Living in RGU accommodation: My experience as an international student

Meryem Hamdani lived in Woolmanhill Flats, one of RGU’s student accommodation sites, after moving from Morocco to study in Aberdeen. She shares what living in RGU halls is like and her experience helping other residents as part of the ResLife team.

Moving to Aberdeen and choosing RGU accommodation

When I first came to Aberdeen, I had to isolate for 10 days. I was very pleased to know that Woolmanhill provided rooms where I could do my quarantine at a non-expensive cost. The day of my arrival, I was welcomed by David from the ResLife team who provided food and drinks for free. I really liked how nice and considerate they were with international students.

Woolmanhill Flats

Choosing RGU accommodation was the easiest decision I ever made. I knew I wanted to live in an accommodation affiliated with the university. There are many advantages to living in Woolmanhill, such as:

  • Living in a secure & safe environment.
  • Proximity with the city centre. I can access George Street in less than 5 minutes and many grocery shops are available nearby such as Spice of Asia, Sainsbury and Lidl.
  • Making friends who go to the same university.

When I heard some students complain about  living outside student accommodation, I was very happy of my choice. Their complaints included the cost of gas and electricity, safety problems or even disagreements with their landlords.

Living in Woolmanhill

At first, I was afraid of living with other people. This was my first time living with flatmates. But the outcome was really good. At Woolmanhill, if you feel bored or lonely you can simply talk with your flatmates! I get along well with them and I respect any parties or dinner evenings they might have in the flat. Each one of us have our own life, we are actually a quiet all-girl flat, very much focused on studies.

Socialising in English with your flatmates is a great highlight if you are an international student. Plus, the cultural diversity is very much present and great to have. I literally had flatmates from all around the world: one Irish, one Spanish, one Nigerian, one Pakistani, one French and then there was me, who is from Morocco.

Apart from the social aspect, I also liked the presence that the Woolmanhill staff had on site. If anything happened to you, you go to the reception and they could help you. There was also a phone number managed by a student organisation called ResLife. For me, Woolmanhill really is a 5-star service where everyone helps each other.

Being part of the ResLife team in Woolmanhill

ResLife is an RGU student association led by university representatives with the main goal of assisting RGU accommodation residents. Their plan of action extends from welcoming students in their student halls to ensuring their well-being and organising events. Members of ResLife are RGU students, which enables a more natural connection with the residents. It makes it easier to talk, understand each other and act.

For the year 2021/2022, I occupied a Community Assistant (CA) role, which consisted mainly of organising events. But I also did some distributions of boxes/food to the residents. If there were any problems, I got a notification and I went on site to try to resolve it. For example, if there were any disagreements concerning the common spaces in the flat or any noise disturbance, I was there to help.

I really liked being part of this family because we took care of each other. When I had Covid back in November 2021, I remember getting a lot of help and assistance from the team. I also got to meet so many residents that I now have a hard time recognising everyone who knows me!

Another positive point of being part of the ResLife team is a 50% reduction on your rent, which is always happily welcomed.

What I like about Aberdeen

Aberdeen is a relatively small city where you will find a lot of students coming from the UK or from other countries. There is a good atmosphere with many pubs and restaurants that you will enjoy. Also, if you like museums, there are a few that you can visit for free, such as Aberdeen Art Gallery.

I personally love living in Aberdeen. The people are very nice and helpful and I am sure you will enjoy your experience as much as I have.  

Meryem Hamdani

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