Accommodation at the University of Essex Watch

Owen_Richards99
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Long story short - I have decided to make Essex my firm choice. However, I'm so unsure about the accommodation. The towers are by far the cheapest and seem to be "party central", which is great for me, but they aren't exactly the most pleasant with 2 toilets between 14 people.

I wanted to know if anyone has decided which accommodation they have decided on going to, and why?
Also if there's any current students at the university, which accommodation would you recommend?
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EssexStudent95
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Hi, Owen_Richards99!

I am currently a final year student at Essex and in my first year, I have chosen to live in the North Towers, which are like a symbol of the University. I have shared my flat with 12 other people and shared my bathroom with other 2 people, which wasn't a hassle at all, as we all have different schedules. The bathroom situation was an aspect which was as you have said, not the most pleasant situation, but there is a cleaner who comes 3 days per week to clean up and bring all the necessary things, it is quite fine. I haven't had any bad experiences and neither my friends who were living in the towers, as well.

The University of Essex tries to put together people studying similar courses. I am studying Sociology and I had 3 other flatmates studying the same modules I had, which was a blast! Keeping in mind that the kitchen is huge, there is an amazing place to socialise and get to know your flatmates! I remember when we all cooked together and had an amazing Christmas dinner, topped with a gingerbread house which we needed to build.

I think it all depends on your liking and how keen you are to meet new people and socialise. I had a massive blast in the Towers and I still keep in contact with my old flatmates, which is better than I have ever expected!

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me,
Mimi.
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Michiyo
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(Original post by Owen_Richards99)
Long story short - I have decided to make Essex my firm choice. However, I'm so unsure about the accommodation. The towers are by far the cheapest and seem to be "party central", which is great for me, but they aren't exactly the most pleasant with 2 toilets between 14 people.

I wanted to know if anyone has decided which accommodation they have decided on going to, and why?
Also if there's any current students at the university, which accommodation would you recommend?
Hi! :hugs: First year Essex student here

The Towers are nice and cheap, but they have a bit of a reputation as undesirable among students who live in accommodation with their own bathroom. One of my friends lived there last year and she complained about the constant parties, noise, and occasional smoking. In the Towers, it seems harder to get your own space, so to speak (I myself do not live there, so if I am wrong, feel free to tell me). Most of my friends from the Towers would not recommend it. :sadnod: However, they do not think it is that bad. It is tolerable, but only if you are okay with potentially not having as much intimacy as you might want, most likely loudness, and parties. If you want to study in peace, I would not recommend the Towers as all of my friends who live in the Towers have noisy flatmates and a hard time studying in their flat. Apparently, the fire alarms going off is a regular occurrence in the Towers too, or so my Towers friends tell me.

The Towers are indeed almost as central as they could possibly be, which is an advantage as it decreases the amount of time you have to spend getting to your lectures and back. However, most of the other accommodation options (besides the Quays, Maltings, and Copse) are also close, so the difference would be like 3-5 minutes, tops.

The Houses tend to be very close to the library and have their own bathroom, though they still have a few flatmates. I do not know much about them, but I have two friends who live there and love it. Once again, I do not know much about The Meadows, but a friend lives there and likes it, so I doubt it is that bad either.

I would not recommend the Quays (pronounced 'Keys' ), the Maltings (pronounced 'Moltens' ), and the Copse. They are not extremely far, but it is much easier to live on campus and the bus does not always run there, so if you have lessons until late (my latest lesson, which is Japanese as I do it through Languages for All, ends at 8 PM), you might have to walk home in the dark late at night. Or say, for example, that you go home for Christmas and arrive in early January before buses have resumed their usual timetable, in which case it might be a bit more difficult and time-consuming to get there than if you live on campus. Also, the bridge leading to the Quays is awkward; I would not trust it!

