Home is Where the Heart is for Students in the UK & Ireland, GSA Reveals

Home is Where the Heart is for Students in the UK & Ireland, GSA Reveals

PR Newswire

LONDON, Dec. 22, 2020

As Christmas plans are thrown up in the air once again, poll reveals what students really crave this Christmas

LONDON, Dec. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- 2020 is set to be a festive season like no other, as sweeping new restrictions come into force across the UK, but new research* released today has shown that some things never change, as all students really want is a roast dinner and quality time with loved ones.

A resident prepares to spread some festive cheer as part of The Greatest Student Gift campaign (PRNewsfoto/GSA)

The research, conducted amongst 440 students across the UK and Republic of Ireland by Global Student Accommodation (GSA), found that following an unprecedented year, in which 59% have had their Christmas plans impacted by the pandemic, 73% crave a roast dinner, with the overwhelming majority are looking forward to having time to relax (75%), and spending time with family (74%) over the festive season.

The research also revealed that when it comes to gifts, 74% would like quality time with loved ones. Meanwhile, 41% hope to receive food and drink, and a third (33%) would like gifts that aid their wellbeing. Material gifts such as mobile phones (13%) and laptops, games consoles and TVs (16%) paled into insignificance as students long for more wholesome gifts this year.

While this festive season is sure to be a memorable one, the study – which was launched as part of The Greatest Student Gift campaign to bring festive cheer to The Student Housing Company's residents (GSA's student accommodation brand in the UK) and Uninest's residents (GSA's student accommodation brand in Ireland)  - also revealed how students intend to kick start 2021.

Looking after wellbeing and exercising more tops the priority list for 55% of students, closely followed by working harder at university (54%).

Stuart Henderson, Head of Operations, Global Student Accommodation said: "2020 has been extremely tough for students around the world, and we're aware that many won't be able to make it home this year. Most of those that live with us have had their plans changed due to the challenging circumstance we're all living in, and it's important to spare a thought for the many students who are unable to get back to see loved ones this year. We hope our Greatest Student Gift campaign goes some way to spreading the festive cheer this year."

This year, GSA has partnered with Student Stretch - an online platform that optimizes students' physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing through yoga. Over 1,300 students across the world will be granted free access to the platform to ensure their health and wellbeing is a top priority this festive period. 

Students have also been able to share the festive cheer with others through food bank donations in their local communities; a student pen pal scheme where over 60 students are now writing to each other – an initiative which has brought a welcome relief and newfound friendships for many; and The Gift Gang, which is a global initiative run by GSA to grant wishes to students, and provide them with a special virtual festive event later this month.

The research also revealed some of the more embarrassing faux pas students admit they would rather forget. The top 5 student festive faux pas*:

  1. Felt ill after eating too much (43%)
  2. Had a family argument (40%)
  3. Forgotten to get someone a present (28%)
  4. Cried over a Christmas TV ad (23%)
  5. Shown dislike of a present received too obviously (16%)

*Research conducted amongst 440 students in the UK and Republic of Ireland in December 2020.

For further information on Global Student Accommodation, please visit https://www.gsa-gp.com/  

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