguards around the house like surveillance, double locking on doors, or a door chain. Some people have emergency items by their front door to prevent an intrusion.

Think of the internet in exactly the same way as you wanting to be secure in your home. When you enter the internet, you need to lock the door behind you. When you leave the internet, you need to lock the door behind you and have measures in place to protect your privacy, personal identifiable information, files, photos, address, whereabouts and more.

This is one of many posts I will posting from time to time on computer and internet safety, how you can minimise risk and what types of scams to be aware of.


Spoofing is the act of crooks pretending to be someone else. For example, they may send you an email in one of your friends name asking you to ‘check out this link’. They may mirror an organisation that you shop from or you bank from and send you a convincing looking email pretending to be from the bank and asking you to update your details, log in and so on. When you click the link you are sent to pages that are loaded with malware. Malicious software that includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses and spyware.


Phishing attacks are emails/mail with links that try to trick you into giving up your personal details, identifiable information for identity theft, bank details and so on.

Unless you are absolutely sure of the content you are receiving. Do not click on or open any emails you are not expecting.

When checking the email, look at the sender. Click the word sender. Many of these emails will have email address like eoeuhsdljfh@dfifsdf.com. Or other such like email. Some are hm-governent@gov.uk. Note the miss-spelling and hyphen. The senders ID can be a big giveaway for dodgy emails. If in doubt, contact the purported originator.

Online Banking and emails

Never give out you banking details to anyone. Genuine banking emails will not ask you for your password, bank account number or CVV number (the three number diits on the back of your bank card). Some banks will send you emails and ask that you log into your account to read messages or communicate with the bank. If in doubt, always log in to see notifications or emails from the bank or alternativily contact your bank by phone. NEVER click reply to any emails, or click links within emails that ask you to enter your personal details.

Student finance

It has come to light a recent phishing scam sends out emails to students pretending to be student finance. The email looks genuine and explains that there is an error with your student finance account and that you are entitled to more money. The email provides a link asking students to enter their bank details so that they get paid the extra money. This is a scam. Your details will be used to extract money from your bank account. Do not give out your bank details to anyone. If in doubt, contact the organisation.

Lock your door

There are several anti-virus and firewalls (many of them free too) to install onto your computer and mobile devices (don’t forget your phones and tablets) for protection. My favourite is zone alarm security which is an anti-virus and firewall and security in one and I have the paid-for version. at less than £30.00 a year, there is no excuse. To double up on security, I also use a secondary anti-virus/security software – free version.

Zone Alarm 

Here is a comparison website for firewall and anti-virus software. Many have free versions of their software. Best free anti-virus software.  If you are not familiar with anti-virus or firewall software, do some research on the most simplest to use/automated. Firewalls are a barrier against hackers accessing your machine. Anti-virus and anti-spyware programs keep your machine safe from malicious software, spies, identify theft and more.

A way to help the fight against malware and viruses; stay away from hack and crack sites. Piracy and news leeches, peer to peer software; illegal music and video downloads. Many of these ‘free’ software and sites are riddled, absolutely riddled with holes full of spyware and malicious code that people make a consensual choice to download onto their machines.  Software is relatively cheap these days. A lot cheaper than a night out. Subscriptions to music and video is affordable also.

Did you know you could get Amazon prime unlimited for students at £39.00 a year or £3.99 per month. At present Amazon are offering a six-month free trial for students. You get free unlimited fast delivery on prime items, the benefit of prime now which is same day delivery, loads of prime eligible TV/Film and music and super kindle deals too. The point is, purchasing software,  streaming music and video is affordable these days..

Despina Mooney

Go Global: A Maltese Adventure

Choosing my International Internship

In April 2018, I received an email from the Go Abroad team about internships in Asia for LJMU students. You can imagine my excitement, right? I immediately sprang into application mode, and began planning the perfect application for this opportunity. It came to submission and I felt confident in how I had presented myself and succinctly evidenced what I could offer LJMU in allowing me to represent the University in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

I refreshed my emails for weeks on end, waiting for the congratulatory subject line. However, all that I read was; ‘Thank you for your application, unfortunately…’ and my heart completely sank. I went into a state of feeling that I had completely failed. However, was determined to undertake an internship, so I contacted the Go Abroad team and told them my predicament. I didn’t want to spend my second year summer in my part-time job, waiting for someone to come to me with an internship or an idea. It wasn’t going to happen.

