Having lived in Quads in my first year, I can vouch that it was a wonderful experience from an international student perspective and was convenient on various fronts. As you make your accommodation decision, I am here to give you an honest picture of what living in Quads is really like.
Choosing my accommodation
As an international student, I wanted to choose an accommodation that would let me meet fellow international students and had an inclusive culture. Before selecting my preference, I spoke to my seniors about suitable accommodations for international students and one of the accommodations that stood out was Quads.
As for the basic aspects of Quads, the rooms are single & ensuite. They are within a flat shared by 8 to 10 students. There is one kitchen per flat which comes with basic equipment such as a microwave, kettle, toaster, fridge and hot plates. Quads is also one of the few accommodations that come with an Eat and Drink credit. I will talk about this in more detail later on.
One aspect I loved about the shortlisting process for Quads was the preferences that you are asked to choose. Within Quads, you can select to be in a quiet, alcohol-free, single or mixed gender or mature flat group. The groups are mixed within the blocks not one block per requirement. This allowed me to tailor my accommodation to a certain extent.
Apart from these, price is one of the major factors when choosing accommodation. Quads is no doubt one of the most expensive accommodations on campus. You can refer to the price comparisons between the accommodations here.
Alongside looking at the costs, it is good to draw up an Excel sheet comparing different accommodations and their prices along with pros and cons for each including Eat and Drink credit, ensuite rooms (if you prefer that), and distance from the centre of campus and so on. Doing this massively helped me in ultimately selecting Quads.
Living in Quads
When you are asked to submit your accommodation preferences, make sure you put thought and consideration into each of your choices. While the University will try its best to allocate your top choice, there is no guarantee due to the volume of students.
I was very glad and thankful to have been allocated Quads and could not wait to experience living there. I shared a flat with 8 other girls in my first year some of whom were local students while others were international. This allowed me to experience diversity as well as connect with students from similar backgrounds.
The ensuite room was very convenient and the kitchen was quite spacious for it to be shared amongst the 8 of us. Each flat also comes with a lounge room which was one of the exciting features for me as I could use the space to socialise with my flatmates, study, workout and watch movies etc
Quads has 5 blocks which are right by each other. During my time living in Quads, Blocks A & B were the most social blocks as they were closer to the centre and were unofficially designated as the 'party' blocks. I preferred quieter accommodation and was assigned E, which is the farthest from the centre. It was the best of both worlds as I could always meet my friends in A or B if I needed a break but also had my space when I wanted it. The blocks are about a 5-10 min walk from the centre of campus which was very convenient during times when I would have to sprint to an 8 am lecture after a late night!
The best feature of Quads by far for me was the Eat and Drink credit. My library card was topped up each week with £25 and I could spend it in any restaurant on campus such as Lime Tree, 4West, Parade etc and even use it in the Market on campus. This was immensely helpful during exam times when I did not have the time to cook and could quickly grab something on the go.
You also don’t have to worry if you have excess money on your card by the end of the year as you can use the money until you leave the University. Believe it or not, I still have unused credit from my first year which makes me glad (also makes my friends very glad 😉)
Although on the more expensive side, Quads comes with great advantages. The University also offers support in terms of accommodation finance. While Quads is a great option, the other accommodations are no less in terms of providing a comfortable experience.
At the end of the day, it boils down to the connections you make with your flatmates and the memories you create together. So don’t let that hold you back from considering other options. Choosing accommodation is definitely not an easy choice as it will be your home away from home. Comparing and contrasting the accommodations based on factors that are important to you, will help make the decision easier.
Overall, I would highly recommend living in Quads especially if you are an international student, as it offers a very inclusive experience. I hope you have an exciting and memorable student halls experience! Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any further questions about Quads or student accommodation in general.