Well I'm a first year student living in Rowancroft Court which is situated near the St Lukes campus for sports science, medicine and teacher training among other things. The main campus is Streatham campus which is where I study and is about a half hour walk away (I'm told I walk quickly so in reality it may be 40 mins).
I didn't apply to live at Rowancroft Court (which is different to 'Rowancroft' in that it is cheaper and not as posh!) I applied for accommodation closer to campus but there was difficulties which I won't go into. Anyway I live here and so I will review it.
The accommodation is just off the busy Heavitree road and is surrounded by a nice wall to separate you and your student village from the rest of the world. There's some nice grassy bits for hanging out in the summer maybe play some football or just have a picnic.
Now then, inside it doesn't look that great. It isn't dirty or anything it just looks ...plain. The carpets are all plain blue and there is no décor in sight to compliment the plain coastal cream (read beige) walls. Downstairs is a long corridor with half of the rooms and a toilet and separate shower room at the very end. Upstairs you will find the kitchen (you might miss it, it's pretty small haha) and common room which is essentially a cupboard with nine chair in it and a table for four. Nice that they encourage communal eating here.
In the common room there's an old tiny remoteless TV and a sky box. DO NOT get excited, the sky box offers fewer channels than regular freeview. Why do we not have DAVE?! There's a notice board in case you get bored of the TV at least.
The kitchen is also pretty small. It has two fridge/freezers which is not enough for nine people. I actually have half a fridge shelf which is just enough for a yoghurt and a sandwich. Cupboard space is also limited with some house mates keeping their plates etc in their rooms (awkward or what?). The cooker is a relic and takes a good while to heat up (it's electric) both the main over and the hobs and of course with an electric cooker the temperature control on the hobs is a pain. I can cook some nice meals though and the grill isn't half bad for your cheese on toast fix.
"What's that PureDark a positive point is coming up?" My room is HUGE! Compared to students in other accommodation I'm pretty sure these rooms are the biggest and could easily fit a double bed in them but no there is a single bed. In any case the room size is a plus and I can fit loads of stuff in here without a problem and still have space to move around.
Socially, it's a nice place to live everyone is friendly and different houses visit each other regularly. It's just a pain studying at the other campus as a lot of people will be studying at the St Lukes one.
Anyway that ends my insight and I hope it helps!
I am writing a review on the Lafrowda accommodation at the University of Exeter. I am a first year student and have been living there since September. The Lafrowda accommodation contains some of the largest numbers of students on the Streatham campus in Exeter.
It is also the cheapest accommodation the university offers and the buildings were constructed in the 1970's.
The flats are occupied on a 40 week term basis and are available to undergraduates, postgraduates and exchange students.
Lafrowda is made up of many blocks of flats clustered together on the edge of campus. The Flats are situated less than 5 minutes walk from campus and are maybe 15 minutes walk from the town centre. The flats are situated with Rowe House Accommodation, close to the Lemon Grove Bar.
~The Accommodation: Outside~
The Blocks are grouped in clusters with communal lawn areas in each cluster. There is planting and creepers at the foot of each block. Concrete walkways lead up to the doorways and across the lawns for easy access. The flats give easy access along a one way street to Cornwall House, which includes; The Lemon Grove Bar, Ticket Office, Toilets, Small General Store, Laundry Room, Music Practice room (must be booked), RAG office, Italian bistro, Photocopier, UPP accommodation office and societies' boards.
Dotted around the sites are numerous recycling and waste disposal units and bike racks.
The Blocks themselves are a typical 1970's style, with small grey breezeblocks and brown wooden doors and windowsills. Each block has a different coloured panel below the bedroom windows. However the buildings are looking very tired now, with flaking paint and windows and doors which don't fit properly.
The Planting and grass is keep up to a good standard, however the creeping plants up the walls are getting out of hand.
Parking on the road outside the flats is on a permit holder basis, most cars parked there are lecturers I think. Students are not permitted to park here without a permit, usually only given to disabled students. Parking is very limited; however there are a few paid parking places near Rowe House.
Lafrowda blocks are split into two types; 'standard' and 'Enhanced' with different prices for the two different standards of living. I myself chose standard simply on price.
The accommodation is split into shared flats or 3 to 12 people.
