I think I can safely say I've had ALL the living experiences whilst at uni! In my first year, I was in halls. In my second year, I moved back home to Guildford and commuted and in my third year (which I'm in now) I've been renting privately.
In this blog, I'm going to tell you more about the Headed Tenancy scheme here at Kingston, which I used to find my flat this year. This scheme (which I can't recommend enough) is basically a group of houses which the uni manages and rents out to students. All the properties still have normal landlords, but the uni manages them on their behalf- so essentially the uni acts as the estate agent. There are a lot of benefits to this:
• The deposit and actual rent is A LOT cheaper than going out and finding a flat/house yourself
• All the properties are checked by the uni to make sure they fit with safety standards and have all the furniture a student needs
• The rent comes out in three instalments (like living in halls) and the dates are conveniently set so the money come out after your student loan comes through (yay!)
• You only pay for when you're actually at uni, so most contracts end 5th July. However, if you want to stay in the same place next year (i.e. 2nd and 3rd year) you can extend the tenancy an so won't have to move all your things out over summer
• Any problems that you have (washing machine is broken etc) you deal with through the uni and they are much more helpful and quicker at getting the job done then usual agents/landlords (I assume after hearing a few horror stories from friends.) Of course, I'm sure there are some nice agents/landlords out there! Anyway, the whole process makes it a lot easier for you to sort out problems and so there's less stress and more time for you to enjoy living out.
• One important point to make is that this scheme is NOT available to first year students and all tenants have to be full-time Kingston uni students.
I think this just about covers everything! If you have any more questions about this scheme or anything else about accommodation - such as halls and commuting from home - please do ask me.
I can't believe I've just had my last ever lecture at Kingston Uni! It was definitely a mixed bag of emotions: happy to finally be finishing three hard years of studying law, but also really sad to see the academic side of uni life come to an end. The lecture hall we were in was the same one where we had our first induction in the beginning of first year. I even remembered the exact spot I had sat in those three years ago...where had the time flown?! It was nice to be able to see the all familiar faces of my friends and fellow law students for one last time before we went into crazy exam revision mode. A huge cheer and round of applause was a good way to end not only the lecture (which I'm not going to lie, wasn't hugely interesting!) but the end of an era. Afterwards, my friends and I decided we had earned a well-deserved drink and so off to the SU bar we went :D It was a lovely sunny day and we found ourselves sitting outside sharing our best uni stories- the perfect way to end our week and time at Kingston Hill.
Now all that's left in order for me to graduate is the small matter of exams (haha). It seems to be all I think about, with my finals starting in a matter of days eeek! I'll let you know how they go, but one thing I do know is that this is going to be one crazy May...
Oh, and just to end with a link that is helping me get through my revision. Try these amazingly easy and delicious dessert recipes....after all we do deserve a treat!
Posted 13 May 2013 by Chloe
In my first year, I stayed in Middle Mill Halls which I really miss now! Middle Mill is about a 10 minute walk from Kingston Town Centre, and Penrhyn Road Campus, so the perfect location to get around. Obviously living in Halls isn't for everyone, but I would definitely recommend it in the first year as you'll be living with other first years, and therefore you've got a few friends straight away. Also, the rent is split into three instalments - just like your student loan payments - so it is easy to budget around these payments, and there isn't that worry of needing to pay rent every month.
As Halls are for first year students only (unless a spare room becomes available,) I lived in privately rented accommodation this year. I was on my own to find a property as my friends had all sorted their groups, and I feel that I missed out on the experience of living with friends. I ended up living with two boys from two other universities nearby and they knew each other from a young age. This was not a good experience to put it lightly, as our personalities clashed completely and it wasn't going to work. I would like to point out however that this was just my experience and obviously it isn't going to happen to everyone.
In light of my bad experience, I have written down the pros and cons for living in Halls and private accommodation for your first year, so you can make an informed decision.
Pros of Halls of Residence
• They are all close to campuses, or on Kingston Hill campus itself.
• The university bus runs between all of the Halls sites, or stops nearby, so it is easy to get around Kingston town and the surrounding areas.
• Everyone in your flat is likely to be a first year student too, and therefore in the same boat as you - I have made some good friends with those in my flat as well as in neighbouring flats that I met on my first night at Middle Mill.
• The rent is paid in three instalments making it easier to budget throughout the year.
• Furniture and electric goods such as a microwave, kettle and toaster are provided in the shared kitchens, so there is no need to splash out on one!
Cons of Halls of Residence
• There are rules to abide by, such as no excessively loud music and no pets!
• There is a chance that you may not get on with one or more of your flatmates but I haven't heard of any really bad stories
• There is a cleaning rota, but it's really not that bad!!
• Fire drills once a term, but I would rather be safe, even if it does mean that it's set off at 3am by someone burning toast after a night out!
• There are fines if you don't do your cleaning or if you set the fire alarm off, but I would just say do your cleaning and stay away from the break-glass points when you've been out for a drink!
Pros of renting privately
• More choice of where you stay and who you live with if you're in a group.
• Paying rent monthly so you know what you're monthly expenditure will be, but this can also be a bad thing for some people.
• The rent may be cheaper than some of the more expensive Halls' rooms.
Cons of renting privately
• You may end up living with people that you really don't get along with, and this can lead to stress and the atmosphere not being like you'd hoped.
• Paying your rent monthly may not be the easiest method for you.
• Rent can be considerably more expensive than Halls especially if you're looking for a 1-3 bedroom property.
I hope this helps you when making your decision of where to live for your first year, and if you have any questions feel free to ask me a question on here, or contact the accommodation team.