This week we have a guest blog written for us by current student Asma Char who is in her third year of a PhD within English. Here, Asma lets us know about living in a self-catered en-suite at Nash Grove and how she finds the University, as an international student:
Living in an en-suite
Living in University residences can be a great experience for the students, and it allows them to see several aspects of University life and socialising. Living in an en-suite room is particularly good for new students as it brings both privacy and socialising opportunities together. The students who live in en-suite rooms usually share the flat with up to 5 (sometimes more) students which helps them feel less lonely during their stay in University accommodation. They still have their own private space and bathroom at the same time and this balance proves very positive for a healthy student life.
An en-suite room has enough space for comfortable living. It has a single or double bed, a closet, shelves, and large notice board for pictures to keep family memories close and remember trips and adventures! Take a look at the virtual tours to see a Nash Grove en-suite room, like the one I live in.
Living with Flatmates
Some students arrive to University halls and it is their first time sharing accommodation with other people from different backgrounds. I found it very useful to have an informal meeting with my flatmates at the beginning of the academic year to introduce ourselves. Since we live in an en-suite flat, we have also talked about the kitchen and common room and how to share responsibility for cleaning. It was a very productive meeting in which we talked about our preferences for sharing the cupboards and fridges, made a schedule for taking the rubbish out and even wrote down our birthdays so everyone could celebrate their birthday in company! This is what it looks like – you should get one when you arrive in University accommodation too:
Cooking and Cleaning
In some self-catered en-suite and standard flats, the University provides a cleaning service once a week during term time. However, it is very effective to set a cleaning programme where flatmates agree to keep the kitchen clean after cooking.
Apart from cooking together, flatmates in en-suite flats can eat as a group in catered halls by purchasing meal tickets from Reception. Take a look at the prices for this on the Accommodation Website.
Activities with Flatmates
Having flatmates from different backgrounds helped me get to know other cultures and their traditions. I was introduced to several cuisines and tried new dishes. In addition to cooking together, living in an en-suite flat allowed me to feel less lonely and homesick as I was surrounded with flatmates who quickly became friends. We occasionally go to the cinema together and try new restaurants in town from time to time. Having a spacious common room made it possible to invite friends from University for a birthday party or an evening meal as well. Flatmates in en-suite flats can attend events from the Residence Life Team and go on trips together. These events can be found on the Residence Life Team website and are updated each term.
All in all, living in an en-suite provides us, the students, not only with the opportunity to meet other people and socialise but it also gives us a sense of privacy and having a personal space. I am living in an en-suite for the second year, and I am loving the experience!
Guest blogger: Asma