“ If your halls aren't included here please suggest them. „
I studied at Sussex for 6 months (quit due to course reasons.. although halls situation didn't help!) and found the halls appalling. I was staying at Kent House (part of Park houses) and my boyfriend of the time was at East Slope. These were amongst the cheaper - non ensuite accommodations but still, I think they were badly maintained, badly laid out and dirty.
Kent house had around 24 people per floor and 12 to a kitchen and bathroom. I.E 12 to ONE SHOWER! And on my floor the shower and toilets weren't even separate rooms, they were separated only by divided screens like you get in public toilets. I thought this was horrible, no privacy whatsoever! The ''flats'' weren't even divided either, with no front door or anything just corridors of rooms meaning security was minimal - we always had things stolen from our kitchens, and it just felt like living in a hostel. The rooms were a tad small butthey were OK I guess, the noise levels, however, were not. My room was located right by the bus stop and the heating was so badly regulated I had to have my window open all the time. I also found the organisation (of fixing things and post) was awful. The staff were rude to the point where you'd go in pairs to the office to collect post. The porter was also extremely rude to my boyfriend at one time claiming he wasn't allowed to visit me because he didn't live there. Talk about power trip or what!!
East slope was indescribably bad. It was dirty, rat-infested, absolutely boiling with little ventilation and the rooms were run down, old and cramped. The photos they put on the site are of one flat which happens to be nice nad have wooden panel ceilings for some reason. Unfortunately not a great experience had!
I lived in Kent House, on the Sussex campus, for a year, in 2008/2009.
Halls of residence in general at Sussex vary between the old and cosy East Slope, to en-suite bathroom accomodation with washing machines, american style fridges and plasma TVs. Kent House falls somewhere in the middle, with fairly nice rooms, and pretty decent kitchens. There was no en-suite bathrooms, which meant sharing a shower between 12 people should have been a hassle, but in reality - without suggesting the flatmates were dirty - there was never much of an issue. The rooms in Kent House were of an okay size, though a chest of drawers would have improved them so much; I had to keep my t-shirts in a suitcase for the year.
The central location for Kent House is excellent; there's a co-op, bank, and bus stop within maybe 15 seconds walk in any direction. We also all grew pretty tight - about maybe 30 of us - in socialising and going out, which was a big plus. Noise was an issue occasionally, as the halls are very connected, and not at all spread out, though I guess this is to be expected at university.
If I could go for a different accommodation at Sussex I'd probably choose Norwich house or East Slope, with the former being in the same bracket as Kent House, and the latter a bit cheaper, but with more of a reputation for partying. All in all, can't complain about Kent House, was a great year, though some minor improvements would make it better.
I spent my first year as an undergraduate in the on-campus halls at Sussex during 2001/2002. In my experience, most first-years opt for this route rather than finding their own accommodation elsewhere in Brighton or the surrounding areas. The University is situated in Falmer, not Brighton, which is three miles away. Falmer consists of basically the Sussex campus, a branch of the University of Brighton Campus (which includes a quite-nice gym facility with pool), a small two-platform train station and a few cottages. That's it. You can specify on your housing form from Sussex if you would prefer a particular type of accommodation, for example - non smoking, females only or off-campus. I learned later-on incidentally, that quite a few people specified on their forms exactly which on-campus residences they wanted and it seemed to have worked. Anyway, here is a breakdown of my opinion on each of the residences on campus. I'm not going to specify exact rent prices, as those change from year to year. The Sussex website will have full details of your bill and pictures of the housing. East Slope Flats: Named quite aptly, these residences look like a lot of flat bricks placed on the hillside where Sussex is located. There are a lot of them! You will especially notice this at night when the students have their lights on. Not where I would want to live, mind you. They had a bit of a reputation for noise and theft. They're the cheapest ride in town. They also look rather shabby from the outside. I didn't see the inside, but apparantly they don't have their own washbasins in their rooms. They have their own social-club known as the east-slope bar which is also quite noisy, but looked fun (sometimes). Heating and electricity included in rent. The Park Houses: Closest to the student union supermarkets, these are several large dorm-style houses. York house has it's own 24-hour computer lab which
