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    (Original post by Zottula)
    Which course have you applied for?
    Biology
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    (Original post by dustz33)
    You're absolutely right about the prestige in the UK, Imperial is very respected in the City and for engineering jobs. Oddly though it is a lot less known abroad than other top UK universities such as LSE.
    I think that "man on the street" name recognition is based mainly on whether that place produces politicians, and/or is mentioned on TV.

    LSE has produced a number of politicians including several heads of government and heads of state of foreign countries. It was mentioned as President Bartlett's alma mater on The West Wing. By comparison, people don't care that much that Imperial is one of the world leading centres for metamaterials research.

    I think it's a problem inherent to the sciences vs humanities divide. Imperial is a world leading manufacturer of research, but research doesn't directly touch peoples' lives. By the time they're aware of it, it's industrial product development. World leading manufacturers of politicians touch peoples' lives more directly, although they're probably less useful to humanity on the whole.

    There is sometimes talk about merging Imperial and LSE to form some kind of super-university. But they fail, I guess because LSE sees no reason to let Imperial leech its political prestige, and Imperial sees no reason to let LSE leech its research funding. They're both nominally universities but in very different businesses.
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    dustz33 , you really are frustated wth Imperial, I respect that but I also think it leads you to a very biased and sometimes completely wrong picture of Imperial.

    You mention a 18% drop out rate in some departements, well that might be the case, even though I am extremely skeptical, but the overall drop out rate is much lower than that and is actually among the lowest in UK:

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?...=0&output=html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...?frame=2625327

    Writing that "most people hate their degree" is a downright lie.

    I just don't get how you can complain about the campus, infrastructure ispretty awesome overall. The library is good imo, I agree the temperature is too high though. Have you visited many other universities in your life?

    (Original post by dustz33)

    Afterall, choosing Imperial over Yale, Princeton, Columbia, UChicago etc as some rankings suggest would make you outright lunatic in most people's mind.
    seriously this comes out of nowhere and is bs.


    (Original post by dustz33)

    How you value Imperial always depends on what you compare it to. My alternative offer would have been ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Science and Technology) which is ranked a bit higher and has a much better reputation than Imperial, at least in continental europe (Harvard / MIT exchanges and all that nice stuff). I ended up choosing Imperial because of access to the City and (supposedly) better student support. Perhaps that is why I rate Imperial harsher than someone who is comparing it to Nottingham or Bristol.
    no this is untrue, Imperial ranks higher.

    What strikes me here is that you chose Imperial for its link to the City, so why didn't you go to LSE instead? maybe a big part of your frustration comes from the fact that you are interested in finance and not sciences, in that case Imperial was obviously a bad choice.

    (Original post by dustz33)
    From speaking with exchange students from RWTH Aachen and Lausanne the consensus I have gathered is that academic standards are lower at Imperial than at Swiss/German universities. A professor who was at the University of Leipzig before joining Imperial also confirmed this. If you come from the German speaking world I cannot stress enough that Imperial is not for you, unless you want to be a banker or maybe a management consultant(McKinsey is pretty much an Oxbridge club afaik). At Siemens an Imperial degree will get you paid like a community college graduate and at the big car companies (Daimler, BMW, Audi, VW) nobody I have talked to has ever heard of the place but all have a deep scepsis towards British engineering. Yes, you could start at a UK firm, but your salary will be half that of a German and a quarter that of a Swiss. Same in Canada, everyone will know Oxbridge & LSE, still have not met anyone who knew Imperial.
    completely untrue again. The companies you mention are present in Uk and perfectly know the value of Imperial.

    and who cares if the person you met in Canada haven't heard about Imperial.

