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Lunch with Rhi….

My dad has always said to “grab opportunities” and from a young girl he has repeatedly told me to grab the opportunities and to get my foot in the door. The course I am doing, Television and Broadcasting is a very competitive one and  having experience in different fields can really help both your cv and future employer see how enthusiastic and dedicated you are to the field.

So recently I announced I had been given a radio show on Pure FM, the University of Portsmouth radio. It is named Lunch with Rhi and will air every Thursday from 1-3 from 3rd March 2016! It is being sponsored by Feed in Gunwharf Quays and I am very excited to be the host of my own show.

Having begun writing my script I realised how much content I would need for the two hour show. I slowly began coming up with the different segments and areas I would have on the show including Whats the link and Getting to know RHI. I have also set up a twitter (@LunchwithRhi) and a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Lunch-with-Rhi-1836322556594592/), which at time of writing this had 50 likes in one day! I was absolutely astonished at the support I have had so far, even before my first show!

Each week the show will be based on a theme with the first being “Getting to know me”. I will be playing a variety of different songs with songs from Justin Bieber to Coldplay. Listeners are more than welcome to tweet or message me requests for songs or for any segment requests they may have.

 

 

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Free time, Travels

the excitement of planning your next break!

Today’s post will be on planning a Break.

Yes, I’ve always been of the opinion that having good, quality time off work/studies increase your capability of retaining more information, boosting not only your mood but your creativity as well. And we all know that creativity is key in every single area. And, I can add, if you have breaks now and then, you will be much more sociable and understanding to others. I also believe that most discussions and upsetting situations are born from people being tired. And being tired is not always evident. You might be sleeping 9 hours a day and still be tired.

Planning a trip is exciting. The thrill of preparing and booking places to visit, to eat or to sleep is unique. And then, when you get to experience everything you put together, learning with the less positive and enjoying the great chances you allowed yourself, is just a blast!

I have the distinct idea people believe that planning a trip might be too expensive. It will all come down to what are you up for?

I can give you some tips of how I do my planning and some rules I tend to preserve while I hope you too are willing to share yours; improving our skills as travellers is always worthwhile.

1. Decide where you want to go and with who; 

Believe it or not, this is crucial. You might be BFF with someone, but in the end, you don’t share the same way of travelling. If you are travelling with people that are going for clubbing and you want to do sightseeing and a cultural programme you might have a problem! Either you adjust to each other and plan how both are going to make  good company for each other, or in the end, neither will be happy. Or enjoy as much as you can.  Choosing the location where you want to go should depend more on your interests and curiosity. But, if you just want to explore Europe or the wildlife, then you can jump to step 2.

2. Book your flights and accommodation previously;

I have a rule concerning planning my breaks. I always divide the month expenses. What do I mean? Well, if I’m going to Italy in March, I will try to pay my hotel in February and my flights in January. I know that planning too ahead is complicated, and obviously not always you can book flights months prior to your break. And plus, I’m referring to breaks, during work/classes. Holidays can follow some of these tips, but if you want to go to Australia, managing that should follow other timings. So, if you feel you can manage travel expenses (museum and other attraction tickets; food; transportation) plus accommodation, then you should only worry first about the flight tickets. Because I love to find deals, I tend to book my rooms in advance. You can find good bargains.

FLIGHT SEARCH: You probably know this one already: Skyscanner. This search engine really gives you the best deals. But, obviously, the best user you are, the most of it, you will get. For instance, sometimes you might struggle with flight’s timetable. If you are departing from Portsmouth, the closest you get from one of London’s airports is Gatwick. You can also find good deals from the Southhampton one. But, departing from Gatwick Airport you need to think when is the earliest train that can take you there and the last one, on the return. This will already limit your flight search. Usually its less expensive to book the flights combined, because of booking fees, but don’t be strained by it.

Because a break usually is short, you can also combine your options. For instance, you can combine London airports, and then you might find more interesting flights. In March, I’m planning an escape to Lisbon and because usually the more economic return flight is at 6.30am, I selected the return to Heathrow and then I was able to pick an equal-priced flight at 10.30am. This will make my return flight management easier.

