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Best Halls in Dundee? (for Abertay)

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    I know there's other threads like this which I've looked at, but looking for some fresh input. I live within practical travelling distance to Dundee which would also work out incredibly cheaper too, but I've been highly contemplating making the move into the halls for my first year at Abertay in order to not miss out on the whole student experience, or rather more so in order to integrate better. (In other words, to avoid end up being a loner which would be a fairly high chance of)

    Anyhow, as I'm the most indecesive person ever, I need some advice on the various halls in Dundee in terms of cost, proximity to Abertay, facilities provided in the flat and building, number of other first year students in the same halls, and the general experience.

    I was originally only looking at Opal 1, but discovered the existence of many other halls. So now for some reason, I'm thinking about Courthouse the most. Although, it looks quite a bit smaller than Opal, so I guess that means there's less scope to make as much friends?

    Does anyone have any insight on the aspects I mentioned of these halls or any other halls in Dundee? Whether you lived there or had friends there, any pointers will be incredibly useful.
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    I think that depends what you mean practical travelling distance at the end of the day, if it's not somewhere you can reach at the end of a night out (3am or so) then you do definitely risk not integrating, beyond that - it doesn't matter much how many people live in the same halls as yourself.

    You'll (hopefully) befriend your flatmates and maybe a few other flats but pre-dominantly your friends are going to be on your course, people that chose to study the same thing as you are far more likely to relate to you. I've practically lived in several friends flats at points in my uni life. So my advice is to take that out of the equation.

    Now a lot has changed since my first year (Courthouse was owned by Abertay back then) but generally speaking you'll get what you pay for, in terms of proximity it's roughly: Meadowside, Courthouse, Victoria Chambers, Old Mill, Opal, The Hub which are all within 5 mins walk anyway then Lyon St, Alloway.

    Facilities are best in Opal & The Hub - with the price tag to go with - Old Mill is pretty decent, Meadowside, Alloway are reasonable

    The rest I have no knowledge of.

    Experience, well I didn't live in any of these halls, my halls have shut down but the general rule here is, the cheaper the halls the better the experience: Alloway I've heard some ridiculous stories about, if anything it sounds hard to buckle down some times. Whereas Opal will keep you on quite a tight leash, lest you break anything valuable. Personally my halls were pretty terrible, prison styled, cold brick walls and a separate building to wash your clothes but it led to some brilliant times.
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    (Original post by Brizee)
    I think that depends what you mean practical travelling distance at the end of the day, if it's not somewhere you can reach at the end of a night out (3am or so) then you do definitely risk not integrating, beyond that - it doesn't matter much how many people live in the same halls as yourself.

    You'll (hopefully) befriend your flatmates and maybe a few other flats but pre-dominantly your friends are going to be on your course, people that chose to study the same thing as you are far more likely to relate to you. I've practically lived in several friends flats at points in my uni life. So my advice is to take that out of the equation.

    Now a lot has changed since my first year (Courthouse was owned by Abertay back then) but generally speaking you'll get what you pay for, in terms of proximity it's roughly: Meadowside, Courthouse, Victoria Chambers, Old Mill, Opal, The Hub which are all within 5 mins walk anyway then Lyon St, Alloway.

    Facilities are best in Opal & The Hub - with the price tag to go with - Old Mill is pretty decent, Meadowside, Alloway are reasonable

    The rest I have no knowledge of.