    I agree with you about student hub though, too slow to act sometimes.
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    (Original post by Theophile)
    Writing that "most people hate their degree" is a downright lie.
    What would you say, from your experience, the actual (approximate) ratio is?
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    I have been to some first year maths lectures at Imperial just to check it out, and they were appalling (the standard at Cambridge is much higher). The ratio of time spent covering the same amount of material was about 3:1. As in, it took the lecturer three times as long at Imperial to cover the same amount of material, the effect being that they were still proving very basic theorems right at the end of their course.
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    (Original post by und)
    I have been to some first year maths lectures at Imperial just to check it out, and they were appalling (the standard at Cambridge is much higher). The ratio of time spent covering the same amount of material was about 3:1. As in, it took the lecturer three times as long at Imperial to cover the same amount of material, the effect being that they were still proving very basic theorems right at the end of their course.
    To be fair, if Cambridge maths is your reference point your assessment of this is going to be skewed. Did you notice anything else (good or bad) about Imperial?
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    (Original post by Necrosyrtes)
    To be fair, if Cambridge maths is your reference point your assessment of this is going to be skewed. Did you notice anything else (good or bad) about Imperial?
    The difference that I saw had little to do with the ability of students in my opinion. The entry standards at Imperial are very high and consequently the students capable, but the lecturers were actually wasting a lot of time by presenting disgustingly overcomplicated proofs where more intuitive/clear proofs are easily found, or stressing the wrong points when it came to conveying understanding. This not only made the lectures extremely difficult to follow, but also very dull. So despite the fact that Imperial maths students go to something like three lectures a day on average (compared to two a day at Cambridge plus Saturdays), and their longer terms, it was clear to me that the students there had covered appreciably less material in lectures, and probably had a lesser understanding of the topics that they had covered.

    I really hope for the sake of the students there that not all of the first year courses are like this, because if so I recommend that they don't bother with lectures and just read books or online lecture notes.

    Aside from my experiences with those lectures I don't have too much to say. The campus is small, catering to essentials like food and workspaces, but it lacks a community feel. The accommodation is (understandably) rather expensive, which means that a lot of people live at home and have difficulty making friends initially. The mathematics building is quite dated and does not seem like a great place for faculty members compared to the maths buildings at Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick. The only upsides that I can think of are: they have some great lecturers (e.g. Kevin Buzzard), so some of the courses are undoubtedly lectured well; it is located in a posh part of London, although getting to the actual heart of the city involves traversing London's public transportation system; there seems to be quite a mix of people so everyone should be able to find their niche with time.
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    (Original post by dustz33)
    4) Okay, try getting into anyone of those universities with the qualifications you used to get into Imperial. You won't. I've seen someone get rejected by BROWN who then made it into Imperial. In addition to requiring the same grades as Imperial those places want to see you have potential outside of an exam, which makes it immensely more difficult to be accepted.
    I'm not sure that's a fair comparison. US universities like CVs padded with make-work extracurriculars, subjective (teacher-assigned, non-standardised) high school grades, select on entirely irrelevant measures like skin colour, and strongly disfavour international applicants (which is the opposite in Britain due to funding arrangements).

    US universities are ultimately trying to select people who 1. will meet their political requirements to have non-white/oriental people in their student bodies and 2. will become rich executives and managers in the future and kick back money as alumni. Part of it is also just adaptation: if padding your CV with fake committee positions were important for selection in the UK then UK students would do it, whereas if it were unimportant in the US, US students wouldn't do it.

    I'm not convinced Imperial is on par with Princeton - relative to population, that's more like Oxbridge and there is certainly a gap in difficulty of entry - but I'm not sure it's true that if you succeed in the British/Imperial selection process that focuses only on aptitude for your chosen subject but not the US process, that that gives strong reason to conclude you are a worse student.
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    (Original post by dustz33)
    1)Drop-out rate for Aeronautics is 18%. It is referenced here and the same number(18%) has been mentioned at the college: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2344984

    Might be lower for other degrees, but engineering are Imperial's flagship degrees so I will argue they matter.
    I can't find this 18% drop rate on College website and this number is questioned by Zero_K in this thread. It does not change the fact that the overall drop out rate is among the lowest in UK as shown by my previous link.


    (Original post by dustz33)
    Also consider the suicide rate and this comment by someone else on another thread which got 8 + :

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1780623
    I read the thread, Imperial, UCL, OXbridge are mentioned and absolutely nobody has a clue as to what uni has the highest suicide rate.

