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Official University of Edinburgh Accommodation Thread for Entry 2010/11

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    (Original post by sledgee)
    what's Robertson's close like ? i know you typically just get offered random accommodation by the uni (although you'll get your preference of catered or self-catered usually) but i would just like to know about a few of the places....
    I've never been to RC but have friends currently living there, and friends who lived there in my first year - being on Cowgate it can be very noisy and it isn't really very pretty in terms of the location or building. But this depends on what kind of person you are - if you want to live in the middle of one of the main clubbing areas and have a bar/club as the ground floor to your building then you will probably be quite happy as the plus side is it is very quick to get to George Square/Tescos etc and obviously there aren't any long walks when you come home after a night out (although in any of the central accommodation you're only looking at 15 mins walk from Cowgate) But if you don't want to sleep with ear plugs etc and work in your room rather than the library then it might not be the best choice. The same is the case with Kincades Court and College Wynd which are also on Cowgate.

    Basically you'll end up where ever you are allocated. Normally too many people apply for Pollock (catered) and end up in s/c flats but last year there was a turn around and people were being put in Pollock who applied for s/c flats as there were too many applications. Then with s/c flats there is a high chance you won't end up in any one of your choices but such is life!
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    (Original post by oxymoronic)
    I've never been to RC but have friends currently living there, and friends who lived there in my first year - being on Cowgate it can be very noisy and it isn't really very pretty in terms of the location or building. But this depends on what kind of person you are - if you want to live in the middle of one of the main clubbing areas and have a bar/club as the ground floor to your building then you will probably be quite happy as the plus side is it is very quick to get to George Square/Tescos etc and obviously there aren't any long walks when you come home after a night out (although in any of the central accommodation you're only looking at 15 mins walk from Cowgate) But if you don't want to sleep with ear plugs etc and work in your room rather than the library then it might not be the best choice. The same is the case with Kincades Court and College Wynd which are also on Cowgate.

    Basically you'll end up where ever you are allocated. Normally too many people apply for Pollock (catered) and end up in s/c flats but last year there was a turn around and people were being put in Pollock who applied for s/c flats as there were too many applications. Then with s/c flats there is a high chance you won't end up in any one of your choices but such is life!
    Thanks a lot hope to god not in catered though hehe
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    Has anyone got any information on Blackfriars Street accommodation, it comes up on the Edinburgh Uni Accommodation page but no prices?
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    (Original post by lcc-)
    Has anyone got any information on Blackfriars Street accommodation, it comes up on the Edinburgh Uni Accommodation page but no prices?
    Technically it is for continuing students only - the past couple of years it has been opened up to first years too because of low continuing student demand and extra pressure from there being more first years than usual. But this year the university has pledged to cut down student numbers which has the knock on effect of there being fewer first years and thus accommodation (hopefully) being put under pressure. I assume that the fact that Blackfriars has all but disappeared from the system is because Accommodation Services are not anticipating that the number of first years will exceed designated first year accommodation availability.

