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Lupton Residences


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Lupton Residences

One of the hardest things to decide is where you're going to live during your time in Leeds. For most of us, it isn't possible to go to England to see what the places are like in person, and so you have to trust the information on the Internet and hope that it ends up being the same in real life. This is why I chose a residence owned by the University of Leeds, as you avoid any possible trouble that you might have if you go into private accommodation without having looked at it beforehand. Although, it's true that I know lots of people that have done that and they haven't had problems. However, it is the done thing for international students to stay in one of the university's halls, especially those who come on their own not knowing anyone else, and you can find all the information you need about these on the University of Leeds website. The problem: they are very expensive. This is the reason why I ended up in Lupton, as although it's also expensive (£90 a week) it is a lot more affordable than the general price of accommodation.

Lupton Residences

The price is fairly cheap, firstly, because it is not situated on campus and shall we say not very nearby, although it is an easily walkable distance: it will take you 25-30 minutes. If you don't like walking, there are buses which come continuously. However, be careful if you need to take one later than 7pm in the afternoon (or the nighttime for the English) or on a Sunday, because there are not many at these times and you'll probably have to wait. I recommend downloading the app for FirstBus (the Leeds bus company) where you can check the times and know exactly what time you should be there. Another option is to rent a bike as there are bike lanes the whole way from Lupton to the University. I personally find it a bit stressful going by bike, being surrounded by cars, but there are people that do it and they've never had any problems. In terms of going back to halls at night after you've been on a night out, yes, it can be a bit difficult. After a certain time, there aren't any more buses and nobody is up for a 45-minute walk back home after a night out in the city centre. The usual solution is to call Amber Cars, a taxi company which is quite cheap, and if you travel in a group it's particularly affordable. The other option is, if you have friends who live on campus or near the city centre, to ask them if you can stay the night at theirs. They'll probably even feel sorry for you about how far away you live and offer you to stay themselves.

Another reason why the price is cheaper is because the room doesn't have an en-suite, you share with 4 other people. At first, I thought this was going to be a problem, but from then on it hasn't been for me: the bathroom is split so the shower and the toilet are both separate from the sinks, so various people can use the bathroom at once without any problems. After going in the shower, there is a small space where you can get changed and leave your things before showering, so you can get dressed there and at the same time the others can use the rest of the bathroom. In some ways you could even say that it has worked out to be an advantage having a shared bathroom, instead of like in the other halls which have an en-suite or shared between two, as because it is classed as a communal area, the cleaners clean it weekly... So it is one less thing to worry about.

Lupton Residences

The kitchen isn't particularly big but it's okay for 5 people and there is lots of cupboard space. The thing that it lacks is an extra living room because only having the kitchen to hang out in isn't particularly comfortable, but at the same time, it's not a massive problem.

In terms of the rooms, they are quite big. The best thing without a doubt is the huuuuuge desk, so no matter how messy you are, you'll always have a free spot. The wardrobe is small but there are quite a few drawers and shelves, so it's not a problem. Personally, the one thing it lacks is a mirror (there's one on the wall but it isn't the same thing), although they aren't that expensive, so if you feel like you really need one, you can buy one easily.

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When I arrived, despite all the papers and random welcome packs all over the desk, my room was still very clean and organised (although very impersonal, but it didn't remain like that longer than the second day).

Something that I really like about these halls and not all of them are like this, is that it is like a flat. There are some residences that have a really long corridor with rooms and kitchens along with it, but their corridor is used by everyone. Here it's not like that, you only share a corridor with your flatmates so it is a lot more private, so you can spend the day in pyjamas or go out in your classic scruffy lounge clothes, so it is a lot more comfortable.

Another good thing is being so far from campus, we have our own printer. This comes in so handy if you need to print something and you can't be bothered to leave the house, or if you suddenly remember that you urgently need something printed at 5 am in the morning.

In terms of washing your clothes, I have to say that it is quite expensive but the washers and dryers are really big, so the usual solution is to accumulate your dirty clothes until you have enough that you don't consider yourself to be wasting money by washing it. There are plenty of washing machines and dryers, well at least to this day I've never been there and there hasn't been one free. Anyway, on the University of Leeds app you can check the status of the washers and dryers, so to see if they are being used at the moment or if there is one available. Also, once you have begun using one, you can check how much time is left on the cycle so you can go and do other things in your room instead of waiting there. It can end up being a pain spending the day going too and from the laundry room, but it's inevitable, at some point you're going to have to wash your clothes. My only problem to this day is that it always seems to lose my socks but this is probably unavoidable too.

Lupton Residences

Finally, I'd like to talk about the general area: Lupton Residences is located in an area called Headingley, which is primarily a residential area but there are also quite a few cafes and chains of popular restaurants (Nando's, KFC, Dominos). Also, in terms of supermarkets it is in a really good location, as Sainsbury (one of the biggest supermarket chains) is less than 5 minutes away and they have really good opening hours (especially considering how early everything closes in England): It is open till 11pm so you can go at basically whatever time you want if you discover that you're running low on food. If you want to save money, Aldi is only 15 minutes away and is very, very cheap. The bad thing is that are some uphill spots on the journey so the return journey with all the bags can be really heavy, but you save so much money that it's worthwhile. In terms of stationary or things for the house (including every single piece of cutlery that you need to buy in the first few days), there is a Wilko practically next to Sainsburys where you can find all of this stuff for a fairly cheap price. Also, the amount of second hand and charity shops in the area is remarkable, in which you can find some things that are really great.

In general, I think it's a really good area to live in. It is clear that it's a lot more convenient to live on campus, and sometimes I'd prefer to not live so far away, but the halls are really good. The problem with the distance is something that you get used to and I've actually ended up liking it, as going from the halls to university really wakes you up. And if not, you can always take the bus.

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