Applying for an Erasmus+ Internship

After a few hours of deliberation, I had decided my route. The LJMU Go Abroad team told me of an agency in Malta that the University was in partnership with; ‘Stage Malta’. The team gave me their contact details and told me to apply straight away if I was completely determined to go forward in pursuing an internship. By this point, other students travelling to Malta had already had their places secured by Stage Malta and were pretty much ready for their departure. In essence, I had just over a month to secure a placement, get all my documentation prepared, apply for the Erasmus+ grant, save up enough money to fund my trip, and prepare for the trip of a lifetime. About a week after sending in my application, I had my Skype interview.

Stage Malta were probably the most warm and helpful company I could have imagined to be in partnership with. They guided me through the incredibly swift application process and gave me all the information I needed, including my accommodation options in Malta. When interning in Malta, you can live in a shared house, with a host family, or in a residence, all of which differ in price range. I opted to live in a shared house with my own private bedroom, and used my wages from my part-time job to fund this.

After the interview, I began to research media companies across Malta who I would like to be placed with. However, never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I would be placed with the company that I was; I was given an internship at Malta’s national newspaper, The Times of Malta. As you can imagine, I called every single family member I could think of, sharing my excitement. I secured my departure date of the 18th of June with an arrival date back home of the 20th of August. My departure date could not fly around quickly enough. The time in between my placement acceptance and my departure was filled with departure meetings with the Go Abroad team sorting the necessary paperwork to secure my Erasmus+ grant. Finally, my Erasmus+ funding was secured, my documentation was finally completed and it was time for me to jet off on a completely new adventure.

Paradise Bay

Tips for Erasmus+ Internships

The LJMU Go Abroad team are very helpful in guiding students through their internship applications, but here are a few tips I have learned;

  • During my interview, I said that I wanted to pursue journalism or media and communications. However, it is important when having your interview that you give at least two industry preferences, as agencies sometimes cannot secure your number one choice.
  • Research the country you are visiting prior to your interview, especially how your desired industry has developed and generated a presence in the country. This will show that you have made a fully informed decision as to why your desired country will give you the experience and opportunities related to your field.
  • Since working an 8-5 job, I am now fully aware of how much this time away from a workspace can help your creativity flow and help to wind down after a long week. The best way to do this, I found, was to spend time with my housemates and socialise as often as I could. There are lots of travel ideas on the LJMU Go Abroad Instagram!
  • During my Erasmus+ internship, me and my housemates would look for affordable adventures to do as a group every weekend. It’s still possible to travel on a budget!

What I did for my Internship in Malta

The morning I left for my Erasmus+ internship, I experienced every emotion you could think of. It’s a very daunting prospect thinking of being away from home for over two months, with new faces, in a completely new environment, being independent and working in a new industry. Nevertheless, I could not have been more excited.

During my internship at the Times of Malta newspaper, I worked within the editorial department; researching, constructing, and editing pieces for the following day’s newspaper. Our department edited around 16 pages worth of news every day, which meant that I had to work to very strict time constraints. While challenging, the team were wonderful, and gave me help and advice wherever necessary and answered any questions I had.

Not only was trusted with editing, but I was also given the opportunity to provide content for the newspaper. I was published four times in The Times, with my articles ranging from new contemporary art spaces in Malta, to the LGBT community. I was trusted with conducting interviews myself, leaving the office space to retrieve quotes from the locals, and to visit the wonderful spaces I was writing about. You can find links to my articles on the Times of Malta website.

My Monday-Friday routine consisted of me waking up at 6:30am, going to work for an amazing newspaper, and then ending the day at 5pm. My weekends were filled with a new adventure every time Friday evening came around. We had decided as a household to visit somewhere new every Saturday or Sunday, as really, we only had nine sets of weekends to travel around this beautiful island. We visited places such as Valletta, Mellieha, Gozo, St Julian’s, St Paul’s Bay, Mriehel, Mdina, Sliema and many more.

What I Learned from Interning Abroad

The summer I spent interning in Europe was simply life changing. I was given opportunities beyond my wildest dreams, not only in terms of my internship at The Times but also in terms of the chance to see some incredible sights. When working, studying or volunteering abroad, you begin to learn a lot more about yourself than you originally knew. The experience I had shaped and moulded me as not only a human being, but also as an LJMU student. I am now more driven than ever to give more back to this wonderful community and support system, all thanks to the Go Abroad team who were there every step of the way.

The work (and life) during my Erasmus+ internship I will carry with me for life. If I had not had the initial knock back of being unsuccessful for one internship, it would not have driven me to fight for another. Therefore, the best advice I can give to anyone wishing to work abroad is, to never give up – there is always something on the horizon. Just see the Go Abroad Twitter account for a list of the never ending international opportunities for LJMU students.

St Peter's Pool