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Halls Of Residence At The University Of Sheffield
Member Name: gibbon
Halls Of Residence At The University Of Sheffield
Date: 19/01/01, updated on 28/06/01 (6750 review reads)
Advantages: Freedom , Independence, Maybe these are the same things?
Disadvantages: Having to pay for heating, Possibility of strange housemates
Choosing where to live at Sheffield, or any other university is a rather tortuous decision, as you peruse the Home from Home brochure, comparing price, distance from university, and facilities in order to make your choice. Remember that not everything looks like the photo and perhaps question why certain buildings have a large tree in the foreground to distract you. Though of course Housing Services are more than likely to not even give you one of the three choices that you have gone for. Fill in your application form honestly though and if you don’t want to share a room just say that instead of making up an elaborate reason. The choices of accommodation are: Halls of Residence, Self catering flats or if you are very brave, private housing. This opinion starts off with information about some of the flats in Sheffield and ends up with a list of stuff that may be handy to bring along to university with you. I’m not sure how it ended up there but if it seems to not belong here, let me know and I may move it somewhere else.
**Self Catering Flats**
I decided to trade in living with lots of people in Halls in the first year with freedom and not having to eat school like dinners. University self catering accommodation does offer good value for money. There are 11 self catering flat complexes at the University of Sheffield. They are:
Broad Lane Court
Endcliffe Vale Flats
Apparently, these, along with the self-catering houses, also owned by the University, provide around 2,000 places for students with around 75% being first year students. They also have places reserved for a proportion of second year students, postgraduate students and also those who will spend time abroad as part of their degree. I haven’t visited all of these flats so I wi
ll try and give you some more information about the flats I know and also about living in self-catering accommodation. There is more information on the university website and in the alternative prospective (available from the Recruitment and Admissions Office). Distance isn’t necessarily a good indicator in Sheffield, as a flat might be nearer but involve walking up an Everest like slope. Taptonville Flats and Tapton Hall being good examples of this.
I lived in Taptonville Flats (or Taptonhill Flats as we so hilariously renamed them?) are certainly not the flagship housing of the University. They are rather reminiscent of a shoebox and not as attractive. Still they have good sized rooms, and a large kitchen/ dining/ living room, depending on how sociable your flatmates are. The furniture although seventies, redeems itself because you get a really large wardrobe and desk and reasonable bed, compared to the newer complexes which defy you to share your very narrow prison like bed with anyone else. There is a small launderette at the end of one of the rows of flats, it is hard to get to use it, but it beats walking down the hill to use the launderette. They are near to Tapton Halls of residence and Crookes which has lots of nice pubs, takeaways, videoshops and a strangely smelling supermarket. Crookes doesn’t have any bank machines but Broomhill is at the bottom of the road, but be warned it’s a very steep hill and when it snows you could ski down it.
Since I left there, they have recarpeted and the lovely orange curtains are no more, but there is only a tiny shower and toilet next to a large glass front door, so when we were there you had to dash from the shower so you didn’t expose yourself to the world.
You do only live with 4 other people but there are lots of flats together, so if you don’t get on with your housemates, or even if you do there are lots of other people to
drink with. And it’s nearer to university than most of the university accommodation.
Crookesmoor House is a converted church and very impressive looking from the outside with grounds where you can sunbathe and have barbeques, if the weather is nice of course. There are also parking spaces for students. However, it’s an example of “this would be really nice if they had only spent a bit more money” inside it is a little disappointing. There are 4 flats, each of which have spaces for 14 students, this includes 6 people having to share rooms. The flats vary slightly, but the rooms are laid out in a corridor arrangement, with the bedrooms and bathrooms leading off from here. At the end is a dining room with 2 kitchens leading off from here. The rooms vary incredibly in size and it is the luck of the draw as to the size of the room you will get. The wardrobes are bolted to the wall which means there is a limited amount of rearranging that you can do to your room. The heating is controlled by a thermostat in one room in Flat D, so unless you are incredibly lucky, you will have no climate control. Saying this, I always found the flats to be incredibly hot.
**Riverdale and Endcliffe Vale**
Riverdale Flats are the further away from the campus and also the cheapest. When I used to visit them they were rather prison-like, however, I hear they have been renovated. There are no baths here though only showers. They benefit from backing on to Endcliffe Park.
