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University of Edinburgh Accommodation Thread for Entry 2012/13

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    (Original post by Firecrackerchild)
    Does anyone else think that the Edinburgh accommodation is, well, a bit grim?

    From what I gather, the catered accommodation - Pollock Halls - is the main one, and it's kind of a lottery as to what you'll end up with...
    Also I heard that if you end up self-catered you'll be in a flat, but it's like all girls/ all boys?

    If anyone could help, I'd really appreciate it!
    Would you rather go self catered?
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    (Original post by 1platinum)
    What do people think of the catered accommodation? Such as Chancellor's Court, John Burnett House? Anyone lived in catered accommodation before? If so what do you think?
    The quality of the expensive catered accommodation is undeniably good. The rooms in Chancellor's are good quality, the rooms in John Burnett are very good. The catered element is less so. More to the point it's the price that's of concern. I stay in John Burnett where the price of my nice room is £206 a week. That's a fortune in anyone's book and I would never have been able to afford to live here as a fresher. Chancellor's (and indeed most of Pollock) isn't much better in that respect.

    (Original post by Firecrackerchild)
    Does anyone else think that the Edinburgh accommodation is, well, a bit grim?

    From what I gather, the catered accommodation - Pollock Halls - is the main one, and it's kind of a lottery as to what you'll end up with...
    Also I heard that if you end up self-catered you'll be in a flat, but it's like all girls/ all boys?

    If anyone could help, I'd really appreciate it!
    The OP needs a little updating but it's more or less right in most respects. Pollock houses roughly half of undergraduate freshers - but this is spread across numerous different houses, so it's hardly one set location. The self-catered flats tend to be single sex but the buildings they're in aren't. Certainly, there's a big lump of chance in applying to accommodation but you will get something if you fall into the guaranteed criteria (which is more than many universities offer). Grim? For what it costs compared to the real world, some of it can be a bit overpriced. But I haven't seen any accommodation that is grim - certainly not relative to what's on offer at other universities around the country.
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    (Original post by finestory)
    Bonjour all -
    From what I can gather it seems that self-catered accommodation in the first year at Edinburgh appears, for the most part, to be single-sex. Just wondering whether this is always true and what people's experiences are of this system - the thought of living with only girls for my first year makes me want to cry but I don't particularly want to live in catered halls.
    Thank you!
    It will only be single-sex in your particular flat. Other people in the building will be boys =)
    I think it makes sense to put unfamiliar people together like that. It's easier for the majority of people to walk around in a towel in front of females you never met before, rather than males.
    I lived in New Arthur Place in my first year and I never saw my flatmates. One of them worked all the time, another one was getting stoned in her room 24/7, third one moved away halfway through the semester. We all had boyfriends staying over every other night, so it wasn't a really single-sex apartment.
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    I'm looking for a flat with 4 people, I already one person on board. So anyone looking for a flatmate???
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    The OP needs a little updating but it's more or less right in most respects. Pollock houses roughly half of undergraduate freshers - but this is spread across numerous different houses, so it's hardly one set location. The self-catered flats tend to be single sex but the buildings they're in aren't. Certainly, there's a big lump of chance in applying to accommodation but you will get something if you fall into the guaranteed criteria (which is more than many universities offer). Grim? For what it costs compared to the real world, some of it can be a bit overpriced. But I haven't seen any accommodation that is grim - certainly not relative to what's on offer at other universities around the country.
    I seeeee thanks! You wouldn't happen to know how many there are in a building or like that with the self catered flats?
    I'm concious that by doing the self-catered route you miss out on a lot of social stuff - hence the grim comment!
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    (Original post by Firecrackerchild)
    I seeeee thanks! You wouldn't happen to know how many there are in a building or like that with the self catered flats?
    I'm concious that by doing the self-catered route you miss out on a lot of social stuff - hence the grim comment!
    It really can vary, but most self-catered buildings have at least 100 residents in them - several have far more. In reality, you don't want that huge a building anyway - residents in Chancellor's Court and Holland House (at Pollock, each with several hundred residents) don't all know each other. I would disagree with you on the comment regarding self-catered: having lived in self-catered and catered accommodation in Edinburgh, each has its advantages. I probably didn't make the passing acquaintance of as many people in self-catered (although it wasn't my job then) but I got to know a few people very well. If nothing else, it's a great way to find (or rule out) potential flatmates because you actually find out what they're like to live with. Sure, it's nice not to have as many household chores in catered and to have a ready-made supply of people. But the reality is that you're going to make a lot of your friends on courses, at socs, at the pub, and ever-increasingly in facebook groups before you even arrive in the city. The idea that Pollock is more sociable is a myth perpetuated by people who haven't lived anywhere else and don't know better (and probably haven't been to a 1st year flat party either).
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    (Original post by Firecrackerchild)
    Does anyone else think that the Edinburgh accommodation is, well, a bit grim?

