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Showing posts with label faq. Show all posts
Showing posts with label faq. Show all posts

Saturday, 29 August 2015

FAQ: Postgraduates' frequently asked questions - noise, room allocation, age

Questions frequently asked by postgraduates


What is the average age of Connaught Hall residents?

The median age in Hall is usually 19 years. In 2014-15, we had 47 residents aged 21 or over; 29 residents were postgraduate students (out of 230).


I understand most residents are first-year undergraduates. Is it noisy? Will I be able to study?

Our Hall handbook has this to say about noise:

Noise disturbance generally creates the most dissatisfaction with Hall life. The Halls are large halls of residence of mostly first-year undergraduate students in a busy part of London. Nowhere in the Hall can be completely silent. Most staff and residents find that occasionally they need to wear earplugs at night, even if the only noise they can hear is traffic noise. Some people are particularly sensitive to even low levels of noise and we would advise that a mainly undergraduate hall of residence in central London may not be suitable accommodation in this case. It is not always reasonable to restrict others’ activities to meet the expectations of someone who is especially sensitive to noise.

There is a lot of traffic noise. There is a fire station, police station, ambulance station, and hospital all within less than a mile radius of the Hall (this is also true for College Hall and International Hall; I think Lillian Penson Hall and Nutford House may be slightly quieter in this regard). On the positive side, this must make us one of the safest places in the world!
It’s probably true to say that almost everyone experiences some noise from their neighbours occasionally. 

Of course, we do have effective procedures for dealing with this if it is serious or recurrent (http://noise.connaught-hall.org.uk).


Is there a part of the Hall reserved for postgraduates?

We have 230 residents living on 6 floors. The ground and lower ground floors are quite small. From 1st to 4th, each floor has about 48 rooms arranged along a single, long corridor divided into three sections by fire doors. There are staircases at each end and in the middle of every floor. Each floor has a male and a female toilet/shower block (three toilet stalls and three shower cubicles in each). Most floors have three or four en suite rooms.

We are a predominantly first-year undergraduate hall. We do try to accommodate most of our postgraduates on the second floor – so you would almost certainly be allocated a room there, unless you have an en suite room (with only four en suite rooms on the second floor, there are sometimes more postgrads who want en suite than there are rooms available on the second floor). But this does not mean that the second floor is necessarily any quieter than anywhere else. We haven’t enough postgrads to fill a whole floor, so there are undergrads on the same corridor, and of course the rooms above and below are occupied by undergraduates.

Aside from putting postgrads together on the second floor, the accommodation office do not allow students to request specific rooms.


Are there separate study facilities?

We have two rooms for studying in: the Lang room, which is intended primarily for group study, and the Convocation Trust study room, which is for quiet, individual study. Both are on the lower ground floor; both are open 24 hours a day; and both can accommodate 6 to 8 students. It is very unusual for the study rooms to be full; on the contrary, they are often both empty, except around the spring/summer exam season!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

FAQ: Can I have deliveries to the Hall before I move in?

If you need to have letters or small packets delivered to the Hall before you arrive, email info.connaught@london.ac.uk to let them know. Reception can hold on to small items for you (i.e. items that can easily fit into an envelope up to C3 size). You must let us know to expect a delivery, or else reception will return items to sender with the message "not in residence".

Regrettably, there isn't any storage capacity for larger items like trunks, boxes, or suitcases. So we cannot accept delivery of large items until after you move into the Hall.

If you are flying to London and cannot carry all the items you need in your luggage, we recommend that you send items in boxes or cases via courier one or two days before your flight. Then, your couriered boxes should arrive within a few days after your own arrival in Hall, and we will be able to accept the delivery for you.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

FAQ: What day & time can I arrive in Hall?

Your room should be ready for you to move in any time after 2pm on the first day of your contract.

You can arrive any time on any day/date after that.

When you check in, reception will have your key and everything else you need. Reception is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You don't have to tell us if you're arriving later than your official contract start date - but please remember that accommodation fees are charged from the start date of your contract, not from the date you move in.

