In the name of Allah.
Assalamualaikum to all!!
It's that time of year when exam is drawing near and you just got Uni offers. Yay! When the thing you should really be doing is to focus on studying, you need to apply for your accommodations. D'ohh..! And when it comes to Imperial College, you have lots to choose from. Which means, you need to do hall hunting on the website with the little time you got. No fear, I'm here to help you avoid the hassle of browsing through the website. And, yeah, I might be a little bit biased. :p
Of course, the criteria we look for are vital. In my case, these were the things I looked for in order of preferences :
2. Price range
3. Halal food!
4. Distance from campus
5. Personal fridge (you'll soon learn why :p)
First, there are the Eastside, Southside and the halls of Prince's Gardens:
Gabor, Linstead, Wilkinson, Tizard, Falmouth, Selkirk, Keogh, Weeks* and Gardens.
All of these are on campus. If your class is at 9am, you can actually wake up 10 minutes before and still be in time for your lectures! All of them are en-suite rooms. The down part is the price. >190 per week. Of course you can opt for twin en-suite but you really don't want to take the risk of having inconsiderate roommates. Trust me, you don't. In any case, twins would cost you about 125 per week.
There's one more on campus: Beit.
Price range is from 105 to 190 per week. Quite a few choices to choose from : single (en-suite or standard) and twin (en-suite or standard). It's the latter that is cheaper. It's next to Royal Albert Hall, Royal College of Music and Student Union. So, it tends to get crowded and noisy, not really a good place to study. Of course, you can always go to the library. =D
Then there are the halls of Evelyn Gardens:
Fisher, Holbein, Willis Jackson, Bernard Sunley and Southwell.
It's one of the safest neighbourhoods in London. About 20 mins walk (London style, Malaysian style would probably take up to 30 mins) to campus. I don't think there's any en-suite available. So, there are only standard single, twins and triple O.O available. Price range 60~120 per week. A good choice but halal food is not that frequent here. So, if you're into cooking even if when you're too tired to do so, knock yourself out.
And then there are the others which I found less interesting (most probably because I have never been to these halls before.) One of them is not in walking distance by which I mean, it takes more than 40 minutes if you want to. And the price hovers around 120~180 per week for standard and en-suite singles. Please be aware that you'll need to spend on transport too. Not really a money-wise choice. But you can check them out: Parson, Pembridge** and Orient.
And last but not least, my hall: Wilson House!=)
Only single standard rooms are available here. 7 per bathroom and 15 per kitchen. Don't worry, they don't use the bathrooms early in the morning. Only Asians do!=p Some kitchens might be more spacious than others. Room sizes are not that bad, the smallest ones are in the basement and the larger ones are on the top floors. Price range is from 100~130 per week. Back then, it was 90~120 pw. You can choose to walk, across Hyde Park - around 30 mins to campus. It's really nice to have a morning stroll everyday. :) But you might want to use the bus/tube during winter. Should take you around 20 mins. We have Imperial Sports Centre at the back of the building too. Lots of halal food and meat around, and even better 5 Malaysian restaurants! Within walking distance. Satay house is just next door, literally! Owh and we're the only Imperial hall of residence with fridge in each room!=D The best part is, there's a mosque in the vicinity! Salahuddin Trust! A total WIN! :D just a block away!
Here's a sneak peek of my room in 2009/2010:
|The study desk. The irony : possibly 50% my time in London was spent here doing a lot of other things but studying.|
|The fridge : don't you just love it when your snacks are just within reach. ;)|
|Wash basin. Yeap, winter mornings made easy. =p|
|And the rest of the room when I first arrived here.|
So, yeah. I didn't lie about my being a bit biased. :p
After all the time that you have spent to read my rambling here, I think it would be proper to actually give a guide on which halls to choose. Considering all the criteria that I have brought forth earlier, I personally think that these halls should be your top choices :)
1. Wilson House : what more can I say? :p
2. Any single in Evelyn Gardens.
3. Weeks* : The price is actually cheaper than the other halls on campus. A bit tight on budget but still tolerable.
4. Pembridge** : I would consider this as well because it bears the postcode of W2, just like Wilson. So, you will be able to gain access to the things that I have described for Wilson.
That's all about it, I guess. You will need to come up with a list of 5, I think. And try to prioritise the criteria that you want and why you want them. They will come in handy during the application.=)
Here's the Youtube channel for IC accommodations: >Click!<
Best of luck. InshAllah.