The other day I moved some of my stuff into my new flat in Leicester. It was the first time seeing my new room as I had booked my accommodation online while I was still in Italy. I was pretty pleased with everything! My room was nice and it was in a good location, and the price is decent as well.
I’ve had my fair share of good and bad accommodation experiences throughout the past few years. For my first year I lived in Mary Gee. Mary Gee is renowned for being one of the cheapest student halls owned by the university and the facilities are quite basic. It’s self-catered which is what I preferred. I know that with catered accommodation you can only eat meals at certain times of the day, and I wanted a bit more flexibility than that! Sharing a kitchen and two bathrooms with nine other people was a little challenging but Mary Gee is such a sociable place and I made some friends for life there. And you don’t have to worry about things like bills which is a bonus. Before moving in to Mary Gee I was a bit worried that it was going to be quite isolated from everything, seeing as it’s not part of Oadby Student Village. But actually I found that the location was really ideal. It’s closer to campus than Oadby, which meant I saved loads of money by just walking to university rather than getting the bus (which is convenient but can be expensive if you use it every day). So a good place to stay for the year if you’re looking to save your money!!
In second year I lived in a house share with four other students. I really liked sharing a house, although it can come with a whole bunch of problems. For instance we had a few people drop out of the contract to find new places to live and so the main difficulty for us was finding other students to replace those that had changed their minds. Living in a house does take a bit more responsibility and you do have to be considerate to your neighbours, especially if you’re living in a residential area. But being able to decide who you live with is nice, and organising gas and electricity bills and internet isn’t actually that hard once you get used to it and when you all cooperate and work together. Sharing a house was a really good experience for me and is definitely a good way to prepare yourself for living away from home in the future.
Finding accommodation for my third year was pretty stressful seeing as I was spending the year abroad in Pisa. The University of Pisa doesn’t provide accommodation for its students so you basically just have to find something on your own. Luckily there are a heck of a lot of rooms in Pisa and the best way to find them in my opinion is by searching through pages on Facebook. So I flew out to Pisa with Mum and Dad and we stayed in a hotel for a week while I looked through the various Facebook pages and made appointments to have a look around some of the rooms that I liked the look of. I knew other students in Pisa that sorted out their accommodation before arriving, but I personally wanted to look around the rooms before committing to anything. However, when I’d decided on a room in an apartment with two other students, it turned out that I needed something called a codice fiscale in order to reside and rent a property in Italy. Kind of like the National Insurance Number that we have in the UK. So finding that out was a nice Italian bureaucratic experience for me. Love a bit of Italian bureaucracy.
So now I’m in my final year I feel like I’m ready for anything!! If you have any questions about living in Mary Gee or looking for accommodation in Pisa then feel free to let me know in the comments!