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When I applied to go to Kent University it was at the last minute (about 2 weeks before my results!) and so did not get to apply for accommodation in the normal way. I was assigned my accommodation by the University and was given the option to live in Tyler Court or to find my own place to stay!
So I decided to take up my place in Tyler Court Block C, which is (if I do say so myself) probably the best place to live on campus.
From what I have heard from the people who actually applied properly, to apply for accommodation you either fill in a form which they send you in the post (I'd recommend doing this ASAP especially if you hope to get in here!) or you can fill in an on-line application form which will be detailed in the letter accompanying your postal application. All the details of the rooms and rates can be found at www.kent.ac.uk in the hospitality section. There are pictures of most of the typical rooms and buildings on the website and a separate Adobe file listing all of the room rates, per week and per term.
ACCEPTING THE ROOM
You will be advised in a letter from the University that you will need to set up your Student Data System account (a username and password basically!) which you should regularly check, as when they assign you a room the details will appear in this account. You have to accept or reject the accommodation offer from the University within 7 days of opening the accommodation offer (i.e. the first time you access it) otherwise they may offer your room to someone else. There will also be separate links on the page, which will detail the dates you can pick up your keys and move in and the terms and conditions to the contract you are entering into with the University. They will send you an e-mail confirming the room acceptance, you must print this out and take it with you when registering your room when you move in. You must also print off the room agreement page in your Student Data account, however it does explain clearly what you need to take with you when you register on the website.
When I got to the University I assumed it would take a matter of minutes to collect my keys and start moving in. How wrong I was! I cued for roughly an hour with many other unhappy students. The registration was simple; all I needed was proof of identification with me (I used a Passport) and the print offs from the Internet. It was a simple process, which was very short they just had to tick your name off the sheet and find your keys!
I was given a key in an envelope and a swipe card. The swipe card opens the front door to my building (so supposedly only people who live there can get in) and then the key is specific to your corridor door and room door (so only people who live in that particular corridor can access it and only you can access your room presumably!)
There were also second year students to help you move in. They showed you whereabouts your room was and they also helped to carry your stuff (the only things they couldn't carry were electrical items for insurance purposes).
Well it's one of the best University rooms I have seen. As you walk into my room there is a bookcase with 6 shelves (but it stands taller than myself and I'm 5ft 7") directly next to that there is a wardrobe, which has a full-length mirror in it, shelves down the right hand space and hanging space on the left hand side (and they provided me with three hangers!) The next to that is a sideboard unit to plug in your television, laptop etc and this runs about 10ft down to the end of the room. Underneath the sideboard are two sets of sizeable draws, one of which are on wheels so you can move wherever you would like them. You are also provided with an Internet socket, aerial socket and 6 plug sockets. Above the sideboard there is a set of box shaped shelves, which run the same length as the sideboard.
There is a window directly at the bottom of the room and a radiator below this.
As you walk in the room on the left hand side there is an en-suite bathroom directly on your left. It's one of these all-in-one jobbies. There is a toilet, a shower, shelf, sink, toilet roll holder and a soap holder! The shower is only separated from the rest of the bathroom by a shower curtain and just has a drainage hole in the floor!
Further down from the bathroom is the bed. It is a single bed (with a reading light above it) and they provide you with a sheet and a pillow, the bed is very comfy though! You are also provided with a bedside cabinet, a lamp, a cushioned reading chair and a computer chair. The walls are painted a mild yellow, the carpet is blue and the chairs are green.
I was really pleased with my room, it was really clean and pleasant when I walked in (although it isn't quite so good now), there is also a cleaner who comes every other week to give our bathrooms a quick clean and to "clean" the kitchen.
I was surprised at the sheer size of the kitchen, as it has to be able to cope with 9 people cooking in it. There is a huge round table with 9 plastic chairs around it (like the ones you used to get in school). All the right hand side of the kitchen is consumed with cupboards and cooking equipment. We were all given two cupboards, one for storing food and the other for storing pans etc, they were helpfully designated to us by our room numbers being on the doors. We were provided with two sinks, a kettle, one microwave, two fridge/freezers, two gas cookers (hob, oven, grill) and one plate, cup, knife, fork and spoon per student.
We also have a big cupboard in the corner of the kitchen, housing the hoover, a dustpan and brush, the broom, an iron, an ironing board and my housemates Pot Noodles!
Well to be honest it is the most expensive accommodation in the University which is why it is so nice here, and I probably wouldn't have chosen to live here due to the expense but I'm managing ok so far.
This payment also means that you are free to use your room over the Christmas holidays and over the Easter break, they do not give you an option to go home and therefore not pay.
This left me only with a couple of hundred pounds left from my loan, (and I have the maximum loan) so I am having to work my little socks off right now to stay alive! (Well it's not quite that bad yet).
IS IT WORTH IT?
Well I know it may seem like alot of money, but this does cover you over holidays etc.... I do also love living here it is only a 3 minute walk to the heart of the Campus and the amenities and just outside my door is a huge hill, from which I can look over the whole of Canterbury (including the Cathedral) which looks great at night when the town is lit up.
My housemates are also ace. They can be a little noisy at times but we all get along, I was glad that I got put into Tyler Court and I would recommend that you stay here as so far I'm having a great time.