Each person has their own room which contains telephone and internet connection. There is a bed with mattress, wardrobe, sink and mirror with a light above. A desk with two pulls out draws and a chair, three shelving units above and left of the desk. There is also a wall to pin posters etc. to, above the desk.
Carpets are either dark blue or brown. The walls are not plastered and have the same bare breezeblocks as the outside. The ceiling is Artex white.
~Toilet and shower~
The flat consists of these rooms along a corridor along with a communal toilet(s) and shower/bath and a kitchen.
I was staying in one of the smaller flats for 6 people so there were two toilets, a shower and bath.
The larger flats have a bigger kitchen and another shower.
The facilities are adequate, however clean the shower leaves much to be desired. It is warm and temperature can be altered. There is a helpful hook on the back of the door for clothes. Both toilets and showers can be locked from the inside.
However our toilet is constantly breaking and leaking and numerous times has leaked out the door and soaked the carpet. Not very Hygienic!
The Bath tends not to be used as its rather grimy and there are two drying lines above the bath, so people tend to dry clothes above it instead.
The kitchen consists of :
Television on a stand above fridge
Two small freezers
An individual lockable cupboard for non-perishable food items
Table and six chairs
Two waste bins
Three cupboards and work surfaces.
The kitchen is adequate for my needs but not somewhere I like to spend more time than I have to. The chairs are plastic and uncomfy and it's not really big enough for more than 2 people to cook in their at once. The fridge is no where near big enough and the microwave is ancient. We complained and recently got a new one.
We have a cleaner who comes 2 times a week, once for a full clean and the other for a light one. We also have a man who comes round and empties the kitchen bin every day.
The cleaners seem to come and go and are not very sociable. They do not speak to us and treat us with contempt. They spend ALL morning cleaning; they are really quite slow and inefficient. Their job is to clean the toilets and bathroom. Clean the kitchen and hover the corridor. The kitchen is often neglected in sweeping and mopping the floor and the consistency of the standard of cleaning is not great. Often the cleaners will not come for a couple of weeks until we complain and then they do.
The cleaners also clean at really inappropriate times, i.e. cleaning the kitchen at 8.30 before a 9am start.
I have found noise nuisance is a real problem in Lafrowda, the walls and windows are not very sound proof at all and noise carries easily from the flat above, people outside and the kitchen down the hallway.
The fire alarms are a real problem; many flats have malfunctioning fire alarms which go off for no reason ALL the time in the middle of the night! Three nights in a row this is starting to wear thin!
The state of repair and upkeep of the flat is poor, due to the age of the buildings they are constantly needing repairs to gas, electric, internet and heating. Disruption is nearly continuous!
The good thing about these flats is that, for Exeter, they are REALLY cheap compared to other University Accommodation:
* 355 single standard at £73.01 pppw
* 272 single enhanced at £88.41 pppw
However this has gone up from when I stayed there at standard from £64 a week. Its rumoured the flats have been taken over by private investors.
This money is payed straight to finance at Exeter through the website and their is a £300 deposit to pay at the start of the year
The flats are very close and convenient to campus and very cheap. But the price reflects the standard of living of the accommodation and I would pay a little more if you can for better accommodation
The first day I arrived in halls I thought I was in a hotel! I was put in Pennsylvania Court, more commonly known as 'Penny C' amongst the students. The bedrooms were amazing, there was a large cupboard, a huge desk, shelves, chest of draws, mini fridge, en-suite shower-room and toilet, and a double bed, yes a double bed in student accommodation, almost unheard of!!
A cleaner came round the rooms every week to give them a good clean and if you had any other queries the porter in Lopes Halls was always to hand.
It was catered accomodation which meant we got breakfast and dinner included in the price per week. The food wasnt great but the ease of not having to cook in your first year at uni and concentrate on making yourself feel at home, making mates and generally making sure you had lots of fun meant it was worth it. There is a kitchen with a microwave, toaster and sink in each flat for making lunch or when you are peckish.
The atmosphere in Penny C was always amazing, everyone was there to have a good time. Everyone was generally friendly which resulted in becoming part of a lovely community.
In the summer there is a huge lawn that everyone takes advantage of by sunbathing and bringing back the old school games like super slidy slides and 40-40.
