Check out this blog, 1st ever post and is really informative about Senghennydd and what to expect.http://zoeae.blogspot.co.uk
Senghennydd Court was my first choice residence because I'm a maths student and it's less than five minutes walk to the maths building, and at most ten to fifteen minutes walk to the other uni buildings. Salisbury's road has plenty of takeaways and a Tesco express so it was pretty convenient to get food. It's only ten minutes to walk to the centre of Cardiff where there's plenty of shopping to be done! It's also convenient for crawling back from the various clubs and pubs in Cardiff centre, no taxi needed! There's also a large-ish Aldi ten to fifteen minutes away that has more choice of food then the small Tesco nearby. It's mostly maths, science and IT students in Senghennydd Court, due to the closeness to these buildings. The undergraduate flats are for 5 people and share a bathroom and kitchen. The layout of the bathroom was odd, there was two sinks and you were not able to get to the toilet and shower separately. The kitchen was an okay size, there were plenty of cupboards to store pots & pan and there was one cooker, one fridge and one freezer. This in my opinion wasn't enough for the five of use, only two of use could cook at once and there was never enough room for us all to have fresh & frozen food. My flat's experience with the management of the building was woeful. Only two of our concerns throughout the year was actually dealt with, one was immediate and the other was only once "something bad" happened (see later). When we first moved in we told them that the freezer seal was broken - which led to many occasions through the year where the freezer door would just swing open & all our food would spoil if we were not around to close it, there was mould in the bathroom - which we believed they had dealt with within the first weekend but it turned out that it had simply been painted over and lastly that our front door didn't close properly - it required some force to shut. This was the most concerning point, they did nothing about it until one of the flats was broken into & a CD player stolen. They soon fixed the door then! The cleaners didn't do their job; they just sat in our kitchen chatting until one of us walked in on them then they quickly hoovered the main corridor & cleaned the toilet before leaving. We were at no point given any toilet paper which other flats were, we complained but were never given a straight answer. Now I must say I visited friends in other flats in the building. And some were like heaven compared to mine. These were ones that had been refurbished recently (it's on a rolling basis one house of flats was done per summer holidays). It really is pot luck the quality of the flat you could get. Overall I DID enjoy my time in Senghennydd because I made plenty of friends in the buildings.
Right, when I found out I was coming to Cardiff I knew it would be a hassle trying to sort out accommodation because it was my second choice uni. I was put into Nevern at Uni Hall and I was so gutted because all my other friends would be at the luxorious Taly. When we pulled up I was absolutely gutted, but this shows you should never judge by first appearences. Most people here are those who put Cardiff as their second choice. The people who put it as their first choice and somehow ended up here seem to be the ones with ensuites. Most people share bathrooms, but this isn't that bad. They'll tell you when you first move in that the cleaner comes on a particular day each week but this is a lie because ours comes around three times a week whenever she feels like it. She does a good job too. Remember to take your bins out from the kitchen though because you WILL get a fine if you don't. Uni Hall is around two miles away from the Uni itself but don't let this put you off because there are double deckers that run from 8am to 5.30pm so you never have to get caught out in Welsh weather. The bus drivers are absolute legends too, so remember to say hello each day! This won't put you off going out in town either. Taxis cost around £2 per person to get into the centre of town for a night out, and there's also the 52/55 buses that run from Ty Gwyn road until around 11ish which cost £1.50 one way. It's also £3 for an all day ticket if you fancy popping into town on the weekend, when the Uni buses don't run. I would also totally recommend the Uni Hall Bar. They put on quizzes every now and then and always show big things on telly like X Factor, sports matches and Britain's Got Talent. The rooms themselves are generous in size, more so than the Taly rooms. My room is quite large with a single bed, a large desk, a big wardrobe and a sink. The rooms in East Wing are absolutely MASSIVE. One thing I would recommend is buying a matress topper because they aren't the comfiest. When you move in they'll feed you loads of crap about not putting posters up on the wall and stuff but we all did of course. You'll have a room inspection each semester and they'll tell you things you need to fix by a certain date. For example, one of my flatmates has been told to hoover and take rubbish bins out. It all depends on who inspects your rooms though. Once I was told to take all my posters down and another time they said they'd just pretend they didn't see them. So trust me, Uni Hall isn't anything as bad as it seems. The only possible downsides are the noise when you're trying to sleep as the doors have a habit of slamming (buy earplugs) and the fact that it's a bit of a hassle to get over to Taly to do sports and see friends as there are no buses that run over there. When it says on the Uni website about Uni Hall having a tennis court and a gym you have to remember that this is a lie! They have started holding yoga and zumba classes recently though. However, if you are sporty Taly is where you need to be. All in all, I love Uni Hall and wouldn't change being here for the world.
The 3 must knows of University Hall (1) It includes separate accomodation buildings. (Tower, Birchwoord etc). Each building is completly different. Typically you will either stay in a flat layout (a key that opens to your flat only, which you share with 5 others peeps) or a cooridoor layout. (a key opens to a coordioor, which multiple rooms comming of it).(2)The hall has a friendly vibe! (far more than the other halls). Its location and prices seem to attract down to earth people, which creates a welcoming spirt.(3) The hall is furthest away from University. This is good! There is far more space and you don't feel cramped into tiny brick like buildings. The only hall that has gardens.My advice is don't get fixated on what features/facilities each hall has, but think about its vibe. A friendly vibe is what Uni Hall prides itself on!
