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The Benefits of Elms BT1 for First-Year International Students

Wondering where to choose for accommodation at Queen's? Medicine student Mehak explains why Elms BT1 was her ideal choice as an international student moving to Belfast.

Cafe in Elms BT1
Coffee bar in accommodation

Elms BT1 is the ideal university accommodation as it provides you with everything you could possibly need and more. From its friendly, diverse community to its highly social and secure environment, and its prime location and facilities, Elms BT1 truly offers you a plethora of amenities for a comfortable transition to university and first year.

Elms BT1

BT1 is an ideal choice if you'd like to live in the bustling city centre

Proximity to the city

I feel that Elms BT1 was the best choice for me, as it stood out as the nearest to the city centre, and is merely a 20-minute walk or a quick bus ride away from the main campus. As someone accustomed to living in a larger city, its proximity to the city centre gave me a sense of familiarity with its vibrant city atmosphere, just like my own hometown.

This location proved to be idea for my transition to university life because it wasn’t an abrupt change that would trigger the feeling of being homesick; yet it was different enough to allow me to discover a new city and appreciate the charm of Belfast at my own pace. I could see Victoria Square dome from my bedroom window, with planes landing into Belfast City Airport daily!

Belfast cityscape from Grand Central Hotel

Queen's is only a 20 minute walk from Belfast city centre

Better value for money

I never realised the value I was getting for the price point of the accommodation. Living costs can escalate, especially in an unfamiliar city. As an international student, I wasn’t initially aware of expenses such as utilities, bills, gym memberships and laundry. Yet, Elms BT1 covers a significant portion of these necessities, including WiFi, water, heating, electricity, and gym access (to the Elms BT1 gym located on the ground floor and the Queen’s PEC near Botanic Gardens), all encompassed within the rent. Additionally, the building provides convenient laundry facilities and a secure area for bike storage.

Running machines in the gym at Elms BT1

Accommodation students have access to both the Elms BT1 gym and the PEC

A warm welcome

Being homesick can take quite a toll on your mental and physical health. However, Elms BT1 managed to help and ease a lot of my anxiety when moving to not only a new country but to a new continent too! They had daily events at the coffee bar in the common room that facilitated socialisation and opportunities to make new friends with people from different courses and faculties that you would never have met otherwise.

Elms BT1 is such a large complex and community, you will never know who you might meet! From pizza parties, to complimentary boba, arts and crafts, to games night, the residential assistants had a keen understanding of the BT1 community’s needs. The common room, equipped with arcade and console games, offered a perfect space to unwind.

Students socialising in the common lounge in Elms BT1

Elms BT1 has a daily social calendar of on-site events

Everything at your doorstep

For a newcomer to Belfast and Northern Ireland like me, the accommodation staff excelled in organising affordable day trips, allowing us to explore unexpected places and fulfill long-desired visits! The availability of a printer, coupled with multiple quiet rooms and study areas, eliminates the need to step outside the building for library or campus related tasks, encapsulating the essence of convenience. Everything is truly at your doorstep!

When transitioning to university, essentials such as laundry, mental and physical fitness, and socialisation can initially be overlooked. So having a hub like Elms BT1 that can guide you through it all is amazing when trying to settle in and find a place to call home. I highly encourage you to check out the Queen’s accommodation social media platforms to find out which accommodation will suit you best!

Find out more

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Mehak Bindra

Medicine| Undergraduate Student | India/UAE

Hi! I’m Mehak, a second year student studying medicine at Queen’s University Belfast. I am originally from India but have lived in the UAE my whole life. As a first year, I lived at the Elms BT1 accommodation, which was a great experience that I recommend to everyone. As I like to immerse myself in my course, I am apart of various medical societies such as the Internal Medical society and Child Health Society!

mehak bindra