Hi there! My name is Alexandria and I’m currently on exchange at University of Dundee! I stay at Heathfield Flats! Below is a Q&A about my experience living at Heathfield Flats for the past two months at the University of Dundee. Enjoy!
What are the rooms like at Heathfield Flats?
When I first arrived, I was surprised by how spacious our rooms are at Heathfield. Each room has two windows; a larger for sunlight to stream through and a smaller one above your desk to let cool air in if the radiator has been left on high for too long (which I always seem to do!) The bed faces a large wooden desk, with a hefty grey bulletin board. I’ve loved putting all of the cool post cards I’ve collected so far up, along with pictures of family and friends. Also, £1 ($2) fairy lights go a long way in jazzing up the room! There is also a sizeable wardrobe and built in drawers in the desk for all of your sweaters and cosy jumpers. The best part about living in Heathfield is that each room has its own ensuite, so there is no need to share a bathroom with anyone. There is also a communal laundry within the apartment block, where it costs about £2.20 ($4.40) for a load of washing and £1.10 ($2.20) for a drying cycle. This is a bit expensive, but it is also very convenient.
What is the cost of living at the university compared to other options available in Dundee?
The total cost of living on campus for me is £3,179 (about $6,360) for the period between 11 January- 6 June. I am living there for 21 weeks; so overall this is equal to just over £150 ($300) per week. For this price, you get all utilities and Wi-Fi included, your own spacious room and ensuite, as well as a large kitchen and lounge space you share with your 5 flatmates. There is a 24-hour number to call for any maintenance and pastoral care issues and an office at the front of the building that is open 9am-5pm weekdays for any issues you might want to talk about in person.
Talking to some of my friends who live off campus, they pay between an average of between £75-100 ($150-$200) per week. For this price, your utilities usually aren’t included, and it is about a 10-20minute walk to campus but also it is a much cheaper housing option if your budget for exchange is tighter.
What is life like in university accommodation in Dundee?
I absolutely love it. Heathfield consists of mostly exchange students, so you get to know a lot of different people from a lot of different countries really quickly! I share a flat with 4 Americans and another girl from France. I have become really close to my flatmates – we even went to Glasgow together for a Flat 9 bonding weekend! It is harder to get to know local Scottish people, so making friends in class is the best way to go. Our group of exchange friends host a party every couple of weeks, sharing between the flats. Our Superbowl party and Valentine’s Day parties were awesome – everyone bought food from their home countries (my pavlova was a smash hit!) Tuesday, Friday and Saturdays are the nights everyone goes out in Dundee. Heathfield is about 100m from the Union, which holds themed nights every week with cheap drinks, so a super convenient location for getting home after a night out!
What was the application process like for housing?
The application process was pretty simple. Although accommodation isn’t technically guaranteed at Dundee, they do their absolute best to house exchange students – I even have a friend who wasn’t formally accepted until mid-December for exchange. They made placing her a priority and she had a spot in campus accommodation within two days! Once I had been formally accepted, I was sent a link by the university within 24 hours and filled out a quick questionnaire with a 200-word biography about myself, so they could place me with likeminded people. Within 24 hours I had received an offer of accommodation. Exchange students can only stay at Heathfield Flats, so there isn’t any option for deciding between different on-campus accommodation.
What is the location like in terms of the campus?
Heathfield has one of the best spots on campus! It is 100m from the university gym, so perfect if you want to make gains on exchange. It’s located about 150m to the university food store (so great for late night ice-cream cravings), 300m from the library and at most 700m from anywhere else on campus. I love waking up at 8:45am and still being early for my 9am classes! The University is Dundee is similar to being at ANU, the campus is located just to the side of the main city. It’s about a 10-minute walk to the centre of town which means you never have to catch a taxi into the city on night outs!
Heathfield Flats is definitely one of the best locations for both being close to class, the main centre of campus and your friends! Whilst it is a little pricey because of the strength of the Pound to Australian dollars, I think it is worth every cent in making living overseas for 6 months that little bit easier!