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Postgrad on Campus

Student Life

Accommodation Consideration – Claude Gibb

Accommodation is arguably the most important aspect of student life. After all, it’s where you’ll be staying for the duration of your time at university, and where you stay will influence the people you meet and the places you’ll discover. Of course, that all depends on your situation. Back in my undergrad days, I commuted from home by train. It wasn’t too far of a journey (or maybe I just got accustomed to it) and it really did help to save on the accommodation rent. Of course, the obvious drawback was that it was inconvenient for staying late and all that. Fast forward to today, and unless I were willing to commute 5 or 6 hours every day by train (I’m not sure if that’s even possible) I had to seek out somewhere in Newcastle to stay.

My first thought was to check out rooms for rent and house shares around Newcastle. I found a few decent places, but unfortunately none of them seem too close to the university. I didn’t mind commuting, but some were pretty far out and I didn’t feel like travelling if I could help it. That’s when I looked at the university’s accommodation options. At first, I thought that the accommodation was only available for first-year students in their undergrad as is the case for other universities, however Northumbria actually make their places available to all students of all years, undergrad or postgrad, which is amazing! Not only that, but some places were very student friendly in terms of pricing, with weekly rates as low as £70. The locations were also very convenient; most sites were only a short walk from the city campus.

So which building did I end up picking? Well, it’s called Claude Gibb. It’s the tallest accommodation on campus at 11 floors high. There are quite a few reasons I went with this place:

Cost

Claude Gibb is easily the cheapest accommodation on campus. There are two options, catered and non-catered, which run £70 or £112 a week respectively. After factoring in the number of meals provided (more on this later) and duration of stay, it still works out pretty cheap compared to the other sites. My budget was fairly small, mostly because I’m saving up for a bunch of things (mostly for building a maxed-out supercomputer), so this worked out great.

Location

The location couldn’t be better. The building is practically on campus and essentially a two-minute walk from the 24/7 library and computer labs. As someone who had trouble during undergrad balancing time spent in the library and time travelling home, this is a godsend. I’ve been able to dip in and out of the library at whatever time is comfortable for me, giving me a great flexible schedule. Also, with the city centre just a short walk away, everything like shopping, banking and chilling is covered.

Other stuff

Claude Gibb is unique to the other accommodations in that it provides a catered option, that is, it provides two meals a day (breakfast and dinner) (breakfast and lunch on a weekend). I was torn between the two options but eventually decided to pick the catered option. My reasoning was that as someone who was moving a long distance away for the first time, starting a Masters in a new field, I wanted to devote as much time as I could to just focusing on the work and settling in, rather than having to worry about stuff like food. Then for the next semester, I could easily just change accommodations if I felt like it.

If you read my previous post about moving north, you might also know that my suitcase was basically bursting at the seams already, so carrying kitchen stuff (pots, pans, the usual) seemed like a bad idea as well.

So what’s it like so far?

It’s great! The rooms themselves are also pretty spacious at 12m2; it’s nice to have the breathing room. The food is mostly pretty good too. I worked out the average price for each meal and it comes to roughly just over £3; decent considering that includes coffees/drinks/desserts and all that. The only thing that’s unfortunate is the size of the kitchen, which is quite small. Actually, it’s more of a kitchenette, and is more useful for preparing snacks or microwave meals as there’s no stove or oven. I guess this kinda makes sense since the accommodation has the catered option, but essentially if you pick the non-catered option (for the cheap rate) it’ll be fairly difficult (though not impossible) to cook meals.

Reassuringly, security is always just a phone call away, and I can’t stress how convenient the campus only being seconds away is (there’s a class I have on Fridays that’s literally in the building across from me).

All in all, I’m pretty happy with my time here so far, and since Claude Gibb and Lovaine are closing down in June for refurbishments, I’m glad I got to experience it before they go away for a while.

Peace out,

Michael

For more information about the accommodation options on offer at Northumbria, click here.

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