It is quite pricey, but if you can push the belt out I would definitely urge anyone to go for Penny C. I know I am going to be biased, but hands down, it is for definite the best halls.
It's luxury accommodation, and because you are a part of a larger halls, named Lopes Halls, where there were other accommodation within the grounds, Lopes Main and Ransom Pickard, you get a great mix of people from lots of different backgrounds.
I am studying at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus and in the first year (I am now in my third) I was a resident of Glasney Parc, the halls of residence of the Tremough Campus.
The campus has all been built within the last five years or so, and so along with the academic areas of the site all the accomodation is virtually new. I was in what is now the older blocks, as new blocks were under construction whilst I was there, but even though it was old it was still under 5 years old.
Each room consisted of a double bed, an ensuite bathroom and lots and lots of storage space, and yet the room was still spacious and there was no impression of it ever appearing cramped. There was a phone, which could be used for free internal calls, and also very fast internet access (although for internet an extra charge of about £50 per academic year was needed).
Each room was one of seven which shared a flat. There was a deliberate mix of males and females in each flat, along with courses. A point worth noting here is the fact that as the Campus is shared with University College Falmouth (Previously Falmouth College of Arts) there was a wider mix of courses than would be expected just by looking at the Exeter website or prospectus. Each flat would have an equally spacious shared kitchen, which was well stocked with all the usual items (oven, microwave, two large fridge freezers etc) as well as a TV with freeview and DVD player.
The kitchen and corridors were cleaned every weekday by cleaners, and these would clean the bedrooms fortnightly (all included in the price). Also included in the price was all gas, electricty, water, council tax etc.
The rooms are paid for termly, with each payment due just after the student loan payment enters the bank account. Whilst I was there the cost was under £90 per week, for a contract of approximately 40 weeks, however for the academic year which has just ended I believe this had increased to about £96p/w.
So what about disadvantages? Generally there were very few. The major gripe people would have was the lack of a common type room, but I personally felt such a room would have been an extra cost for little extra benefit, as both the rooms and kitchens were roomy enough. The only issue was with a possible lack of cupboard space in the kitchen, although this was soon overcome as soon as people realised there was no need to have seven of every item within the kitchen.
Today saddened me somewhat, for the very last time I closed and locked the door of my room at Pennsylvania court. For those who don't know, Pennsylvania court or "Penny C" as it is colloquially known, is one of the three catered luxury halls on the Exeter Campus and in my opinion is much better than either of the others. Rooms in Pennsylvania Court come with a double bed, en suite (with mira power shower), central heating and many even have a balcony. To top it off Pennsylvania Court is less than fifteen minutes away from town and most lecture theatres. When I read the accommodation prospectus this sounded to me like student heaven, I could roll out of bed at 8.55 and still make my 9 am on Criminal law. Therefore with little hesitation about the cost, I put Pennsylvania Court as my first choice accommodation. I am writing this review to inform upcoming students to not be overly hasty in choosing this classy option, although I cannot say that I did not enjoy my stay at Pennsylvania Court.
The most obvious downer of staying in a hall like Pennsylvania Court is the cost, whilst I lived their the halls cost me circa £145 a week and I hear for next year they will be increasing to circa £157. If you compare this to a standard room in Lafrowda (shared bathroom / self catered ) which comes at a price of circa £65, you can see that you are eating into your student loan substantially more. To top this off, the type of students who afford such halls tend to be those who can be a little snobby and thus corridors end up having cliquey groups of people who do not mix particularly. The corridors themselves (as well as the blocks) lock automatically in the interests of security, this often results in blocks themselves not being very social as one has to knock or ring in order to see their friends; basically you end up befriending your next door neighbour but few others. This is a particular hindrance in the first term as it is quite difficult to make friends if everyone is locked i) in their room, ii) in a corridor, iii) in a block. Therefore if you live in such a hall you have to go all out to make friends and you are more likely to become friends with people from your course or societies than those who live with you (although this is not necessarily a bad thing!) You will also find that when you tell people from other halls that you live in Pennsylvania Court that you receive an "oh okay" and can't help feeling that they are thinking that either you are getting spoon fed by your parents and/or you are too babyish to survive the real student lifestyle.
