There are typically 5 rooms to a flat, and there are 12 flats and 3 studio flats per building.
Each of the rooms look more or less the same: large desk with phone and desk light and tonnes of plug sockets, 2 (moveable) bedside-table/drawer units, (British) double bed, mirror, notice board and shelving-wardrobe unit. It might sound like there isn't tonnes of storage space, and might look it when you first walk in, but there is actually loads. Also, you can do what I did to get more room space, and push the bed up against the window.
The en-suite bathroom has a toilet, sink, shower (with shower curtain) and mirror.
The rooms in DRA have under-floor heating, TVs in each room (if you’re going to use it remember to get a TV license), wireless internet across all the DRA buildings and lights are controlled by leaving your room key in the slot next to the door (a bit like some hotels). That way when you’re not in the room, you don’t waste electricity.
There is a cupboard in the corridor that has a hoover, ironing board and iron, mop and bucket and broom. You’re responsible for cleaning your own room and there is a monthly inspection for health and safety purposes.
You’ll get into your flat/building by inserting your key card into the slot on the main door. If you live in flats 1-3, then you can get to your flat from the outside. Flats 4-6 are 1st floor, 7-9 on 2nd and 10-12 on the top floor.
Each building has an inside bike room with the same door lock as the other doors. Otherwise there is plenty of bike storage outside your building and around DRA.
You collect mail from the mail boxes in the alcove next to the main door (there’ll be a key in the flat). Any large parcels will be delivered straight to the kitchen. Anything coming by courier will need to be accepted/signed for by someone in the flat, as reception are not able to accept on your behalf.
The facilities building is where members of staff can be found. Reception is your normal port of call, if you need a new light bulb for your room, etc. The warden’s office is also there. Also, this is where everyone who is catered will eat. The Bistro serves breakfast and dinner on the weekdays and breakfast and lunch on the weekend. You’ll be given a meal card. You can also go in as a self-catered student for the occasional meal which you pay for.
Otherwise, this is where the DRA Bar is which hosts a popular quiz; a games room with pool, table football, etc; IT room with printer; and vending machines.
The laundry room is over next to the nursery (not affiliated with the university). You need your key card to get in, and you need a laundry card to pay for the machines (you can buy a card in the facilities building). There are tonnes of machines (I’ve never had to wait for a machine) with driers on top and washers on the bottom. Also a bench where you can fold or just sit and wait.
Okay, so DRA is quite far out of town. Or it feels like it sometimes. To walk into town it will only take approximately 20-25 minutes, shorter if you’re fast, or less than 15 if you’re going to North Haugh for the sciences. A popular option is to get a bike, which shortens things considerably (I can make it to physics in about 5 minutes). Also, there is a bus to and from town directly (no. 92) that’s every 20 minutes between about 9am-5pm. There are also the 99s that pass DRA that go into town and beyond.
DRA is a mix of catered and self-catered flats. Every flat has a kitchen, with hob, oven, fridge/freezer, microwave and dishwasher. There will be a few pots provided, but everything else you will need to provide yourself. Obviously if you’re self-catered you’ll probably need more than someone who is catered needs. But those who are catered need to remember that for lunch during the week and dinner at weekends they need to make themselves something and so should not arrive with nothing.
Everyone has a lockable cupboard, so you can stash away food, with additional cupboards to put things like pots and pans, etc in.
There is a breakfast bar style table with seating for 5 and then there’s 2 coffee tables and 2 sofas for recreation.
The bins (normal waste and recycling) need to emptied by those in the flat (many flats have a rota system) and you are also responsible for all cleaning. Again, there is a monthly inspection.
If you’re catered, see catered section.
CATERED (Note, details may change)
On weekdays you have breakfast and dinner, and on the weekends you have breakfast and lunch.
DRA Bistro Hours: Breakfast 8am-10am, Lunch 12noon-1:30pm, Dinner 5.30pm-7pm.
At breakfast, you’re entitled to a bowl of hot cereal (porridge, etc), bowl of cereal, fruit, 3 hot items, hot drink, fruit juice, and toast. But that doesn’t mean you have to take each of those
. The cereals, drinks and fruit typically stay the same each day, but the hot cereal and hot breakfast items change each day.
For lunch and dinner, you are allowed to take a bowl of soup, a bowl of salad, a main and sides, dessert, a hot drink, fruit juice. There are 3 mains, one being vegetarian and then about 3-4 side dishes (all usually vegetarian).
You can order a packed lunch, but you need to place the order at dinner the day before.
If you have any particular food issues, you can bring it up with the hall chef.
With about 900 students, DRA is the biggest hall in the university. And though it may not be a close knit group like some of the smaller halls, it’s a very friendly and open place to live. A big advantage is that you live in a closed flat, so you get to know your flatmates well, and also don’t have the risk of hearing hundreds of people pass your room on a Friday night like some other halls have. And with so many people in the hall, you’ll find friends easily during all the events the hall has during Freshers’ week and over the course of the year. We’re also a very international hall, with people from across the world. Everyone is really friendly and the staff are always helpful.