Advantages Too many to list here
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I am going to focus on the non-academic side in this review since you are able to get most information about the courses from the warwick website or brochures.The university accommodation maintains a very high standard because during vacations, the student accommodation is turned into a conference park. In order to make money from the conference park, the university, or rather the accommodation office, has to make sure that the rooms are well-maintained. The en-suite rooms are expensive (about £90 per week) whereas the non en-suite rooms are just £60-£70. All first-year students are guaranteed accommodation on-campus provided that you apply before the deadline. You can only choose one en-suite hall among your choices when you apply. About 50% of rooms available to first year students are en-suite so the chance of getting an en-suite if it is your first choice is quite big. I personally like the non en-suite halls. For me, paying £20-£30 per week just to get your own bathroom isn't worth it. En-suite or non en-suite, the cleaners come and clean the common area including the bathroom everyday. They also clean your room at least once a week and so, I don't see why I should pay £30 more per week just to have my own bathroom. I could save that money and buy myself more food/drinks for the week. Anyway, there is no best or worst hall in my opinion. Once you settle down, you make friends so quickly that you will like your hall/flat and don't want to leave it at the end of the year. The furthest hall of residence is not more than 10 minutes away from the main campus (nearest being only 2 minutes away).
There was a catering hall but it was not popular so the university scraped the catering scheme. There are a few places to eat on campus and breakfast and lunch shouldn't be a problem if you don't like to prepare your own meals. However, there are fewer choices at night. The university now launches a new eating card, where you or a third party can load money onto it and you get 10% off when you use that card in restaurants on campus. I find this card useful and it is worth getting it because: (1) no application fee (2) no need to carry cash around on campus (3) you can even use it in the university supermarket, costcutter (4) you get refund if you do not finish the credit on the card at the end of the year. However, you can't use this card in the student union. There is a posh restaurant owned by the student union and it's called Xanana. This place used to offer good food + big portions but sadly, not so anymore (at least to me). Meals are also expensive by student standard, about £7.50 for a main course. (But, there are always many students in there whenever I pass by)There is a main IT centre on campus (open 24 hours) and there are various computer rooms around campus. Not a problem to access internet if you do not have your own computer in your room.
The library is quite small and very crowded before exams. They do not have as many books as some other universities given its size but now, there is another library located in the learning grid of the university house. Books cannot be borrowed from the learning grid.The learning grid is situated in the university house, about 7 minutes away from the main campus. The facilities in the learning grid allow you to discuss your work with your group of friends or make presentations. Food and drinks are allowed so this is now becoming a popular choice for those who don't want to go to the library. Beside the learning grid is the careers service. You can book in for a 15-minute career advisor slot and get help with your job applications/cover letter or just get help in deciding your career path.
There is a sports centre in the main campus (another one in Westwood campus which is about 10 minutes' walk away). The sports centre has a swimming pool, badminton/basketball/squash courts, rock climbing, gym and a few studios. You need to join the Sports Federation to gain entrance into the Sports Centre or you can opt to pay £1.50 everytime you enter. Swimming + badminton/basketball is free but you need to pay £80 for 3 terms to use the gym. They also charge you for using the rock climbing facilities + sauna. There are some fitness classes open to all, such as aerobics/pilates, and it costs £0.50 for every class.The student union in Warwick university is strong and they offer a diverse range of services. There are three banks on campus, namely HSBC, Barclays and Natwest. There is also STA Travel and Endsleigh Insurance. The events organised by the student union cater for everyone and you will definitely find something that you like. Every Monday night is Top Banana and the free entrace attracts so many people that sometimes, you have to queue for about 1 hour to get into the union. For international students, there is HEAT once every term and this is very popular. In Term 2, there is a big event called One World Week. For one whole week, there are many different events that cover almost every country in this world.
The university has the Warwick Arts Centre which is the biggest of its kind in Midlands. There are plays, concerts, orchestras etc but rarely musicals. Students get discounts and they also offer student stand-by tickets. If you work in the Arts Centre as a steward/ess, then you can even watch these performances for free while getting paid (well, not that well paid but you get to see the performances).Warwick University doesn't offer music degree but the music centre in the Arts Centre welcomes you anytime anyday. You can use the practice room when it is available (you cannot book it in advance but there are about 8 practice rooms available so you don't have to wait for long). There is a piano in each practice room but if you play other instruments, sorry, you have bring your own instrument. You can also take up lessons with the tutors (around £26 per hour) and you arrange your own time with the tutor.
Looking back at all these things, I really don't regret coming to Warwick. But, if you prefer a city life, then Warwick might not suit you. Coventry city centre is 20 minutes away by bus. Birmingham is near Coventry but going to Birmingham means 20 minutes by bus to Coventry train station + 20 minutes by train to Birmingham city centre.I love Warwick and if you do come here, I hope you will feel the same.
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