The Full Monte: My life in Montefiore Halls

Being a fresher is just about as good as it gets…you taste real freedom to make your own choices (and messy mistakes), your course is about as easy as it […]

Being a fresher is just about as good as it gets…you taste real freedom to make your own choices (and messy mistakes), your course is about as easy as it can be and your exams don’t count.

One of the major parts of your life as a fresher is living in halls, and looking back at my first year many of my favourite moments are at my term-time home, Montefiore Halls.


Better known as Monte, it is part of Wessex Lane Halls complex along with Connaught, with around 1700 residents. This huge number of students means that no matter what block you’re in, you’re bound to meet people you have things in common with and those people will most likely become friends for life. It’s also about five minutes away from a 24-hour McDonald’s and the newly built City Gateway halls, complete with a brand new supermarket. This is a real God-send as we used to have to trek all the way into the city or Portswood to do our food shopping.

The halls are also self-catered or part-catered. As someone with cooking skills that extended just about to toast when I came to uni, I highly recommend going self-catered as it forces you to learn the valuable life skill in order to survive (or just order Dominos).

Monte is only a 20 minute walk from campus but if, like me, you can’t face the walk to a post-Jesters 9am you are also provided with a Uni-link bus pass for a 6 minute bus ride to uni. For the sporty spice’s among you, Wide Lane Sports Ground is only minutes away on the bus. But be warned – get to the bus stop early! The British are known for their good queuing etiquette and here should be no exception. No matter how big the queue is, or how late you are, never queue jump – people will see you, they will find you, and they will kill you.

All rooms have single beds and it’s pretty much a right of passage for most freshers to fall out of their single bed at least once. Almost all are en suite though and a single bed in place of showering with other people’s body hair between your toes seems like a pretty good trade to me.

A little homesick? You can take advantage of the pin board covering one of the walls to pin up photos of friends, family and beloved pets, or you can skype them via the wifi provided (although apparently this might require some patience).

Now, whilst I have a huge love for Monte, it does lack a communal area in the flats, which would be ideal for pre-drinks or just hanging out – however you can always take a trip to Monte Bar for this. For those treasured few days of English summer there’s lots of grassy areas and BBQ spots to enjoy, and Riverside Park just a short walk down the road, perfect for a game of football or a picnic.

There are washing facilities on site, costing around £2.60 for washing machine and £1 for the dryer, however schedule your washing carefully…there is normally a queue and the machines tend to breakdown a lot! From bike storage and parking (for the lucky few with cars at uni) to halls cleaners, Monte has pretty much everything you need.

However if I can give incoming freshers eager with anticipation any advice it would be: bring a doorstop, extension lead and lots and lots of parent-bought food.

Check out our other halls reviews:

Did you live in Monte last year? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!