oilnam
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Hi (:

I'm going for a MSc at Imperial and (being international) I'm pondering about GradPad Accommodation: http://www.gradpadlondon.com/live/griffon-studios/

It would be 194£ - 25£ Imperial bursary = 169£ pw, which seem still a bit expensive to me.

Fine, I can get from the pics that the place looks really nice. But I'd be glad to hear some opinion about:

1) Location: how is Clapham to live in? (Griffon Studios are just in front of Clapham Junction)
2) Social atmosphere: is that good? (:
3) "Restricted view" is 194pw but "Standard view" is 224pw. That sounds slightly dreadful to me. Anyone aware of what they exactly mean by "restricted"?
4) Honestly, would you say 169pw is a fair price or are they just trying to get advantage of students?

Thanks, any insight would be appreciated!
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Cyco
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(Original post by oilnam)
Hi (:

I'm going for a MSc at Imperial and (being international) I'm pondering about GradPad Accommodation: http://www.gradpadlondon.com/live/griffon-studios/

It would be 194£ - 25£ Imperial bursary = 169£ pw, which seem still a bit expensive to me.

Fine, I can get from the pics that the place looks really nice. But I'd be glad to hear some opinion about:

1) Location: how is Clapham to live in? (Griffon Studios are just in front of Clapham Junction)
2) Social atmosphere: is that good? (:
3) "Restricted view" is 194pw but "Standard view" is 224pw. That sounds slightly dreadful to me. Anyone aware of what they exactly mean by "restricted"?
4) Honestly, would you say 169pw is a fair price or are they just trying to get advantage of students?

Thanks, any insight would be appreciated!
Hi oilnam, welcome to the PG community at Imperial!

From my point of view, I would never suggest anyone should stay at GradPad.
However, I'm biased towards this decision for many a reason.

Bear in mind that I've not lived in Griffon, so I can't really answer your questions :P

(Because I am trying to avoid work) I'll firstly cover why it may be useful to go to GradPad.

If you're not familiar with any type of private accommodation (anywhere in the world) then starting in London is akin to being thrown in the deep end. Of a tank filled with sharks. GradPad makes things easier by being a student-y atmosphere and not having to search around or deal with landlords. Clapham Junction is a good location for distance to college, but not the... nicest... area of London (see below). For what you're actually getting, it's an okay price.

And that's it. There are also quite a few cons to going down this route.
You don't have much control over the services you get. There have been many problems with the internet, water, phone lines, washing facilities, etc, whilst still being full-priced. You just have to wait for things to be fixed, whilst privately you can sort it out yourself. Despite the mention above, Clapham isn't the safest of areas (especially for people who aren't that familiar with London) and, for example, hosted part of the London riots last summer. Oh, and the rooms in Griffon are small.

One source of my bias against Griffon, is that college (without even consulting the Union) decided to close down the most affordable PG-only accommodation (Clayponds) which ruffled the feathers of nearly everyone who mattered. Over the next few years, the population of Clayponds is getting reduced, and then the property is likely to be left empty, until it's worth a lot more.

Alternative:
So, the main alternative is private accommodation. Imperial College is helpful via having a great accommodation centre, with a large database of 'trusted' landlords accessible through Imperial Home Solutions. They also provide help when dealing with landlords, contracts, estate agents, etc.

Obviously, the cheapest route is to find somewhere with some other (Imperial) students, but finding people to move in with, can be a bit of a problem unless you already know some people here. If you join some of the Facebook groups (i.e. Fresher's 2012) then you might be able to find some people in the same situation as yourself.

If you've any other questions, feel free to fire them my direction.
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oilnam
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(Original post by Cyco)
Hi oilnam, welcome to the PG community at Imperial!
Hello Cyco, first of all thanks a lot for your helpful reply

I had to deal with private accommodation before and I've been in London several times so looking into the private sector would not be the end of the world.

Quite the opposite, I've never been in a "college" before (we don't really have the college-life thing here) and that's why I'm attracted by Griffon, provided that:
a) the atmosphere is good (social life, parties and all the rest I could expect from college)
b) Clapham Junction is a nice zone as it appears to be (I don't mind about riots. I care more about a bit of nightlife and some green)
c) ~170£pw is not a robbery. It's ok to splash out few extra pounds since what I got is worth the price (namely (a) and (b)). It's just one year btw...

thank you again!
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david_s0
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Thanks Cyco for being so helpful!
I was considering Griffon Studios myself. I really like the idea of a building full of postgrad students, I have never been in halls myself (I obtained my bachelor's degree with the Open University) and I was hoping to get some kind of "full student experience" beyond the classroom from this year. However, the price tag seems a little bit high and your suggestion to look into Imperial Home Solutions looks really promising and, after your review, I'm keen to avoid the Gradpad way.

I should look into Facebook Fresher's groups more carefully as well, it seems like a very good idea.
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Cyco
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(Original post by oilnam)
Hello Cyco, first of all thanks a lot for your helpful reply

I had to deal with private accommodation before and I've been in London several times so looking into the private sector would not be the end of the world.