If you want to arrive EARLIER than your contract start date, you must tell Housing Services well in advance. See this separate FAQ: http://connaughthall.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/faq-arriving-earlier-than-datetime.html.

If you are having problems with your accommodation offer, personal details form, or any other of the welcome arrangements, see this FAQ: http://connaughthall.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/faq-augustseptember-problems-with-offer.html.

FAQ: What can I do if I’m being disturbed by noise?

We have a whole web page with detailed instructions to help you deal with and report noise problems – whether it’s a banging radiator pipe or a neighbour playing music at 3am.

Visit noise.connaught-hall.org.uk for help.



FAQ: I’m feeling unhappy / lost / lonely / homesick. How can I find help?

It’s very normal to have some of these feelings some of the time, when you have moved to a new home to study something new. But if these kinds of feelings are severe, prolonged, or persistent, you should definitely ask for help.

It’s OK to say you’re not having the best time of your life!

There are lots of people around to support you as a student. Think about using some of these options:

• Talk to the Warden or a Senior Member – for contact details and how to book an appointment, visit http://warden-contact.connaught-hall.org.uk.
• Speak with your personal tutor at college.
• See one of the student counsellors at your college welfare service.
• Make an appointment to see your GP.
• Check our list of more help providers at http://bit.ly/1mIBcpn.

FAQ: Is there WiFi in Connaught Hall?

We have WiFi throughout the building.

If you attend a college that is signed up to EduRoam, you must use your EduRoam login to access the internet through our WiFi. Your EduRoam login is normally the same as the login for your college (.ac.uk) email address. If you are unsure about your login details, contact the IT department at your college.

Only if your college or institute is not signed up to EduRoam, we will provide you with a login for the UoL Resident network. Contact Network Services at swan.support@london.ac.uk for help with this.

FAQ: How can I get help with the internet connection in my room?

University of London network services can help if your wired or wireless internet connection isn’t working. 

Call 020 7862 8092 or email swan.support@london.ac.uk.

FAQ: How can I get repairs done in my room / in the bathroom?

If you spot something that needs to be repaired or replaced, write a request in the maintenance book at reception. We can normally respond with three working days.

If it’s an urgent problem (like a flood, electrical fault, or gas leak), report it to the security officer so we can deal with it immediately.

Friday, 19 September 2014

FAQ: Getting to Connaught Hall from Heathrow or Gatwick airports

Getting from Heathrow to the Hall

Your options are taxi (convenient but expensive), Heathrow Express train (fast but expensive), Heathrow Connect train, or the Underground (easy and cheap, but slow and can be very crowded).

Taxi / minicab

Black cabs stop at the taxi ranks outside all five terminals at Heathrow. You can also book a taxi or minicab in advance online here: heathrowairport.com/transport-and-directions/taxis-and-minicabs

You should expect to pay anything up to £90 for a taxi to Connaught Hall from Heathrow.

Heathrow Express to Paddington

Tickets

Book tickets for the Heathrow Express train, direct from the airport non-stop to London Paddington station, online at www.heathrowexpress.com. Tickets cost around £20.

Finding the train in the arrivals terminal

If you’re arriving at Terminal 1 or Terminal 3, follow signs for Trains to reach Heathrow Central station.
In Terminal 5, the station is at basement level and reached by lift or escalator.
In Terminal 4, take the inter-terminal shuttle to Heathrow Central.

Onward journey: Paddington to Euston Square

The Heathrow Express will take you to London Paddington. The journey time is about 15 minutes.

When you get off the train at Paddington, follow the signs for the co-located Underground station and take an eastbound train on either the Circle Line or Hammersmith & City Line to Euston Square. 

Connaught Hall is a 7-minute walk from Euston Square.

Heathrow Connect to Paddington

The Heathrow Connect train departs from the same place as the Heathrow Express, and also takes you to Paddington Station. However, this train stops at other stations along the route. The journey time is about 25 minutes and the ticket price around £10. More information and online ticket booking here: www.heathrowconnect.com.