ACCOMMODATION SEARCH: I am, without any doubt, a Booking.com user. I think that making an account is quite easy and it is worth it. With time, you will become a .genius member, and some promotions will be available only to you. For instance, I booked a hotel room in a fancy place in Portugal for 35 euros, when, for someone else, would cost 40 euros. You need to be patient and not rush for the first option. I usually tend to use the map to explore accommodation options in respect to the city. The map will appear in the left sidebar after you’ve put your search details. But you have other options. I’ve used Tripadvisor as well, but only once. My experience was great. I think it is more limited, with fewer options. But, you might find different ones. So, just check with the same search details. For the past two years, I have also used Airbnb. I do like this website, because not only is its structure very secure, but you can also find apartment/house deals. This is interesting if you are planning a more cozy escape, with friends or boyfriend, and you want to cook and spend some indoors time. This will decrease your food costs and probably it will be a cheaper alternative to accommodation as well.  You have rooms as well, so you can have fun exploring it. The downside of this one is that you need to pay right away whilst with Booking.com you might find some options where you can just make the reservation and pay once you get there. Plan ahead your intentions so your search can be more effective.

TIP: take your time searching. You don’t need to book right away, just because you’ve started. Do it now and then, so maybe you can find the best deal. Finding flight bargains is much like gambling, you never know.

3. Visit the tourism websites and read blogs beforehand;

Having set up the time you have got for your break and the real time you have to visit your destination, then you should focus on a realistic plan. Don’t start putting all the attractions in your plan. This is a rookie mistake, I’m afraid. Depending on the distances and the time it takes to visit whatever you want, sometimes you can go to 1 to 2 attractions in the morning and the same amount in the afternoon. Obviously, this will depend on the time you need to see what you want. That’s why blogs are an effective way to help your planning. Others usually have good tips and they are willingly sharing their know-how. It is better to see less, but better. Just rushing all the way and only having a grasp of what you are visiting is not the proper way of getting to know your surroundings. If you want to taste food during your break then you should allow yourself a good two-hour lunch or dinner.

I do like starting from the tourism websites, because not only usually  do they have an English version, but they are very well organised. It is easy to get a good idea of what you can visit. And they are more up to date than Google is. You can easily get information on the attractions timetable and any last-minute news. Put everything into your tablet or, as me, an old-fashioned gal, write it on paper. This will be your route guide.  You can save it later with postcards you might buy. Memories can last, but some items usually help them crawl out of our head.

 4. Be responsible with money;

I don’t like that feeling of counting my money to make sure I can get back home. And not being able to enjoy where I am! That’s not a good way of ending your escape journey. Therefore, and though it might seem silly, I do like the idea of putting money in an envelope. So, if I want to go somewhere next month, I will put £40/50 (depending on what I want to do) there. This is like the life-jacket. I might use it or not. But is good to have a backup plan. If you can’t do it, then just make a Plan B during your stay, so you can still enjoy but not go overdrawn.

This weekend I had my Break. I went back home and I had a really enjoyable time though the weather was quite depressing. It was raining cats and dogs and the winds were crazy. We were in a red warning zone. Nonetheless, I planned on doing indoor activities that could fill our time and, unfortunately, we had to forget about most of the outdoor ones. We went to Sintra, one of my favourite places in the world, and we managed to visit two Palaces, one in each afternoon, do Geocaching (not as much as we wanted!) and just doing some sightseeing in the end.  Overall I spent more £30 than I was expecting, which for a 3-night accommodation and everything else included I thought was okay.

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The weather conditions made this visit even more mystical – welcome to the Pena Palace

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The fog and the cold made us think how living in the Palace in the old days could have been harsh

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The king that bought the Palace was of the romantic type

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And he was very inspired by Asian culture

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Because we were in the route of palaces – welcome to the National Queluz Palace

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This is called the music room, with an extension to the next one; imagine the balls…

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and the delight of musicians, playing for kings, princes and nobles of that time

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This palace is very well known because of its gardens

 

I feel like travelling connects me more with different cultures and situations, which makes me feel more alive and human.

Hope you find my tips useful and do let us know if you are planning a break.

Ciao

Inês

 

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Uncategorized

Working at a Portsmouth Open Day

Sorry I haven’t posted in so long! I had a very busy January with a lot of deadlines!! Now that it’s thankfully mostly over, I should be able to post more regularly!

