The University of Southampton take part in the latest of our accommodation Q&As. See if they have answered a question you have about housing in the UK...
How can international students find accommodation? Is accommodation on or off-campus?
‘There are two options for accommodation at Southampton: halls of residence and private rented accommodation. All Southampton Halls of Residence are conveniently located within a short distance of the Highfield campus.
International students are guaranteed an offer of accommodation in the University’s Halls of Residence during their first year of study and one subsequent year.’
How are students allocated housemates? If students need help finding housemates, how do the university help?
‘Living in private rented accommodation, students need to find their housemates by themselves. Apart from general help with finding private rented accommodation, the Accommodation Service publishes a guide with essential advice on private renting.’
If students are not happy with their accommodation, can they change?
‘Students can change their accommodation; however, there are a limited number of rooms available at any one time. Applications to transfer are usually prioritised according to individual circumstances. Typically, requests to transfer between Rooms and/or Halls will be dealt in accordance with the following priority list:
- Medical and or other exceptional hardship grounds - for example, where a student is living in a room that is inappropriate due to a documented medical condition
- De-twinning (start of academic year only) - single accommodation will be found for all students sharing a room within the first six to twelve weeks of the session
- Lifestyle preferences - for example, where a student living in a mixed gender flat wants to move to single gender accommodation
- Change in grade of accommodation - for example, where a student allocated to a Standard Room wants to move to an En-suite Room
- Location - for example, where a student living in Glen Eyre wants to move to Wessex Lane
Any other reasons will be judged on the merits of the case. Also, please note that students without any accommodation will be given priority over transfers.’
What is included in the cost of accommodation? How are rooms furnished and what will students need to bring themselves?
‘The room classification and price depends on a number of factors, including the facilities available within the room, flat and the site, location and how recently the room has been built or refurbished. The cost of accommodation includes utility costs, high speed internet connection, a Uni-Link bus pass, contents insurance and a variety of onsite facilities, such as common rooms and communal computers.
Each kitchen at the Halls of Residence is provided with:
- Vacuum Cleaner
Each of the bedrooms in the Halls of Residence is provided with:
- Single bed
- Internet Connection
Items to bring:
- Pots and pans
Items to, possibly, purchase after arrival:
What kind of security measures are in place across the various accommodations?
‘All of our Halls of Residence are safe and secure with 24 hour security and CCTV on all sites. The University of Southampton Security Service operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year and is always available to assist students, staff and visitors on any security related issue. The Security Service consists of 50 full time staff, with additional contract staff for satellite sites, and is responsible for security on the Highfield, Boldrewood and Avenue Campuses.’
How are food/cooking arrangements handled in accommodation?
‘The University offers either total independence through self-catering accommodation or the more traditional Halls experience through part-catering.
In self-catered accommodation kitchen facilities shared between students are provided. Self-catering provides a totally independent experience and may be more suitable if a student has specialist dietary requirements.
During term time in part-catered accommodation students receive breakfast in the morning at their Hall and a main meal later in the day (Monday to Friday). The main meal can either be taken on campus between 10am and 7pm or at the Halls of Residence between 5pm and 7pm. Students are also provided with Brunch on Saturday and Sunday Lunch on Sunday. The canteen offers a range of freshly prepared meals from sandwiches and salads to pizzas, traditional roasts and international cuisine. A Vegetarian option is always available and our staff can cater for Halal and most dietary requirements if we are advised in advance. Catering is offered at Connaught Hall (Wessex Lane) and Highfield Hall (Small Halls).
All the Halls are within easy reach of local shops and the Uni-Link connection joins the Halls to the city supermarkets. In addition to this Highfield campus boasts its own vegetable market every Monday during term time and the Union shop provides a range of home and international food products.’
Can you give a brief overview of the surrounding areas around campus, including those popular among students for off-campus accommodation?
‘There are various facilities available in student accommodation, which can include common rooms, bars, laundrettes, computer rooms, barbeque and social areas and much more.
The University of Southampton has four campuses in Southampton city: Highfield Campus, where the main library, sports centre and Students' Union are located; Avenue Campus, home of our Faculty of Humanities; Waterfront Campus, where the National Oceanography Centre and our Ocean and Earth Sciences are; and Southampton General Hospital. All the campuses are connected through the University Uni-Link bus service. The main campus is located about 25 minute-long bus journey from the city centre, which offers a range of shopping and sports facilities, as well as cinemas and the beautiful Ocean Village. Southampton is a very green city with a variety of parks, including the Common, which is a walking distance from the main campus.’
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