University Hall, what can I say? Situated in the cyncoed area of Cardiff (very very posh!) its is around 2 miles away from the University, which takes about 35 mins to walk to, however there are buses running every hour to and from the union and other University buildings which i wouldn't be without especially with the lovely welsh weather! The buildings themselves...ok Nevern and Tower could do with some updating but as for the rest of them they are just as good as talybont. The plus side of Nevern, where I am based is that the flats are usually filled with clearing/insurance place students so you are all in the same boat! And ok the walls are made from breeze blocks but it keeps the noise out! The grounds are lovely, the bar is great and I wouldnt swap it for the world despite the distance from the shops (about a 20min walk) and the university. There is a lovely community feel with mostly mixed flats and a wonderful team of cleaners who even do a sneaky bit of washing up! So if you find you find University Hall on the top of your residences list, dont despair! Take a deep breath and get ready for the best time of your life!
I'm an international postgrad living in Allensbank House, and it's my second year here-- and most assuredly, my last. This year, the management was taken over by Liberty Living, and it is their inability to manage problems that is driving me to a house share next year. The facilities are all right; the rooms are tiny, the kitchen is nowhere near big enough for 5 people, but the shower has a door so the bathroom won't flood. However, if you have any problems with your flatmates, then you are in serious trouble. I am forced to live with a drug addict who steals our food, blares music as a harassment tool and who has repeatedly threatened me, to the point where I have had to call the police. My other flatmates and I have asked repeatedly for him to be removed, I have filed complaints against him with the county council and with Cardiff uni, and the university have sent letters asking for his removal as well. All we are told is that he cannot be simply evicted, and, though I had been told before Easter break that my horrible flatmate would, in fact, be moved after he'd returned from the break, this has turned out to be false. Also, the formal letter from my flatmates and I requesting our criminal flatmate's removal? Was 'never received' by the site manager. Tonight, when I called down to the office to ask them to come up and get him to turn the music down, the 'senior student' refused. We are all trapped in a nightmarish situation, and none of us (apart from the horrible flatmate-- his parents are quite wealthy) can afford to break our contracts or switch rooms. So, if you are coming to Cardiff, it's a great school, but avoid Allensbank House like the plague.
In terms of which halls to choose for Cardiff Uni, I would say Senghennydd Court should be well up there on your list!! I lived there in my first year of uni (last year) and loved it! Seng Court (or Senghetto as it is affectionately known) has about 1000 students in 14 houses. Most of the houses have 12 flats, although Houses A-D are smaller (6 flats in A,B and C, and 8 in D). Three of the houses, situated in the main courtyard, are just for postgraduate students and have a different layout, but all the rest are for undergrads. In the undergrad houses each flat has 5 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and 1 kitchen. Each block has a cleaner who comes around once a week and cleans the kitchen, bathroom and hallways. If you don't do your part to keep the flat clean then you get a notice telling you that you'll be fined if you don't sort it out, but usually the cleaners are pretty nice and if you're a generally clean flat then they don't mind clearing up after you've had a party or whatever. With our cleaner you made her a cup of coffee once and she'd love you forever!! The kitchens aren't huge, but they are liveable. You get 5 tall cupboards for each persons food and then about 3 large communal cupboards for plates and pans and the like. The ovens are pretty decent, and you get a microwave too. You get a small fridge and freezer in each flat, which are probably most full your first week of uni cause everyone goes out and stocks up!! There's also a table and five chairs in each kitchen, and a big notice board too. Recyling is available and a bag is provided, but its the students' responsibility to sort their own recycling, and rubbish. The bathrooms are pretty basic. There are 2 sinks (not sure why!?), one toilet and one shower in each. The showers are actually amazing...the water is ALWAYS hot, no matter what time you go in, and there's really good water pressure too. Quite a lot of people make a big fuss over ensuite, but believe me it's not all it's cracked up to be! In Seng Court you share the bathroom with your 4 flatmates, but everyone is in different courses and has different lecture times and showering habits, so you tend to never need the shower at the same time, and if you need the toilet while someone else is in the shower it's really easy to go to one of the other flats on your floor and quickly use their loo!! The rooms are pretty decent too. First impressions can be a bit rubbish, mostly because you are given a totally plain boring room, but there's really good storage space, and the huuuuge notice board is a big plus too. Strictly speaking you aren't supposed to have posters on your walls, but all that happens when they do the health and safety room checks is that if you have posters they take note of where they are and at the end of the year charge you if there's any damage to the wall (which there