Everyone knows that you get what you pay for, don’t you? Not necessarily, it seems. Here’s the definitive guide to University of East Anglia first year dorms.
1. En-Suite Campus
These rooms might not be the lightest on your pocket, but it’s no coincidence that they make up over half of UEA’s on-campus undergrad accommodation. With their own bathrooms and perfect locations right in the middle of campus, en-suite campus halls have it all. It’s pot luck how big your windows will be and the view you’ll get out of them, but who really cares when you’re so close to the beautiful nature on campus and, most importantly, the library and lecture theatres? (2017-18 rent: £143/week)
2. Single Ziggurats
It’s an urban legend at UEA that these famous listed ‘Soviet-pyramids’ designed in the same brutalist style as much of the university, are campus’ party central. And while that is partly true, there’s much more to the zigs than Tuesday night pre’s. There’s nothing like living in such an iconic part of UEA. Of course, they present their own challenges: the shared bathroom facilities, large flat sizes, the constant stream of people photographing your home and the heat if you don’t draw your curtains on hot, sunny days to name a few. However the stunning views (and enormous windows through which you can enjoy them), central-campus location and reasonable prices make these a superb place to live. (£109)
3. Premier Flats/Two-Bedroom Units
Two of the more expensive options, these are for individuals who would prefer a quieter experience living in a more solitary place, or in close proximity with just one other student. You won’t get the full fresher experience here, but some people don’t want that and if that’s you, this is absolutely ideal. With prices from mid range to very expensive, there are a variety of different configurations across campus to suit you. (£117-£252)
4. The Village
The ‘Village People’ might live out of the way, but their accommodation fosters a unique community feel. They also get their own bathrooms. Yeah, there’s a reasonable walk in the morning, but it could be worse (ahem, Mary Chapman). The village is just quite pleasantly middle-of-the-road: not close but could be further away, not cheap but could be more expensive, with no real reputation on campus. It’s a good centre ground for freshers who need their own bathroom but are unsure about exactly what else they want. (£122-£132)
5. Barton and Hickling
These are basically just tarted-up versions of the en-suite campus provisions of Colman, Paston et al. Yeah, they’re nice. Admittedly, they have better kitchens, and are newly built. But really, is that worth £10 extra per week, to be tucked away on the edge of campus? You’d think yes in week 1, but might not be so sure by week 12 when your lovely new ovens are called into action only to heat up another tin of spaghetti hoops… (£153)
6. Twin Ziggurats
Okay… well, these have all the benefits of the standard zigs with one crucial difference. You sleep in a partly-divided room of two. We’ve all heard the one-night-stand horror stories of residents, but if it’s location, view and feel you’re after rather than mad midnight romps, then the twins are a great option, and dirt cheap too, if you can just shake off the ‘school trip’ vibe and are willing to sacrifice a bit of space and privacy, and take a chance on your partner. (£75)
7. Single City: Mary Chapman Court
This is a cheaper and more ‘out-there’ option for those who want to experience their new city as much as their new uni. A bus pass is essential because this is how you’ll be getting to and from campus every day. Of course, there are benefits to this, for those not local who want to culturally explore the gorgeous city that is Norwich or want more nightlife options than just the LCR without having to pay for taxis or leave early for the last bus. Plus, it’s right by the river and in the heart of the city, an extremely short walk from shopping centres, chain stores and the independent Norwich Lanes. But day-to-day, this is not good if you’re not a morning person with 9am’s on campus or if you come to uni wanting to be part of the ‘campus bubble’. (£84)
8. Standard Campus: Orwell and Wolfson
There are reasons these are quite cheap. Orwell and Wolfson combine the worst bits of all the campus halls: they’re tucked away on the edge of campus, there’s no view, and you still have to share bathrooms. Still, I’m told they’re not bad inside, and they do offer a decent budget option if you need to be on campus but the idea of sharing a room turns your stomach. (£87)
9. En-suite Twin
These new rooms feature bunk beds, with two students sharing an en-suite room on campus. They are scheduled to open in September this year for 2017 freshers. Space could well be an issue, with two people in a room originally designed for one. We don’t know exactly what they’ll be like, but for the price and location they seem to be a great budget alternative to the expensive en-suite campus accommodation if you want to still be in the middle of the action. If you don’t need the view, the privacy, or too much space, these are an even cheaper option than the shared Ziggurat rooms, with just the two of you using the same bathroom. (£53-57)
Ultimately, there’s accommodation to suit most tastes and budgets at UEA so my advice is this: go for the option that offers what you want, not just the most expensive pad you can afford or the one highest up our ranking.
Which of these University of East Anglia first year dorms have you lived in? Comment below!
Featured image source: ukuni.net
19-year-old Literature and History undergraduate at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.