I've been looking at getting a VPS for a while now to move away from my shared hosting. DigitalOcean are well reviewed and if I get the GitHub pack I'll certainly try them out!
On the subject of other student stuff, have you heard of DreamSpark?
I also wonder if your Uni allows for this: Microsoft Home Use Program - Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013. The software suite includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access and more!. You may not know your Program Code it asks for, but if you click "Don't Know Your Program Code?", you can enter your email and it will see if they're registered.