    Experience, well I didn't live in any of these halls, my halls have shut down but the general rule here is, the cheaper the halls the better the experience: Alloway I've heard some ridiculous stories about, if anything it sounds hard to buckle down some times. Whereas Opal will keep you on quite a tight leash, lest you break anything valuable. Personally my halls were pretty terrible, prison styled, cold brick walls and a separate building to wash your clothes but it led to some brilliant times.
    By practical distance, I mean 20 min train journey. Then again, gotta take account the walking distance to and from the train station, 25 mins from my house and maybe 10 mins from the Dundee station to the university. Then add on the time spent waiting around for the closest train. Yeah, perhaps not so practical after all. :\

    When you say your friends will predominantly be those who are on your course, do you know if there's any way that the company running the halls will match you with other students? (Though I imagine not)

    I think it's fair to say I'm not the wildest of people so I guess the "tight leash" of certain halls won't restrain me to much. Although I have heard that the likes of Opal can be incredibly strict on issues such as visitors and can make it feel like a prison. (Ironic, since you've mentioned the cheaper halls looking like a prison). Would anyone know if that's still the case?

    Alloway is too far away from the university to be paticularly convenient for me I think. It's also single sex, which I would want to avoid. The Abertay site also says Meadowside is mainly for students aged 20+, so I guess that isn't really for me either. The Hub seems a bit more expensive than all the others, but still looks nice, so not sure about that. Would you know any major differences between that and Opal?

    I think it's still between Opal and Courthouse for me. :\

    By the way, I'd rep you, but apparently I need to rate some other members first haha. Must be all that good adivce in the other threads.
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    (Original post by Chrisruptor)
    By practical distance, I mean 20 min train journey. Then again, gotta take account the walking distance to and from the train station, 25 mins from my house and maybe 10 mins from the Dundee station to the university. Then add on the time spent waiting around for the closest train. Yeah, perhaps not so practical after all. :\
    When are last trains is what sprung to my mind.

    When you say your friends will predominantly be those who are on your course, do you know if there's any way that the company running the halls will match you with other students? (Though I imagine not)
    I can't speak for any private companies (including Opal) but I know if you book through Abertay they will.

    I think it's fair to say I'm not the wildest of people so I guess the "tight leash" of certain halls won't restrain me to much. Although I have heard that the likes of Opal can be incredibly strict on issues such as visitors and can make it feel like a prison. (Ironic, since you've mentioned the cheaper halls looking like a prison). Would anyone know if that's still the case?
    http://www.thecourier.co.uk/News/Dun...prisoners.html you mean that? I'm pleased to say that's not an issue anymore, I work for the Students' Association at Abertay (if you couldn't tell) when it happened back then my predecessors were knocking at their door first thing the next morning. They accepted it's a violation of their tenancy agreement, stopped it and despite being under a watchful gaze this year, they have definitely not had any trouble with visitors.

    Alloway is too far away from the university to be paticularly convenient for me I think. It's also single sex, which I would want to avoid. The Abertay site also says Meadowside is mainly for students aged 20+, so I guess that isn't really for me either. The Hub seems a bit more expensive than all the others, but still looks nice, so not sure about that. Would you know any major differences between that and Opal?
    That's reasonable - it's all very much token differences between The Hub and Opal as far as I've seen from my visits - bigger TV, better furniture - at a push repairs may be handled faster/better, I've seen slight issues with that at Opal

    By the way, I'd rep you, but apparently I need to rate some other members first haha. Must be all that good adivce in the other threads.
    Haha it's fine, not here for Rep Gems anyway but thanks
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    (Original post by Brizee)
    When are last trains is what sprung to my mind.
    Oh man, seems like they're before 11pm now that I've checked. Thought they went later than that. I forgot about this point, but I guess if I didn't move, the likelihood I'd just get my own car once I pass my test, as I'd be able to afford the insurance if I get a job. Then again... I guess that doesn't help out partying students much anyway, especially if they're the type to stay out till 3am. I can say that I'm not that type of guy at the moment, but I can't say what I'll be like at university. :P


    (Original post by Brizee)
    I can't speak for any private companies (including Opal) but I know if you book through Abertay they will.
    Oooh. That sounds pretty good actually. I'd be interested to know how it works. So if I book through Abertay (for Opal) then I'd get put with other games students if I specified?


