Living in halls

Everyone has questions about accommodation, so here’s another cheesy helpful extract answering questions you may or may not care about the answers to. For background: I currently live in Beit hall, in a single without en suite. I pay £192 a week, £2 of which are for hall activities, like karaoke, Netflix & chill nights and Beitan’s got talent.


So here are questions stolen from places, provided by the union and invented by my brain.

Every hall has a different atmosphere; how would you describe the atmosphere in your hall?

Beit is probably the party hall, if anything just because it’s attached to the union. No, the union is not too loud, because the windows have two layers and when both are closed, the screams of happy students are only a distant nightmare. Then again, if you wish to join and scream along, you know you’re not pissing off your hall-mates and it’s not like you have far to go. It’s generally nice and friendly, though I assume all halls are going to be like that.

What’s been the best event at your hall so far this year?

Beitan’s got talent was really fun, but unfortunately under advertised in my opinion. It was a great night nonetheless. The karaoke nights were a particular hit with me, as a brave soul joined me in singing some Slipknot and, I would like to add, knew all the words and put me to shame. Free breakfast on Sunday mornings is an absolute saviour for those days when both our cupboards and fridge are hungry.

What’s your top tip for new students applying for accommodation?

Don’t panic, you’ll be happy anywhere. No hall is perfect and each has it’s advantages. For example, Beit is great, but my bank account is crying.

What do now know about living in your hall that you wish you had known before you moved in?

People will be messy, loud and annoying, but you’ll love it anyway. From time to time, you’ll realise that you’re being the messy, loud, annoying one and you’ll suddenly forgive everyone for everything!

What the best thing about living in your hall, and the worst?

Best: It’s just so damn close to everything! The union, sci fi library and club stores are all right there. The physics building (the building you want to be in) is on the other side of the road and you can see any red carpet events held at the Royal Albert Hall. Bam.

Worst: It is expensive. It’s the third most expensive hall for a single room, after Eastside and Southside. Along with those two, it’s located right on campus, so bearing in mind that it’s close to stuff, the price is alright. It is also rather loud, but as mentioned previously, one can deal with that.

How do I apply for accommodation?

You fill out a form online before you come, where you list the 5 you fancy the most. You unfortunately can’t give them any priority and they are allocated almost randomly, maybe based on some of the extra information you give. Who knows? I heard rumour that if you apply for any double room, you’re likely to get it.

What options of contract length are there?

All contracts are however many weeks means you’re there all year, other that the summer holidays. Obviously, yes you can leave during Christmas and Easter, but you still pay.

When and how do I pay for my accommodation?

You receive an invoice well in advance and pay online. The payment is due the day after student finance comes in. I had a problem with my Santander account, as the overdraft can take up to a year to increase from £250 to £1500. My loan is small and my fee is big, so I was really just ending up with -£600, hence really needed that overdraft. I basically had to ask to pay later and wait until Santander let me use the overdraft the account actually came with!

What do I need to do before moving in?

Make sure you know what to bring. You don’t need lamps, a laundry basket or a mattress, but you do need pillows, duvets and sheets. There will be a list of what is already provided. I suppose that’s really it. Pack your stuff, don’t forget documents of sorts.

Features of Beit

There is no closed and locked bike storage area, but there is one just behind the Physics building (i.e. not far). There is a bike shelter, but it’s in the outdoor land of the quad.

As in all halls, to my understanding, there is a laundry room, which has recently been equipped with Circuit machines. This means no change and online top up.

Aaand the single rooms have sinks in them. What else must one know?

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