On the upside, Pennsylvania Court is definitely a safe place to live (it's almost impossible for intruders to get in) and it is quite useful having catered dinners always at the ready for you despite being sick of them by the end of each term. Also if you want an en suite particularly, it is almost impossible to get one in the self catered halls in Exeter and you stand a much better chance when going for catered.
I did enjoy my time in Pennsylvania Court and will always remember it fondly. I am not sure I would have enjoyed it quite so much if I didn't put such a high value on privacy and in retrospect I would probably have formed far more close friendships if I'd lived in self catered rather than a couple with many distant friends which you bump into at supper. I hope this helps future prospective Penny C'ers to decide whether or not it is worth the cost.
I resided in small halls just outside St Lukes Campus. I was a trainee teacher which was intense therefore I needed calmness and peacefulness to study as well as to relax. I did have a peaceful time here. The other students were pleasant and clean, sheets were cleaned once a week, showers were warm, heating was always on, the rooms were decent sizes with ample storage space tea and coffee was free, and one meal was provided. The food was actually edible. I suppose the downside would be the lack of showers. I reccommend you use Exter Uni halls, they are overall very good. Plus the Student Union is a minute walk and there is a fine chippy at the top end of the road.
On the day I moved into Jessie Montgomery House, one of the four Duryard Halls, my heart sank into my shiny new university trainers. Having had images of stately halls of learning with deep carpets and luxurious fittings. I was greeted however with dull and dark acres of grey within the building, endless staircases and a room which Romanian oprhans would sniff at. That is not to say that Exeter cannot offer luxury in its halls - it most certainly can. In Mardon Hall for example, fitted out to hotel standards, but it may come at a cost. Mardon is renounded for having a somewhat elitiest atmosphere generated by people who assume superiority by the chance that they got into a 'better hall'. If you ended up there you would be delighted at first but at the cost of sociability perhaps. Soon after moving into Duryard, corridor mates came to introduce themselves and strangers seemed to wander into one anothers rooms at random and I made very good friends in my hall and through freinds made there. I am aware that this may not have happened in other halls. The food provided in Duryard's dining hall is often moaned about but in truth saw me through the year happily, and the Welly, Duryard's Hall bar provided cheap beer at walking distance, with a good atmosphere too! Duryard also had an advantage over Birks Halls (a comparable modern hall) in that it had its own small library, excellent for rare moments of revision, and the halls are set in beautiful grounds, with sweeping lawns which are truly wonderful for sunbathing in the summer. In conculsion - ignore the temptations of fitted carpets and 18th Century houses- choose sociability - choose Duryard.
Lafrowda halls are somewhat basic, but provide great value for money at less than £50 a week for the year. This includes the use of a communal kitchen, which is well equipped, although has nowhere NEAR enough fridges – 3 for 12 people! Close to both the university buildings, lying as it does on the edge of campus, and the city centre, Lafrowda is convenient for everybody, and nothing is too much trouble for the friendly porters at Cornwall House. My only criticism is the dreadful shower rooms, but they at least discourage people from spending too much time in there – it’s strictly leap in, wash, leap out.