Underground (Picadilly Line) to Russell Square

Follow the signs for the Underground at any of the terminal buildings. You can buy a ticket at the Underground stations, costing around £5.

Heathrow is on the Picadilly Line. Take the train to Russell Square (journey time around 1 hour).

Connaught Hall is about a 7-minute walk from Russell Square.



Getting from Gatwick to the Hall

It’s best to travel by train from Gatwick Airport to central London. There are three different train services: Gatwick Express, Southern Trains, and First Capital Connect. The railway station at Gatwick Airport is located at the South Terminal, but is just a few minutes from the North Terminal by a free shuttle.

Gatwick Express to London Victoria

This non-stop train service to London Victoria runs every 15 minutes with a journey time of 30 minutes. Ticket prices are around £16 to £20. Information & tickets: www.gatwickexpress.com.

When you arrive at London Victoria, follow the signs for the co-located Underground station and take a northbound train on the Victoria Line to Euston Station. 

Connaught Hall is about a 5-minute walk from Euston.

Southern Trains to London Victoria

Southern trains services to London Victoria run four times an hour with a journey time of around 35 minutes. Ticket prices are around £12 to £18. Information & tickets: www.southernrailway.com.

First Capital Connect to St Pancras

Services to St Pancras International run four times an hour with a journey time of between 30 and 45 minutes. Ticket prices are around £15 to £20. Information & tickets: www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk.

Connaught Hall is about 12 minutes’ walk from St Pancras, or you can take a black cab for around £5.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

FAQ: How does the health service work in England?

Most healthcare in England is free of charge on the National Health Service if you’re a student planning to stay for longer than six months.

To make best use of the health service, you must be registered with a general practitioner (GP). We very strongly urge you to register with a GP within your first few weeks in London.

If you need urgent healthcare advice or treatment, check out this guidance: http://goo.gl/4JIujo.

Some colleges operate their own health service:

  • UCL: University Health Centre – telephone 020 7387 6306. 
  • LSE: Health Service – telephone 020 7955 7016. 
Other colleges are affiliated to 20 Gower Street Practice – telephone 020 7636 7628:
  • ALL OTHERS (excluding UCL and LSE). 
  • KCL: Register at 20 Gower Street or at one of the three KCL Health Centres. Contact KCL for further details


FAQ: I’m an international student. Do I have to register with the local police?

Students from some countries do need to register with the Metropolitan Police. If you need to register, it will say so on your visa in your passport or biometric residence permit.

If your visa does not say that you have to register with the police, then you do not need to register.

FAQ: Can I have a guest to stay overnight?

You’re allowed to have someone stay with you in your room up to ten nights per calendar month. That could be a single stay of ten nights, or ten separate one-night stays, or anything in-between.

All you have to do is tell the security officer when your guest arrives how long you want them to stay for. You will complete a one-line sign-in sheet, and the security officer will issue a temporary pass for your guest.

If you want a guest for more than ten nights in one month, or if you want to have two or more overnight guests at the same time, you must seek the Warden’s permission in writing. Email the Warden at least seven days in advance at warden@connaught-hall.org.uk.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

FAQ: Landlord references and references from the Warden / Can you give me a letter for the bank to prove my address?

I'm renting privately in my second or third year and my new landlord or agent wants a reference. Whom do I contact?

Landlords want to know that you paid your accommodation fees on time and that you did not damage your accommodation. The Hall management office have a template for landlord references that means they can easily put this information into an email or letter for you. So just email info.connaught@london.ac.uk and they will help you with the reference you need for privately rented accommodation.


I need a character reference for employment or volunteering work. Can the Hall help?

Some types of character, personal, or employment references may need to come from me (as Warden), which I am happy to provide so long as you have been involved in a role within the Hall that has allowed me to form enough of an opinion about you to be able to write a few reliable paragraphs about your personality and character. Otherwise, your college personal tutor may be able to help you.



