Accommodation Tips from Alice

Hello offer holders!

As this months theme is accommodation, and applications for King’s Residences will soon be opening, I wanted to share with you some of my accommodation experiences.

Starting university may be the first time you’re living away from home and the first time you’re having to share a fridge with non-family members (trust me, it’s a learning curve!). The first few weeks living in accommodation will be a lot of fun and probably a bit overwhelming. Around a month into living in student accommodation, you start to see some homesick students booking trains to visit home, loaded with massive bags full of washing, on the hope that their mum will to do their laundry! It’s a big step moving away, so I hope I can give you some tips about making the most out of your home-away-from-home, as well as tips on applying for accommodation. I’ll also be sharing with you my own experience of living as a student in London.

When applying for accommodation there are a dizzying amount of choices. Accommodation halls will have a mix of freshers, postgraduate students, UK students, overseas students, sporty people, party people, people you’ll get on with and people you won’t. When applying for King’s accommodation, you’ll be able to list five preferences. It’s best to work through what is most important to you, for instance is costs or proximity more important?

On the King’s Residences website you can find facts and figures about each residence, and photos of the rooms online. Seeing these rooms in person though can give you a real ‘feel’ for the place, so if you’re able attend an offer holder event to view the rooms, I would recommend doing so.  Some of the deciding factors that helped me choose my accommodation was wanting to walk to university, to have my own bathroom and the desire to meet a mixture of people. The most important thing for me though was cost. I put my preferred choices as Stamford Street, Wolfson House and then intercollegiate University of London halls.

In my first year, I lived in International Hall, which is one of the many University of London halls. It was a 20-minute walk from campus located by Russell Square, with catered meals, a common room and friendly staff. I got to meet students from all across London that I would never have met otherwise, and my main group of friends were Masters students from UCL/Kings/Birkbeck/Courtald/LSE. Coming down to a cooked breakfast each morning and talking about anything from current affairs to art history to robotics was such an eye-opening experience. There was a halls committee too, who organised open mic nights, excursions and looked after our welfare, which gave a real sense of community. Staying in the University of London housing meant I was close to Senate House (University of London library), the Maughan Library and other areas like Camden and Covent Garden. There are eight intercollegiate University of London halls, so do have a look if you are interested in a mixed-university environment.

When applying for King’s Residences, I looked at how long the walk was to Strand campus, as I love walking in London and I’m not a big fan of the tube. In terms of walkable distances, Stamford Street Apartments is around 10 mins walk to Strand Campus and Moonraker Apartments are around a 25-30min walk. The residences have some great initiatives, such as BeActive (free sports classes) and Freshers Events, you’ll receive further information about this on your arrival. If you would like to hear more about life in residences, there is a blog about King’s residences

If you are planning to stay at home, you may be worrying about missing out on the social aspects of being a fresher, but accommodation is not the only way to meet people and I’ve had plenty of commuter friends come to halls parties with their friends. In London, it is a little different to institutions in other locations as not everyone is living on the same campus, so people come and go to their friends’ and have dinner or drinks at whoever’s place is closest to the library, the club or party, so you won’t miss out!

Best Wishes,

Alice- Political Economy

Alice Stretch

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