    (Original post by dustz33)
    2)

    Well, taking a sample of myself and my closest friends we have a combined average of 73.5 %, and 3/4 hate their degree. On my course I know of 2 people who really love their degree (out of 100+) and are enthusiastic about it. Most seem to be interested in banking&finance which is an indication that they don't like what they're doing. Getting people to admit they don't like their degree is difficult since it can be seen as a personal "flaw" which is why I have mentioned such a small sample size of which I can speak confidently.
    These are informative but anecdotal evidences from which you can't honestly conclude that "most of the students hate their degree". Besides I am surprised you say people find it difficult to admit they don't like their degree.

    (Original post by dustz33)
    3)

    Yes, I have. The toilets are utterly disgusting, some don't flush properly and the result is what you'd expect. The chairs are terrible and there aren't power outlets at every table. During peak times it is impossible to find a computer without running around for 10 minutes. How is that "good"? The place is impressively ugly, just compare the interior architecture to LSE.
    I actually had someone who did compsci pm me after my first post saying that they agreed with my view of the library and that the place is, literally, a rat hole. (decent rodent population)
    I maintain I find the library good, toilets were not "utterly disgusting" when I went and dirty toilets is certainly not a problem particular to Imperial. I am even pretty sure LSE library toilets can be dirty at times.


    (Original post by dustz33)
    4) Okay, try getting into anyone of those universities with the qualifications you used to get into Imperial. You won't. I've seen someone get rejected by BROWN who then made it into Imperial. In addition to requiring the same grades as Imperial those places want to see you have potential outside of an exam, which makes it immensely more difficult to be accepted.
    Selection processes are too different to conclude anything from that (and I am certainly not impressed by the US seletion process at ug level ). And even if they were similar, this is just an anecdotal evidence again.

    (Original post by dustz33)
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.u...neering-and-IT


    Imperial ranks 9th for Engineering&Technology, ETH 8th. That is comparing a traditional Swiss university to a ranking factory. As all english rankings, Times in highly skewed in favour of British and American universities, because they traditionally perform research in-house which in the german-speaking world is done at institutes such as the Frauenhofer institute, which are often on-campus but not included in the ranking. If that research were included you would see a number of German unis in the top 10 of the research rankings. Thus it is a huge accomplishment for a Swiss university to be ranked so highly in a ranking tailored towards British and US institutions.

    Considering QS which ranks(or ranked) UCL in the top 5 worldwide and ahead of Imperial would be quite laughable.
    I don't quite understand why you are mixing Germany and Switzerland here. There are indeed research institutes in Germany detached from universities but that is not the case in Switzerland. So I don't see the logical link between the existence of German research institutes and "huge accomplishment for a Swiss university to be ranked so highly in a ranking tailored towards British and US institutions."
    Also ETHZ is not the average Swiss university. It gets together with EPFL much more money than the other Swiss universities. So given this fact and ETHZ history, it is not that surprising it ranks so highly.
    You call Imperial a ranking factory but it would be very inaccurate to think that other universities including ETHZ do not look at optimizing their rankings. UK/US have a traditionally more aggressive way to market themselves, it certainly does not mean that the other universities do not try to maximize their rankings because as flawed as they are, they know they are crucial to attract the best students.
    Another thing, english is the first language in the academic world which might give an advantage to UK/US unis but I don't see why the rankings "are tailored towards UK and US universities"
    Finally, I won't comment on what unis is the best between Imperial and ETHZ, they are 2 great universities, it is pointless to separate them.

    (Original post by dustz33)
    Well the people in Canada were a family member who works at Boeing and a bunch of his Boeing buddies. Yeah you're right, who cares if people at the USA's largest aircraft manufacturer have heard of Imperial.
    I work for a huge US company in UK, the boss of my boss is american and the first time I got a 1-to-1 with him, the first thing we talked about was the uni I attended, ie Imperial, that he knew very well, do I conclude form that Imperial is well-known in the US? No.
    That is what I meant by "who cares if the person you met in Canada haven't heard about Imperial."
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    Just wanted to say I agree with the open day comment. When I went to mine I asked a girl how she the course and whether she enjoyed it. She told me she loved it. I was fairly naive and believed her but whatever. She ended up retaking the year, dropping out and now goes to UCL studying a different course.
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    I'm a first-year Aeronautics and I come from a fairly small town, so going to live in a city as large as London would always induce a bit of a culture shock. However, some of the things I have seen are truly incredible.