I live in the South Courts (the most expensive accommodation on campus). I have my own bathroom, no roommate, five flatmates, and a large room, but I know a friend who lives in another subdivision of the South Courts (Walton) has a roommate. Another person I know only has three flatmates even though he lives in my subdivision of the South Courts, but that is because he is a mature student and their flat only contains mature students. I would definitely recommend it as it is relatively quiet most of the time (unless my flatmate or the person in the flat above starts blasting music or throws a party, though that rarely if ever happens :grumble: ) and you have your own space to do as you wish. The cleaner comes around once a week and the trash is taken out by a university employee every day from Monday to Friday. The kitchen is not exactly huge, but it is big enough to host even ten people at once if need be. Yes, it is expensive, but it is worth it. Its only downside besides the cost is that it might seem far from the Essex Business School and North Teaching Centre if you have any lectures or classes there, but once you learn the shortcuts (there is a shortcut to both of these places), it is even closer to them than the South Towers. It has its own Launderette too, so you do not have to walk to the Hexagon to wash your clothes like those living in the North Towers have to do, if I recall correctly. Overall, it is only 3-10 minutes away from the important places (The Store, the library, the labs, lecture halls -e.g. the Lecture Theatre Building is like 3 minutes away from it-, and classes).

In summary, I would recommend the Houses, Meadows, and South Courts. The Towers are not that bad if they suit you better either, but if you are not keen on sharing a bathroom, I would not go for them!

...I am not sure how true it is that Essex tries to pair students with people studying similar courses. :erm: Two of my flatmates study the same subject and a flatmate of mine studies Politics and International Relations while I study International Relations (we only have one or two modules in common, though), but then there are two flatmates whose courses are unique in the entire house. I honestly would not count on living in a flat with any people who study the same modules, though I do not deny it is possible.

It is also worth noting that not all flatmates are as nice as the person above described them. I am happy they were lucky enough to have good flatmates, but I myself only speak with one or two of my flatmates and even though we make an effort to talk to everyone and even tried to organise flat-wide hangouts and all that, the others rejected the idea from the get-go or said they will do it and then never showed up. :sad: You might want to get to know your flatmates, but they might not want to get to know anyone. I do admit that socially, the Towers might be a better idea than the South Courts as you have more people to choose from, but I prioritise my studies, made good friends, and found flatmates for next year anyway, so that does not really matter to me. I know a guy from the Towers who has not found his flatmates for next year yet while I found mine in October in spite of my smaller pool of people to choose from, so I would not worry much about social life even if you do not live in the Towers!

I hope this helps a bit. :blushing: Best of luck to you! :lovehug:
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elliejmatthews
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Hi,

I'm a third year student here at the university of Essex and I've lived in Towers and the Quays, and it really depends on what you want to get out of your university accommodation. If you want to focus on your studies, then I wouldn't recommend the Towers, as it is considered the most social of the accommodations. However, if you want to be more social, then apply for Towers. However, I wanted to both study and make friends and still did really well in the Towers. If the noise in Towers gets to be too much, then there's loads of study places on campus, like the library, the Silberrad centre and loads of small study rooms as well.

It also really depends on your budget too. Towers is the cheapest accommodation option, followed by the Quays which is a 20 minute walk away but you'll have less housemates and your own ensuite. South Courts is the most expensive accommodation option, but you'll be located on campus, and you'll be living with less people and have your own bathroom.

So it's really personal preference really!
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nelita
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Hi there!

I'm seeing that your post has gathered some great replies already, but I feel that I have lots to add as well 😊 My choice of the on-campus accommodation were the yet-not-covered Meadows, and I also know some bits about the other places that you could maybe find helpful.

My priority when submitting the application was to have an en-suite. I wouldn't step down from it, thinking I'd hate sharing a bathroom with other people and looking forward to having the facilities all to myself so I could use them whenever I wanted. The other factors that moved The Meadows on top of my list were these: because they were opened only the year before I was starting my studies, they would be the most unused option; the distance from the centre of the campus would make me walk every day (yes, I really do consider this a positive thing ), but not for too long; they looked beautiful to me and I fancy well-designed accommodation; they have a social space and that sounded like a really nice idea to me. With all of this before my eyes, I told myself it would be worth it to take the most expensive standard room on campus.

