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De-Silva-Wijeyeratne,AR (ug)

January 30th, 2020

Things to consider when picking a hall of residence

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

De-Silva-Wijeyeratne,AR (ug)

January 30th, 2020

Things to consider when picking a hall of residence

0 comments | 1 shares

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

  1. Cost (Room size, amenities, location): Living in London is expensive and the room rates reflect that. This is why it is necessary to look over all the factors that can influence the weekly rent, so that you can pick a hall that best caters to your budget and needs. There are many factors that influence the final price of a room for the year. Most halls aim to give everyone a similarly-sized room but some halls may give you the option of picking a room that is bigger, or one that has a double bed, which tends to result in an increase in the cost per week. One thing that can really drive up the price is having a private bathroom. Rooms will usually always have a sink so the option of having a room with a shared bathroom will be cheaper. Location can also have an impact on price. For example, halls in Covent Garden tend to be the most expensive halls. Carr-Saunders and Passfield that are located in Bloomsbury can cost up to 7000 pounds a year.
  2. Contracts: Another thing to look out for is contract lengths. Contracts can vary in terms of the number of weeks you stay in halls. This means some halls may require you to move out during the holidays which means international students may have to pay more for the option to stay on if they aren’t going home for the holidays. However, the fact that you only pay for the weeks you are actually attending university means that overall the cost will be less but, if moving out and then back in every term doesn’t seem too appealing, keep an eye out for a contract that allows you to stay in halls until the summer.
  3. Distance from campus: If you are someone who doesn’t fancy taking the bus or tube everyday to campus, there are several halls that are within walking distance. I find walking to campus everyday extremely convenient and also like the fact that it doesn’t cost me anything. It is also convenient if I need to work in the library or have a meeting on campus at short notice.
  4. Catered or self-catered: Food is important and it’s best to be honest with yourself now as to whether you will actually be motivated to cook for yourself often or constantly end up getting Uber Eats. Self-catered halls can be cheaper and tend to be a better option if you have strict dietary requirements or just prefer cooking for yourself. Catered halls are more convenient if you don’t know how to cook or don’t want to cook regularly. Most catered accommodation will have a pantry with at least a kettle and microwave. However, one thing to look out for is that some halls may give only dinner, leaving you to get breakfast and lunch while others will provide both breakfast and dinner.
  5. LSE halls vs Inter-collegiate halls: One thing I struggled with was trying to decide whether I preferred an LSE hall or an intercollegiate one. My advice is to consider all the other factors first and see what halls end up fitting well with all your criteria and then to consider this. A good thing about living in an LSE hall is that all the people you meet will be studying at LSE although they will be studying different degrees. This gives you common ground to make friends in the first few weeks and you are also likely to see them on campus as well in between lectures and seminars. On the flip side, inter-collegiate halls are great because you get to meet people from other universities that you would probably otherwise not meet. I currently live in an inter-collegiate hall and have had an incredibly positive experience. Equally, I have friends who live in LSE halls and also really enjoy it.
  6. Location and things to do: I would consider this to be a less important factor to consider but it is nevertheless worth considering. Transport links and the general safety of an area are good things to look into. It is also good to look at things to do in the area. For example, I live two minutes from the British Museum and opposite the University of London Student Centre which has a pub with regular quiz nights and a club. There is also a high street very close by with several restaurants, shops, supermarkets and pubs. Depending on what your priority is in with regard to shopping or having a good night life scene close by, make sure you pick your hall accordingly.
  7. Visit the hall!: Most halls allow you to call or email and book a viewing. If you already live in London, take advantage of this and go take a look at the hall and ask any questions you have such as the cost of the deposit you would have to pay to have a mini fridge in your room. Alternatively, the website will have a virtual tour section which allows you to have a look at the rooms and facilities.

 

This post was written in late January 2020. See here for the latest UK government guidance on coronavirus. Find out more on LSE’s response to coronavirus here.

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De-Silva-Wijeyeratne,AR (ug)

Posted In: Accommodation

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