    First off, there are people who live in the library and only go back home on weekends. This is possible as the library is open 24 hours a day. You should also bear in mind that I first noticed this not during the exam season but in during the very first week!

    On my course, there are barely 30 students which have a "home" status - with the other 70 being EU/Overseas. With a great deal of the student intake paying the maximum fee of ~£25,000 per year, what sort of mentality do you expect? It is a fact that most of these £25,000 fee payers are from Asia and they come from an extremely privileged background. Their general behaviour is rude, arrogant and obnoxious. The stereotype which you have heard so frequently of Asian groups bunching together and talking loudly during lectures is certainly true from what I've seen. I'd hazard a guess that the 18% drop-out rate for the first-year mentioned earlier in this thread consists of many of these Asians. They came here because they just want to have the student experience (all my friends are going to uni...) and £25,000 per year is just a drop in the ocean. The average standard of these students are so, so, so much lower than the home students. Forget what you read in the newspaper about the dropping of standard of A-Level students heading to uni...it's those taking the IB and various Diplomas you need to be worrying about. These students are simply cash cows for the uni. It's far easier to get into Imperial as an overseas student as they won't shy at your offer of £25k. A few overseas students failed to meet their offer but they were still accepted onto the course this year. Contrast this to a thread I saw on TSR about a home student failing to meet their offer by 1 UMS for Aeronautics at Imperial but still getting rejected...I wonder why. This is compared to a few home students who I've met, who are passionate about the subject and some have had to come here on grants because they struggle to afford the costs of living in London.

    Generally, the younger generation of lecturers are of a reasonable standard and put effort into their lecture notes and tutorial sheets. This is probably because they still remember the hardships of being a student themselves. However, the older lecturers couldn't give a toss. Imperial has an annual "Lecturer Awards" ceremony where each department nominates a lecturer who has excelled in innovative teaching. A lecturer from our department was unanimously viewed as the worst lecturer amongst students but was still chosen to be our nomination. Why did this happen? I'll tell you why. It's a lavish ego-boosting pat-on-the back sort of thing - like the Oscars. Look at us, we're so good at lecturing because...guess what...we said so!
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    I have to second nearly everything that pleasedtobeatyou says. The standard of overseas students is in my oppinion what really differentiates Imperial from Oxbridge. Oxbridge are two esteemed institutions with large endowments which largely cater to the British elite (be it social, political or intellectual elite). From continetal europe to the commonwealth students with perfect scores are lining up to fill their places, so they have no need to compromise on student quality.

    Imperials is a good research institution with a teaching cash cow attached to it. Who is going to fill their 255GBP/week rooms and pay 25k in student fees? Well, not the middle-class kid from Birmingham.

    On the Asians whom you mentioned; It's not fair to consider them a homogenous group. There are good bunch of the "white Burberry logo t-shirt wearing" type. I.e. more money than sense and trying to flaunt wealth in the most ridiculous and laughable ways (at least from a european perspective). The type who ask you what your parents do for a living before talking to you. Grouping together and talking/laughing during lectures is definitely a true phenomena, as is occupying group study spaces in the library to play video games. Sitting in silent areas of the library and furiously clicking a mouse while playing games is also a big thing. Usually, if you firmly tell them to go take a hike they are so stunned that they comply. That being said, the majority are not like that and I have met some very nice and funny guys from HK, SG and Malaysia. Most are quiet and hard-working, and I think it is only fair to point that in my hall it always are the British who drunkenly scream through the halls at 2 am. It really would not be fair to pinpoint the blame on a certain group of students, as this always involves an undue generalisation.