Endcliffe Vale is the flagship housing project of the university or it was in 1994, the year it was built. The flats are purpose built and have the best facilities of the self catering flats. The flats house 8 people, and there are 2 bathrooms and huge kitchens. Some flats also have balconies and look out onto the grounds of the main halls of residence.
**The boring stuff**
Rents range between £1600-
£1800 for the session. The session is defined as the 38 week period from the Saturday preceding Intro Week to the Saturday following the end of the summer term. It includes rent for the Christmas and Easter holiday which means, that unlike Halls, you can stay or at least leave your belongings in your flats. The year’s rent is due in 3 installments, at the start of each term. Along with this, a deposit is taken for fuel at the start of the year and fuel usage is deducted from this amount. The system seems quite complicated and it’s probably best to let the staff get on with it.
If you wish to extend the period of rent, for example if you realise that on the last Saturday of the year you will have a horrible hangover and want to lie in bed rather than move, then contact Housing Services who charge a daily rate of rent.
Some companies offer contents insurance specifically for students which can be quite expensive. Also note the restrictions on the policy. Houses are more likely to be burgled during the holidays however, most policies exclude the holiday period which is kind of useless. However, your parents are almost certainly going to have their own contents insurance and most insurers will include your possessions for free or a small fee with a much better policy as well. Do get insurance though!
Room cleaning in included in the rent and you get your room cleaned once a fortnight, with the kitchens and bathrooms getting cleaned once a week. Room cleaning always seems to happen very early in the morning. A hoover is left in the house if you are that bothered about cleaning yourself. You do have to leave the flat in a reasonable state when you move out as well!
A set amount of furniture is provided in each room. You get
* a bed
* a wardrobe
* a desk
* a desk chair
* an ‘easy’ chair
You will probably have a wash basin in your room and a
bedside cabinet. But Housing Services like to keep you guessing.
**Things to bring**
I have included a list of things that you might want to bring with you or get when you move into your flat. Some are essential, some not so. They are in no particular order and I won’t cry if you ignore them, but they might be helpful.
*Bedlinen and towels, 2 sets of each is nice as a whole term with the same sheets is rather scabby
*Crockery, cutlery and other cooking implements
- bring plates, knives and forks, mugs and glasses etc and more than one because you will probably cook for friends or break something, or your clumsy housemate will break something
- saucepans, one largish and one small
- frying pan
- baking tray
- wooden spoon
- can opener
- bottle opener (absolute essential!)
- oven glove and tea towels
- cup measures, if you are into cooking. They are more convenient than scales and can be got from most department stores or Ikea
- Cookbook – though most student ones are fairly useless
- Food – hopefully your parents will take you shopping. I recommend as well as getting lots of nice food especially chocolate, practical basics such as pasta, tinned tomatos, tomato puree, herbs, rice, and other tinned and dried food as the fridge freezer will be very small. Also get things such as tin foil, cling film, freezer bags, boring but handy.
*Kettle along with tea and/ or coffee and maybe biscuits?
*Toaster or sandwich toaster (a-true-ben’s opinion on sandwich toasters is well worth reading)
*At least one poster as the bare walls are institution like. There are lots of poster sales at the student’s union. Don’t forget the blu-tac!
*plants because they are nice and brighten up rooms
*Passport photos – universities like to build up large collections of passport photos. Also handy for buying your railcard or coac
* Official documents such as birth certificate, letter from your Local Education Authority or Student Loans may come in handy with the bank
*Photos of friends and family to cheer you up
*TV and TV licence. A licence is essential, not least because it’s illegal not to have one, but because student houses are often targeted by the enforcement/ detection people. You are meant to have one licence per tv in a self catering flat but you may want to share the cost. If you are buying one yourself, direct debit is the best way to afford it.
*Radiator rack (hangs on radiator allowing you to dry more washing in one go, ingenious!)
*Laundry bag (better than having lots of smelly clothes lying around your room)
*Washing powder – it’s incredibly expensive you know!
*Iron, one is provided but it will do something horrible to your clothes
Well those are all the things I can think of and I sure you are responsible enough to think of clothes, stereos and so on. Wherever you end up though, even if it’s not your first choice, enjoy your first year at university. Do a reasonable amount of work, but most of all enjoy yourself! Might see you in Bar One?
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