I've spent the past couple of days trawling through Koenig's 'Question' thread on here, collecting some commonly asked along with their answers, and with his permission I am proud to present...
The Royal Holloway FAQ!
The FAQ is divided up into different sections, with the questions and their answers in a (hopefully) logical order. Just click on the spoilers below to reveal what you're looking for!
I've given due credit to both those who have asked the questions and those who have been so helpful as to answer them, though I may have re-worded certain sentances or phrases for the purposes of this FAQ.
Of course Koenig's thread is still ongoing and is great for more specific questions, and one thing that it might appear I've missed out in the FAQ is a section for questions about individual subjects. This is due to the massively variable nature of the different subjects offered at RHUL, so if you have any specific questions about what you're studying or hoping to study, it's best to ask that in Koenig's thread here: Post a Question about RHUL...
Here is a list of members who are either currently at RHUL or have attended in the past and who are happy to answer subject-specific questions, as well as questions on other topics:
LizB - History, Historical Reenactment Society
dmoorcroft - Geography, Geology, Halls, MTS, Campus Employment
Princess_Betty - Music
purpleheart - BioSciences, Absolute Harmony (choir), Undergraduated (Big Band)
Sweyn Forkbeard - History
Hadhfand - Drama
If there is anything you think I've missed out, let me know and I'll add it here!
General Academic Questions
General Academic Questions
Sophie_10: Do all courses require you to be interviewed beforehand, before being offered a place?
Miyamoto Musashi: No, it depends on the course, but for English I only had one interview after applying to 5 different universities [and it wasn't RH].
siddy_1990: I've applied for *insert subject here* and been offered a place with the condition to get ABB (for example). I was wondering if they would accept AAC or ABC? (for example).
jennyng2000: If you dont make the grades they can technically not let you in, but they will only do this if the course is very full. AAC does not fullfil the ABB condition, but RHUL are very good and will often let you in if they can. Basically it depends how well everyone else does.
goonerjack: Just wondering what the teaching dates are like for RHUL - I know there's 3 terms (Sep-Dec / Jan-March / April-June) but are there lectures in all 3 terms or is the last term just for exams?
bowdeni: The last term is just exams.
niv12: Anyone know how long Freshers is and when our course starts?
gm15: You move in at the weekend and Freshers week proper starts the Monday and lasts the week. Courses should start the first Monday after Freshers week is over.
llacerta: This year, students are moving in on the 18th of September with Freshers commencing on the 20th. Courses start the following Monday.
talk_ape: Should we buy all book son the reading list or just read all of them?
GodspeedGehenna: Neither. Certainly don't buy anything until you've actually started your course. Buy them as you need them, and buy them off previous students. You'll save a lot of money because you won't even touch 95% of the reading list.
The Lyceum: When are exam results normally out?
Koenig: Depends on your course. Being a geographer, I get mine back on the 12th June. However most subjects get theirs mid July or later. It's different for every course.
Arailym: If I apply for accomodation in mid-May, will they give me my 2nd or 3rd choice?
Koenig: Accommodation is on a first come first serve basis, so apply as soon as possible.
9.2: When did you hear which accommodation you got?
llacerta: It appears that overseas students, unconditional offer holders and those who have priority for any other reason (e.g. disabled students) hear back first, sometime in June, followed by conditional offer holders in July and onwards.
i_am_disco: How do I go about doing a room swap if I’m not happy with where I’ve been allocated?
It says on the website that if you swap, you can only do it after the first two weeks and then you have to pay your original room fees for the first term.
samanathachan03: What are the chances of not getting accommodation if RHUL is your insurance choice?
SuperStaah: You will almost definitely get accommodation if RHUL is your insurance. If you call up the housing bureau on results day, they'll tell you that its very unlikely that you'll get into halls and that you should look into getting something private, but that's just rubbish. I went to the Clearing open day after getting into RHUL and they said that once they start allocating people places for halls, people start moving up the waiting list very fast. I went from #200 to #70 in a matter of days. Just apply ASAP if you do end up getting into RHUL and you should have nothing to worry about.
Arailym: If you are in one of the term-time-let halls such as Founder's and you can't leave for the break-time (winter/spring breaks), can you pay an extra payment in order to stay there?
