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Student Stories

Student Stories

Blogs and vlogs from students of the University of Edinburgh

Life in student accommodation…

University accommodation courtyard in the sun shine.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

…by Katie / from Wales, UK / studying LLB Law (Graduate entry)

Where I was going to live upon arriving in Edinburgh was my initial and largest concern before moving to the city. This blog will explain the process I went through in choosing where to stay and my experience.

The Catering Question?

Choosing catered or self-catered accommodation is one of the main decisions to make when beginning the accommodation search. Catered accommodation is found in Pollock Halls next to Arthur’s Seat and is close to the George Square Campus. With the exception of one (Fraser Court) which is self-catered, the rest of the Halls all have access to the large catered spread every day. This option is great for someone who feels that juggling settling into university life as well as organising meals is too stressful, or even if you are someone who simply doesn’t enjoy cooking!

Personally, I chose to go for self-catered accommodation as the biggest self-proclaimed fussy eater ever! I also wanted the flexibility to eat when I wanted and not at the set meal times offered within the catered accommodation. As a first-year who was involved in a variety of activities, I often found myself at some sort of sports training in the evenings and self-catered accommodation gave me the flexibility to eat upon my return home and not to miss out to get back and eat at the allocated times.

The process of choosing accommodation

I had already made my decision to go for self-catered accommodation and I began to search through the available accommodations whilst making a list of pros and cons. Below is a list of criteria that I was looking for

  • Distance to university campus
  • Distance to university sports facilities
  • Distance to Prince’s Street to access larger transport links
  • Available bus links passing accommodation if it was further away from campus
  • Cost per month
  • Bathroom/en-suite access
  • Laundry room, common areas and study areas within the building
  • Distance to the nearest supermarket for groceries

After this process, I submitted my 5 top choices and got allocated to Brae House in Abbeyhill.

My Brae House Experience

I loved my experience in Brae House. I had my own room with an en-suite in a flat with 7 other flatmates. We shared a large kitchen and living space which was great. We also had our own kitchen cupboards in which we could store all our utensils and 2 fridge-freezers split between us all.

Another benefit of living in such a large flat was that I made really close friends that I am still close with in my final year of study. By moving to a city together and going through the settling-in process together, these shared experiences make you such strong friends. You also have ready-made friends that you can guarantee will be around for you if you have a bad day. It was so reassuring upon moving to university that I would have people I lived with and that I would get to know well, as I was very nervous about feeling isolated. Luckily, this was never the case!

I found that Brae House gave me the perfect combination of socialising and alone time if needed. I was able to go to the calm of my own room if I felt like it but always knew that there were 7 other flatmates as well as a common area downstairs if I was feeling sociable. I also felt very safe in the accommodation as we used key fobs to access the building, manned reception area, our own flat and then our rooms. So it was really reassuring to know that only I could access my room!

So, to conclude….

Trying to decide what conditions you want to live in is a big choice, so here are my top tips to consider.

  1. Self-catered or catered accommodation?
  2. En-suite or shared bathroom?
  3. Single or shared bedroom?
  4. Budget?
  5. Accessibility

Enjoy your accommodation search!!!!

Want to find out more?

Chat with Katie

University accommodation

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