As has been mentioned in some of the other opinions, Exeter University has a variety of catered accommodation, mostly for the freshers, but a fair number of people choose to move back in during their third year. During my first year I lived in one of the Exeter Halls, Lopes. These halls are grouped close to campus, with the advantage of being close to the on campus nightclub (The Lemmy). A big plus point is the proximity to campus, it was a 7 minute jog in in the mornings for me to get to my building, with the added advantage of avoiding the killer hills you will encounter on the way in from Birks or Duryard (They don't call the hill up from birks Cardiac Hill for nothing). For girls it is also alot easier in the evenings, as students walking across from the birks and duryard side have some poorly lit areas which i would worry about going through late at night. On a similar note unfortunately the Guild minibus, which used to take students to and from town and across campus for a pound is no longer running, which means alot more relying on the more pricey taxis, or on friends walking you home. The Exeter Halls are not too far from town, about 20 minutes ish, although it feels like more, due to the inevitable steep exeter gradients! There is however a fairly close newsagent for late night snacks when you can't face the hall food, which was fairly poor when I was there, but I hear it has improved considerably since. What you lose in nutrition from living in halls, however, is more than compensated for by the opportunities to meet lots of first years, all desparate to make lots of friends in the first few days. Halls is probably the most intense and memorable time you can have at university, and Exeter strongly encourages all freshers to live in self-catered accomodation, which I would agree is a good idea. Lopes has two blocks, the main wing, which is a large old building, with a real community spirit, due to the smaller size
than some of the other halls. There are 2 tv rooms, as well as a library (although the books are all antiques... it's more just for working in). One disadvantage is that most rooms are shared, which some found worked out well, although there is always the risk that you will not get on with your room mate, which did happen to some people. There is also the less aesthetically pleasing Ransom Pickard, which does not have quite the same advantages as main wing, with a lack of any communal areas except the laundry. tv facilities and meals are in main wing, but this is only a few metres away, so it doesn't matter that much. There was also less of a tendency for people to congregate in each others rooms, which makes it a bit easier to get some work done, if you feel the need! If you can't bear the thought of sharing, then unless you have a real (eg medical) reason, chances are the odds of getting a single room will be better for example in birks or duryard. However a room mate is a default friend for the first few days, which makes freshers week less scary, and many in my year got on really well. The rent is also less for shared rooms Like all halls in exeter there are a number of formal dinners, with smart dress, and table service, with wine, and after dinner entertainment, which is fun. Also the LHK ball, which is considered by many to be the best of the hall balls. As for accomodation prices, with all things in Exeter, there is always the feeling that perhaps you are being charged a bit much for what you get, but best to check the prospectus, chances are it's gone up a bit since I was there. In Exeter the halls all have quite varied atmospheres, so on open days have a look round to see which suits you, the chances are there will be a resident around who will be willing to give you a quick tour, and guides are available open days to show you around their hall. It seems that, of all those I asked, most thought their own hall w
as the best, and I guess I am no exception, I would recommend Lopes, but each hall does have its good and bad points.
The University Of Exeter, promises to provide accommodation for any Fresher who requires it. This is a promise that they continue to live up to. If you get in through clearing you may have to spend a few weeks in overflow accommodation at the Crossmead conference centre, but you will be fitted into a hall fairly rapidly. What's it like then? Well the university provides many halls of residence with their own particular character. They can be divided into converted country houses, where you will have to share your room, the more up market Marden Hall where you pay more for fresh paint and springy carpets. Or the 1960's wonders which are Birks and Duryard. All of the halls cook you 3 meals a day and provide a cleaner. There are also university flats which are mainly intended for second and third years, these range from basic flats with communal facilities to enhanced flats with en-suite. I chose to live in Duryard for my first year, and I loved my time there. Some of the buildings are nicer than others, but they are all perfectly habitable and warm. One of the buildings does have communal showers, a novelty most people got over quickly. I was unfortunate enough to be placed in a shared room, this wasn't as bad as I thought it would be though, and my roommate moved into a single room at the end of the first term. Duryard and Birks were built together and are identical in what they provide, Birks houses 400 students Duryard 600. You will be sharing a shower, 2 baths and 2 toilets and small kitchen (intended for late night snacking) between about 15 of you. There can be excessive demand for the shower on occasion but you will work something out. The rooms themselves are big enough, and the underfloor heating makes mornings easier to cope with. All of the rooms have a telephone and university network connection (for Internet and e-mail). I don't know what the food is like now, but when I was there it was lovely, there wa
s always plenty of variety, and I had no trouble finding something nice to eat every night. And this is quite an achievement considering I could never cope with school dinners, and am the fussiest eater around. The kitchen staff try really hard to come up with a varied menu and if you are nice to them you can get bigger portions. It does take a while to settle in. When you first arrive you think the place is such a dump, but before long you have covered the bare walls, made friends with the people on your floor, and adapted to the different surroundings. I really was quite sad when I left, the building truly did feel like home, part of that was from the people who lived there, and part of it was the building itself. I am so very glad that I spent a year in Halls, it was a great way of meeting people and having a laugh. It is also a very safe environment in which to get used to living away from home, you have independence but you also have people who look out for your welfare. Cost wise halls in Exeter are expensive compared to other universities but you get a lot for your money in the shape of staff, good food 3 times a day, and well maintained buildings and grounds. Part of going to university is learning to adapt to a new way of life, this includes living conditions that may be very different to what you are used to. Make the most of any hardships, they will stand you in good stead for the future.