Coming to Oxford Brookes Uni was a bit of a rush job and I didn't have a choice accommodation. Having a car limited my choices even further, so I ended up at Wheatley. Situated about five miles south east of Oxford, Wheatley Campus has both halls of resisence, and the Business School. The first thing you'll see on the approach is The Tower Block which earned the Campus the nickname of the 'projects' or the 'ghetto'. Apparently it sways in the wind but I'm not living there so I couldn't verify that. I have been in though, and it reminds me of a Spanish Hotel. A cheap one. In D building - my home! - in our particular section (J9 to J16) we had no hot water or heating for the first three days. The rooms are a lovely salmon pink, with some rather fetching sick stains on the carpet. Not mine, I hasten to add. Between the eight of us, there are three toilets and two showers, and a small kitchen unit. Communal areas are cleaned three times a week, apparently but I'm usually in bed at that time - heh heh - so I've never seen them. The Campus is catered and houses about 341 people, so you do the math. No, the food is not haute cuisine but it's edible. I'm no chef, so it suits me. Rent is currently about £79 a week. I have been told that the vast majority of the money from rent goes to the university, rather than Campus maintenance. Speaking of which... I have been here three weeks and there is still only one washing machine and dryer between all 341 of us! We are waiting for a new, proper laundrette to open on Campus but that keeps being postopned. The Campus was promised £2 million last year but this was withdrawn two weeks later. Madness! There is a bus, the 77, that runs every half an hour to Brookes Uni. From there, you can catch various buses into the city centre. Word of advice: if you have a 9am lecture, get the 8am bus, the traffic is horrendous! On fridays and saturdays, there are buses tha
t run at 1.30am and 2am. The daytime buses are free but the eary morning buses are not. They are still cheaper than a taxi though: be warned, taxi drivers will rip you off. Negotiate. Or get hold of Malcolm. The Students Union operates a women's safety bus which doesn't go to Wheatley. Durr. If you can't be bothered with Oxford (and, as a punk/metal/stoner fan, I can't) Wheatley has it's own bar and hosts the Wheatley Bop every thursday. Yep, I thought so too. Louder music and some guy throwing hip hop moves on the flo'. All this sounds pretty negative, doesn't it? I have been here three weeks and I'm fed up. Out here, however, there is a real sense of community. Or desperation, however you look at it. I'll update in a few months and at the end of my incarceration so then you'll all be better informed when choosing Uni's and where to sleep when you're there!
The university of sheffield is, without a doubt, a city based university. It is true that i hadnt actually visited the place before i started uni there - as i'd gone through the clearing system (aaaaarrrrghhhhhhh)- but what i found was very different to what i'd imagined. This was magnified even more when i was presented with my timetable that had me placed one one side of the city for one lecture then at the opposite end for another class immediately afterwards???!!! Believe me, the logistics of the defied me. Maybe i was supposed to take advantage of the very reliable tram service?! This i would gladly have done if they didn't petrify me quite so much - silence, then suddenly whoosh, theres one right up your backside. They do have a cracking union though, and if you can handle the numerous buses, trains, trams, taxis and walkways that lead to the extensive no.s of bars, pubs and clubs then sheffield is a great uni to get your degree from. A word of warning though - listen out for the midnight fire alarms - yes, they do expect you to get up no matter what you're wearing (or maybe that should be what you're not!!)
The accomodation at Oxford Brookes varies from good to bad. They all have their plus points and bad points. I have just finished my first year at Halls and to be fair it was probably the most bizarre time of my life!!! I stayed in an area called Wheatley and the first thing you'll notice is that the halls are 5 miles from the uni!! However, there is a free bus to ferry you to uni and back....the infamous 77! The good side to this is that there is a very strong sense of community in Wheatley, and there always seems to be something going on. As for the food - avoid it at all costs. The other halls at Brookes University are all relatively modern and friendly, each with it's own bar. A word of warning though, the halls nearer to the campus itself are full of foreign students as there are a high number of international students at this uni. Thus it is quite difficult to make friends according to people I have met at these other halls. Despite this the accomodation at Brookes is decent and the staff are pretty friendly and always on hand, that is until you set off the fire extinguisher..................