never is!) If you live on any floor except the groundfloor your windows open fully and they are really big and let loads of light into the room. On the ground floor because of safety issues your windows don't open as wide, but they still open and are just as big. Each room comes with a bed, matress and chair, and there is built in furniture which includes a big cupboard with hanging space and 2 shelves, along with a desk with three big drawers, 5 shelves above the desk, and space under the bed, half of which is just one huge drawer...There's also a mirror on the wall next to the desk, which is a fairly decent size. All in all, the rooms contain all you need, and within a few weeks you make the room your own and it becomes a lot nicer to live in :) I believe it's called nesting... In terms of the other people I think you get a very down to earth crowd at Senghennydd. (There's a big Welsh contingent there because it contains Welsh only flats, where the Welsh speakers can live with other first language Welsh speakers.) You tend to get a lot of maths, science and engineering students at Seng too, although on my floor, out of 15 people there were 10 who were humanities students and only 5 who were sciences. It's always a nice mix, as you get the students who are a bit more laid back and not as fussy about where they are living, and Seng Court is probably the most popular choice for students who have done a gap year too, with a third of all the students there having taken at least one year out. They tend to bunch all the gap year students together too which is nice because it means you are living with people who are a similar age to you! Location wise Senghennydd is definitely THE best halls!! You're on Salisbury Road, just 5 minutes walk from the physics, comp science and engineering part of the uni, as well as 2 minutes from the maths building, 5 minutes from the main campus buildings and the students unio, and only 10 minutes from all the humanities buildings. On Salisbury Road there is a tesco express, as well as a couple of other small stores and family fish bar-the take away of choice :p- which is a 2 minute walk from the main gates of Seng Court. You're also 5 minutes walk from Queens Street-the main shopping part of Cardiff. It's 10 minutes walk to the closest cinema, 15 minutes to the Millenium Stadium, 15 minutes to Cardiff Central train station...amazing location! AND you don't need to think about getting a taxi home after a night out because you practically live in the centre of Cardiff!! I think to be honest, although there are certain downsides to Seng Court, the location more than makes up for it...it is perfect. In terms of cost, it is the cheapest halls (along with a couple of others at the same price). The reception is open Monday - Saturday (8-6) and the post is delivered Mon - Fri and sorted into your mailbox by 11am at the latest usually. You share a mailbox with your flat, and any parcels can be collected at reception if you have your student and halls ID on you (you get a notification in your mailbox when it arrives). The laundry is right next to reception and has 10 washers and 10 dryers. A wash costs 1.50 and takes about 35 minutes, and a dry costs 50p and lasts 25 minutes... Sometimes it gets busy in the laundry, but if you avoid early evening and Sunday afternoons you are usually ok...best time tends to be mornings if you get up!! There's also bike lockers and parking at Seng Court, although you have to let reception know so you can get a permit. If you have a friend visiting you can get a visitors permit for a couple of days from reception too. If you aren't used to living in a city the first couple of nights may be a little loud for you, as the halls really is practically city centre. Seng Court is right between two railway lines, and through the day the trains are pretty often, although they don't run at all through the night which is good. My block (D) was the worst location in terms of train tracks because it was the only one with trains running on either side, but I never ever got woken up by the trains and I sleep very very lightly, so I doubt anyone else would....I don't know that it's been a problem for anyone. However, Friday and Saturday nights can be pretty loud cause you get all the drunken people out in Cardiff making lots of noise, but you get used to it pretty quickly - plus you're in halls so you have to get used to drunk people coming in making noise at all hours (or just make sure it's always you....) There is security at SC too, with three security guards on duty at all times, CCTV cameras around, and pin code access to the main gates which only residents get given. All in all, its a very safe place to live! Fire alarms do go off every so often, the uni is required to do at least two fire checks a year in the middle of the night, but its not too bad... the fire alarm only went off 5 other times in the time I was there, three times in the night unfortunately!! Okkkk so I think I wrote more than I'd expected but I hope if you read it this helps! I really really do recommend Senghennydd Court to you totally. I don't know anyone who wasn't happy there, and its just a generally amazing place to spend your first year at Cardiff University!!!!
If like me, you have an insect phobia, stay well away. My house is infested with 'silverfish' as are many others. They look a bit like centipedes and love the damp-which is a problem for anyone with a pod bathroom. Reception don't seem to care too much about anything. My post has been stolen by other people living in the house.Its not all bad though, generally (apart from thiefs and insects) its a really nice place to live.