    From what I gather, the catered accommodation - Pollock Halls - is the main one, and it's kind of a lottery as to what you'll end up with...
    Also I heard that if you end up self-catered you'll be in a flat, but it's like all girls/ all boys?

    If anyone could help, I'd really appreciate it!
    I know on the application it asked if I would be willing to share with both men and women, and I said yes. I feel like that would probably be the best situation and I want to meet a lot of different people.

    I have heard though, although only through this forum, that you just kind of end up where they can fit you.

    I believe all the self-cated places are flats.
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    I'm looking at Grant/Holland House at Pollock Halls for my first year, anyone got any advice on this? It's not much more for the en-suite at Holland, which is pretty tempting as I'm quite a clean person and would prefer not to deal with other people, especially if they may not share my views on hygiene. Also, I've looked at the virtual tours, but anyone know where I can see any other pictures of rooms in these particular houses? Preferably decorated a wee bit, just so I can see what they are like when they're a bit more 'homely'.

    Absolutely chuffed I have an offer, and I cannot wait to begin Th.Phys!
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    I honestly don't know whether or not I should go for off campus housing or university housing. I'm an international postgrad, so I'd be guaranteed a place to stay on campus, but that's always something I've been a bit weary about. Anyone have experience with postgrad housing?
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    (Original post by nosceteipsummm)
    I honestly don't know whether or not I should go for off campus housing or university housing. I'm an international postgrad, so I'd be guaranteed a place to stay on campus, but that's always something I've been a bit weary about. Anyone have experience with postgrad housing?
    My building from the year before last got thoroughly renovated before being made postgrad housing. I think generally speaking it is of a higher standard than the undergraduate equivalents. And perhaps more crucially, it will be very difficult to find a place at the beginning of term, as flats in Edinburgh get snatched up around May.
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    (Original post by nosceteipsummm)
    I honestly don't know whether or not I should go for off campus housing or university housing. I'm an international postgrad, so I'd be guaranteed a place to stay on campus, but that's always something I've been a bit weary about. Anyone have experience with postgrad housing?
    Firstly, there's no "campus" in Edinburgh - you may well live closer to the part of the university you're using by finding your own accommodation than by taking university accommodation. Frankly, if you feel able to either: come to Edinburgh early and look for a flat (July should do), then do. Or: find a group online and join and let them do the finding, if you trust them choose right. If you can do either of those then you should - your living situation will probably be both better and cheaper. If neither of those is an option then go with the university accommodation for convenience.
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    (Original post by Oromis263)
    I'm looking at Grant/Holland House at Pollock Halls for my first year, anyone got any advice on this? It's not much more for the en-suite at Holland, which is pretty tempting as I'm quite a clean person and would prefer not to deal with other people, especially if they may not share my views on hygiene. Also, I've looked at the virtual tours, but anyone know where I can see any other pictures of rooms in these particular houses? Preferably decorated a wee bit, just so I can see what they are like when they're a bit more 'homely'.

    Absolutely chuffed I have an offer, and I cannot wait to begin Th.Phys!
    I applied for Richmond Place or Morgan Court, no idea where I might end up, and I am still waiting to see if I get an offer for a postgrad program in Sociology.

    I have done quite a bit of looking around and as far as decorating goes, I'm not sure how much you are allowed to do. I saw on the accommodations website that you aren't allowed to affix posters, etc to the walls. They have a bulletin board type thing in each room it looks like and it said you can post things on there (posters, photos, etc). I suppose I'll fit in because when I was a freshman in undergrad housemates always made fun of my uncovered white walls. Of course, bedding and picture frames on a shelf can do a lot for a room.

    I have to agree with you on the bathroom situation. I like to keep things very tidy and I don't really want to clean up after others. That's the main reason I put all en suite rooms for my preferences.
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    (Original post by xanzibar1986)
    I applied for Richmond Place or Morgan Court, no idea where I might end up, and I am still waiting to see if I get an offer for a postgrad program in Sociology.

    I have done quite a bit of looking around and as far as decorating goes, I'm not sure how much you are allowed to do. I saw on the accommodations website that you aren't allowed to affix posters, etc to the walls. They have a bulletin board type thing in each room it looks like and it said you can post things on there (posters, photos, etc). I suppose I'll fit in because when I was a freshman in undergrad housemates always made fun of my uncovered white walls. Of course, bedding and picture frames on a shelf can do a lot for a room.