Quite the opposite, I've never been in a "college" before (we don't really have the college-life thing here) and that's why I'm attracted by Griffon, provided that:
a) the atmosphere is good (social life, parties and all the rest I could expect from college)
b) Clapham Junction is a nice zone as it appears to be (I don't mind about riots. I care more about a bit of nightlife and some green)
c) ~170£pw is not a robbery. It's ok to splash out few extra pounds since what I got is worth the price (namely (a) and (b)). It's just one year btw...

thank you again!

To cover your points:
a) As most people at Griffon are PhD students (I believe) people's week-day hours are a little bit funky, but PGs definitely fit the "Work hard, play hard" ethos. Your department, department Union society, colleagues and the Union will do for everything else
b) Clapham Junction is a nice area to look at - with lots of old buildings, parks and some clubs, so that's not a problem.
c) I'm paying £165pw for my place, so £170pw isn't daylight robbery.

Happy I could help.
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oilnam
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(Original post by Cyco)
To cover your points:
a) As most people at Griffon are PhD students (I believe) people's week-day hours are a little bit funky, but PGs definitely fit the "Work hard, play hard" ethos. Your department, department Union society, colleagues and the Union will do for everything else
b) Clapham Junction is a nice area to look at - with lots of old buildings, parks and some clubs, so that's not a problem.
c) I'm paying £165pw for my place, so £170pw isn't daylight robbery.

Happy I could help.
This is exactly what I wanted to know... thank you again Cyco (:
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metraino
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i'm currently living at clayponds. it's a real shame they're closing it, i pay £100/week, it takes about 45 minutes to get to campus, and the social atmosphere is amazing. tons of events and interaction with other students, lots of planned and subsidized trips to go on... truly the best part about being at imperial right now

i've talked with people who live in griffon right now. you could definitely get a better place in the private sector for the price, but as an international student it might be difficult to coordinate and find one before you get here. i think the rooms are fine, but they have big problems with the internet connections (for some reason it's all wireless instead of having ethernet). also living in private sector, don't you have to pay the counsel tax if you aren't living with students or something? can't forget about that!

try looking at Orient house, which is the next best affordable alternative to Clayponds. though I haven't heard anything about what it's like...

oh and from what i've heard, the social life at griffon is awful. everyone is just a PhD student who sticks to themselves, and they don't really do social events to encourage you making friends.
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madchixrock
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Hi,

I'm currently living in Griffon Studios so here goes:

Price isn't so bad now you have the bursary from Imperial, all bills are included so no nasty surprises there either.
Rooms aren't too small, but lack of decent wardrobe annoys me, I have a hanging rail & boxes under the bed.
Internet is sorted, and it's always been ethernet the only problems involved the WiFi in the beginning as they didn't allow enough addresses. Believe that is sorted as I've had no problems this year on WiFi.
Social isn't the best but a new fund has been introduced so that at least one night a month they will have an event (BBQ, etc)
Clapham great area, nice shops, etc down Northcote Road, quick bus ride to the Common. Links to College good (use bus, easier & cheaper)
Not bad in all and always the hassle free option...
HTH, Cheers
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oilnam
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(Original post by madchixrock)
Hi,

I'm currently living in Griffon Studios so here goes:
Thank you for your feedback!
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itsmi
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Thanks for the good questions and responses.

Are there more opinions and answers to the questions about the Griffon studios? I'm also thinking of going there and am very curious about the quality and "value for money".

oilnam: What's your conclusion? Will you go and get a room at Griffon?
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oilnam
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(Original post by itsmi)
Thanks for the good questions and responses.

Are there more opinions and answers to the questions about the Griffon studios? I'm also thinking of going there and am very curious about the quality and "value for money".

oilnam: What's your conclusion? Will you go and get a room at Griffon?
I thought about this for a while and I am NOT going to stay at any of GradPad's, due to a mix of both personal and practical reasons.

Practicals:

- The very day they opened for booking, the "restricted view" went sold out. The "normal view" (which is still NOT sold out after 3 weeks) is just too much, I'm sorry.
- I would have to pay the full amount in advance right now, and w're talking about more than 10,000£
- The rent would start only a couple of days before the beginning of the MSc

Personals:
- I suspect I couldn't stand some of the residence's rules, e.g. no smoking, restricted hosting (which translates into no parties).
I understand those rules could make sense, but picture yourself a scene like: you come back "home" from a long night with a oh-so-pretty-friend-of-yours, and he/she must do the check-in before getting into your place. Mmmh.
- According to TFL, during the day Griffon -> Imperial takes the same than Almost Everywhere in East London -> Imperial; thus I'd rather look for something in East London
As a friend of mine pointed me out, "During the day there is the tube. And you're sober. Those things do not happen at night". (:

Just sharing personal thoughts. HTH...
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itsmi
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Thanks for sharing your detailed perspective. This does indeed make a lot of sense. Actually, the primary reason for my decision is quite similar: Without getting a restricted view, it would be too expensive for me. Luckily I got one.