Am I satisfied with what I got? Yes, I am comfortable. Did it meet my initial expectations? Not really. Though that's not a fault on the University's part – I was picturing something that's a bit too luxurious for student accommodation, I guess. Especially when I'm used to rent prices being much much lower in where I come from (Czechia). My mind was projecting wonderful images but after all, it's just a room, not a 5-star apartment – the en-suite is much smaller than I supposed, for example. I saw that the bathroom is slightly bigger in the Quays and heard that it's fairly large in the South Courts (but I've never been there to verify that). But then again, the size doesn't pose that much of a problem for me, since I'm tiny myself! Otherwise I can't really complain about the remaining aspects – I have everything that I need. There's enough space in my room for all of my books and clothes (I have so many of them you wouldn't believe) and the kitchen is generous size for 5 people. I grew to love the double bed that is only available here and in The Copse. I found a great friend in one of my flatmates; with the other ones, I haven't bonded much (one of them is a ghost and the other two are just totally different from me), which initially made me quite disappointed, but if I want to meet people, I have plenty of other options at the uni, anyway! I also came to appreciate how I have a post room / reception just about the corner of my house – when I received a 13 kg parcel from home, I somehow managed to get it upstairs myself The other houses are further from the reception, but the residents still have it closer to their post than those in The Towers for example.

Having said all of that though, I am trying to move to North Towers. I feel great at The Meadows and I'll miss them, but I found myself in an unexpectedly worse financial situation and after careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that I can do with less for a much lower price anyway. For £50 every week (the difference between the rents), I could buy a plane ticket back home! That started meaning a lot for me, especially after I realized the shared bathrooms aren't so bad. I've been told by more people there's not much waiting due to the varying schedules of everyone and I've even experienced it. I've spent some nights at South Towers and honestly, I can't come up with any complaints. I did experience a fire alarm, which was indeed quite annoying, but these don't happen that often and the whole process was over quickly anyway. I also realised that I don't use my room most of the time, since I spend my days around the campus or town pursuing quite a few activities, and I also prefer studying in the designed facilities (Silberrad Student Centre, Library Reading Room, IT Labs) to studying in my accommodation (there are much less distractions). So I just need a place where I can sleep, eat, and use the bathroom, therefore the cheap options pass, too.

I hope that from my experience, you can see your preferences more clearly. To conclude my rather lengthy answer, I am going to list a brief summary of my observations or knowledge about the uni accommodation:

South Towers – the cheapest type, my boyfriend lives there and loves it. He's got great flatmates that are fun; they did Secret Santa together, for example, and the atmosphere in the flat is really nice and friendly. 16 people share 4 toilets and 2 shower rooms. These Towers have the best access to most places on campus, including the restaurants, bars, clubs, and the gym – as if they were right at the doorstep. During some evenings, it might be really noisy outside, but that can be mainly heard from the kitchen, the rooms should be fine. To do the laundry, it's best to take a walk to South Courts.

North Towers – the second cheapest type, slightly more polished than South Towers (they're newer). The postgrad tower (Keynes) has flats with 14 people that share 2 toilets and 2 bathrooms that include a toilet and a shower enclosure; I'm not sure about the other Towers, they seem to be organised differently. The kitchens seem to be quite small for the amount of people. From these Towers, it's easier to reach Essex Business School and 2 other teaching buildings, but the rest isn't too far either. The residents take their laundry to the Hex, which is a building a staircase away.

The Houses – lovely and tranquil, the cheapest en-suite. My friend's kitchen in The Houses also came with a rice cooker, which is convenient to have (especially if you're of an Asian origin like me). He lives with 3 flatmates. The proximity to facilities is comparable to North Towers.

South Courts – I don't know much about these but Michiyo has already done a great job describing them. They house many students and to me, they felt like a little village on the campus.

The Meadows – I've said a lot already but there's a bit more to add. There are houses in The Meadows with en-suite rooms and there are also the townhouses, where 2 people in separate rooms share a bathroom. Those have big kitchens on the ground floor that are common for the residents of the whole house, so there are also parties going on quite often! If you're happy to pay the money (around £135 if I'm not mistaken), they could be the perfect merge of not having to share your bathroom with too many people and partying with many flatmates. There's a social space with a launderette nearby, you can go there and play ping pong, for example.

