Howdy Y’All

Hello All,

I am very excited to be re-joining the EAS social programme team this summer and to meet all of you at Chat Club and Social Programme trips! My name is Brianna (but I prefer to be called Bree) and though I have lived in Scotland for a number of years I am originally from the sunny shores of California, USA. My grandparents moved from Scotland to California in the 1960s and stayed there for over 30 years. They even were there for the grand opening of the very first Disneyland Park in 1965 and got to meet the legendary Walt Disney!

In the 90s they decided to return home, here to Glasgow and my Mom and Dad wanted to join them. I didn’t get a say :p

Bree in Disneyland Paris!

Bree in Disneyland Paris!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I still have family in the States and I love going back and visiting them all, but I have made my home in a suburban town outside of Glasgow with my native Scottish husband. We have lots of hobbies and interests together: we like going to history fairs, visiting historical places like castles, old houses and monuments but our favourite time of year is Hallowe’en. We even had a Hallowe’en themed wedding in the University Chapel in October 2013.

wedding

I got to flex my interest in history in my studies at the university as I am studying a PhD in 18th century opera. I have spent the last 3 years finding pieces of music, letters and diaries that haven’t been read in almost 300 years and I get to bring both the music and the people who sang the music to life in my thesis and through performance.

singing

I am a fully trained opera singer (which basically means I can sing extremely loud) and when I am not hiding in a library I am often performing in cities across Britain and Europe. Some of the most interesting places I have sung are Amsterdam, Florence, London, Dublin and of course, Glasgow. I am a member of the Glasgow University Chapel Choir and during term time we sing services and free concerts in the University Chapel.

chapel choir

Glasgow University Chapel Choir

Music is a huge passion of mine and I tend to know what music events are happening across the city. If you are ever stuck for something to do in the evening or at the weekend, come and chat to me at Chat Club and I can fill you in on the exciting gigs in Glasgow. I look forward to meeting you all very soon!

"Here, kitty, kitty!"

“Here, kitty, kitty!”

P.S. I also adore cats and will try to make friends with every cat I meet!

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Flat Hunting Fears

There are hundreds of articles which describe moving house as one of the most stressful events a person can go through next to bereavement and divorce. The uncertainty, the cost, the continual rejection and not to mention dealing with less-than-courteous letting agencies all add up into one great big bundle of stress and frustration. Add to that moving hundreds of miles away from your family and home and having to speak in your second (or third, or fourth) language and you’re heading into a perfect storm of stress.

Never fear, EAS is here!

This is your quick guide to renting properties in Glasgow whether you’re a single student or looking to move in with your family these websites and top tips will help you to find somewhere fabulous with a minimal amount of stress.

To start off, the International Support office at the Uni of Glasgow has a handy break-down of the average living costs while staying and studying in the city.

The University offers a range of residential housing for undergraduate http://www.gla.ac.uk/undergraduate/accommodation/students, postgraduate students, and even family residents. Private Student halls are always popping up over the city and offer similar style rooms to the University of Glasgow accommodations.The most popular and up-to-date private student lets start at around £105/week with most rooms consisting of a single (or double) bed, storage, en-suite and communal kitchen and living areas:

Unite Students

Hyndland House

Prime Student Letting

Downing Students

CRM Students

MP230908AH1-_0123 property-82_1

However if living in student halls doesn’t quite tickle your fancy (and we totally understand if it doesn’t) where else can you search for reliable properties? These following sites allow you to search for both halls residences and private properties and are specifically geared towards student lettings.

Accommodation for Students

Private Accommodation Database

Glasgow Westend Flathunting 

Rightmove Students

Again if you don’t fancy the student lifestyle (aka. cheaper costs and less swanky pads) then there are a wealth of websites which allow you to filter your searches more specifically by cost, no. of bedrooms, postcode, and anything else you can imagine.The bonus with these websites is that you can view most of the properties on a handy map – giving you a clear idea of exactly where it is you’ll be living – and they also allow you to set up property alerts on your email so that as soon as a flat gets posted you can instantly book a viewing before someone else snaps it up!

Zoopla

Rightmove

On the Market

S1 Rentals

These websites are usually used by letting agencies and thus can be a bit more stringent in their credit checks and upfront-fees, thankfully Gumtree is a rather good alternative usually used by private landlords to post their properties. The downside of Gumtree is that it doesn’t come with the snazzy maps or property alerts so can be a bit of a slog to look through every day. Local stores along Byres Road also post up ‘flatmates wanted’ ads and private landlord properties so it’s worth keeping an eye out – also check out the pin boards around the SRC and your student common rooms.

Now it can seem a hassle to continually have to look across so many sites so we’ve stumbled upon this magical website which updates daily. Basically a large interactive map of Glasgow, it combines all posted properties in Glasgow from all of the above sites and allows you to search by the date the property was posted, size of property, and price per week: the wonderful Rent House Map.

property-search

So, now you have a good idea where to look for a flat, what do you do when you find one you like?

Flats in the City Centre and Westend are hugely popular and usually fly off the shelves within a few days of being posted – you need to be quick off the mark to get your dream home! Thankfully with the property alerts and rental maps you should be on the ball when a property emerges so the best thing to do is call the agent directly (email is usually a bit slower) to arrange a viewing. Once you find a place you like there are a few details you’ll need in order to pass the inevitable credit checks and character references.

In order to be considered for a rental agreement you’ll need at least two references, one from your employer or sponsor and the other from an old landlord. These are used in order for your new landlord to know that you are a trustworthy tenant that can afford the monthly payments. Private lettings are usually offered at 6-12 month contracts and do not usually consider short term lets. The following websites have some very useful information as to what documents and references you will need, and also the types of questions you should be asking about your new property.

Zoopla Advice

Rightmove Advice

Glasgow Student Advice

Shelter Scotland

The most important thing to remember when renting a flat is that some letting agencies will ask for a ‘fee’ of anywhere from £30-£100+ THIS IS ILLEGAL. The best thing to do however is to pay the fees upfront to ensure that you get the flat. and then follow the advice from Shelter in order to reclaim your fees.

falt-hunting

As always, if you have any other bits of advice or have had similar experiences with flat hunting – please get in touch with us, we’d love to hear from you.

– Alex