    ON THE TEACHING AWARD: If you mean the Oxford mathematics/control lecturer I have to disagree, I thought he was the best lecturer I have had so far. Generally speaking teaching quality seems to be antiproportional to age. Most of the truly terrible lecturers are so embedded in the department that they don't have to care about SOLE results. Younger guys seem to be much more engaged. Unfortunately it are the old guys that "rule" the department. They are the ones that slashed all the business options and aim to maintain a 30% failure rate in their exams.

    Just wanted to say I agree with the open day comment. When I went to mine I asked a girl how she the course and whether she enjoyed it. She told me she loved it. I was fairly naive and believed her but whatever. She ended up retaking the year, dropping out and now goes to UCL studying a different course.
    Thank you! We get paid 70£/day to do the open day thing as students. Guess what the result is. We are also paid in meal vouchers to do the accommodation videos and told what tales to tell. An honest accommodation video for my hall would include that it is so damn far from campus that you really stay in shape riding your bike (or get killed on the 3 lane part of the journey), that the place is right across from a huge bunch of council flats and situated in a London Metropolitan 'highest crime rate warning' area, signage on stores is arabic, the windows are single glassed, 1903's finest, wind will blow through them and your room temperature should be about 16oC. There are forest sized mushrooms growing on the ceiling. Twin room accommodation will not look anything like on the website and cost more than a two room flat in the rest of the country. Prison cells in most western european countries have more space than the 500£/month rooms described on the website as "spacious". I actually looked this up.

    But, credits don't transfer, so full steam ahead!
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    ON ACCOMMODATION

    Rooms are not "fairly" priced, which means you can get a great bargain or be stuck with a hole in the wall and pay a bundle. Generally avoid commutes at all costs, biking is VERY dangerous in London and public transport very expensive.

    Halls which offer great value:
    Southside/Eastside. Very new, very nice, very few issues, well designed overall and close to campus. If you cant afford a single, take a double here over a single at all halls other than Beit.

    Good value:
    Beit. Not quite as nice and polished as Eastside/Southside, but in good shape and close to campus.

    Awful Halls to avoid
    Wilson. Mold everywhere, terrible air, horrible layout, tiny rooms, high prices. Have to go through 20+ doors to get to some rooms.

    Fisher. Completely run down, open wires hanging from walls. At least well priced.

    Xenia. Literally on the other side of the planet. Quite pricy for what it is.

    Pembridge. Very run down on the inside and quite far away.

    Also, don't be afraid to buy private accommodation in first year. Halls are very overrated, you definitely do not need them to make friends. I met all my friends on the course and in societies/clubs.
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    (Original post by dustz33)
    Ox

    Thinking of Wilson, didn't they refurbish it so they are going to be better for us freshers next year? What hall would u recommend in terms of distance/price ratio... was thinking Pembridge/Evelyn ?

    Also for upcoming years, do you think your living costs dramatically are reduced by not living in halls?
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    Wilson was refurbished by some of the most incompetent individuals out there. They painted over and sealed up all the walls in a way that does not "allow them to breathe". There is zero circulation, because there are fire doors every three meters. The windows only open about two inches because of plastic stoppers. Guess what the result is if you seal off a 100+ year old house? You get moisture and mold everywhere. (I have experience with this specific issue and pre-WW1 houses and it baffles me that a professional organisation tasked with managing housing could screw up so badly)

    The place has been freshly renovated and is already completely infested by mold, huge water damage, paint falling off the walls and mushrooms (like the ones you see in the forrest, there is even a Tab article on it here: http://imperial.tab.co.uk/2014/03/11...wilsons-walls/ )

    All of your stuff will be covered in white dust-like but heavier paint pieces, because the paint is pealing off all the walls due to moisture.

    Honestly, I don't know the numbers but the college must have blown out millions on the place. Builders were in the hall the entire last year and in rooms frequently. They can't fix the place up as quick as it's falling apart.

    It is in a crime infested neighbourhood (check the met police website if you don't believe me) and the college promised a secure bike shelter, as leaving bikes out is lunacy. The average bike in London goes 23 months before it's stolen, and it goes a lot quicker in Paddington. Well, over the entire last year it was not built, they came up with a crappy shack made from those fences used to zone off construction sites. It fits about half the bikes necessary and you will truly need ten minutes to get your bike out in the morning because it is so cramped.