    (Original post by Brizee)
    http://www.thecourier.co.uk/News/Dun...prisoners.html you mean that? I'm pleased to say that's not an issue anymore, I work for the Students' Association at Abertay (if you couldn't tell) when it happened back then my predecessors were knocking at their door first thing the next morning. They accepted it's a violation of their tenancy agreement, stopped it and despite being under a watchful gaze this year, they have definitely not had any trouble with visitors.
    Yeah, haha. That's the article I read. But my cousin also warned me against it, and I have read a few bad reviews on it. Good to know it has changed.


    (Original post by Brizee)
    Haha it's fine, not here for Rep Gems anyway but thanks
    Aye, but just wanted to make sure you don't get the impression I don't appreciate all your help.
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    You can specify that you want to be with other Games students but it`s not GTD that you will be put with Games students, you would have bigger chacne if you would apply earlier I guess as now people prob. already got their rooms allocated to them so they will just put u somewhere where it`s free so ur chances decrease.
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    (Original post by Chrisruptor)
    the type to stay out till 3am. I can say that I'm not that type of guy at the moment, but I can't say what I'll be like at university. :P
    Trust me, your social views will change entirely once you get to university. Just forget that you're "not the type of guy" to go out late and try it anyway, you'll make friends much easier that way since most people will be doing it. Even if you stop going out really late after a few weeks, at least make the effort for freshers.

    (Original post by Chrisruptor)

    Oooh. That sounds pretty good actually. I'd be interested to know how it works. So if I book through Abertay (for Opal) then I'd get put with other games students if I specified?
    I wouldn't advise you request to live with games students in first year. The majority are unhygienic, lazy, and antisocial. You'll get to see your coursemates more than enough outside your flat, it'd just be tedious and stressful to see them 24/7. I'm on Computer Arts and have to work and socialise with games students quite often, and have lived with coursemates for two years... it really can get annoying. One of my friends had to live with two gaming obsessed nerds this past year, and he hated it. Think flies and stacks of old pizza boxes in the kitchen, a constant smell of armpit, and nerd raging at 4 in the morning when you're trying to sleep.

    You'll hear a lot of people badmouthing Opal, and I can say from experience living there, it isn't bad. The on-site security is really useful, making your room pretty much impossible to be broken in to (cameras, big iron gate, security guards, a lock on your block, a lock on your flat, a lock on your bedroom) and they also sign for your parcels and save them behind the desk for you to collect any time.

    Courthouse is decent; pretty similar to Opal in terms of quality, except the beds are smaller and there is no on-site security staff. I prefer the location, since it's nearer to the city centre, both student unions, Lidl (best place for student food) and the majority of night clubs.
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    (Original post by Chrisruptor)
    Oooh. That sounds pretty good actually. I'd be interested to know how it works. So if I book through Abertay (for Opal) then I'd get put with other games students if I specified?
    You don't need to specify, Abertay assume you do, I think, I certainly didn't and ended up in a clump of Games Students. Although like THEShade it's not guaranteed they will just endeavour to do so, though I'd argue that you should be fine booking accommodation anytime before the 7th of August, when the Scottish (and first UK) exam results come out and people get upgraded to Unconditionals.

    I'm not sure if they allocate the rooms for Opal or just send your details to Opal to be handled. I made a friend in the Accommodation Office a few weeks ago however so I'll pass the question to her.
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    (Original post by SelfishShellfish)
    Trust me, your social views will change entirely once you get to university. Just forget that you're "not the type of guy" to go out late and try it anyway, you'll make friends much easier that way since most people will be doing it. Even if you stop going out really late after a few weeks, at least make the effort for freshers.

    I wouldn't advise you request to live with games students in first year. The majority are unhygienic, lazy, and antisocial. You'll get to see your coursemates more than enough outside your flat, it'd just be tedious and stressful to see them 24/7. I'm on Computer Arts and have to work and socialise with games students quite often, and have lived with coursemates for two years... it really can get annoying. One of my friends had to live with two gaming obsessed nerds this past year, and he hated it. Think flies and stacks of old pizza boxes in the kitchen, a constant smell of armpit, and nerd raging at 4 in the morning when you're trying to sleep.