    I have to agree with you on the bathroom situation. I like to keep things very tidy and I don't really want to clean up after others. That's the main reason I put all en suite rooms for my preferences.
    Glad to see I'm not the only one, though I'm sure plenty of people don't really want to use a bathroom that recently just got re-decorated with the insides of the local 'hardcore' drinker. ^_^

    I almost went self-catered, but I felt that in the first year, it may be easier to have food insured as such. Saying that, I am yet to finish my actual application, so I may put one down as my 3rd choice.

    I would be fine without posters, I'm more curious about whether there are any fixed in nails in the walls (that aren't the pin-up board) that I can hang picture from. I doubt there'll be a conveniently placed trio for my triptych but I think I'll bring it anyway, I like the look of it. Getting more excited by the day, now I have my offer.

    Just hope the people in the halls around me are easy to get along with!
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    (Original post by Oromis263)
    Glad to see I'm not the only one, though I'm sure plenty of people don't really want to use a bathroom that recently just got re-decorated with the insides of the local 'hardcore' drinker. ^_^

    I almost went self-catered, but I felt that in the first year, it may be easier to have food insured as such. Saying that, I am yet to finish my actual application, so I may put one down as my 3rd choice.

    I would be fine without posters, I'm more curious about whether there are any fixed in nails in the walls (that aren't the pin-up board) that I can hang picture from. I doubt there'll be a conveniently placed trio for my triptych but I think I'll bring it anyway, I like the look of it. Getting more excited by the day, now I have my offer.

    Just hope the people in the halls around me are easy to get along with!
    Yeah, I could definitely see why catered might be easier for first year. I am vegetarian so they directed me toward self-catered, which is probably best. And, I had plenty of experience with bathrooms being redecorated by the insides of a heavy drinker when I was in undergrad. I shared a bathroom with around forty people for two years. After that I only shared with one other person, but I had a had a bad experience with one of my "suite mates" as we called them.

    I also hope I get along with everyone too. I am an only child so I never had to share my things. I'm really picky about my stuff and like to keep everything nice and orderly, and in good condition.
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    (Original post by xanzibar1986)
    Yeah, I could definitely see why catered might be easier for first year. I am vegetarian so they directed me toward self-catered, which is probably best. And, I had plenty of experience with bathrooms being redecorated by the insides of a heavy drinker when I was in undergrad. I shared a bathroom with around forty people for two years. After that I only shared with one other person, but I had a had a bad experience with one of my "suite mates" as we called them.

    I also hope I get along with everyone too. I am an only child so I never had to share my things. I'm really picky about my stuff and like to keep everything nice and orderly, and in good condition.
    Sounds more and more like myself. However, my room tends to become tidier the more work I have to get done.... I have odd ways of procrastinating.

    On another note, how do people plan to get all the things they will need to bring all the way up there?! I think I'm going to have to take the train, that will be difficult.
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    (Original post by Oromis263)
    Sounds more and more like myself. However, my room tends to become tidier the more work I have to get done.... I have odd ways of procrastinating.

    On another note, how do people plan to get all the things they will need to bring all the way up there?! I think I'm going to have to take the train, that will be difficult.
    Actually that sounds just like me too. Whenever, I have something I really need to get done I have the sudden urge to tidy up my desk and bookshelves.

    As for getting things there, since I am coming from across the pond I plan on coming with clothing and some of the books I will need for my research. I imagine I will have to make my way to IKEA upon arrival, and get most of what I need there as far as housewares.

    As for the train, maybe you could plan to travel over night and get a sleeper compartment? You might be able to get a bit more in there, although they aren't huge as I remember. However, getting everything from the station to your accommodation is probably going to be interesting. I am thinking my best bet will probably be to take a taxi from the airport.
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    (Original post by xanzibar1986)
    Actually that sounds just like me too. Whenever, I have something I really need to get done I have the sudden urge to tidy up my desk and bookshelves.

    As for getting things there, since I am coming from across the pond I plan on coming with clothing and some of the books I will need for my research. I imagine I will have to make my way to IKEA upon arrival, and get most of what I need there as far as housewares.

    As for the train, maybe you could plan to travel over night and get a sleeper compartment? You might be able to get a bit more in there, although they aren't huge as I remember. However, getting everything from the station to your accommodation is probably going to be interesting. I am thinking my best bet will probably be to take a taxi from the airport.
    The walk from the station to Pollock Halls isn't anything major, I know of a couple of buses, it was mainly getting on and off trains, but the sleeper one sounds like a good idea!