Hello! Welcome to my review of Talybont South, the largest hall of residence at Cardiff University. I am writing this now from within House 23 at Talybont South, so here is a real insider view! I am a first year Law student and I have been at Talybont since September so I have had quite a while to get to know the place and I will try and give you as much information as I can. I know that not many people reading this will be a prospective Cardiff student, but I hope everyone else reading finds this opinion at least informative and semi-interesting. *Intoduction* Talybont South is, as I have already mentioned, the largest hall of residence at Cardiff University. It was built in 1995 and consists of 27 houses with a total of 1252 en-suite rooms. I should add that there is also Talybont North which is on the other end of the site here, and that has a further 927 rooms. However it was built earlier and has different house layouts and prices so this op is confined just to Talybont South. The houses are split up into flats for 8, 6 or 4 students, with two flats on each floor and mostly 4 floors. So in my house there are 8 flats of 8 rooms, a total of 64 people. This leads to what are at first quite confusing room numbers ? house number X, floor X, flat X, room X. However after a few days it becomes second nature to rattle off strings of numbers at each other to determine where on site a person lives. *Facilities* Well in each flat there is a shared kitchen. Based upon a flat of 8, which the majority are, in said kitchen there are two ovens with several hobs, a large fridge, a smallish freezer, a microwave and quite a bit of cupboard space. There is not a huge amount of space, but it is reasonable. Really it depends on how much space all your flatmates use up! There is also a table which can seat 6 comfortably and 8 at a push, along with 8 chairs. Unless they have ?gone walkabout? as they often seem too! In your own ?st udy-bedroom?, as they insist on calling them, you have your own en-suite shower-pod-thingy. These are wonderful, wonderful things. I can?t believe anyone would actually welcome sharing a bathroom with 7 other people when they could have their own just metres from their bed! Inside a small but big enough space there is a toilet, basin and shower. The shower takes a bit of getting used to as it is a ?wet room? style space with a tiled floor and a drain but no curtain or screen, this leads to the whole pod-room having a wet floor for several hours after a shower. In your room there is also, unsurprisingly, a bed. Only one pillow is provided ? you must supply your own duvet and sheets, etc. There is a desk with several drawers, a chair, the bed has storage space under it, there also is a wardrobe and a surprising amount of shelving. When I arrived I never thought I would fit everything I brought with me in, but I did with room to spare! There is not a huge amount of floor space, but what do you really need it for? On one wall there is also a large notice board. Supposedly the rules say no posters are allowed on the walls except for the notice board, but in practice they don?t mind as long as you don?t damage the wallpaper. The wallpaper is, by the way, a very nice shade of light blue while the carpet is a darker merle grey. I can?t see much of the blue anymore due to all my posters though! Now 816 of the rooms at Talybont South also have the option of Network Connection. This means that for £84 a year you can have connection to the University computer network in your room. Believe me I would have died without it, being the Internet obsessed person I am. The connection allows you to have unlimited access to the Internet, except the firewall provided does interfere with a few sites such as Kazza. At the beginning of the year it used to go down for a few hours every now and then, but apparently some people were trying to plug X-Boxes and things into it, a nd it has stabilised now. There is Internet access on the university computers, but if you want to be on the net at 2am like I am now then this is a great option. *The Site* I must admit when approaching the site from certain directions it looks like a prison camp. This is due to the security fence, but really it is much nicer when you get past that. There are quite a few hedges and tress dotted about the place and several squirrels I regularly see bouncing about. Oh and Frank the cat, who wanders in now and then. A slightly bigger thing I must admit is that right next door is a railway line with trains going past every 15 minutes during the day. However you only really hear them if you are on the back side of the houses along the edge, like me, and after a while you just get used to them. I missed the noise when I went home for Christmas! When you look at a map, Talybont does look worryingly far away from the buildings you are likely to have your lectures and classes in, along with the union. It looks even further away from the city centre and all the bars/clubs/shops that are such a necessary part of student life. However, rest assured it is not that bad. You hit the main area of campus buildings 15 minutes from Talybont, the union at 20 minutes and the city centre at just under half an hour away. This means you can still be asleep at 8.30 for a 9am lecture if you must! On the Talybont site there is the reception in a building called Southgate House. This is where you go to pick up your key, report any maintenance problems, collect parcels, etc. There is also a laundrette. Oh isn?t laundry fun? There are a good 20 or so washers and driers at £1.50 for washing and 50p for 20 minutes drying. This is adjacent to the Talybont Shop, which sells all your basics ? bread, milk, newspapers, stationary, huge bottles of Lambrini, large bars of Galaxy chocolate... The shop is open from 8am ? 9pm most days. However the little shop is really just for emergencies/when it is raining! For Talybont is located a mere few metres trolley push from one of the largest Tesco Extras in the country. It is really huge, and sells just about everything under the sun (except unfortunately choc-chip digestives) but more importantly is open nearly 24/7, shutting only for a few hours due to Sunday trading regulations. So students can stock up on Value products to their bargain-hunting delight. The only trouble is bringing it all back! Despite only being a short distance away, the car park itself is huge and if you are on the other side of the Talybont site then it is a good 15-20 minute walk, difficult when laden with many tins of Value beans! As well as all this there is ?The Social? or more accurately ?Talybont Social Centre?. This consists of a bar, various little mysterious rooms where meetings for various things are held and a larger seating area adjacent to the bar. There are regular events such as football/rugby screenings, live music, pub quizzes and in freshers week even a hypnotist! The Social?s main attraction is that it is on site, and not a 20 minutes walk away like the union or even further for the city bars. *Misc* There is a mail service, which means any post delivered to you is placed in locked box in your house that your room keys unlock. Larger items such as parcels get stored at Southgate House and you get a note asking you to go and sign for them. If the light in your hallway breaks or the microwave isn?t working then you also go to Southgate House to report it. We have only had a few problems like this and they have been dealt with very quickly. There are several CCTV cameras dotted around and a campus patrol so it is very safe for a student occupied area. In your house a cleaner comes in every day to check on things and just wipe down the surfaces in the kitchen, etc. Once a week they do a more thorough clean including mopping the floor and hovering i n the hallway. However your own room and pod-shower-things are your own responsibility. Two flats generally have a hover between them, ours is a ?Henry? one which looks cute but doesn?t have a dramatic effect on my carpet as far as I can tell! There is an Undergraduate Plus option at Talybont South. This is a more expensive option, but the flat includes extras such as a TV with licence paid, most kitchen equipment, duvet and bed linen, and a Network Connection point. This is only in one house and I have not seen it, so cannot really comment on whether it looks like it is worth the extra money. *Cost* Having a nice comfortable en-suite room does not come cheap. However, when compared to other more expensive parts of the country Cardiff is not that pricey a place to live, so fees are reasonable. I myself I have just paid my second instalment of £726 for accommodation, which adds up to £2178 over September ? June. The Undergraduate Plus option is approximately £300 more than this. Well I hope that I have given you some useful information about my lovely hall of residence here! I am really enjoying my time here, my only problems largely being caused by a flatmate who likes playing Michael Jackson very, very loudly. But you get these fun kind of flatmates wherever you live when you are in Uni accommodation. So maybe some people reading this will one day come and enjoy the delights of the biggest (and best) residence in Cardiff!
