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#1
Right so I have finally reached the point where I can't put it off anymore and am officially applying for halls at university. Scary stuff...

My question directed at those who have been/are at uni is what would recomendations be for catered or self-catered accomodation (price withstanding).

I'm currently leaning towards catered simply on merit of:

  • Less to worry about in my first year
  • I've been told the communal atmosphere with everyone down to eat together is good for socialising
  • consequences of me being catastrophically lazy won't include starvation


But I am also tempted by the freedom (probably to starve) that self catered offers.

So here's an opportunity for the pit to bring it's real world experience to the table and help me with my decision.
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#6
Quote by Judge Holden
Rent a house off campus nearby with a bunch of other people. Don't have to put up university bullshit. Priceless.


Sure is great when you don't know anyone else you're going with to Uni. Generally first year you stay in halls, 2nd and 3rd are off campus.
#7
Quote by boreamor
Everything I chose was self catered because added catering costs a lot at Keele.


Price is a factor here (just not one I was looking to the pit about ). It does cost about £2000 more for catered it seems which is a lot but when you take away the food prices it's probably not so much.

Quote by Judge Holden
Rent a house off campus nearby with a bunch of other people. Don't have to put up university bullshit. Priceless.


No way. Completely misses the point as far as I see it. I'll be kicked out for first years at the end of the year anyway so I can do it then.
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Last edited by leeb rocks at May 17, 2010,
#8
Quote by boreamor
Sure is great when you don't know anyone else you're going with to Uni. Generally first year you stay in halls, 2nd and 3rd are off campus.


I was in a university house off campas. Wouldn't change that for the world. Was semi catered, so ahd to get my own breakfast and food at weekends.

Quote by leeb rocks
Price is a factor here (just not one I was looking to the pit about ). It does cost about £2000 more for catered it seems which is a lot but when you take away the food prices it's probably not so much.


TWO GRAND?

Semi catered only shed me £400 for the entire year and it wasn't bad food at all.
#9
Well, catered means you won;t have to make sure all your housemates see you licking your cheese so they don't 'borrow' it.
#11
catered is ftw. really helpful. just check in advance what you get though. for me last year i only got breakfast and dinner and only during the weekdays. for lunch and the weekends you had to fend for your self. price was also slightly higher but nothing to worry about, student loan takes care of you.

the whole communal thing is also very true. great palce to meet up and socialise!
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#12
Quote by Deliriumbassist

TWO GRAND?

Semi catered only shed me £400 for the entire year and it wasn't bad food at all.


for the whole year? Bloody hell good deal there. Yup just cheked to make sure I wasn't wrong and for what seem to be equal rooms the difference is about £1500.
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#13
What uni are you applying to? Chances are that someone on here will have direct experience of the specific halls you're on about if its one of the larger universities.
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#14
Self - catered is cheaper... and you can cull out food for beer, that's my plan anyway.

I still haven't applied for student finance any my deadline was about a month ago

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#15
I went catered in my first year. I'm massively lazy, but the food was pretty shit so I kinda wished I'd gone self-catered tbh.
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#16
catered is a waste of time. more expensive than buying your own food and you have to eat at specific times.

don't bother.
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#17
Outside of the cost factors also consider the time required to go do enough shopping to get a decent amount of food for the week, preparation, cooking, cleaning time. I don't know where/what course you're going for, but I know that if I had to prepare all my meals I'd have to really be more efficient with my working habits to fit in all the stuff I need to. But then again I have stupidly rushed terms.
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#18
Quote by GHJ
What uni are you applying to? Chances are that someone on here will have direct experience of the specific halls you're on about if its one of the larger universities.


Good idea. It's Edinburgh Uni if anyone has been there (most Scottish students I've seen on here seem to be based in Glasgow).
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#19
Quote by leeb rocks
Good idea. It's Edinburgh Uni if anyone has been there (most Scottish students I've seen on here seem to be based in Glasgow).


My friend that goes to edinburgh did catered for the first semestethen moved to self-catered for the second because he hated it so much. he didn't think the food was good but mostly, he says, you have to live with people who were willing to pay so much extra for food to be mde for them. he says he lived with 12 privately educated people who were massively pompous pricks.

he may well just have been unlucky, though.
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#20
I'm trying to find somewhere to stay in Glasgow, it's fucking horrendous. I don't have an unconditional, so the decent halls are out of the question, the private ones are ridiculously expensive, and the semi-decent ones are miles out of the way to be convenient.
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#21
Figured that might be an issue with pricks. But I imagine the chances are around even of meeting them, in catered or not.
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#22
Quote by sg255
I'm trying to find somewhere to stay in Glasgow, it's fucking horrendous. I don't have an unconditional, so the decent halls are out of the question, the private ones are ridiculously expensive, and the semi-decent ones are miles out of the way to be convenient.