    I've only passed through America (Newark), and would like to go back.

    This is so off thread-topic, apologies.

    Turns out my maintenance loan just covers my accommodation prices, so I'll just need a part-time job for going out and buying necessities. Score.
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    Created a seperate thread for this but then carnationlilyrose suggested I pop it in here, so here it goes:

    I'm planning on accepting my offer to start the BMus in September, and obviously I'll need to start applying for accomodation soon.

    As a music student, having my piano with me is going to be a big deal. It's only a digital (and therefore has a headphone jack) so I can't see it being an issue from a noise point of view - I won't be disturbing my flatmates or anything. What I need to know is: what self-catered accommodation has rooms which are big enough to fit my piano? I haven't measured it, so I can't tell you what size it is, but I'd say roughly 150x30cm. Would I need to get a "large" room to fit it? I don't really want to pay for a large room, because I've heard it's not good value for money, but would it be worth it in my situation? Also, are you allow to move the furniture around? I may need to do some rejiggling to get the piano in.

    Any advice would be welcome
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    It really can vary, but most self-catered buildings have at least 100 residents in them - several have far more. In reality, you don't want that huge a building anyway - residents in Chancellor's Court and Holland House (at Pollock, each with several hundred residents) don't all know each other. I would disagree with you on the comment regarding self-catered: having lived in self-catered and catered accommodation in Edinburgh, each has its advantages. I probably didn't make the passing acquaintance of as many people in self-catered (although it wasn't my job then) but I got to know a few people very well. If nothing else, it's a great way to find (or rule out) potential flatmates because you actually find out what they're like to live with. Sure, it's nice not to have as many household chores in catered and to have a ready-made supply of people. But the reality is that you're going to make a lot of your friends on courses, at socs, at the pub, and ever-increasingly in facebook groups before you even arrive in the city. The idea that Pollock is more sociable is a myth perpetuated by people who haven't lived anywhere else and don't know better (and probably haven't been to a 1st year flat party either).

    Thank you very much! Feeling a bit better about the accommodation issue now!
    The flats for first years are like a building of flats aren't they? Yeah, I just don't want to miss out - paranoid about not having the ready made friends thing of self catered! aha, but Facebook would deffo help me get to know people if I do go self-catered! Will investigate more on Wednesday!
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    (Original post by Oromis263)
    I would be fine without posters, I'm more curious about whether there are any fixed in nails in the walls (that aren't the pin-up board) that I can hang picture from. I doubt there'll be a conveniently placed trio for my triptych but I think I'll bring it anyway, I like the look of it. Getting more excited by the day, now I have my offer.
    (Original post by xanzibar1986)
    I have done quite a bit of looking around and as far as decorating goes, I'm not sure how much you are allowed to do. I saw on the accommodations website that you aren't allowed to affix posters, etc to the walls. They have a bulletin board type thing in each room it looks like and it said you can post things on there (posters, photos, etc).
    There won't be any nails in the walls unless previous tenants have put them in themselves (then paid a fine at the end of the year for it) so I wouldn't bank on that tbh. It depends on your accommodation as to whether you get a notice board provided, I didn't have one where I lived but I knew others who did. I just leant a noticeboard on my desk against the wall. With regards to posters, yeah you can put them up as long as you get rid of the blue tac etc at the end of the year to make it look like you didn't. You're technically not supposed to put things on your wall but everyone I knew did and they only do room inspections once/twice a year anyway. You get notification in advance of them coming meaning you have time to remove anything that might not be desirable before it's inspected. We had a hamster in our flat for a year and we managed to keep it hidden from the cleaner and the inspections. If you're in Pollock then someone comes to clean your room once a week (I think) meaning you need a good relationship with your cleaner, but if you're in flats then the cleaner never comes into your room.

    Also, the international office run "meet and greets" at the airport during freshers week for international students so they will probably contact you with details about what they'd recommend. When I went on my year abroad I was met off the plane by a local student (there were others arriving at the same time as me too) then we all took the public bus direct to our accommodation.