I’ve been living in Senghenydd Hall since last September, It wasn’t my first choice, nor my second or third but damn am I glad I ended up there. I’m going to try and give an honest review of the place, talking about all the minor details that first time uni-students tend to worry or wonder about. Here goes: Senghenydd Hall is undeniably minute compared to the likes of University-Hall and Talybont. The three buildings, housing about 100 students comprise a single small courtyard; however, do not think ‘small residence’-‘small rooms’. The rooms in Senghenydd Hall are at least twice those in Talybont, all have en-suite bathrooms and yes, by ‘en-suite’ I mean a shower cubical with a door and a separate sink and toilet, not the traditional “porta-loo” shower-single combos that you’ll find in a lot of the other residences. All the rooms in my block have desks that span a wall with enough room for a computer, TV and stereo. There are also triangular bay windows in each room that overlooks either the courtyard or the car park. Both have their good and bad points; if you have the courtyard view, its a lot prettier however, you can hear the drunks coming in on the weekend. If you have the car park view, it’s not so pretty, but a lot quieter. There are no Internet connections however the twenty-four hour computer room is within rolling distance and it really is twenty-four hour. You have to sign in every time and there are always security guard and wardens around so if you want to walk over at 4 am in the morning, you can. Don’t worry about space for clothes and belongings, there’s an average sized wardrobe in each room but loads of storage space under the beds. Yes, they are real beds, not the concrete blocks that stand out from the wall with a mattress on them. The shelves are detachable so you can have as many as four and as little as one. Truthfully speaking, I can only think of one annoyance in the rooms in my block. The extractor fans in the bathrooms are loud and annoying and are turned on simultaneously with the light, moreover, they do not turn themselves off until 15 minutes after you switch the light off so it’s not a good idea to leave the light on right up until you want to go to bed. As for the kitchens, in all honesty, they’re pretty small; however, as its part catered you don’t really need that much room. With 8 of you sharing a flat, you’ll probably have a single cupboard and a draw to yourself. As for the meals, they’ve been a godsend for me. In that first term, when people are getting to know each other, having meals there waiting for you is fantastic. There’s usually a choice of about 3 or 4 meals, one for which is always vegetarian. You also get a desert and drink. You have to take your pass every time; if you do not have it you will have to pay. Trust me, you’ll be glad of them in the freezing cold January exam period. The kitchens do, however, have very sensitive fire alarms so beware; drunken cooking is not a good idea! I’ve been woken up a few times by that horrendous alarm and been a very angry little girl, especially when I have an exam the next day!! A lot of people have complained though, so I believe it’s being sorted out. As for laundry, I wasn’t too impressed. Senghenydd hall adjoins to the much, much larger Senghenydd Court residence and the whole lot shares one laundrette consisting of about 8 commercial sized washing machines and 10 driers. Not great but my advice is ‘pick your time’ wisely. Go at an abstract time, like 10 o clock at night or 2 in the afternoon and you’ll have your washing done in an hour. Go on a Sunday afternoon and you probably wont get any done at all. If you really can’t stand it, there are a few laundrettes in Cathays . They& #8217;re about a five-minute walk and if you find them first, you’ll be fine. The location of Senghenydd hall is by far one of the best things about it. You’re within a stones throw from the union. Literally, one minute you’re in the union bar, then next minute you’re in bed, its that close. Similarly, town is a two minute walk and Cathays stretches out behind you – with pubs a’ plenty, a 24 hour Tescos, post office etc. As for fitness, ‘Park Place Fitness Centre’ has a gym that costs £3 to join and then a £1 a time. There are daily aerobic/dance/combat lessons that usually cost about £2 a time. All in all I’ve loved every second of my stay in S.H and I wouldn’t move even if you paid me! And that’s saying something, as I am a student after all! By the way, just a minor point – S.H is about a 15 minute walk from the furthest academic building, about 10 minutes from the Bute Library and there is a bookshop in the union where you can buy all your course material. That’s just in case the idea of academia popped into your head at all.