Does having an unconditional matter?

Murano street halls are the biggest and the nearest.
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#23
Quote by meh!
catered is a waste of time. more expensive than buying your own food and you have to eat at specific times.

don't bother.

Go self catered for these reasons. Plus there's a lot more freedom with self catered.
#24
Quote by meh!
Does having an unconditional matter?

Murano street halls are the biggest and the nearest.

My sister maintains that Murano street is nearer, but I don't believe her. I'd be fine with staying there really, but my mum insists that I need to have an en suite, and it's them that's paying.

I remember you saying you went to Glasgow at some point, where did you stay?
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#25
Put up a poll.

In some uni's, you only get guaranteed accomodation in the first year, and you're advised to GTFO in later years.
I'd suggest going for self-catered. You'll learn to be independent, and you'll still make friends to share a house with later.

I wasn't given accomodation at all (long story) so I rent a house off campus. It's waaaaaaaaaay cheaper, but could impede the social aspect. I dunno how much that matters to you.
#26
I'd probably recommend self catering as well to be honest. Catering does have some advantages, but cooking for yourself is no biggie and you're gonna have to do it sometime. Plus you wont be tied to certain places at certain times for meals. Wherever you go you're gonna meet new people and make new friends, so I wouldn't choose catered based on the fact the prospectus talks about social experience/bonding time. Whatever you choose, good luck and enjoy yourself
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#27
Quote by GHJ
I'd probably recommend self catering as well to be honest. Catering does have some advantages, but cooking for yourself is no biggie and you're gonna have to do it sometime. Plus you wont be tied to certain places at certain times for meals. Wherever you go you're gonna meet new people and make new friends, so I wouldn't choose catered based on the fact the prospectus talks about social experience/bonding time. Whatever you choose, good luck and enjoy yourself


Was actually getting that form someone who had gone catered and reccomended it but still point well taken.
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#28
Quote by sg255
My sister maintains that Murano street is nearer, but I don't believe her. I'd be fine with staying there really, but my mum insists that I need to have an en suite, and it's them that's paying.

I remember you saying you went to Glasgow at some point, where did you stay?



I never stayed in halls im afraid, hence not knowing about the app process. some people like living there, some people don't. they're the cheapest as well, i think. i dont know anyone with na en suite or where you get those, sorry
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#29
Quote by leeb rocks
Good idea. It's Edinburgh Uni if anyone has been there (most Scottish students I've seen on here seem to be based in Glasgow).



I'm going for edinburgh too. Pollock halls is actually supposed to be pretty ace for food. I've heard its good quality (being a hotel too you'd expect that) and there's no limit on what you can take like there is elsewhere. Plus its either that or some dingey self catered flats in which you are segregated from all but the small number you share them with.

For those reasons im going to go for catered for Edinburgh, although as my insurence i probably wont have much choice in the matter.


EDIT: I am applying for self catered for my firm choice, just so I dont sound like a catered fanboy.
Last edited by Adamtbh at May 17, 2010,
#30
if it's your first year... seriously stay in halls. Dont believe the crap about getting a house off campus. It's best you stick with the other first years and make good lasting friends.

Also there's no different in socialising between catered and non-catered. Freshers week/weekend takes care of socialising for you. I was in self catered and couldnt get on with anyone in my flat, I made most of my friends with guys in a different building.

There are advantages to being out of halls in a house somewhere like no noise and no hassle from uni, but in my opinion being in halls far outweighs being in a house in first year.

In second year you can move into a house with a bunch of people with whom you've made friends in first year.
#31
Quote by meh!
I never stayed in halls im afraid, hence not knowing about the app process. some people like living there, some people don't. they're the cheapest as well, i think. i dont know anyone with na en suite or where you get those, sorry

Murano street is the cheapest, then Winton Drive, then Queen Margret Residences, Queen Margret is the only one with en suites, and I'm pretty sure you need an unconditional to be able to get into there, at least that's how my sister managed to get in.

I looked at accommodation in Edinburgh when I was considering going there, and the prices for halls were way out of my league, never mind getting a place to stay after that.
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#32
Quote by sg255
Murano street is the cheapest, then Winton Drive, then Queen Margret Residences, Queen Margret is the only one with en suites, and I'm pretty sure you need an unconditional to be able to get into there, at least that's how my sister managed to get in.

I looked at accommodation in Edinburgh when I was considering going there, and the prices for halls were way out of my league, never mind getting a place to stay after that.


The city seems to be stupidly expensive in most aspects.

I'm leaning slightly to catered here due to it all being centralised in one area rather than spread out across the city. Seems to be a big advantage there to be honest. All though fixed eating times will suck a bit.
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#33
It depends where you go. My uni is known for being pretty much the best in Canada as far as food goes (no, that's not the only reason I went there), and I can't really cook much myself, and also didn't really want to live with other people so I went for the residence with a mandatory meal plan.