The Quays – the second cheapest standard en-suite. The rooms are furnished really nicely, with more shelves and drawers than I have in The Meadows, for instance. The kitchens are quite small and the number of residents varies. It takes long to get to lectures from there, you have to cross a rather troublesome bridge (it goes zig-zag so it takes you at least 5 minutes). The position isn't very fortunate in my opinion; it is the nearest university accommodation to Tesco superstore (11 minutes away walking), but at the same time, if you find yourself with heavy bags, you can't take a bus from the store, since the line that serves Quays doesn't stop there.

So, to conclude for real now, I hope this helps! I did my best to include everything that I know to help you make a decision you'll be most happy with. If you have any more questions, feel free to shoot them at me.

Nela
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Michiyo
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(Original post by nelita)
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Beautiful post! Thank you for this :hugs:

Just to confirm: The South Courts have a rice cooker in the kitchen too and both the room and bathroom are indeed large. :awesome:
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Simon1395
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For second year on, a 20 minute walk is Avon Way house, mid priced 2,3,4,5 and 6 bed flats google Beyond the Box, Avon Way house
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YeFool
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The copse will have the nicest rooms but is the most expensive.
Towers are best for parties and social side
South courts have en-suite bathrooms and it's kind of lively
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Simon1395
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(Original post by Simon1395)
For second year on, a 20 minute walk is Avon Way house, mid priced 2,3,4,5 and 6 bed flats google Beyond the Box, Avon Way house
Anyone looking to move they have 1 room in a 5 bed available until August , £95 a week all in
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Rowan-Tree
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It mentions on the website that candles aren't allowed in the dorm rooms. How strictly is this enforced? Is it more of a 'they don't mind as long as you are sensible' kinda thing?
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elmocookie
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any idea how does Wolfson court is?

if staying in towers are gonna be noisy, could you hear noises from your room too?
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EssexStudent95
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(Original post by Rowan-Tree)
It mentions on the website that candles aren't allowed in the dorm rooms. How strictly is this enforced? Is it more of a 'they don't mind as long as you are sensible' kinda thing?
Hey Rowan,

Candles are not allowed in the dorms because it is really easy to start a fire, so as well as any kind of rules, it is for safety reasons only.

They are really strict on the rules, as it could not only affect you personally, but your whole dorm, or even building, as well.
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EssexStudent95
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(Original post by elmocookie)
any idea how does Wolfson court is?

if staying in towers are gonna be noisy, could you hear noises from your room too?
Hi elmocookie,

I have lived in the Towers in my first year and they are not as noisy as people tend to describe or think of them. It's mostly a superstition. In general, Towers should be considered as being a straightforward opportunity to get to know lots of people.

All the doors in the accommodations are fire-safety doors, which are really tick and they do prevent the noise coming in or out of your room. As I've said, I haven't encountered any kind of situations where I have been disturbed by the others.
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sini_s22
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Which accommodation is the most social(e.g. parties) , Meadows or South Courts? Thanks
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HeyItssChey
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Has the Copse finished being built?
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YeFool
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(Original post by HeyItssChey)
Has the Copse finished being built?
Not yet. Due to be completed in September
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HeyItssChey
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(Original post by YeFool)
Not yet. Due to be completed in September
Do you know much about them? I applied for them to start in September.
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kerris369
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Does anyone know much about the Copse yet? like how far they are from the main campus etc? or if anyone else has applied for there
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Championt1
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Can anyone tell me how many flats there are in each building at the Houses?

I’ve been offered a room at Isaac Rebow and I want to work out whether I’ll be on the top floor
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HeyItssChey
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(Original post by kerris369)
Does anyone know much about the Copse yet? like how far they are from the main campus etc? or if anyone else has applied for there
According to online. It says it is a 9min walk from central campus and is in between the business school and the Meadows.

I also applied for it for my first year ☺️🤞
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