However, your "Personal reasons" makes me thinking about it again. What do you mean if a "friend" wanna come and visit you after a party for example? Does the "oh-so-pretty-friend-of-yours" really have to register first before entering your room?! I haven't read anything about that neither on the webpage nor in the tenancy agreement. That would really be a drawback.. about smoking and parties in the halls I personally don't care that much.. even if it would be great. However, as you pointed out, it also has a positive side.
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oilnam
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(Original post by itsmi)
Thanks for sharing your detailed perspective. This does indeed make a lot of sense. Actually, the primary reason for my decision is quite similar: Without getting a restricted view, it would be too expensive for me. Luckily I got one.

However, your "Personal reasons" makes me thinking about it again. What do you mean if a "friend" wanna come and visit you after a party for example? Does the "oh-so-pretty-friend-of-yours" really have to register first before entering your room?! I haven't read anything about that neither on the webpage nor in the tenancy agreement. That would really be a drawback.. about smoking and parties in the halls I personally don't care that much.. even if it would be great. However, as you pointed out, it also has a positive side.
Not really. According to what I got from a conversation I read on fb "Griffon Studios 2011/2012" group you can have more than one guest at time for max 3 days and you should register him due to a fire security policy.

However, they also said that they're flexible about this, and I presume you don't really have to register a just one-night friend I was kind of joking.

(The same friend of mine as the previous post also uses to say that dorms are "students farms". Still, a bunch of interesting stuff usually takes place in a farm).
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thexmanin
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Hi everyone,

I am going to start my Master’s course (MSc Transport and Business Management) on 29th of September and I am looking for accommodation. The postgraduate accommodation is provided by Imperial (Silwood Park Campus) is very far from my department (Civil Engineering at South Kensington) it takes about 2h by public transport to get there. I looked at the other options which are provided on the uni website such as: Grad Pad London and some private halls, it is too expensive the cheapest is about £200 pw. However, the only private accommodation I liked (I can afford) is Ducane Housing in Hammersmith, but still I have no idea whether the accommodation or the area are good for students, so if anyone have some information please help.

It would be very helpful if there are any one here would like to help and give me some advice in how I can find a good accommodation with price not more than 120pw. The last two days I have been looking on some shearing houses and flats, so if anyone here is in the same position as me please feel free to contact with me here or in private.
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Georgie8473
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Hey Guys!

I currently live at Griffon in Block B and love it here! Everybody is really nice and helpful and the area is really good. There is a bus that goes directly to Imperial College that is a 1 minute walk from Griffon. The train is easy to use and quick to get there aswell. I really like the area at Clapham there are lots of bars and good restaurants but Griffon is hidden away so you can be quiet as well.

I was going to re book my room for this year but gradpad took me up to there new wood lane studios and i have chosen to book there instead. The wood lane studios are amazing all my friends at UCL and LSE are booking Wood Lane as well because it is so nice. I have asked Gradpad and you are allowed friends to stay in your room 3 nights a week (i have had friends stay for 2 weeks at a time this year and griffon have not minded - it is much more relaxed than they say). I dont smoke very often but when i do you are allowed to smoke and drink in the nice garden and patios all around at griffon.

If anybody would like to ask me any questions at all please ask me! Oh and also there is no problem with the internet it was sorted out ages ago and is now very quick and reliable.

Speak soon guys,

Georgie
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Georgie8473
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Hi Guys,

I live at griffon studios at the moment and really love it but i am moving to Wood lane studios in september because the studios and complex is amazing and so close to westfield shopping centre (i love shopping!!)

Are many other people going to live at wood lane studios in september? My friends from UCL and LSE have booked at wood lane but i would like to meet some new friends that also go to Imperial.

Thanks guys!

Georgie x
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Reda90
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I'm staying there starting September and will be studying at Imperial.
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BabbityRabbity13
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Yeah, me too. Imperial + Woodlane.
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isha89
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Hey,

I'm coming to London for the 1st time and I was unsure about where to book. Gradpad was one of my top options, and after reading your review I decided to go with Wood lane studios Booked it last night. What was it like when you went to visit?

Isha
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BabbityRabbity13
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(Original post by Georgie8473)
Hey Guys!

I currently live at Griffon in Block B and love it here! Everybody is really nice and helpful and the area is really good. There is a bus that goes directly to Imperial College that is a 1 minute walk from Griffon. The train is easy to use and quick to get there aswell. I really like the area at Clapham there are lots of bars and good restaurants but Griffon is hidden away so you can be quiet as well.

I was going to re book my room for this year but gradpad took me up to there new wood lane studios and i have chosen to book there instead. The wood lane studios are amazing all my friends at UCL and LSE are booking Wood Lane as well because it is so nice. I have asked Gradpad and you are allowed friends to stay in your room 3 nights a week (i have had friends stay for 2 weeks at a time this year and griffon have not minded - it is much more relaxed than they say). I dont smoke very often but when i do you are allowed to smoke and drink in the nice garden and patios all around at griffon.

If anybody would like to ask me any questions at all please ask me! Oh and also there is no problem with the internet it was sorted out ages ago and is now very quick and reliable.

Speak soon guys,

Georgie
I have already booked at Wood Lane, but your statement above was extremely helpful (especially for the "i want to bring a friend" fact). You made my day.
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