    You'll hear a lot of people badmouthing Opal, and I can say from experience living there, it isn't bad. The on-site security is really useful, making your room pretty much impossible to be broken in to (cameras, big iron gate, security guards, a lock on your block, a lock on your flat, a lock on your bedroom) and they also sign for your parcels and save them behind the desk for you to collect any time.

    Courthouse is decent; pretty similar to Opal in terms of quality, except the beds are smaller and there is no on-site security staff. I prefer the location, since it's nearer to the city centre, both student unions, Lidl (best place for student food) and the majority of night clubs.
    Yeah, that's the reason I want to move out, so I can adapt and change to fit the whole student lifestyle/experience, you know what I mean. And haha, I hadn't thought of that, a bit stereotypical, but I know what you mean. In saying that, most of the students I saw at the Prep for Uni day all seemed pretty normal, so I don't think it would be a huge issue? :| As for getting sick of them, well I guess a variety of students who I don't see during the course would be nice, but then again having one or two might help make friends and get integrate easier I think? As for Opal I guess it doesn't seem terribly bad after all.

    (Original post by Brizee)
    You don't need to specify, Abertay assume you do, I think, I certainly didn't and ended up in a clump of Games Students. Although like THEShade it's not guaranteed they will just endeavour to do so, though I'd argue that you should be fine booking accommodation anytime before the 7th of August, when the Scottish (and first UK) exam results come out and people get upgraded to Unconditionals.

    I'm not sure if they allocate the rooms for Opal or just send your details to Opal to be handled. I made a friend in the Accommodation Office a few weeks ago however so I'll pass the question to her.
    That's good. I was a little bit worried about leaving it late, but I did remember all the conditional students, and it's not like they'll have nowhere to go? So should be fine. I'd be planning on booking in the next week I think after doing SAAS. And that would be much appreciated, thanks.
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    Well I decided to go with Opal in the end. Or at least, apply for it through Abertay. Still to hear back whether or not they're letting me have a room or not... Thanks for your help guys.
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    Hi everybody! I've recently booked a room at Opal and was hoping to make friends before I go! If you're going to live at Opal, drop me a message
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    (Original post by Cecilia101)
    Hi everybody! I've recently booked a room at Opal and was hoping to make friends before I go! If you're going to live at Opal, drop me a message
    PMed you

    + you can find ur flatmates here
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    I got an email from Abertay confirming that they had allocated me a room, but that they couldn't guarantee I got my first choice. However, they did not tell me what I had been allocated, and that I could find out once I register and reapply through Opal.

    Question... Once I reapply to find out what it is, by that stage will I not already be contracted to paying for it? I HAD to put 5 choices in order of preference on the Abertay site, and the last two or three I wouldn't even want in the first place, it was only because I was forced to put 5 choices in order to proceed (from all Opal contracts and Alloway). So does anyone have any idea how I can find out what type of room and contract I have been allocated before committing to anything so I can withdraw and not have any liability for anything if it's one I don't want? I guess I'll have to phone Opal tomorrow about it, but I don't understand why they didn't just tell me the room I was given in the email. -_-

    (I don't want to be stuck in a 51 week contract paying an extra £100+ per week when I know I'm going to be living at home after my course finishes, or after the 42 week lease is over.)
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    When you register and book a room through Opal, you are given the choice of what rooms are remaining, if however the room you chose is not available they will immediately phone you and offer you a different room. I chose a standard plus on my form but they called to say there were none available and booked me in for a deluxe room instead. On booking you need to pay two weeks advanced rent and an option of paying the full accommodation fee in full or in instalments. If you chose to pay in instalments you need to have a UK bakes guarantor who will pay the instalments if you are unable to. After that is sorted you are sent out contracts (and a letter will be sent to your chosen guarantor if the instalment option was picked).

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