FAQ: (August/September) problems with offer letter / contract / passport photos / personal details form

My college has told me I will be offered a place at Connaught Hall but I haven't heard any more. What should I do?

Your college will have told the intercollegiate halls accommodation reservations office to send you a formal offer of accommodation. We at Connaught Hall won't know anything about you until early September.

So if you are worried that you haven't yet received your formal offer of accommodation, please contact the intercollegiate accommodation office at info.halls@london.ac.uk. They should be able to help you.


I've heard that some people got sent a personal details form to fill out and return, but I don't have one. Do I have to return one? Where do I get it?

Again, all this information comes from the central accommodation office. Look out for an email from info.halls@london.ac.uk and if you haven't received a request to return a personal details form, and it's less than a month to go until you move into the Hall, contact the accommodation team at that email address.


Which room have I been given?

The accommodation office make and change room allocations right up until the move-in date, so we cannot normally tell you which room you will be allocated until the day you arrive, unless you have a disability that means you need to be given a particular room or type of room. If you have any questions about this, again, you should contact the accommodation team at info.halls@london.ac.uk.

For more information about room allocations and swaps, see here: http://connaughthall.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/faq-room-swaps.html.


Do I have to send passport photos? Where to?

We need three passport-typephotographs of you at least two weeks before you arrive in Hall, so that we can have your Hall ID card made and ready for you to pick up on your arrival date. 

Without your Hall ID card, it will be difficult for you to get past security each time you enter the Hall, and you may not be able to take meals in the dining hall, request packed meals, or borrow items like the vacuum cleaner, games, or table tennis bats.

Please send your three passport-type photos, with your name written on the back of each, to the Administration Office, Connaught Hall, 36-45 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9EX. 

Or you can email your photos - so long as they are the right size and shape - to info.connaught@london.ac.uk. Remember to include your full name in your email.


Can I arrive earlier than the date / time shown on my offer letter?

Please see this post: http://connaughthall.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/faq-arriving-earlier-than-datetime.html.

FAQ: Arriving earlier than the date/time shown on your offer letter or contract

Can I arrive earlier than the date shown on my offer letter?

We can usually agree to an earlier arrival date, up to one or sometimes two weeks before the standard arrival date on your offer letter. Availability is not guaranteed, however.

If you want to arrange an early arrival, email Housing Services (info.halls@london.ac.uk) and carbon copy your message to the Connaught Hall management team (info.connaught@london.ac.uk), clearly stating your full name and preferred arrival date.


When can I move in on the day?

Our official check-in time is 2pm. This is to ensure that your room has been cleaned following the departure of any B&B guests or other students who may have left that morning.

If you are arriving on the standard arrival date indicated on your offer letter, it is most likely that your room will have been empty for several days before you move in. So we can usually let you move in from around 9am on your check-in date. However, your room is not guaranteed to be available and clean until 2pm. If you want to be sure about whether you will be able to move in earlier than 2pm, please contact the Hall management team a week in advance of your arrival: info.connaught@london.ac.uk.

Monday, 8 April 2013

FAQ: hot water / cold showers

Sometimes you might have to run the hot water tap / shower for 5-10 minutes before it gets hot, especially at off-peak times (i.e. in the middle of the day, when most people are out, and the middle of the night, when most people are asleep) in parts of the building that are farthest from the boiler.

If the water has been sitting in the pipes for a long time, it will be cold; and in a big building, it can take a long time of running the tap before you start getting water fresh from the boiler.

If, for some reason, the water isn't hot after 10 minutes of running the hot tap fast, please tell reception immediately. It's nearly always a very simple problem that we can fix really quickly - but only if someone reports it!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

FAQ: Study space

Residents often ask where they can study in the Hall, or if we can open rooms for them to study privately.

We expect most residents to do most of their study either in their room or at their college library. We provide a desk, chair, and lamp so you can study comfortably in your room. We do, however, provide other places for you to study. Residents in twin rooms have priority access to this study space.