Lost_in_a_daydream: Yeah, you can. There are posters up and you usually get an email round a few weeks before the end of term, detailing which hall has been allocated to provide "vacation residence". You then have to make an application for this. If it's a question of stuff...try and find a friend who keeps them room all year to save yourself some pennies!
half_full18: I have a 30 week contract, so in the holidays does all the kitchen equipment I'm taking have to go too? Because there's alot of it (I'm quite a keen cook) and that would make quite a bit of difference!
apotoftea: Usually it is take EVERYTHING because it's used by conference attendees and staff working at varying local events so there is a chance it may well be stolen or broken.
ltm: I was just wondering- there are 8 people sharing per flat in the accommodation halls, is this mixed randomly, or are they split (e.g. 4 male 4 female)?
apotoftea: Normally random. My flat was all girls though because of someone's religious/personal beliefs where she wasn't allowed to live with smelly boys. But usually deffo a nice mix, might be 5-3 or 6-2 for example.
Yuliya: I would like to ask what is the issue with the guests. I mean, for example if I want to invite a friend or one of my parents for 2-3 days can they stay in my room, or do they have to book a hotel?
Shortarse: If you have friends over it's easier for them to stay in your room as long as it's not too obvious (you're not really allowed guests overnight in your room but security aren't too strict about this).
apotoftea: For parents - the HUB would be ideal - it's on campus too.
james_birkett: Are the places nearby where 2nd years find houses any good or quite sleepy?
apotoftea: Egham and Englefield Green where most students live in their second and third years are pretty quiet. Campus IS quiet on weekends and a lot of people go home to avoid the bubble effect of the campus.
SuperStaah: Is the Internet connection in the rooms any good? Also, do you have to pay for a cable, or is it wireless?
apotoftea: Founders is wireless, everywhere else you need a cable which are £1.50 in the college shop. It's alright actually - has moments where it is appallingly slow but for the most part, it's pretty quick.
icedsarcasm: So how do rooms (specifically G&W and WTB) work in terms of locking doors? One assumes there's a code to get into the building, but is there one for individual flats? Do rooms have locks?
editz: The front door anyone can open. Then the inner door to get into the staircases or lifts are accessed via your key card, or a pin. Then your flat is accessed by your key card. Then your room is accessed by your key card, and rooms have locks on them. But I think the key card overides it - so if its locked, the cleaner can still come in!
SuperStaah: Are we allowed mini fridges in our rooms? Or is anyone bringing one?
goonerjack: Mini fridges - I've read somewhere that you're not allowed them in rooms, they can fuse the whole floor so you might not be too popular! You get a fridge in the kitchen anyway even in catered.
dielast2: What about printers? Does each flat have one? Am I allowed to bring my own?
apotoftea: Only printers available to students on campus are in the computer centres. I took one with me as they're invaluable if you're doing a subject that requires lots of journal reading.
Koenig: The university computers are cheap to use. I used mine for all of my projects and essays, which was just easier than getting my own.
skurvina: I know we can stick posters and photos on our wall but what rules are there regarding changes made about our room? How far can we go when decorating?
apotoftea: You can't do anything to be honest! Otherwise you'll be fined for it. There's also enough notice board not to need to stick stuff to the walls. If you do, use white tac (and yes they will check).
Arailym: Is the campus as stunning as in pictures?
Koenig: Campus I think is pretty amazing, plenty of green space that's always good for a kick about and perfect for snow days. There's a pond and the little forest/wood area that you walk through, that's nice. And there's loads of hidden fields that aren't really hidden but you don't know they are there until you stumble along them.
thewindupbird: Can you cycle around the campus? I love my bike but I know sometimes people can be weird about it. Also are there stairs and the like that will make it impossible?
Apotoftea: Loads of people have bikes (and loads of covered, indoor and outdoor bike racks too) and campus is pretty easy to get around as there is the road (which is pedestrian right of way first rather than cars) that goes all the way round. Once you learn where all the step free routes are (and there are plenty of them) bike's a good way of getting around and even down to Egham.
AusFran: Does anyone know what the gym is like? Is it worth joining? Also, is it far from Founders?
LJBzzz: It's right at the opposite end of the campus to Founders. I think its about £150. I had a look around it during the visit day and it has most of the equipment that you would expect a gym to have.
icedsarcasm: Anyone know where one might find a post box on/near campus?
apotoftea: Outside the college shop.
Local Area Questions
Local Area Questions
BojanglesELF: What's the safety like in Egham? Is it rough or calm, is there anything I should particularly know about before applying to RHUL?
