Bienvenue à Residence Universitaire Olympique – my new home. I thought it’d be good to do a blog post on my halls because there reallllllllly isn’t very much information out there for people considering living here on a year abroad. So…
These rooms housed Olympic athletes in 1968 for the Grenoble Winter Olympics with the Scandinavians put up in my building winning 26 medals overall, (go team!), but yeah…1968 was a while ago now, so the room felt a bit outdated on a first glance. (To anyone from Leeds, my halls are a mirror image of Bodington catered halls.)
My initial pessimism has, however, been transformed into an appreciation of nostalgic living. I mean my bed is perfectly comfy; I have more than enough storage for my 60kg of stuff, a big desk and a sink area. I’m actually pretty lucky because I have carpet (what a novelty eh?) whereas all the other rooms I’ve seen don’t. Plus my walls are newly painted, not peeling or mouldy AND I have a wooden panel wall next to my bed which means I can trick people on Skype into thinking I live in a log cabin…I do that sometimes. Also a contribution from IKEA vastly improved my room. Home comforts are entirely underrated. I may be in another country but I still want it to feel like my new home. And who can’t justify buying a concept lamp as homely?
I suppose that waking up to loud pigeons having sex on your balcony is less than ideal, (SHOO!) which I now know all too well sounds horribly like someone wiping a glass window with a wet hand…*shudder. But the fact that I do have a balcony is pretty damn sweet, and check out the view! A little bird managed to fly into my room the other day, which I’m sure would’ve seemed quite sweet but at the time I was just grateful it didn’t crap all over my stuff before flying away again, (SO lucky it wasn’t a pigeon).
I want to say that the shower and the toilet rooms wouldn’t look out of place in a Saw movie, but this is mainly because of how old the building is, not because these facilities are particularly gross or contain death-traps. 2 showers & 2 toilets per 16 people by the way, but this has never been a problem. The showers honk like a goose when you press the on button, which you have to do consistently every 5-30 seconds if you want a normal amount of water to come out, and I don’t think it’s just me who thinks that a shower shouldn’t involve having to stand 3 cm away from the wall tiles.
My ‘kitchen’, and I use that word in the loosest of terms, has 2 hobs, a sink, and a distinct lack of oven, microwave and fridge. Though the acquiring of a fridge is under way – just waiting for a German guy down the hall to move out so I can inherit his for free. And not a moment too soon because my culinary life so far has been less Ready Steady Cook and more Ready Steady Pasta…Again.
Location-wise, I live 3 minutes from the nearest hypermarché, shopping centre (hellooo Bershka, H&M and McDonalds…), and main tramline, plus I’m only 15 minutes away from my art school and the centre. So for 150 euros a month, which is soon to be decreased further by my CAF allowance, (oh yes), I think I’ve struck gold, or at least silver, here. I mean, if you (a future ERASMUS student) were considering living in Residence Universitaire Olympique and are put off by the shared bathrooms etc. 1. just man up or 2. you could always apply for the Hollandais building which is more modern and your room has its own fridge and ensuite. However, for the extra 100 euros in your deposit, and the extra 100 a month, I think there are better things to spend your money on. (Personally, I’m seeing it as an investment towards my first snowboard this winter.)
P.S. We have halls cats. Win.