    And in case you are feeling hard done by, Blackfriars is considerably worse than normal accommodation - it is almost impossible to meet people, the kitchens are too small for 3 never mind the 12 that you are sharing with and it is overpriced to boot (this year it is c.£102 a week). You'll be much better off in any other accommodation.
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    I stayed there in first year and made some very good friends in Blackfriars, we had a very friendly corridor- but I think we were the only group to make friends there! But I agree, the kitchens are tiny and we had a living area that was not "locked" so we couldn't keep anything in it! The room was quite big and had an en-suite which was good. It was like a youth hostel though, lockers rather than wardrobes! The lift was useful when moving in and the front desk will sign for your parcels. There was Cheap food downstairs though, and we got 10% discount off all food and drink. It is expensive too, and we had to move out a week before all other accomodation.
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    It's quite likely that I will chose Edinburgh as my firm (Modern European Languages and European Union Studies).... Now I am wondering about the accomodation. After having seen some pictures I like Kitchener House, East Newington Place, Warrender Park Road and Crescent!
    Can anybody tell me about advantages and disadvantages of these accomodations?
    I'd be very thankful!!!
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    (Original post by Coccinelle264)
    It's quite likely that I will chose Edinburgh as my firm (Modern European Languages and European Union Studies).... Now I am wondering about the accomodation. After having seen some pictures I like Kitchener House, East Newington Place, Warrender Park Road and Crescent!
    Can anybody tell me about advantages and disadvantages of these accomodations?
    I'd be very thankful!!!
    Kitchener House is ages away. Avoid it, you'll have at least a half an hour walk to all of your lectures and all the other accommodation is 5-10 minutes from George Square.
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    (Original post by Grant2007)
    I stayed there in first year and made some very good friends in Blackfriars, we had a very friendly corridor- but I think we were the only group to make friends there! But I agree, the kitchens are tiny and we had a living area that was not "locked" so we couldn't keep anything in it! The room was quite big and had an en-suite which was good. It was like a youth hostel though, lockers rather than wardrobes! The lift was useful when moving in and the front desk will sign for your parcels. There was Cheap food downstairs though, and we got 10% discount off all food and drink. It is expensive too, and we had to move out a week before all other accomodation.
    I'm currently waiting on an offer for Blackfriars Street for my second year - it seemed like the perfect option for me as I don't get on with my current flatmates well enough to share with them (and though I have plenty of friends from courses and societies, I'm not close enough to them for them to choose me over their current flatmates for second-year living, if you know what I mean) but is it really that hard to meet people there? Also I couldn't view the flats as they're all occupied, and I'm wondering what they're like - are the kitchens that bad? The people I know in 12-person flats seem to really enjoy it, but is Blackfriars a different kind of experience to that? What's the "living area" like?
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    (Original post by artorscience?)
    x
    I think you can answer the above question as well
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    (Original post by maltiness)
    I'm currently waiting on an offer for Blackfriars Street for my second year - it seemed like the perfect option for me as I don't get on with my current flatmates well enough to share with them (and though I have plenty of friends from courses and societies, I'm not close enough to them for them to choose me over their current flatmates for second-year living, if you know what I mean) but is it really that hard to meet people there? Also I couldn't view the flats as they're all occupied, and I'm wondering what they're like - are the kitchens that bad? The people I know in 12-person flats seem to really enjoy it, but is Blackfriars a different kind of experience to that? What's the "living area" like?
    I really enjoyed Blackfriars. It's really central (take ear plugs if you need quiet to sleep as it can be quite noisy at night as it is near Cowgate). The room was big, compared to other self catering accomodation- mine was orange and blue which although it sounds vile was quite cheery!! There was no chest of drawers so I went to Ikea and bought a set, there was plenty of room for it. I was on floor 3M which had a tiny kitchen for 6, but we managed! I think each corridor is locked off now so the living area will be fine. I think ours was the smallest- some floors had amazing views and huge kitchen/ diners. The sink is in the bedroom while the shower and toilet are in a separate one (hostel design). The beds are higher up( like cabin beds) but you soon get used to it, you also have 3 spare matrtesses under your bed for visitors to stay on. They wash your bed sheets weekly and clean on a regular basis ( sometimes your kitchen is cleaned at 3am). Any other questions just ask!
    Why don't you advertise for flatmates or look at adverts for people looking for another one. We did that and it worked well!
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    (Original post by maltiness)
    I'm currently waiting on an offer for Blackfriars Street for my second year - it seemed like the perfect option for me as I don't get on with my current flatmates well enough to share with them (and though I have plenty of friends from courses and societies, I'm not close enough to them for them to choose me over their current flatmates for second-year living, if you know what I mean) but is it really that hard to meet people there? Also I couldn't view the flats as they're all occupied, and I'm wondering what they're like - are the kitchens that bad? The people I know in 12-person flats seem to really enjoy it, but is Blackfriars a different kind of experience to that? What's the "living area" like?
    Unlike Grant2007 who was there as a first year I am living in Blackfriars Street as a third year and I would advise you as strongly as possible to make the effort now to find people to live with for next year (it's not about knowing people well, you could just look at advertised rooms and live with someone outside of your social group). If you want to come and view it you can PM me and I can arrange something informally with you. But I would say take the fact that AS insist that you should view before taking up a lease and do not allow visits for this property as something of a warning as to what it is like - I doubt anyone would be particularly enticed by the large rooms if they knew that they'd struggle to cook in the kitchen, that the en-suites never dry, that the staff's attitude for the most part is that the guests in the hostel are temporary and the students are stupid, that there is no way to meet people or socialise on the corridor - there is an obsession with insisting doors are kept closed, there is no access between corridors and the "common" area is the kitchen and an uncomfortable room with a couple of tin tables in. There is nothing homely, comfortable or nice about living in a hostel for a year, nor is there anything nice about the complete isolation that one has (particularly as a continuing student).