I thought I would write today about my experience yesterday working as a Student Marketing Assistant (those people in purple you see showing applicants around on open days). So yesterday was my first shift working the team, you might have seen me in front of University House directing people in the blistering cold!!  Despite the unforgiving weather conditions, I had great fun meeting loads of people who hopefully will be joining us in September! As Student Marketing Assistants or SMAs, as we are commonly referred as, we help ensure the smooth running of open days by operating walking tours of the campus, coach tours of the city and halls tours throughout the day.

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Our set up yesterday – What a bike!!

For those of you perhaps interested in working for the University, I would definitely recommend it. It’s a great way of meeting new people, gaining work experience and making a bit of money on the side. I was hired just before the new year for this role but the University is always looking for people to fill vacancies, ranging from positions in the Student Union to the library. Most are posted on the various student Facebook groups which I’m sure many of you are now accustomed to, but many vacancies also are posted on the Purple Door website (check it out if you haven’t already, it’s a great service for us students!) and the University jobs page. Feel free to write in the comments if you have any questions about my role as a Student Marketing Assistant or if you do see me or any purple people on an open day, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to talk to you!

Luka

 

 

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Uncategorized

Graduation… then what?!

Something that has been nagging my mind for the last two years of my life is what to do after I graduate. There are so many options! Should I do a Master’s? Should I do an internship? Will I have money to live on my own or will I have to move home after I finish my course? Will I be able to find a job related to my degree? They say we are lucky to have so many options in this day and age, however sometimes I feel we have a few too many choices.

I am a person who doesn’t like uncertainty. I like knowing what is going to happen. This can sometimes be a very annoying quality, because the truth is you can’t predict the future. And the amount of times I have been disappointed because things don’t turn out the way I want them to are too many to count (although I have learned to be a little more care free the last few years). So not knowing for a while where I will be next year is really stressing me out.

For me there is also the matter of which country I want to stay in. I am Norwegian and it would probably be easier for me to find a job back home. There are less people, less competition, I could get a higher paying job quickly. But my boyfriend is English, and obviously I wish to stay with him, which I don’t mind because I do enjoy living in England. But will I be able to find the right job here?

When I started my course my ambition was to work for the Norwegian government. I wanted to learn Chinese to go back and work on Norwegian – Chinese relations. I wanted a job where I can travel a lot, to see the world and speak many languages. Now? I’m not so sure. I would still love to have a job working for the government, but I’m not sure I would want to move around as much. I want a house. I want a cat. I want to come home and have dinner with my family. But I still want a job where I feel like I’m doing something important.

Deciding what to do next has not been easy. I knew moving again could be a likely option to consider more opportunities. I’m not saying there aren’t options here, I could do a Master’s in International Relations or Translation. But it’s not really what I want to do as I want to focus more on Chinese Studies or East Asian Studies, not straight IR. And I don’t want to do translation. Beginning of third year I was so sure I wanted to do a Master’s in Chinese Studies. A few weeks later I thought it would be easier if I do Global Political Economy cause then it might be easier to get a job. A few weeks after that I was debating if I should do a Master’s at all.

In the end I ended up applying to four universities, four different postgraduate degrees. Global Political Economy at Sussex, East Asian Development and the Global Economy at Bristol, East Asian Cultures and Society (Language Pathway) at Leeds, and East Asian Relations at Edinburgh. I am pleased to inform I was accepted to all four of them. And I chose to go to Edinburgh.

It feels so good to have an idea of what I am doing for the next year of my life. And I am very excited to explore more of beautiful Edinburgh. 🙂

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Free time, Student, Study, Time Management, Uncategorized, Uni Life

A Diary is the Key to Your Organisation

I am by nature the most disorganised person you will probably ever come across. Honestly, I’m a nightmare. I would probably forget my own birthday if it weren’t for my calendar and, most importantly, my diary.

In secondary school you no doubt had a ‘student planner’ which, along with providing great entertainment with games of MASH and doodling, also would have had the scribblings of what you had to get done and on which days.

For Christmas this year I received this absolute beauty, which in many ways resembles our old student planners.

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It has honestly become my life in a book. I carry it everywhere. I haven’t forgotten about a single birthday, deadline, meeting or event this year.

