My experience living in RGU student accommodation in 1996

Rene moved to Aberdeen in 1996 and spent a year living in Woolmanhill Flats, which are still one of RGU’s most popular student accommodation. He shares his experience living in halls and how he is looking forward to visiting again soon.

Some memories do last a lifetime…

Moving to Aberdeen in 1996

On a bright and very chilly February morning in 1996 I rode my motorbike over the hill of the A92 and saw Aberdeen in front of me in the glistening sunlight. While my fingers and toes were frozen from the ride up from Hull (having taken the ferry from the Netherlands after coming over from Germany), I was captured by that moment as this was the beginning of my time studying at RGU as part of an Erasmus exchange and I was wondering what lay ahead of me.

Aberdeen – Marischal Square

This was an adventure for me – studying abroad, away from Germany where I spent most of my childhood years and first years at university, and, although I had read about Scotland, Aberdeen, and RGU, I really had no idea what to expect.

My time in RGU student accommodation

On my arrival I was greeted by very welcoming staff at the RGU student accommodation office. They told me about being assigned to Woolmanhill which turned out to be excellent as it was so close to the building where the applied sciences labs were (and which I understand has – in the meantime – been turned into a hotel), as well as being in walking distance to Triple Kirks pub which would quickly turn into my local.

RGU student accommodation: Woolmanhill Flats

What I also enjoyed about my time at Woolmanhill was that my flatmates were all from very different backgrounds and studied different subjects, in the flat we had students from Cyprus, Ireland, the UK of course, but also Norway, and Italy. In a way, cooking dinner together often turned out to be like a little trip around Europe, which turned out to be a great addition to my weekend trips around the country, either with the RGU mountaineering club or on my bike.

Going back to stay in RGU accommodation after 25 years

Staying at Woolmanhill was one of the reasons I really enjoyed my time in Aberdeen and I have been looking back with fond memories ever since, having lived in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and England over the years.

And – as my time at RGU is now 25 years ago (well, 25 plus one COVID year really) – I have planned a trip down memory lane to Aberdeen this year on the same bike I rode up in 1996. This will include a stay in Woolmanhill, thanks to the great RGU accomodation team, and hopefully a pint or two with Andrew Lamb my lecturer all those years ago, who also shares a passion for old motorbikes.

I am very much looking forward to being back in Aberdeen, RGU, and Woolmanhill soon.

Rene Rust

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