If you stand in the middle of Princes Garden, Eastside hall will be in the East and Southside hall to your South, (thus the names). Imperial College is further West and Hyde Park to the North, although other buildings will obstruct them from view.
Eastside Hall comprised of three different halls, Linstead, Gabor and Wilkinson.
When entering your hall, you’ll find yourself facing a glass door which requires a key card. Once you have passed it, you will find yourself facing yet another glass door. The service desk for all Eastside Halls is situated in Gabor Hall itself, so anyone who has access to Eastside would be able to go through the first door, but not the second.
What to expect
Gabor Hall has 9 storey, from the Basement to the Mezzanine to the Fifth floor. All floors are accessible by lift and stairs. There will be about 15 to 20 occupants on each floor. There is a hall senior on each floor, supervised by the warden and sub wardens.
Your Imperial College ID acts as your key card and you need it to access the building, your room, the common room and the laundry room. IF you were to lose your card or left it in your room, contact your sub warden or security for a temporary card, you can also terminate your card validity if it is necessary.
Whether you are in a single room or a two person shared room, you would expect similar features in any of them. As indicated in your invoice, your room is an en suite room; you would expect to see a shower as well as a toilet within your room itself, which provides you with additional convenience as well as privacy.
Your room will come with a single bed, or two beds or even a double bed depending on the type of room you were allocated, which is also reflected upon the fare of the room. However, you won’t be provided with any pillows, duvet and sheets covers. Fret not, all of these are easily obtainable from places such as Argos to John Lewis.
Regardless whether you are in a single room or a shared room, each of you would be provided with the following,
- 1 x Studying desk (size may vary due to room layout)
- 1 x Office chair
- 1 x Cloths cupboard with a built in mirror and compartment for coats
- Shelves (perfect for borrowed books or storing lots of Maggie Mee)
- 1 x Night Stands
- 1 x Storage under the bed
- 1 x Lock Drawer
- 1 x Fan
- 1 x Telephone
- 2 x Desk lamps
- 1 x Laundry Basket
And to fulfil the main foundation of the Maslow Hierarchy, high speed internet services would be available in your room. Unfortunately, not all rooms have a good Wi-Fi coverage, but don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world, there’s a few Ethernet ports aligned together with the electrical socket; Ethernet cables can be easily obtained from the ICT service desk or any nearby computer stores.
As for electrical needs, you would be provided a series of electrical ports which are mainly located beneath the study desk. You don’t need to use travel adapters as the sockets used in the UK are the same as those in Malaysia – 230V.
You will be sharing the same kitchen space with your floor mates and occasionally some friends from different floor and halls. The size of the kitchen varies based on the number of occupants on the floor.The kitchen is equipped with a few stoves, electrical hobs to be precise, do check whether your pots and pans are in compliance with the electrical hobs when you are shopping for them. Depending on the hall warden or seniors, you would either be pre-allocated a fridge and a freezer space or you would need to obtain them on a first come first serve basis. The basic oven, microwave and kettles as well as oven operating instructions are available. There’s a food locker per person, which would be pre-allocated and communal cupboards for bulkier items. Lastly, there are tables and chairs that overlook a flat screen TV for you to enjoy while you have your meal.
The Journey to Class
Woke up in the morning and found out that your 9 AM lecture is in 10 minutes, don’t panic, you still can make it; 4 minutes to freshen up and dress yourself, 1 min to rush towards Gabor entrance and run to lecture in 3 mins, you would still have 2 mins to spare to buy some coffee at the nearest vending machine. This is how close Imperial College South Kensington Campus is! Unless your lectures are located somewhere else or in the other end of the South Kensington Campus (eg. Physics/Chemistry/Maths department), which you would need to wake up earlier.
South Kensington is a neighbourhood with one of the lowest crime rate in London. Despite that, college and hall security are also available for 24 hours. If you feel that your safety is threatened, you can contact the security through the emergency hotline.
The Journey Home at Night
Being in Imperial sometimes means that you would need to hug your books till the end of the night, and one of the best places to do this is in the Imperial College Central Library, which is open 24 hours except for Friday. IF you need to camp in the library, you wouldn’t need to worry about safety when going back home, as it is generally quite safe given the distance. There will be lights on the main road (exhibition road) even at wee hours. College and hall security would also respond at this hour.