serves all the residences and a 24 hour reception desk in case of emergencies. The computers are old, slow and noisy - more on this later. Again, this would not be my choice of living arrangements. The houses are shabby looking and noisy. Heating and electricity included in rent. Park Village: Several people I knew lived here, and it has quite a community feel to it. They have their own cocktail bar which has a weekly pub quiz. The houses are small and fairly cramped. Each house has three floors, 4 rooms per floor making 12 people in each house. There is a kitchen on the ground and second floors and a bathroom on the first floor. The bathrooms have a bathroom, a shower-room and two separate toilets. Twelve people share one shower! Again, not ideal. The kitchens are also tiny! Heating and electricity included in rent. Lewes Court: Where I stayed during my first year. The second most expensive option - you have to pay for your electricity usage, but heat is included in the rent. There are 6 people to a self-contained flat - termly electricity bills are split 6 ways regardless of who used how much electricity (ours were around £12- £20 each per term). The courts are the smallest residences on campus and are quite pretty, you can see cows from your window! There are trees and flowers planted around the halls outside, and the insides are quite modern. There is a large kitchen with cooker, sink and fridge-freezer and some even have microwaves. You also have a large cupboard for your dry-food/plates etc. You don't get a key for this, but you can request one if food/cutlery goes missing. There is a little lounge area also, with table and chairs and 'lounge chairs'. Each room has a bed, desk and chair, closet, wash-basin, book-shelf and one of those 'lounge chairs'. There is a bathroom with toilet and sink, a shower room, and a toilet room with sink. Outside there is a laundrette room (which was out of order almost all
year) and a porters office (he is hardly ever there) and a locked mail room. Each person in the flat gets the same key for the flat's mail box. Please bear in mind, when I lived there, there were a lot of thefts from mail boxes, so check it often. Parcels are kept in the porter's office. A fairly quiet halls, but the furthest from supermarket facilities and lectures. Brighthelm: The creme de la creme of halls - the most expensive and you pay for gas heating and electricity. A lot of postgraduates live in these halls, but first-year undergrads live there also. There are a lot of houses and it really is a village. Some of the furthest houses look like they are in the woods, surrounded by trees. The halls are modern and very pretty. Some flats even have terraces. I did not see the insides of these halls, however if I had, I probably would've been quite jealous. Some have washing machines in the flats. I can imagine these were very peaceful halls. They have their own porters office and are right near the bus-stop (you can wait inside if it's raining or cold). The porter also puts up balloons and tinsel at Christmas! *General Information* People: Sussex was listed as 31st in the Sunday Times University league tables. Sometimes however, I wonder how many students managed to fill in their UCAS forms themselves. The ratio of stupid people is quite high. The range of posers is also wide. The main groups are as follows: far in the lead are 'annoying psychology girls' (the kind that run and hug each other and squeal) - following that, 'blokes' (reebok classics, gap sweatshirt, best of ibiza cd) - then there are 'avrils' (baggy pants, dreads, dyed, optional che guerva/ pop-punk t-shirt from sydney street). Surprisingly little originality or enthusiasm around, just the usual anti-fees, anti-US, pro-palestine rallies, but even those are drab. Transport: For those living on-camp
us and wishing to go to Brighton on a regular basis, the best public transport option is to use the trains (7 minutes to Brighton) as opposed to the bus (approx 40 minutes). The buses charge £1 for any journey, regardless of distance which can be good or bad. A return to Brighton will therefore cost you £2 (£1 each way). However, if you have a student rail card a return to Brighton by train will cost only £1.70. This is provided you travel after 10am, otherwise you cannot use your student card and must pay the full price of £3.10 for a return. (Outrageous and confusing.) Both the buses and trains are very regular, but do not run after 11 - 12pm - so be warned, taxis to campus from the city are expensive (£10 - £15). For those students with cars - I wouldn't recommend bringing it with you. Sussex has just banned student cars for those living on campus and you will not be allowed to park it anywhere. Even student commuters will have to pay £150 per year for a parking permit during the day. Telephone: Bedroom telephones are quite possibly the worst thing about living on campus. You must create an account with a company called 'Now'. They were new on campus as of last year, and have the most ridiculous tariffs and system imaginable. National calls are the same as local calls and all are priced 8p per minute during the day and 4p per minute in the evening(after 7). International calls are priced through the roof - you cannot use call-cards either. They charge you 20p per minute for using such cards, or calling free-phone numbers. I didn't even TRY mobile calls. I suggest international callers use www.just-dial.com as a way to get around this - they don't seem to charge you anymore than a national rate call as yet. However, I did abuse the hell out of this service! Or you can just use your calling card in a payphone outside - pretty cold though! The 'Now' system itself is appalling, you dial 1571 to get thr