WokSz: Generally, Egham is VERY safe espcially around the back entrance to the University. There's no doubt that Egham is really small, but you get the campus, which should cater for most of your needs! There's Police that drives around my area on an hourly basis and crime rate does seem to be really low.
coolitman: How difficult is it to get into Staines?
themadone: It's very easy to get to Staines. You've got 4 buses an hour that leave from just outside campus...probably takes around 20 minute I think? Or you can walk to the train station (10-15minutes) and catch one of 4 trains an hour (5minutes). Walking is probably a little too far - it'll take well over 1.5 hours - but cycling is feasible.
LizB: As others have said the busses tend to be more costly than the train and so for going to Staines I'd say take the train. Going the other way though, to Windsor or Slough (not that you'd want to, take it from somone who commutes from Slough) the Bus is probably the way to go, it runs every half hour from a stop right outside the college. It's not cheap but the busses are regular and generally quite comfortable as the route runs all the way to Heathrow so has a nicer bus than some of the others. The busses are about as punctual as you'd expect; generally I'd make sure to go for an earlier bus if I needed to be somewhere for a particular time within 10 minutes of when the later bus would arrive, but then I'm just that kind of person. It all depends on traffic really.
CK101: How easy is it to get to London?
apotoftea: It's not actually that bad. 10 minute walk to the station (once you know the short way) and if you time it right, looking at 3/5min wait for a train. The fastest train takes 40 mins from Egham to Waterloo (it goes through Richmond and you can get the tube from there, I've done it and if you're going to the west of London, it's actually easier and quicker than going into Waterloo and then back across the city).
If you miss the 23 past and 53 past, there's the 27 and 57 past which takes about an hour and just goes the long way round, much slower and stops more. Either way, it could be much worse!
rockev: Are there any facilities near the university ? A lot of people say RHUL is in the middle of nowhere and I am worried. Shops? Bakeries? Supermarkets?
apotoftea: Egham is a little quiet and it's not the most well supplied area with shops. There's no bakery or butcher *argghhhh* ; the only supermarket in Egham is a Tesco metro which is over priced and doesn't carry a massive amount. There is an Iceland though. Shops wise, there is: Boots, Superdrug, Clinton Cards, Stead & Simpson shoes, loads of charity shops, Subway and a Budgens.
If you want proper shopping, most people head to Staines which has all the usual high street names plus a Sainsburys, Waitrose and M&S. The nearest big Tescos is probably Addlestone. Most people get their food delivered though so I wouldn't worry too much. The uni has a weekly fruit & veg market which also occasionally has a local baker there but IMHO it's overpriced.
What I would say though, is if you're hoping to be able to wander around shops, grab a coffee (Egham does has a Cafe Nero) expect to either bus/train to Staines or bus/train to Windsor as those are the closest proper town centres as such.
samanthachan03: How long is a walk to Tesco or another substantial supermarket?
Koenig: It's a 15 minute walk from new halls, 20 from Founders. Getting back up is a bitch, but you can get the bus for like 90p from 20 seconds from Tesco to just outside Founders.
apotoftea: Does Egham have any hotels?
themadone: Yes, there are 2. The Runnymede is over by the Thames near The Runnymede. And there's the Great Fosters too.
WokSz: Any nice Japanese, Indian and Italian restaurants around in the area?
Gas Panic: In Englefield Green you have Don Beni and some other restaurant I never went to, and an Indian. I got my Indian kicks from Source foods, however, who are a delivery-only company (but do Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican). There's more in Egham and Staines.
themadone: Yeah, there's the Red Rose for Indian food and Cafe Piccalo for Italian in Egham.
watchwee: Are there any decent theatres and cinemas nearby, or does everyone just go to London?
gm15: Well apart from on campus productions there's the Theatre Royal in Windsor and most people use the cinema in Staines.
i_am_disco: Where's the nearest pay as you go swimming pool?
SaveItForTheMorning: I'm not at RHUL (yet) but I'm local and I think it would be Windsor Leisure Centre. It's quite nice there and I think you get a discount.
clementinek: Is there anywhere nearby like a park or something which is safe to go for a run in early in the morning?
The Lyceum: Oh if you like running there's quite a lot. There are a fair few fields on campus, there's Virginia water, you can even run up to and around Windsor Park.
FAQ CONTINUES IN NEXT POST