    I would say that the only positive, if you view it as such is that your accommodation contract only lasts for 9 months which means that overall the price is fairly competitive compared to the average amount you'd spend renting for a year... (OK so it's not that much of a positive).
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    I may be going to Edin Uni in September.

    However. Is it true that if you urrently live in Edinburgh, you wont be getting uni accommodation?

    I live in EH15, a couple miles west of not being in Edinburgh. And I cba living with the rents .

    Thanks
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    (Original post by artorscience?)
    Unlike Grant2007 who was there as a first year I am living in Blackfriars Street as a third year and I would advise you as strongly as possible to make the effort now to find people to live with for next year (it's not about knowing people well, you could just look at advertised rooms and live with someone outside of your social group). If you want to come and view it you can PM me and I can arrange something informally with you. But I would say take the fact that AS insist that you should view before taking up a lease and do not allow visits for this property as something of a warning as to what it is like - I doubt anyone would be particularly enticed by the large rooms if they knew that they'd struggle to cook in the kitchen, that the en-suites never dry, that the staff's attitude for the most part is that the guests in the hostel are temporary and the students are stupid, that there is no way to meet people or socialise on the corridor - there is an obsession with insisting doors are kept closed, there is no access between corridors and the "common" area is the kitchen and an uncomfortable room with a couple of tin tables in. There is nothing homely, comfortable or nice about living in a hostel for a year, nor is there anything nice about the complete isolation that one has (particularly as a continuing student).

    I would say that the only positive, if you view it as such is that your accommodation contract only lasts for 9 months which means that overall the price is fairly competitive compared to the average amount you'd spend renting for a year... (OK so it's not that much of a positive).
    I do agree. I diidn't want to stay another year. We needed extra flatmates, advertised and now have great fun in our flat.
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    (Original post by maltiness)
    I'm currently waiting on an offer for Blackfriars Street for my second year - it seemed like the perfect option for me as I don't get on with my current flatmates well enough to share with them (and though I have plenty of friends from courses and societies, I'm not close enough to them for them to choose me over their current flatmates for second-year living, if you know what I mean) but is it really that hard to meet people there? Also I couldn't view the flats as they're all occupied, and I'm wondering what they're like - are the kitchens that bad? The people I know in 12-person flats seem to really enjoy it, but is Blackfriars a different kind of experience to that? What's the "living area" like?
    What about sending an email around one of your societies email lists? People do this in my society and quickly get picked up with offers - I have friends who did this in first year as they didn't get on with their allocated flatmates and now we're in 4th year the group still lives together. Or even just ask some friends from your course/societies if you can tag on with them... my flat split in 2 after first year even though we were really close friends as we wanted different locations, then I joined up with people from my course who I didn't actually know too well at the time plus 2 of my first year flatmates, and we're still together in that group Or check out the EUSA accommodation forum(type in EUSA forum into google and it comes up) where its all Ed Uni people looking for flatmates. A lot of people try and keep their flats even if someone goes abroad for the year so loads of spaces in 3rd year flats, for example come up.... or with the email thing you might find other people you already know are in a similar position. Most people don't stay living with their current flatmates after first year, I'm odd in that four years on I'd still class my first year flatmates as some of my best best friends
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    (Original post by Spears)
    I may be going to Edin Uni in September.

    However. Is it true that if you urrently live in Edinburgh, you wont be getting uni accommodation?

    I live in EH15, a couple miles west of not being in Edinburgh. And I cba living with the rents .

