Recently, there has been some talking and chattering regarding Off Campus Accommodation, especially for 1st Years who will not be able to stay on campus next year. Hence, I feel the urgent need to at least write something on the issue. Please take some time to at least skim through this article, for what we (the seniors) know and have experienced might help. But we do not ask you to accept blindly what we say.
Let’s move on to the topic! In this article, we will focus on locations only.
Generally, Warwick students will live in 3 main areas: Leamington Spa, Earlsdon & Canley.
*this includes Kenilworth (which is relatively near to the campus) for simplicity.
Leamington Spa is a very nice place and I believe most of you have been there to hang out and enjoy its natural beauty. It has a very beautiful garden and the atmosphere there is so calm and lovely. It is a nice place to live, and it is popular among students for its low crime rate and also the abundance of good club for partying.
It is unarguably far from the campus, but that’s the case if you take Bus No 12. Usually, Leamington residents take Bus U1 or U2 (operated by Stagecoach) and it only takes 15-20 minutes, depending on where exactly you live. The bus takes shorter time because it uses the A46 i.e. the motorway. However, the bus fare for U1 and U2 is significantly higher than that of Bus No 12 (operated by Travel Coventry).
For Malaysian, Leamington Spa and Kenilworth have not really been a place of choice. I don’t know why but I guess it’s because we couldn’t care less whether there is a good club for partying and we have the impression that it is too far away. Therefore, I cannot really tell you more about the place.
In a Leamington’s nutshell, it is a very tranquil place to live in. If you are looking for peace in life and you don’t mind the distance, go for Leamington Spa
*this includes Tile Hill and Chapelfields as well
Earlsdon, Chapelfields and Tile Hill can be said as one of the favourite for students. One cannot deny that there are loads of International Students living here, and we can see them during early hours while waiting for the bus. This area may draw people away due its reputation for crime. If I am not mistaken, there was a murder case somewhere in Coventry, but as I remember it, it is not Earsldon where the scene took place and Coventry is too big to simply label it as a crime scene.
There are a few incidents that I can clearly recall; there was a burglary case in Earlsdon and also one of our Muslim brothers was beaten at night by some drunk men. This happened in early 2009 on Kingsland Avenue. I mentioned the street so that you are aware of its history, but rather do not be set back by it. They are just unlucky and there are plenty more cases on other streets, it’s just that I am not aware of it.
Earsldon residents commute to the campus by Bus 12. There are 3 stops in Earlsdon where students usually use; Hearsall Common, Highland Road and Earlsdon Library. If you mind walking some distance to get to the bus stop, you need to live on some particular streets only. It would be to tedious for me to list every street here, so just refer to the map.
*this includes Cannon Park
The biggest and most obvious advantage of Canley is it is near to the campus. You can just walk to get to the uni everyday and it will only take 15-20 minutes. If you live in Westwood before, I guess Canley will be just another Westwood, in term of distance.
However, Canley is also famous for its chav activity. Chav is basically a group of people who always commit anti-social behaviour. They can be said to be the Malaysian ‘mat pit’ equivalent.
I personally have witnessed a shocking incident in Canley. I was cycling to one of the seniors’ house in Canley to play Wii (it was just released) at night. On our way, we saw two men walking past a car and they stopped and went back to the car. Having looked into car, one of them picked a brick and threw it on the window. He tried twice before the window was successfully smashed and they took something from the dashboard before running away. I guess, it was the SatNav that they stole from the car. After witnessing that, we cycled faster to reach our destination as quickly as possible.
Later during the year, the seniors’ house that we were cycling to was broken into by some burglars. They took everything such as LCD TV, Wii console, Laptops and mobile phones. Luckily the house was under the Warwick Accommodation hence everything was insured up to £4000. They were able to get compensation for their material loss but the shock and depression suffered from the incidents can never be erased.
However, to be fair, all these cases and other cases only happened on the Charter Avenue. Other parts of Canley can be said to be relatively safe such as Sheriff Avenue, John Rous Avenue and Sir Henry Parkes Road.
I would personally recommend you to choose Canley as it has been very fun and helpful at the same time to have one or two Malaysian house(s) in Canley.
There are pros and cons with each place but you need to make your decision. There is no way for you to run away from the negative sides of each place. I have lived in Earlsdon for almost 2 years and quite like the place. One can say that I stay in the same house for its extremely cheap rent of £125 per month, but if I were to choose, I would prefer life off campus because living in a house is incomparable to living in the accommodation halls. You have more freedom and you can get creative (with the house decoration).
For next articles, I shall write about what to look for when looking for houses. For a teaser, the next article will be around house insurance, house maintenance, rent, facilities and also other costs like internet, utility bills and satellite tv.