I lived in Senghennydd Halls during the summer of 1998. I wasnt a student at Cardiff, but actually spent the summer holidays working in the Cardiff area. The University actually rent out the halls to the public during the summer break. The flats themselves were pretty decent. I was in the older block (near the railway track) and not in the new sections, although i did spend time in someone elses new flat. OLD FLATS ------------- Rooms were decent - single bed - cupboard/wardrobe, desk+chair and some space. NO POSTERS IN THE ROOMS other than pinned to a cardboard section in each room. My room was larger than the other 4 rooms, but i was by the front door and next to the stairwell (which got VERY noisy at night - and it was a quiet time of year) The smaller rooms had the same facilites but had about two single beds width. (if youget my meaning) the large room had the same width but was longer. Small kithen area of a small common room meant that everyone was pretty packed in, but it was friendly enough. NOTE - one of the bedrooms opened directly off the kitchen and so was quite noisy. Bathroom/Shower was pretty rough - One shower (between 5?) two sinks and a closed off toilet. The shower was either RED HOT or cold... not really much middle ground. NEW FLATS ------------- A lot nicer. The bedrooms werent much bigger, but the kitchen was larger, more of a common room type of feeling. There is a common laundry on the site that had washers and driers. Pretty good - cant remember how much it cost though. LOCATION ------------ Perfectly located for town - about 2 mins walk into the centre, but quiet enough round the streets. There was a railway line next to the hall, but i dont recall seeing any trains on it. Nearby pubs are good "Wig and Pen" and "firkin and Firedrake" are excellent. Good range of Kebab shops up in Cathays (only moments up the road) and corner shop types (happy shopper or quicky shopper mini mart up the road. Private parking round the back of the buildings. Bridge over the train tracks into the university campus. Security gates (pin code entry) to get in. Pretty secure although some people did get robbed and someone once came upto our flat and said "is dave in" then ran off..... someone got robbed the same day and reckoned it was the same person
University Hall. The day I recieved my form telling me which halls I had been selected was a very dark one indeed. University hall was my 7th choice accomodation and I admit to feeling rather depressed about it. This feeling of depression was worsened when I discovered that I was in Nevern, notorious for breeze-block walls and prison-like corridors. The peek of this was one of the ever so unhelpful student wardens showed me to my room. My dad, cheerfully asked, "Did you like staying here last year?" to which he replied "No, I hated it." It was bad enough not having an internet connection point, living two miles away from anything and having spray-painted breeze blocks for walls, but to have a sadistic warden and painful looks from my father were almost too much to bear. Nevermind, I thought. I could apply for a transfer to Senghennydd or Talybont soon... I just had to grin and bear it. Two days later, I wouldn't leave for anything. Set in Penylan, a pretty middle class area of Cardiff, University Hall is happily situated on top of a fairly large hill, around fifteen minutes walk from a smallish Tesco Metro and an Iceland. The walk to the Union takes between twenty minutes and half an hour, or you can risk trying to pack into the usually overcrowded minibus; not something I reccomend (unless you're lazy). Due to the distence from anything, the university hall facilities become your main focal point - most of which are run by the excellent hall comitte. The bar, you will find, is probably the best thing Uni hall has to offer, with some excellent specials (such as £1.35 a pint of Carling before 9pm Monday - Friday). The snooker table, gym, squash courts and tennis court are all free to use as well, so long as you have a hall card. Of course, little of this persuaded me to stay at Uni Hall. The deciding factor was the fact that everyone there is genuine and there's always soemthing going on. For example , you can wake up and find a post-it note on your front door telling you that a parties on that night and you're invited. The fact that you don't know who it is or even where it is doesn't matter; you know you'll find it. The breeze block walls are great too, if your roommates have a party and you're catching a death of flu, their boystrous music will never make it through the walls, let alone the fire doors. It also helps party, because no one feels guilty that they're keeping others up -- because either no one's asleep or they can't hear it! Every room is larger than I had expected, with a nice sink in the corner (some of the more testosterone charged claim this is a half-en suite facility, I will leave that to your imagination though). There is plenty of storage space (two cupboards, loads of draws etc) and a large desk for when you need to do work (no kidding, the Cardiff work load is high, University is no walk-through). The cleaners are all very friendly, and unlike other halls, you will probably find your kitchen cleaned once a day. We were amazingly lucky and the cleaners did the odd bit of washing up for us too. Bonus! If you don't drive, or can't afford to take a car, bring your bike. It will transform the 30 minute walk to your lectures into a five minute peddle. Getting back up the hill is a bit of a struggle, but I've no doubt it'll help burn off the binge you had last night. In my experience so far, mixed floors are less efficient than single-sex floors. Being as I live on the ground floor, it is males only. However, the floor above us are our bretheren and we often socialise together. Where we have acceptable limits (such as toilet seats, washing up etc), inter-gender disputes that date back to the dawn of time mean that males and females are likely to bicker at certain aspects (I can't imagine the girls above would have approved of our removing all tables and putting a dar t board up in our common area for example). If I had to choose again, Uni Hall would definitely be in my top three choices, once you get over the distence and just accept it, it's better situated than any other halls (i.e. no train lines, public foot paths or nightclubs near by). I am yet to meet someone at uni hall that had it down as their first choice. I am also yet to meet someone at uni hall that would move anywhere else.