    Thanks
    I believe if you come under the "City of Edinburgh Council" area, you are not prioritised, so you could still get accommodation, but those from outwith the city are guaranteed. The reason I say CoEC, is a friend on my course stayed in Balerno and couldn't move in in september because she was under City of Edinburgh, although she has now moved into pollock when rooms came up.
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    Thanks for everyone's help... I'll try and keep it to the point so as not to hijack a thread that's mainly for new applicants (though being a fresher already I can hopefully help some of you out) :-

    (Original post by artorscience?)
    Unlike Grant2007 who was there as a first year I am living in Blackfriars Street as a third year and I would advise you as strongly as possible to make the effort now to find people to live with for next year (it's not about knowing people well, you could just look at advertised rooms and live with someone outside of your social group).
    I suppose I'm a bit worried about imposing myself on people I might not get on with, and Blackfriars seemed a bit more of a "safe" option. I've not signed anything though so I'm under no obligation - when I do get my offer I assume they'll give me the room number, which could help me find out if I've got one of the bigger corridors?

    But I would say take the fact that AS insist that you should view before taking up a lease and do not allow visits for this property as something of a warning as to what it is like
    I did think that was very odd - the website seems to suggest that viewing is compulsory, but I had to make appointments with two people, ring one phone number and then leave a message on another only to get a voicemail back saying they can't do viewings. The place doesn't seem to be well advertised at all, I only found out about it when I went to ask some questions about the studio flats on South Bridge (which I decided weren't for me) and it seemed to fit my criteria so I did as they advised me and put my name down to reserve one as apparently they go quick.

    that the en-suites never dry,
    The ensuite seems a good bonus for me, I wear contact lenses which requires a sink every morning and is a pain with a shared toilet. Had I applied to anywhere else I would have demanded a sink, which seems to come as standard in most places, but apparently in Edinburgh you only get one if you want to be catered which is a bit odd. I gather that the shower/toilet is a "wet room" type though which causes problems?

    There is nothing homely, comfortable or nice about living in a hostel for a year, nor is there anything nice about the complete isolation that one has (particularly as a continuing student).
    To be honest I feel like that in my current flat really, and know others who have felt similarly isolated living in flats for second year. I suppose it seems like everyone else has already got themselves into little exclusive cliques regarding flats so sharing doesn't seem to be an option, which is a shame. But I will keep checking these websites (the EUSA one seems a little dead at the moment) as I can always keep Blackfriars as a last resort for now.
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    (Original post by maltiness)
    I suppose I'm a bit worried about imposing myself on people I might not get on with, and Blackfriars seemed a bit more of a "safe" option. I've not signed anything though so I'm under no obligation - when I do get my offer I assume they'll give me the room number, which could help me find out if I've got one of the bigger corridors?
    Don't worry about imposing yourself - and if you feel anxious about people you know reply to ads seeking flatmates - EUSA's noticeboard, gumtree, etc. Or like Oxymoronic says email people in your society. Or bring it up casually, drop an "oo I just can't seem to find anyone to live with next year" into a conversation with a group of people and see if they have any people to suggest, or even need flatmates themselves.


    The place doesn't seem to be well advertised at all, I only found out about it when I went to ask some questions about the studio flats on South Bridge (which I decided weren't for me) and it seemed to fit my criteria so I did as they advised me and put my name down to reserve one as apparently they go quick.
    It has always seemed badly advertised - and any listing that I saw last year were very inaccurate saying things like bathrooms cleaned twice a week and no more than 9 to a kitchen. Both of which are outright lies which AS hasn't dealt with. As for it selling out quickly, they say the same every year. It is supposedly thoroughly reserved for continuing students, this year there is one corridor of 12 continuers (including the RA) and the rest of the 81 student rooms are taken by first years and visiting students. This year it has been taken off the list for first years so they might be trying to entice more continuers, but if they're not advertising it better I can't see the places being snapped up. And I'm glad that you only have to put your name on a list. This time last year I was made to put my deposit down (because I had been living in private accommodation) and was told I would be made an official offer within 2 weeks and my offer wasn't made until the end of June, all the while I pestered them and they seemed thoroughly unworried and thought that I was being ridiculous... So many times I considered taking action and getting my deposit back and putting in some effort to find elsewhere to live, I can only say that I really wish I had.