It has a clear plastic cover which keeps it in pristine condition – no dog-eared pages for me! It also has a pocket at the back which I use to keep a few cute little notes, appointment cards and train tickets in. It has two little ribbon bookmarks attached which help me to keep my place. I always have one on the week we are on and one on where I have copied out my timetable in the back.

When you open it you have a 12 month-by-month calendar view, like you would on a wall calendar. This enables you to see the whole month at a glance and very quickly get an idea of what you have on.


Then there are weekly pages throughout. Monday to Sunday take up the left hand page, leaving the right page free for notes. On Sunday evening I write a list in the coming weeks ‘notes’ section of all the things I want to achieve that week and I am yet to fail to complete it. This helps to keep me focused and ensure that, especially with deadlines approaching, I am on top of all my work. I may have seven deadlines in the next few weeks but that doesn’t intimidate me any more because I can break it down bit by bit and I only have to focus on this weeks list. I don’t need to worry about next week. Each month also has its own colour scheme and design down the side and so I am using colour coordinated pens for the months (it’s very satisfying!).

Finally, the back is full of so many useful pages. This includes an address book, birthdays & important dates list, travel planning, space for planning museums, galleries & exhibition trips, films & books, to do lists, a further notes section and incredibly useful tear out shopping lists right next to a recipe ideas section. It’s just perfect and has everything you need!

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So, if you don’t have a diary I strongly suggest getting one. It has been absolute key to my organisation this term and I now couldn’t imagine where I’d be without it. You can almost definitely pick them up very cheap now that we’re half way through February!

 

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Free time

DIY Easy Branch Jewellery Holder under £3

Hi guys!

I was wanting to buy a jewellery holder for some time, but always thought some were quite expensive so I made my own using tree branche.In this post I want to show you how to make a super simple jewellery holder in 15 mins. It’s perfect for displaying jewelry in your dorm because no nails and driller required. This is not only a jewellery holder, but also a piece of wall art. 🙂

Items you will need:
– Piece of Dead or dry Branches
-Scissors
– Twine/Hemp
A few pushpins
– Craft or Spray paint (optional)
– Cup hooks (optional)

Steps:
1. Find your branch (Backyard or just wooded area that will have plenty of fallen branches).

2. Clean up the branch with water and wait it to dry.

3 (optional). Spray the branch whatever colour you want and wait it to dry.

5. Lastly cut a piece of twine or hemp to wrap both ends of the branch. Finish it with knots to keep it placed.

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Isn’t it beautiful in its simplicity?! Let’s try it!

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Free time, Uni Life

Happy Chinese New Year!

Growing up I celebrated all Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, but this is my first Chinese New Year in UK without family. I was very fortunate to celebrate it with my friends here. We first put up some spring couplets as decorations then spent 4.5 hours to prepare a reunion dinner. Food is a big part of the celebration, a common element of Chinese New Year’s feasts is fish since the Chinese word for fish shares the same pronunciation with the word for abundance, thus eating fish is believed to bring a surplus of money or good luck in the coming year.

Menu
Turnip Cake
Steamed Prawns with Chopped Garlic
Tom yum Soup
Steamed turnip with Dried Scallop
Braised Shiitake Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce
Steamed trout
Poached chicken with ginger and spring onion
Black sesame sweet rice dumplings

Chinese New Year FAQ

Q1.What is the Chinese New Year & why is it such a big deal?

“Chinese New Year” aka “Spring Festival”, is the most important festival for Chinese. The date is based on the lunar calendar thus varies every year but normally falls between mid-Jan to end of Feb. The Chinese New Year is extremely important to the Chinese as this is the time that people get to spend time with their families.

Q2. Why 2016 is Called the Year of Monkey?

Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac. This year is the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal of the cycle. The next Year of the Monkey will be in 2028.

Q3. Things Must/Mustn’t Do to avoid a year of bad luck? 

  • Don’t talk about death or anything negative
  • Don’t buy any shoes as it is considered very unlucky
  • It is said that if you sweep up rubbish or throw away rubbish on Chinese New Year Day, you will be sweeping or throwing away the wealth and luck.
  • Wear red underwear (This is an interesting one,isn’t it?)

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you 🙂

I hope you all have enjoyed reading this and wish you all a very prosperous and happy new year!

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