Computer room

The Lang Room on the lower ground floor has two internet terminals for you to browse the web. There are also four computer desks which can be used for private study.

Convocation Trust Study Room

The Convocation Trust Study Room on the lower ground floor is for private quiet study mainly by students sharing twin rooms. There is comfortable space for nine people to use this room.

Additional study space

In the summer term, we will provide additional study space for residents who want to revise outside of their room. Normally we will leave the dining hall open from 7 pm to 11 pm for this purpose - but please remember to remove your things from the dining room by 11pm so we can lock up.

The dining hall is also routinely open on weekdays from breakfast until 2 pm, mainly so you can use the toaster, but you can study there, too.

In all these areas, please do not leave your books and study materials on the desks when you are not there: it's not fair on other residents who might want to use the space, and in some areas (especially the dining hall), can be unsightly - and is at risk of being thrown away by the cleaners!

We can be flexible, so if you need a particular type of space for a special project (e.g. big tables or an area for group study), contact me at least a five days in advance at warden@connaught-hall.org.uk or come to one of my open office sessions (openoffice.connaught-hall.org.uk) to discuss your requirements. I will do what I can to help.

Please also remember you can use most of the college libraries within the University of London, and these will operate extended opening hours during the exam season.

FAQ: Can the bar be open more?

We are commonly asked if the bar can be open more / longer hours.

The opening times for the actual bar (i.e. serving drinks) are set by the Bar Manager with a view to keeping the bar financially viable. This usually means the bar is open and serving drinks for 3-3.5 hours every night during term 1, and less in terms 2 and 3. This year (2013), the bar is still open every night in term 2, but only for 2 hours, from 9pm to 11pm. The Bar Manager is always happy to consider your ideas for how the bar could be open longer hours without losing money, so get in touch at bar@connaught-hall.org.uk. Of course, there are also some legal / licensing restrictions on the hours the bar can serve alcoholic drinks.

The bar area (i.e. the room where the bar and pool table are) is not a common room. By and large, the bar area is only open when there is a member of staff serving drinks behind the bar. This year, the Duty Senior Member opens the bar area at 7pm so the area is open and unsupervised for up to 2 hours a day.

We have tried in previous years to keep the bar area open for longer as an extra common room, but problems have always arisen and forced us to return to locking the bar area except when it is supervised:
  • damage to the pool table;
  • break-ins and theft from behind the bar;
  • vandalism of chairs and sofas in the bar area;
  • noise complaints from rooms facing the garden because of people playing the piano or music in the bar after 11pm;
  • use of the doors from the bar to access the garden when it is closed after 11pm, also leading to noise complaints.
Because of these problems - all of which occurred more than once over a few years - we unfortunately cannot agree to open the bar area for longer.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

FAQ: Room swaps and hall moves

Can I change to a different room?

If you want to move to a different room, you must contact Housing Services (based on the fourth floor of Student Central on Malet Street). Email info.halls@london.ac.uk and carbon copy your email to info.connaught@london.ac.uk.


Can I change to a different Hall?

If you are not happy with the Hall you have been allocated, you must contact both the intercollegiate halls accommodation reservations team (email info.halls@london.ac.uk) and the accommodation / residences office at your college (e.g. King's, UCL, QMUL, LSE, SOAS, etc).


The staff based at Connaught Hall cannot approve any room change requests or Hall swaps. All requests must go through Housing Services.


No requests for room swaps will be considered until after mid-October. This is because it would be unfair to allow residents who arrive early in the year the opportunity to move rooms while the Hall is relatively empty, whilst denying the chance to residents who move in later, when most rooms are occupied. Normally, whether you wish to move within the same hall or to a different hall, you would need to identify another person who is prepared to swap with you.

If the reason you are unhappy with your current room is a maintenance or cleaning issue, talk to the Hall Manager about it: we can often solve the problem so you don't need to swap. If the problem is an issue with your neighbours, talk to the Warden.



Saturday, 1 October 2011