Aberdare Hall is an all- girls hall situated 10 yards from the main university campus, and within easy walking distance of all university buildngs and the bustling city centre. It was established by Lady Aberdare around a hundred years ago, to promote the further education of women. It has 127 residents, and as such has a friendly community feel. The hall is well liked by UK and international students alike and enjoys a refreshingly cosmopolitan atmosphere. Unlike other university run halls, Aberdare Hall is run by a small group of dedicated staff, headed by a Warden. This allows for a strong pastoral aspect to the care received by students. The hall offers both Catered and non-catered contracts, allowing students to decide which is best for them. The food provided is prepared on-site by a team of caterers employed exclusively by the hall. Special diets are catered for to the best of the staff's ability. I lived at Aberdare Hall for two years from September 1999 to June 2001, and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I was given a room in the Garden wing, the newest of the three wings, overlooking a pretty tree lined avenue (rooms on the other side of the building overlook the hall's garden). Some rooms have internet connections and all are spacious, fully furnished and immaculately presented. The hall has a library, laundry room and two common rooms with a television and piano in each. There is also a beautiful oak panelled communal dining room where meals are served. Unusually, students living in the hall have first refusal on their room for the following year, allowing them to spend the whole of their degree there if they so wish! Many do decide to do this, owing to the environment which is perfect for study, especially in the later years of a course. Of course, as with any residence, there are disadvantages to living in Aberdare Hall; incoming calls come through the porter and are announced over a ta nnoy system, but residents soon become accustomed to this! Meal times are quie short, usually lasting little over an hour, which does contrain students a little, but the food is good and not having the inconvinience of cooking is well worth it. The only other real disadvantage is that the dining room is sometimes hired for outside functions, meaning that student mealtimes are sometimes moved. Aberdare Hall doeas 'enjoy' (?) some stereotypes which are banded about by students living in other halls, including that it is run by nuns, that there is curfew and that men are not allowed inside! None of these are true however. I would reccommend the hall to any female student keen to live in a secure, multi-national environment.
I lived in Uni Hall, Cardiff University from 1998-1999. It was my third choice (after the Gordon Road Halls) and I went for the catered option. Uni Hall is much maligned by those who don't live there. The one thing to remember when considering choosing it is that a lot of its 2 miles from the main uni buildings is up a very steep hill. When I was there, Uni Hall had the cheapest accommodation going and also the most expensive. It is split up into smaller buildings, and the facilities vary between each. The cheapest buildings were self catered, not en-suite. These weren't particularly glamorous but the rooms were a fairly decent size (compared to some in other halls anyway). I lived in catered, not en-suite. The rooms were fairly large, with a sink. There is a kitchen between about 10, a few have microwaves and most have a fridge. Plenty of showers and toilets. Catered en-suite rooms were a little smaller, and self catered en-suite looked small from the outside, but the people who lived here never seemed to come out so I can only conclude it must be great in there. The dining room is large and a good place to meet people- time it to go down during Neighbours and you won't have to queue for too long. The food is hit and miss- but generally ok. Fish on Fridays, sponge pudding on Mondays, curry on Thursdays, weird brunch type thing on Sundays, always a veggie option- you'll get the hang of it. There are tennis courts, squash courts, a gym, a lot of grass and a fantastic view. When I was there we had a great view of the Millennium Stadium being built, although you can't see into it now it's finished. There are quite a few parking spaces. The Hall Bar is good too- it gets packed in there on match days. The disco on Wednesdays and Saturdays is probably best avoided though, unless the DJ's bought a new record since 1999. A taxi from town is about £4. Once you've moved into the big wide world you'll see that this isn't bad at all, as it can cost £5 to get to parts of Cathays. The nightbus is also an option, as are the Cardiff Buses which don't run too far away. The biggest moan we had was the sometimes dodgy food and the bloody big hill. A lot of people also moaned about not getting an en-suite room, but I was happier with a bigger room. Uni Hall is in a very very nice bit of Cardiff. It's fairly quiet (outside, not necessarily inside the flats!) and the rooms are generally nice and big. I enjoyed my year there and would recommend it to others.
I have lived in halls at Cardiff University since September and I am not too impressed, to be honest. I applied to university in my year off so I got unconditional offers from several uni's. I chose Cardiff and they then sent me an accommodation brochure, explaining the choice of halls and the process of applying. Cardiff University like to boast about the quality of their modern accommodation, 3/4 of which has en-suite bathroom facilities. Well here you can get the Kitty low down. Whether you are a prospective student or simply curious as to how us students live, read on. My Dad was surprised about the fact that we have en-suite facilites, "living in luxury? It wan't like that in my day!" Yes, Dad, we all know you used to sleep on a bed of nail and share a toilet with 50 others when *you* went to university in the good old days! I had to send off my form with my top 10 choices, in order of preference. I was lucky to get my first choice, probably because I had a firm offer from the university. The first thing that surprised me was the costs involved. At home I live in a two bedroomed flat which costs less than £50 rent a week. Rents in Cardiff University Halls of Residence range from around £45 a week for a self catered room with shared bathroom facilities, up to £70 a week for a catered room with an en-suite bathroom. Quite expensive in my opinion, but then my £45 a week pays for my room, all bills and basic insurance. So I can leave the heating on for as long as I want without stressing about the bills like I do at home. Rents are more expensive at city universities than rural ones (such as Keele or Lancaster, for example) so compared to other similar unis, the prices are similar. I will give each of the main halls an overview then describe my own, as I obviously have more to say about where I live. There are (according to the Cardiff University website) 12 different halls of residence. *Talybon t* (North and South) This is the largest of the residences and nearly everyone I meet seems to live there. I went to see it on a visit to Cardiff last year and I was not impressed