Hi again everyone!!
I apologise it’s been awhile since my last post. My assessments took place in January so I only got back to writing now. I will try to make up for it by having weekly updates for the month of February.
For my first post in 2022, I want to talk about accommodation in Guildford. I’ll focus on University Halls then offer my experience of living in private accommodation at the moment.
Living at University halls
Accommodation at Surrey can appear quite complicated when you first start looking through the website. There are three different campuses and multiple band types, so let me summarise it.
About the Campuses
Stag Hill is the main University campus where most lessons take place. Manor Park is where the Surrey Sports Park (gym) is located and most sports take place. It is smaller than Stag Hill and about a 20 mins walk from there. Then there is Hazel Farm which is about 5km from the main Stag Hill Campus with a direct bus line. I’ve only lived in Manor Park, so I’m afraid I can’t offer much guidance about living on the other campuses.
When you apply for accommodation at the University, you won’t be able to choose a specific campus. What you can choose it the type of room or Band that you’d prefer. You are able to put them in order of preference and I believe most people get their first choice. For information about the prices for each band, look here.
Band A refers to rooms that are cheapest, located at Hazel Farm. They are single rooms with some furniture like a desk, wardrobe, etc. They include shared toilets and a kitchen as all accommodation at the University is self-catered. Band B rooms are also at Hazel Farm and the only difference from Band A is that they are slightly bigger and pricier.
Band C rooms are slightly larger and located at the Stag Hill Campus. Due to the location, there are no residents parking for Band C rooms unlike Bands A and B. The price is also higher but there is more availability. For instance, whereas there are less than 1000 Band A and B rooms combined, there are over 1400 Band C ones.
When I lived on campus I had a Band D room which includes its own bathroom and a shared kitchen. They are pretty good and spacious with even room underneath the bed for suitcases for instance. Band D rooms are located across Manor Park and Stag Hill. I believe the Manor Park ones are more comfortable according to what I’ve heard from friends who lived on the main campus.
I have no complaints about living in a Band D room. I had my own space and private bathroom which for me is important. I lived with about 6 people and it was harmonious so I had no issues sharing the flat with them. It was actually quite nice knowing if I got bored or wanted company, I could just knock on their doors or go to the kitchen. Overall my experience living in halls was positive.
Band E rooms are slightly bigger than Band D since they are often double instead of single. Locations are the same, though there are very few rooms at Stag Hill. If you’re really looking for a double bedroom, there are options to rent outside the University.
Finally, there is Band F which refers to studio flats located in Manor Park. I don’t know anyone who lives in these, so I’m not sure if it’s worth it. However, based on the prices I’ve seen for renting studios privately, the ones offered by the University are definitely cheaper.
Renting Privately (my experience)
For my second year at University I decided to rent a private accommodation because I wanted to live with a friend. It was a long, harsh process of searching online, making tours and negotiating until we managed to find our home. The place we’re living is in Guildford Park Avenue about 10 mins walking from the Stag Hill Campus and town plus just 5 mins from the train station. It’s an area I definitely recommend because it’s quite convenient and beautiful too.
Our current rooms are much larger than the University ones, with a double bed instead of single. They include a private bathroom, a fridge, freezer and microwave. You could say they are like studios except there is no stove. We share a small kitchen with two other flatmates and there’s a garden too. The only thing lacking in our home is a living room/common room.
This place is a gem because it’s not much more expensive than a Band D room. Although, one thing you should be aware of is that when renting private accommodation you will most likely have to pay for the whole year instead of just the Academic Year (so 12 instead of 9/10 months).
Bills are also included in our rent just like at University which I think it’s good since we don’t have to worry about additional charges. Another advantage of our home is that the washer and a dryer are included in the rent as well. This is important because at University to use the launderette you have to pay using a mobile app or top up card system.
Overall this is the main information about living in University Halls and my experience living in private accommodation. If you’d like further info about specific bands or what it’s like to live at Hazel Farm, you should check out the University website. There’s also a Facebook group for University of Surrey Freshers 2021 where you can ask people all types of questions including about accommodation. Some people also post available rooms in the group, so that’s another option for finding private accommodation.
I hope you found this post informative and useful. In the next one I will talk about all the ways of renting privately and the most important things I believe you need to be aware of beforehand.
In the meantime, if you have any queries about accommodation or any issues while you’re living in halls, you can contact email@example.com
Have a great day!