Accommodation is right up there with residence permit (if required) as a high priority subject in the checklist of an international student. The accommodation situation in Uppsala is pretty grim with long queues and waiting lists. I was lucky enough to be offered accommodation by the Uppsala University Housing Office that made my work a lot easier. The place I have been calling home for the past 9 months is the Klostergatan-16 Student accommodation. This student residential area was a hotel until 2015 after which it got converted into a modern housing area. Klostergatan 16 is quite an anomaly in the student housing scenes of Uppsala which are dominated by corridor style residential areas. The biggest attraction though of this place is its location which is the best one can get in Uppsala.
Klostergatan 16 is located in central Uppsala near the Fyris River. Being in centrum, it is very well connected to the other parts of the city. Almost all busses stop at the various bus stations located nearby ( Stadshuset , Dragarbrunn or Stora Torget). Moreover it is only about ≈ 700 m. from the Uppsala central train station. Centrum is the hub of Uppsala with shopping centres, restaurants, movie theatres and banks and this makes Klostergatan’s location a flawless .There are 2 stores of ICA, the popular supermarket chain, located in close proximity. Willys, a usually cheaper alternative to ICA is present a kilometre and a half away. All leading banks have their branches nearby. The most exciting thing about Klostergatan’s location is that it lies within a kilometre of all the 13 Student nations.
#[Pro Tip 1] : Living in centrum is enviable and a masterstroke
Most rooms including mine are about 23 square meters in area. Each room has a private bathroom and a fully equipped kitchenette with a mini-fridge, microwave and basic kitchen equipments (plates, cups, glasses, cooking vessels, cutlery, microwave safe bowl etc.). The kitchenette is meant only for heating and light (normal) cooking .Heavy cooking or deep frying will trigger the nearby fire alarm. This fire alarm is directly connected to the fire brigade, which means that if there is an alarm due to heavy cooking, the tenant will have to pay the cost. There is a common kitchen on the ground floor which is fully equipped and can be used for heavy cooking when necessary .Initially I was a bit paranoid about triggering the alarm. But slowly I found out that if one is a bit careful with not overcooking/burning the food (that generates a lot of smoke), it is absolutely fine. The rooms are furnished with a bed and a mattress (including pillow and quilt), chairs, one table, wardrobe, curtains and ceiling lamps. Basic cleaning equipment is provided by the landlord. There are also common vacuum cleaners which can be used by the tenants.
# [Pro Tip 2]: Things one should bring: 1) Bed linen 2) Ethernet cable 3) router 4) microwave safe containers
#Note: Heating, Internet and Electricity are included in the rent
3. Other Amenities:
3.1 Laundry: The laundry room with fully functional washing machines and dryers are located on the ground floor. All the washing machines have an automatic detergent dispenser (So no need to buy your own). The laundry washing stations can be booked in advance via an electronic booking system.
3.2 Common kitchen: The common kitchen like the laundry can be booked using an electronic booking system. It is located on the ground floor and can be used for extensive cooking. It is even equipped with an automatic dishwasher.
3.3 Common areas: The building houses a cafe of its own. Yes you read that right..! It is managed by the Uppsala University housing office which has its office next to it. The cafe is connected to a common room where one can chill, relax, eat, study or have a party. This is equipped with free Wi-Fi. Besides this, the 2nd floor of the building also has a garden.
3.4 Bicycle store area: The bike storage area is located in the basement. It is basically a cage like structure which needs a common code for entry.
3.5 Gymnasium: The building also houses a moderately equipped free gym for the residents.
#[Pro Tip 3]: Though the gym is small , it is never crowded/congested
3.6 Garbage room: Household waste after segregation (organic, nonorganic combustible, Glass etc) is dumped in individual drums (of each category) at the garbage room located on the ground floor.
4. Pros & Cons Analysis