    We had I think it was 5 bikes stolen in one night or in successive nights. If you get your bike or parts of your bike stolen neither the college nor the accommodation office give a damn and even though the website still promises "secure bike storage" they claim they are not liable.

    The rooms in Wilson are tiny, as are the hallways and as mentioned before it gets incredibly cold in winter due to lack of modern windows. The layout also means you will mostly see a small group of people from your house.

    Some rooms also are extremely noisy to the point where you will not be able to sleep if there are people on the hallway or in certain areas, because the sound travels through all the cracks and non-insulated windows.

    Only good thing is Wilson's proximity to shops. Stay away from bloody Wilson at all costs. I am talking about the "newly renovated" place.
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    I have never been inside Evelyn Gardens so I cannot comment, only that I know for certain is that Fisher is awful and there have been stories in Felix about it.

    Thing is, if you live in Beit/Eastside/Southside you can go home for lunch. That will save you about 2£ each lunch. If you are like me and always study in the library, you save another 3£ on dinner. That is 5£ a day saved by living next to uni and eating at "home". Multiply that by at least 5 days and it's 25£ week.

    Figure in the expenses for transporatation (hint, even a bike will cost you about 15£ per month in parts for repairs, at least mine did) and the hassle of having to commute and you will come to the conclusion that the three halls right next to uni are the best deal. Trust me on this, I got it wrong last year but learned my lesson.

    130£ for an ensuite spacious double in a brand new hall right next to uni or 115 for a shared bathroom, ugly, tiny, cold, far-enough-away-that-you-will-always-eat-out room in Wilson? Those are the best 15£ you will ever spend and you'll get them back in food expenses no problem.

    Biking is nice in summer, but you'll dread every morning in winter and rain.

    Not living in halls can be cheaper or more expensive. You can go crazy and pay 2,700£ pw for a two bedroom flat across feom the main entrance or live somewhere in Hammersmitj for 120 in a low-end flatshare. Most people tend to spend more, but they also get substantially more room. College accommodation is overpriced for what it is, but of course having your own flat will be even more since you "get more".
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    Nice to see a different point of view, thanks for sharing dustz33.

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk
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    I'm an international student and all I can say is I'm feeling very discouraged. How bad is accommodation? How do I get private accommodation if I don't live in the UK?
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    (Original post by n00bfi)
    I'm an international student and all I can say is I'm feeling very discouraged. How bad is accommodation? How do I get private accommodation if I don't live in the UK?
    From what I've heard - Imperial accomodation is not that bad. Plus, most students complain about their accomodation at every Uni.
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    (Original post by dustz33)
    I have never been inside Evelyn Gardens so I cannot comment, only that I know for certain is that Fisher is awful and there have been stories in Felix about it.

    Thing is, if you live in Beit/Eastside/Southside you can go home for lunch. That will save you about 2£ each lunch. If you are like me and always study in the library, you save another 3£ on dinner. That is 5£ a day saved by living next to uni and eating at "home". Multiply that by at least 5 days and it's 25£ week.

    Figure in the expenses for transporatation (hint, even a bike will cost you about 15£ per month in parts for repairs, at least mine did) and the hassle of having to commute and you will come to the conclusion that the three halls right next to uni are the best deal. Trust me on this, I got it wrong last year but learned my lesson.

    130£ for an ensuite spacious double in a brand new hall right next to uni or 115 for a shared bathroom, ugly, tiny, cold, far-enough-away-that-you-will-always-eat-out room in Wilson? Those are the best 15£ you will ever spend and you'll get them back in food expenses no problem.

    Biking is nice in summer, but you'll dread every morning in winter and rain.

    Not living in halls can be cheaper or more expensive. You can go crazy and pay 2,700£ pw for a two bedroom flat across feom the main entrance or live somewhere in Hammersmitj for 120 in a low-end flatshare. Most people tend to spend more, but they also get substantially more room. College accommodation is overpriced for what it is, but of course having your own flat will be even more since you "get more".
    130£? Are you talking abt sharing a room with someone?

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