    The ensuite seems a good bonus for me, I wear contact lenses which requires a sink every morning and is a pain with a shared toilet. Had I applied to anywhere else I would have demanded a sink, which seems to come as standard in most places, but apparently in Edinburgh you only get one if you want to be catered which is a bit odd. I gather that the shower/toilet is a "wet room" type though which causes problems?
    This isn't as much of an issue when you rent in a private flat in second year. If having access to a sink is important just note that you only want to be living with a small number of people, you're unlikely to have the same routine. And a lot of standard flats in Edinburgh have separate shower rooms and toilets, as well as there being a kitchen sink - you should just make a note of that on your requirements when you go out into the city to look at flats, it's not a good reason to need ensuite. And yes, the wet-room causes plenty of problems - the hostel design means that you can't use the toilet roll holder so you paper gets wet, the floors are old and have bumps in meaning that there is a patch in mine right where I want to put my feet when seated at the toilet that does not dry from a morning shower until 9pm or later and the whole room smells of damp.

    To be honest I feel like that in my current flat really, and know others who have felt similarly isolated living in flats for second year. I suppose it seems like everyone else has already got themselves into little exclusive cliques regarding flats so sharing doesn't seem to be an option, which is a shame. But I will keep checking these websites (the EUSA one seems a little dead at the moment) as I can always keep Blackfriars as a last resort for now.
    Sometimes it can be much easier to share with people that you don't know. Respond to some adverts and go and have a look around some flats. And if you are still interested in Blackfriars, my offer still stands for you to have a look round. I'm stuck here 'til May because I didn't make the effort.
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    (Original post by maltiness)
    I suppose I'm a bit worried about imposing myself on people I might not get on with, and Blackfriars seemed a bit more of a "safe" option. I've not signed anything though so I'm under no obligation - when I do get my offer I assume they'll give me the room number, which could help me find out if I've got one of the bigger corridors?
    You're really not imposing yourself on people - just ask your friends what they're doing for next year. In first year it seems like everyone has already got themselves into groups and everyone gets on swimmingly well with their flatmates when in reality, there will be loads of freshers in a similar position to you. They'll just be keeping quiet about it... I bet if you start asking/emailing around you'll find people who aren't sorted into groups for next year yet, and all groups are flexible... someone might be in a 3 so you could join with them and make a 4 for example, as its really really early days at the moment (its very early to be signing contracts at this point so no one will have done) meaning you can quite easily join an existing group.

    This thread is for any form of Edinburgh accommodation stuff, its not just for propsective students and I'm sure other people will find the information useful too
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    Cheers for the advice - I have tried the "oo I just can't seem to find anyone to live with next year" line with pretty much everyone I can think of and it's led to some useful discussions but not flatmates as these people already seem to be sorted. It seems very early for me too, but the University-owned stock seems to be intended to go in February, and I know two people who have in fact already signed leases on their (separate) flats. But the consensus here seems to be that the better stuff surfaces later which is encouraging to know.
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    (Original post by maltiness)
    Cheers for the advice - I have tried the "oo I just can't seem to find anyone to live with next year" line with pretty much everyone I can think of and it's led to some useful discussions but not flatmates as these people already seem to be sorted. It seems very early for me too, but the University-owned stock seems to be intended to go in February, and I know two people who have in fact already signed leases on their (separate) flats. But the consensus here seems to be that the better stuff surfaces later which is encouraging to know.
    Can't you join up with existing groups who won't yet have found a flat? I really would send an email around your societies, you might be pleasantly surprised.

    The university accommodation is utter crap and I wouldn't live there again if they paid me. By asking returners to commit early they tie you into contracts with them before you've fully had chance to explore all of your options, which is how they get their money as I don't think anyone would opt to live in university accommodation again had they fully explored all other alternatives for private accommodation, which is impossible to do by Feb.

    Your friends who have already signed leases are incredibly early and will more than likely have an over priced flat with a rubbish letting agency. At the moment the majority of flats are aimed at first years who don't know any better but are too enthusiastic about flat huting so will sign for the first flat they see, as a lot of the later years don't bother looking until April/May time and many find flats through friends graduating/moving out etc. Theres still plenty of time, its really really early to be signing things at the moment... as has been said before, March is a good time to go to some viewings for a point of comparision without making decisions. Then you can see what is on offer and what you can get for your money in different areas of the city and with different letting agencies etc... but its not really worth signing contracts until much later. Obviously this final paragraph is a huge generalisation but it is something I have concluded over the last few years of living in Edinburgh!
Updated: November 1, 2010
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