I’ve just moved back to Leicester this week, I’m living in a student house in the Clarendon park area with 4 of my friends from the chemistry course. Since 4 of us were studying abroad, the house hunting was left to just one of our housemates so moving in was my first time seeing it; it turns out it’s a great place (or at least in comparison to my second year “house”). Since many people reading this blog are likely to be prospective students, I thought it might be handy for me to a put together a little bit of info about student accommodation and where to live in your first year.
The best place to find out information about room types and the different halls of residence is on the University’s accommodation website, here I’ll just try to give a general insight to what each type of halls are like from my own and other students’ past experiences.
There are two general areas for university provided accommodation, the Oadby student village and the city living halls. The City living halls are aimed primarily at students that are in their later years of study, post graduates and international students. The best thing about city living is that you are very close to campus (around a 5 minute walk), but if you’re in your first year you are unlikely to meet many students in the same boat so I really wouldn’t recommend these halls. I’m going to talk mainly about the Oadby halls but if you are interested in finding out more about city living please do ask in the comments section and I’ll make another post or try and answer any questions you may have. It’s also worth a mention that Nixon court offers some very good options if you have accessibility requirements, contact the UoL disability services for more, I’ve heard they’re very helpful from friends’ experiences.
Oadby student village is a little over 2 miles from the main university campus. This seems pretty far away and in some respects it is, but it’s not all bad and indeed sometimes it can be a nice thing. The majority of students will get a bus pass for the travel, it’s offered by ARRIVA, it’s a little pricey but definitely worth the investment in my opinion. The walk from Oadby to Uni is around 45 minutes which isn’t much fun when you’re hungover and have a 9am lecture.
My favourite thing about Oadby is that the halls are close together so you’re surrounded by students most of the time and it can be nice that you’re away from campus, it actually feels like you’re going home at the end of the day. Below I’ll list the different halls and a little bit about them:
- John Foster Hall – I personally stayed in John Foster so I’m a little biased towards it but I had a great time. It offers a range of accommodation types and has some nice rooms. People stereotypically think of JoFo residents as the “posh kids that have no fun”, this isn’t the case (or at least wasn’t for me and my friends), it just has some of the nicer accommodation.
- Gilbert Murray- Referred to by most as GMS, this famously has some of the “worst” but also the most affordable accommodation. Some parts like Bowder court are very nice and also very expensive (personally, I don’t think they’re worth the money.) GMS is pretty big and people do tend to have a lot of fun there, especially if drinking and going out are your thing.
- Beaumont Hall – I don’t know all that much about Beaumont so maybe can’t give the best opinion but it is a little further away from John Foster and GMS (but closer to Asda). The rooms are apparently nice and area is very pretty (close to botanical gardens), the downside is that you are last to get on the bus so you may have a problem catching it at peak times.
- Digby Hall – I think the room quality isn’t too great here but you’ll probably have a fair amount of fun here. I didn’t know anyone at Digby so haven’t been there in person. I think if you’re catered in Digby you have to walk to Beaumont to eat, it’s not far away but is something to consider.
I know this has been pretty brief but it still feels like the post is way too long. Like I said before, please ask if you have questions about any and I’ll try and help or direct you towards someone else who can.