as I think it looks like an industrial estate! Talybont North houses 962 students and South 125. Too impersonal for me! Talybont is basically loads of modern houses split up into flats. Most of the rooms are en-suite. Right next to the Talybont complex is a McDonalds and a Tesco Extra. On the site itself there are impressive facilities such as a gym and a bar. Talybont is about a mile from the main campus and can be reached by a cycle path-which is quite dangerous at night. There is a free bus service to the uni and the city centre from Talybont. All flats are self catering. *Sengenhydd Court* The halls with the unpronounceable name are in a great location; just behind the students union and less than a mile from the city centre. They house 610 students, with a mixture of en-suite and standard facilities, and all self-catered. *University Hall* The most expensive hall is nearly three miles away from the uni campus, although there is a free bus service and limited parking permits available to students. A fully catered hall with its' own gardens and a gym, TV rooms and music rooms, this is for the luxury lovers who don't mind paying out for a taxi home after a night out in Cardiff. *Aberdare Hall* This is a womens' only hall, run by nuns! If that hasn't put you off, let me tell you that the facilities are excellent-with a library, common room and games room, these ladies are spoilt for choice! There is the choice of catered or self catered. Aberdare Hall was set up to promote womens education. I would have moved into there myself had I not been informed that all visitors must leave by 10:30 pm and men are not allowed in the building! *Colum Road* Thi s is where I live! I chose it because there is a bathroom between every two rooms, and it is right next to the Humanities building. The rooms are a reasonable size and security is good. Any faults have been fixed promptly (aside from the fridge breaking, causing all the food to go off!) For a flat of four girls, we have a HUGE kitchen with a microwave, cooker, large fridge and a chest freezer. My sister was very impressed as when she lived in halls, she shared with 12 others and had very little space. The furnishings in the room are simple and practical-a wardrobe, a table and chair, shelves and each room has a sink and a full length mirror. The bathroom has a bath *and* an excellent powerful shower, which is always hot. The bad thing about sharing a bathroom is being able to hear everything that your bathroom buddy is doing! When mine had her boyfriend to stay, there were all kinds of strange noises and splashes coming from the bathroom-very off putting for my studying! In Colum Road, there are a few parking permits available for £88 a year, but parking after 6 pm and at weekends is free (perfect for visiting boyfriends and family). We have a security office at the entrance to our halls; in my experience 9 out of 10 of the security officers are a good laugh and really helpful. Now onto the bad stuff..the fire alarms! There is an alarm in every bedroom and the alarm has gone off over 10 times in the night, apparently due to a system fault. Very unsettling and annoying. Next, the brochure said nothing about the noise! For the first two months of living there, there was building works every day from 8 am till 5 pm making it feel like we were living on a building site! We are supposed to keep our own rooms and bathrooms clean and tidy although once a week we have a cleaner who does the corridors and mops the kitchen. When we first arrived in halls there was a large toblerone in each room "from the domestic assistants" which was a really nice welcome gesture, especially for chocoholics, so thanks! There are quite a lot of rules about the bedrooms, such as no candles permitted, no smoking (unless in communal areas and everyone has agreed and signed a form), no posters except on the notice board and no extension plugs, to name a few! All the rules make sense though so I don't mind keeping to them. It's great living so close to both the university and the city centre-since I have been in Cardiff I have not needed to use any public transport, saving me much needed money. The area of Cathays where the hall is located is not great-mostly populated by students, it can be noisy and a bit grubby, but it'll do. Wednesday mornings (rubbish day) are the worst, as the bin bags fester in the gutter waiting for the bin-men (sorry, the waste disposal officers) to come. *Network Points* I have a network point in my bedroom and most of the halls have a selected number of bedrooms with a network point. For the sum of £80 a year (well, 9 months) I can have unlimited, quick internet access. Vital for writing all those DooYoo ops, and researching for essays and seminar presentations. I have a friend at Hull uni who has the same facility for only £30 a year! Seeing as the students tuition fees help to pay for the internet access around the university in libraries and computer rooms, the people who have the net in their bedrooms should get a better deal in my opinion. It is not a great service, to be honest, as the connection often drops and comes back on. The convenience of having it in my bedroom though makes up for that. *Accommodations Office* Each Hall of Residence has an office and officers whose job it is to look after the students welfare and deal with any problems. We have had a long survey to fill in about the standards, and also had a meeting where they bribed us with free muffins and a raffle, and asked for our sug gestions. One morning though, we were woken by a residence officer shouting at us to "clean our cesspit of a kitchen up"! Talk about treating us like kids. My other gripe about the residence office is when they "mislaid" the recorded delivery of my passport which I needed to open a bank account. Okay, they found it the next day, but that's besides the point. *Paying* All payment for accommodation must be made in three instalments (one per term) preferably by direct debit. If payment is late, you have to pay 5% extra, which seems fair enough. As long as you fill all the forms in properly and have the appropriate money in your account, there should be no problems with payment. *Other Halls* There are a number of other halls that I have not written about as I did not want to babble on forever. There are smaller halls, and halls reserved for post graduate students; if you want more information look at the Cardiff University website- www.cf.ac.uk For any other information on the halls of residence at Cardiff University, here is the web address: http://www.cf.ac.uk/resi/ *In Conclusion* Cardiff University offers a lot of choice in accommodation-from catered, to self catered, to womens only, to a hall with its' own bar-something for everyone. The prices aren't great, but they are comparable with other similar universities. On the whole, the halls are modern, clean and well serviced. *Update* I have now left Cardiff University. I was not happy in my time there and the halls did not help. I did not like living with the noise and the mess that my flat mates made. However, on the whole I still give the accommodation the thumbs up because they are modern and well serviced, even if they are overpriced.