What hall facilities and services are available
The Common Room
The common room is located on the ground floor and it is shared between Gabor and Wilkinson which can be accessed through either side provided you have the appropriate card. The common room is a place for you and your friends to chill as well as enjoy a game over the PS4 (which would require the duty warden to obtain it) or the foosball table. On certain occasions, the common room would be split by a partition between the two halls.
The Laundry Room
Gabor Hall laundry room is located on the basement floor, it is equipped with 4 washing, 4 dryer, and 2 ironing boards with iron and a sink; operating instructions and tariff are available in the laundry room as well. The following are the tariffs for them:
|Washing Machine||£ 2.00 – £ 3.00 (Eco wash – Super wash) [30-40 mins]|
|Dryer||£ 1.00 [50 mins] and additional 1p per minute with a max of £1.40 for extra drying time|
|Iron||Free of Charge|
|Sink||Free of Charge|
Do note that washing powder/liquid is not provided, you can buy them at any local supermarket.
The Cleaning Services
Your room will be cleaned on a monthly basis; the schedule for room cleaning service is normally available in the kitchen. A standard cleaning service includes vacuuming your floor and wiping any surfaces to washing your toilet.
As for the kitchen, it would be cleaned on alternate days, although this doesn’t mean that your pots and pans as well as your dirty dishes get cleaned by them, those items would be placed in a designated bin.
The Maintenance service
If you encounter faulty equipment in your room, you can make a report to the service desk and they would dispatch one of their members to fix it. In the case of your desk lamp blowing out, you can easily get the replacement from the front desk.
Your room will also be check and maintained from time to time. This includes checking on the windows and doors as well as shower descaling.
The Mail and delivered packages services
You will be allocated a lockable post box which would be on the ground floor, any mail with the Princes Gardens address on it would be delivered and sorted at the nearby security office, and then it is sent to your post box. Any item that does not fit into the post box can be collected at the security itself, an email will be sent to your Imperial email if you would need to make collection at the security office.
The Bike Storage
London is infamous for bike theft, thus a dedicated bike storage space has been allocated to ensure the safety of your bike. The bike storage is located in Southside Hall. You would need to register in order to get your bike parking space. You can also purchase a D-lock for your bike from the security shop (Sherfield Building).
What is nearby
Sainsbury Cromwell, also known as the big Sains, is one of the largest supermarkets you can find. This is where you want to go if you want to do a proper grocery shopping. Lots of variety.
Oriental Canteen, also known as OC, is the nearest oriental food place to Princes Gardens. OC offers free refills for rice.
Santander Imperial is within the South Kensington campus
Ethos gym is under Imperial College, it is free to use as long as you have paid for the registration and undergone the orientation.
What are the Eastsiders’ norms
The Hall Events
Hall events are normally organised by the hall seniors and sub wardens as well as the hall committee. They can range from movie nights in the common room to Christmas dinners and theatre trips to a day trip to UK neighbours such as Bruges in Belgium. These events are generally subsidised to a criminally cheap price or even free to join and the type of events are dependent upon the warden and sub wardens decision but events can be suggested through the hall committee or hall seniors.
One of the main series of events would be held during the fresher’s week (first two weeks upon your arrival). This would be a great opportunity to get to know the people who you are going to be with for the year.
The Fire Alarm
To ensure fire safety, both Eastside and Southside halls are heavily equipped with sensitive fire alarms. There will be at least one fire alarm in your room and several located at the corridor. If the fire alarm has been triggered, you will need to evacuate the building and gather at Princes Gardens.
On occasion, you would learn that the fire alarm was actually triggered by someone not shutting their toilet door when showering and the hot steam was detected, causing the entire building, all three Eastside Halls to evacuate. As I said, these alarms are really sensitive, so please make sure you close your door tightly or distance yourself while you are using the hair dryer before causing 450 people to evacuate.
The fire alarms are also tested on a weekly interval. You wouldn’t need to evacuate for that purpose.
Contributed by: Kuan Tzuo Wei It (2nd year Aeronautical Engineering)