Another point to consider is that if you don't get catered, you then have to buy your own food. Now this could mean that over the year you will end up spending less on food, or possibly even more, however one way or another, there's the very real possibility you might not eat very well whether from laziness, or not wanting to spend much. If you get the catered option, you sink a fixed amount into your food for the year, which if you're smart about it, you can kind of budget it, so you know exactly how much you're spending on food, you don't have to worry about being to lazy to eat right, you have a lot more options (besides what you can cook), the social aspect is a definite bonus, and you don't have to actually go out and do groceries.

EDIT: Just read over more of the thread.. you can probably ignore a good bit of what I said as it looks like catering is massively different over there then I would've thought. What I got was a meal plan, which you choose how large, and basically it's like a pre-paid credit card, only your student card is what you use. With that, you go to any place on campus (and some off) and just use your student card to pay for whatever you want.
Last edited by dark&broken at May 17, 2010,
#34
ive not done my accomodation either.
Can any one brief me on which is better at sheffield hallam uni?
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#35
Quote by kickstartkiss
ive not done my accomodation either.
Can any one brief me on which is better at sheffield hallam uni?

I stayed at Woodville which was hemp. Ex-gf lived at Cavendish House which was alright, good location. The Forge is nice but pricey. Leadmill Point is standard. Been to a party at the Trigon, it's fucking nice but all the posh kids go there. Can't think of anymore, any questions just ask.
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#36
Quote by the_astronaut
I stayed at Woodville which was hemp. Ex-gf lived at Cavendish House which was alright, good location. The Forge is nice but pricey. Leadmill Point is standard. Been to a party at the Trigon, it's fucking nice but all the posh kids go there. Can't think of anymore, any questions just ask.


Cheers mate
I dont really life with the 'rents anymore, but they are supporting me. So i wanna keep it cheap. i also wanna be close to city campus. Thats all im really working with atm. hows catering there as well?
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#37
I went catered (after applying for self catered, psh) and it was VERY hit and miss. Sometimes you got a decent meal, sometimes you got food poisoning and then everything in between. My halls + catering were a 15-20 minute walk from campus (though that was from my department was in the furthest corner away from 1st year accomodation) and it was annoying ahving to walk back most days to get lunch when my coursemates all stayed on campus because they'd either made lunch or were buying it.
I guess its kind of social seeing people about in the catering but self catered now its quite social within my house. I reckon my food bill for this year has been no more than £750 including all the drunk fast food etc you end up having.

Another reccomendation is go into cheaper accomodation if you're from a less well off background, even if you think you can afford the more expensive stuff with job/savings. My housemates are all nice people, but their parents pay for their accomodation and did last year and they dont seem to understand the concept of not being able to afford something. I know quite a few people who also wish they went into cheaper accomodation, just because of the class of people it attracts. Like i said they're generally nice people, just not the kind of people i'd chose to be good friends with as i feel like i dont fit in sometimes since they're all from a completely different background... I'm actually really glad to be moving out to go to sweden next year.

edit:

Quote by leeb rocks
The city seems to be stupidly expensive in most aspects.

I'm leaning slightly to catered here due to it all being centralised in one area rather than spread out across the city. Seems to be a big advantage there to be honest. All though fixed eating times will suck a bit.


I've heard that at edinbrough they have scandalous accomodation prices to make up for Scottish students not having to pay tuition fees, and then that leads to the landlords for out-of-uni housing having their prices stupidly high too. Whether theres any truth to that i dont know, just something i heard.
Last edited by StonaLemons at May 17, 2010,
#38
Quote by kickstartkiss
Cheers mate
I dont really life with the 'rents anymore, but they are supporting me. So i wanna keep it cheap. i also wanna be close to city campus. Thats all im really working with atm. hows catering there as well?

Ah fair one. I lived at Woodville which is opposite Collegiate Campus and it was catered. A lot of the food was horrible, so I tended to eat pasta and jacket potatoes most days, I dunno how it is at the other catered halls though. Leadmill Point is pretty close to City Campus but it's self-catered, depends if you're as lazy as me I guess haha. I can't even think of any catered halls near City off the top of my head I'm afraid. :/
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#39
The accommodation prices in Edinburgh seem to be based on the citys generally ludicrous property prices. I don't think the lack of fees factors into it any more than it does for any other uni here.
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#40
Quote by sg255
My sister maintains that Murano street is nearer, but I don't believe her. I'd be fine with staying there really, but my mum insists that I need to have an en suite, and it's them that's paying.

I remember you saying you went to Glasgow at some point, where did you stay?

Murano Street is no more than 10 minutes walk from the Byres Road end of University Avenue, IIRC. And that's dawdling. Don't really know about any of the others.
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