    (Original post by christielovesyou)
    As a music student, having my piano with me is going to be a big deal. It's only a digital (and therefore has a headphone jack) so I can't see it being an issue from a noise point of view - I won't be disturbing my flatmates or anything. What I need to know is: what self-catered accommodation has rooms which are big enough to fit my piano? I haven't measured it, so I can't tell you what size it is, but I'd say roughly 150x30cm. Would I need to get a "large" room to fit it? I don't really want to pay for a large room, because I've heard it's not good value for money, but would it be worth it in my situation? Also, are you allow to move the furniture around? I may need to do some rejiggling to get the piano in.
    There's no guarantee you'd get a large room even if you applied on one. Most of the rooms are odd shapes meaning even if you applied for a room in X accommodation and got it, until you got there you wouldn't know the shape/layout of the room. If the furniture is stand alone then you can move it around but in some accommodation it is fixed to the wall. There's usually only a couple of ways all of the furniture can fit anyway - for example, in the room I had the bed could only go in one place then the wardrobe and chest of drawers were too big to move anyway, so the only things I could move were the small desk (I had 2 desks, they fitted under each other) and the bedside table.

    Have you spoken to the music faculty? They have music practice rooms with instruments so there may not be a need to bring your own piano. If you absolutely have to have your piano and the music department can't help you then you might be able to put it as an additional requirement on your application form, but I don't know how much attention they'd pay to it. In second year onwards having a piano in your room won't be too much of a problem as room sizes in Edinburgh flats are huge. Most flats have 1 or 2 gigantic rooms (I'm talking 4/5m x 3m sort of size) and then smaller ones, so you'd just have to arrange it with your flatmates. One of my flatmates had a piano in both of the flats I've lived in.

    (Original post by Firecrackerchild)
    The flats for first years are like a building of flats aren't they? Yeah, I just don't want to miss out - paranoid about not having the ready made friends thing of self catered! aha, but Facebook would deffo help me get to know people if I do go self-catered! Will investigate more on Wednesday!
    Yeah, they're generally 1 big building of flats although the actual layout depends on where you live. For example, Warrender Park Road is two buildings (about 5m from each other) and one building has about 20 flats in and the other building has 8. In several other accommodation blocks it tends to be done in "stairs" so you're in a certain stair, and each stair leads to 8/10 flats (say, 2 on each floor) but then there's a common court yard where all of the stairs come out.

    I really wouldn't worry about the lack of people as to be honest, you only really have space in your life for X amount of people in terms of knowing them well and you'll definitely find them somewhere. At the start of first year its this crazy situation where everyone pretends that they're best friends with everyone and you end up being aware of lots of people who live around you (although you probably won't know their name) as you've met them at parties, then as the year progresses people split into smaller social groups relating to their course (such as all of the medics become best friends) or the societies that they join, then also, sometimes actual flatmates. By second semester your social group is much smaller, then by the time you come back in second year you've got "rid" of all of the people who you weren't really friends with in the first place, you just hung out as you lived next to each other and it was convenient to walk to lectures. I think in Pollock, people retain this false idea of "omg I've got so many best friends" as its convenient and you need people to eat dinner with each evening meaning it lasts until the end of the year, developing this false perception that people from Pollock have more friends when actually its probably more that people from Pollock have lots of people who they know and will eat dinner with, but they don't actually have any more "real" friends than anyone who lives in self catered accommodation.

    As I said, second year onwards is when you start to develop your real friendship group as you no longer have the convenience of all of these people on your doorstep to walk to lectures with/each dinner with so you need to make an actual effort to hang out with them, invite them over or go to a party together. As a result you lose a lot of your "friends" as they were never really more than convenient acquaintances and neither of you can really be bothered to make the effort to meet up when its no longer forced, and as a result you lose touch with each other. Your closest friends then generally become/stay as the people you have chosen to live with (unless they're not as you thought) and people from your course and/or societies. I'd say people in s/c flats get to this stage quicker than people in Pollock because in flats you don't NEED friends in your accommodation to go to dinner with/hang out with and as long as your flatmates are civil people to live with then you don't really need to be best friends with them or really even see them again after first year if that's what you want whereas I think due to the catering arrangements in Pollock there is more of a thing of forced friendships with people on a basis of pure proximity to you purely because most people hate the idea of going to eat alone.

    University is a weird point in your life where you meet more people than you arguably will at any other point in your life where everyone is at the same stage of life and generally a similar age. However, despite the fact you have access to all of these tens of thousands of people, even though you KNOW a lot of people and see a lot of different people during a day (if you're in societies etc) your actual close nit group of friends will be relatively small. I graduated two years ago and I'm still good friends with about 8 people from university, 4 of whom I lived with at some point. It's the same with school - most of the people who you're best friends with now you probably won't still be regularly talking to by the time you graduate from university and that's just how life works.

    In short, really don't worry about the friendship aspect!! You'll find people you click with

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