ough to a automated voice service which 80% of the time just disconnects you. When you eventually get it to work, you enter a 8 or 9 digit pin and then a 4 digit passcode. They then tell you how much credit you have remaining, you can then recharge your account by pressing 1 (it seems the only thing they know how to do correctly is get your money). Or you have about 2 seconds to begin dialling or they cut you off. You must wait 10 minutes after making a phone call before making another one, or your account will be frozen. You then must call their help line to get it unfrozen. On the upside (if this is one), incoming and on-campus calls are not charged. Mobile telephones: Please do not bring a BT Cellnet/02 phone to campus, it will have terrible coverage - 1 bar on the best days. I hear the others work fine though. Internet: A lot of kids bring their own pc to school with them. Sadly, there is no connection to the university network from your bedroom on campus. If you want to use the internet from home, you must use the 'now' 56k dial-up service. You cannot use your freeserve, aol, ntlworld '0800' or 'free-calls' account. 'Now' charge you 1p per minute for their service. That's it guys. Also, since you're actually making a call with dial-up, if you hang up, or get disconnected (and you will get disconnected) you must wait 10 minutes before re-connecting or your account will be frozen. Very irritating. I would recommend bringing a laptop to Sussex if you can, as the on-campus machines are annoying and fairly far away from the halls. You will also not get to work in silence. Usually some loud, female psychology major who types with only two fingers will be sitting next to you. There is only one way of connecting your laptop to the network, and that is through the wireless trial in the library. You need to be wireless guys - it's the best. PCs need some sort of wireless ca
rd, and macs need an airport card. This is by far the best way of getting work done using the internet. Television: In some halls, such as park village you have a tv aerial in your room, so you can plug in your own tv - but you must pay for a separate license. However, in Lewes court there was only one tv aerial in the lounge area. We split the tv license 6 ways. Be aware the TV license guys will come around! Especially to park village/east slope/ park houses who don't have communal areas. If you have a pc that can get a tv signal, I think you could get away without paying your license, but just don't be too obvious about it. Cleaning of halls: The public areas of your flat (kitchen/bathroom etc) are cleaned once per week, and they do a decent job. You must clean your own room though. The cleaners will merely wipe your sink with a damp cloth. Food: There are two supermarkets with a very limited selection of food, and a cafeteria pretty close to the halls. My favourite combo was pasta and some sort of processed meat or quorn from the supermarket. The cafeteria food is just bearable. Laundry: There is a pretty crappy laundrette on campus, but some halls have their own, ie. Lewes court, Brighthelm. I used the laundrette once. Since then I went home for the weekend every three weeks or so, for a good meal and clean pants. Entertainment: There is one club and several bars on campus. That's about the extent of regular social events. Woe betide if you don't like dance music. I think east slope bar has an 'alternative night' - by that I mean I heard them play GnR once when I walked past. There are also several societies to join, though to me they never seemed to be worth the cost. Sport: The sportscentre has squash and basketball etc, and also a wide range of classes. I tried yoga and tai-chi, which were ok. No pool, although the gym across a
t the Uni Brighton has one, but you must be a member (costly). The other gym has hockey/football etc. There is a skiing society too, but they practice on dry-slope. Squirrels: If you live on the ground floor, shut your windows when you go out or the tree-rats will be in and eating your crisps and pooing everywhere. I'm serious! *Conclusion* Looking back, I would've much preferred to have lived in Brighton on my own or with other older students for my first year. Much more convenient and civilised. I would recommend this to first years who have some wits about them and find drinking/dance music/loud parties annoying after a while. You can have a wicked time in Brighton, but also have a quiet place to think. I could almost never find this living on campus. I'd recommend having a proper tour of the campus, not just the guided one on the open day, and exploring all the housing options before making a decision.