Housing 102: The Ultimate (and UPDATED) Guide on FUS Dorms!

"You are going to have so many memories in your university dorm. Choose your spot wisely." -Asa Yangsirisuk, Adventures at Franklin writer.


Welcome back or welcome to Adventures at Franklin, a blog about life at Franklin University Switzerland, written and curated by Franklin students. Here, I’m going to cover everything about dorms at Franklin University Switzerland, as it’s getting close to housing selection for current and prospective students. There has been a previous post about housing on this blog (https://adventuresatfranklin.fus.edu/2013/05/housing-101.html) but it was written 7 years ago and is a bit outdated. So here's the ultimate and updated guide on FUS dorms!
A quick reminder that these are ultimately my thoughts so remember that there is a subjective element involved. Nonetheless, I’d like to think I have decent knowledge of FUS dorms. I’ve been an Admissions Ambassador for over a year and I’ve also been an Academic Mentor for the past 2 years. Both roles require knowledge of dorms and FUS life.

Disclaimers: 
1) This is a LONG post (we have 8 residences on Campus) so I have a short “in a nutshell” summary for each of the dorms at FUS.
2) I highly recommend supplementing this post with the virtual tour of the different residences at FUS, which you can find here: https://www.fus.edu/about-franklin/our-campus/virtual-tour
3) My posts are and always will be for anyone interested in Franklin University Switzerland, but this post is aimed more towards current and prospective students. 

Leonardo Da Vinci (LDV):

Pros:
  • Freshmen only dorm. Some people might consider this a con, but I would say it is a pro. Upperclassmen are not scary at all! In fact, I wish as a freshman I spent more time connecting with upperclassmen. However, sometimes it is easier to bond with other freshmen. There is an immediate connection and many bonds form because of the simple fact that you are in the same year. The other nice thing about a freshmen only dorm is that you might meet some of your friends who you will spend the next few years with at FUS :) 
  • Location. LDV is right on North Campus, which means it is right next to the LAC, where most of the classrooms are, and where the dining hall is. The dining hall is open from 8 am to 3 pm on Monday to Friday. This means that students in LDV will need to walk to the Grotto on Kaletsch Campus (the second of Franklin's campuses) if they want to eat dinner or eat in general on the weekends. LDV still has very good location, as it is a short 5-8 minute walk away from Kaletsch Campus, the Grotto, and Grace Library.
  • Balcony possibility. If you are not on the ground floor, there is a chance you may get a balcony. The first floor (second floor for Americans) has a shared balcony, which means the whole floor is connected via balcony. This makes hanging out with your neighbors super easy, and it is a lot of fun if you get along with your neighbors. On the other hand, if you want some privacy you will have to lower your blinds so that people who walk past cannot just glimpse into your room.
Potential Cons:
  • There are nicer rooms in other dorms. The rooms in LDV are very stereotypical freshmen dorms (which is not a bad thing per se, but most people prefer apartments). The rooms in LDV are either doubles or split doubles. A split double is where you get your own room, but you share a bathroom. The regular double is where there are 2 beds in 1 room, and you share a bathroom. Both of these rooms are shown in the virtual tour. Sometimes (mostly in Spring), there may not be enough people in LDV, so there are chances to get a room to yourself. In the room, there is also a minifridge in the room, a desk, and a pretty spacious closet.
  • Group kitchen. So, the good news is that there is a group kitchen! The bad news is that it gets very messy. People will cook and leave their dirty plates and pots in the sink. Every year, I wonder if the group kitchen will be a positive and stay clean, and every year, it ends up being a con because it becomes so dirty.
  • Noise. You can hear almost everything in LDV. The walls are very thin. Freshmen, as you can imagine, can also be pretty loud sometimes.
In a nutshell: I think LDV is a very good/safe option for freshmen who are not too sure of what they are looking for just yet. You are with other freshmen, in a very good location, and for the most part, you can only experience LDV as a freshman. The room are either a split double or a regular double (both found in the virtual tour). I think definitely consider LDV if you think you are looking for a safe option as a freshmen, or if you think might like it there!

Airone:

Pros:
  • Great Location. Located in between the 2 campuses, Airone is a 3-4-minute walk away from both campuses. The Falcon’s Nest (where there are many events) is also located on the ground floor of Airone. 
  • Opportunity to get a single room. There are singles in Airone, and some singles have kitchenettes (found in the virtual tour). If you want your own space, or you are not comfortable with sharing things, Airone is a solid option. There are also double rooms in Airone as well (also in the virtual tour). Some rooms also have balconies which are very nice.
Potential Cons:
  • It used to be a hotel, so it feels like a hotel. Again, this may not be bad for everyone per se, but is the biggest turn off for me. You walk in and you see a waiting area (Falcon’s Nest). You see the front desk which feels like reception. The rooms are also the most typical hotel rooms ever. I don’t want to feel like I’m living in a hotel, but if you are comfortable with that, good for you!
  • Noise. The walls are also not very thick. Airone is also right on the street, so you can hear the many people coming from or heading downtown.
  • Group kitchen. Same story as LDV, it is nice that there is a group kitchen, but it gets very dirty because people leave their dirty dishes behind. As mentioned previously, some rooms have kitchenettes, but most do not so you’ll have to get creative if you don’t want to eat out/eat at the dining hall or Grotto (in the virtual tour, one room without a kitchenette, has hot plates to substitute a stove).
In a nutshell: Very good location, and the chance to have a space entirely to yourself. Pretty nice rooms but you will have to be okay with living in what is essentially a hotel. If you get a kitchenette then great, but these are the rooms that are taken first. There are also double rooms in Airone, and all the previously mentioned rooms can be found on the virtual tour. Group kitchen is a con, so if you want to cook, you will have to get creative. My friends who do not have kitchenettes use hot plates, microwaves, and kettles to get the job done. Noise level is not great as well. I think you should consider Airone only if you want a single and it is available. 

Ciliegi: Fun fact, ciliegi means cherry in Italian! 

Pros:
  • Great location, right across the street from Airone, in between the 2 campuses. 
  • Apartment styled/kitchen. It makes cooking much easier, and it is also very easy to make Ciliegi feel homey.
  • Quieter. Despite being across the street from Airone, there are some apartments that do not face the street. These apartments are very chill. However, there are also apartments that face the street, so there is more noise there. You can still hear your neighbours if they are very loud, but the walls are thicker.
Potential Cons:
  • Not the most spacious. Ciliegi rooms usually are doubles, and are not the most spacious dorms at FUS. The beds are very close together in the bedroom (see virtual tour). This means that you and your roommate better get along, otherwise it will not work. Sometimes if there are not enough people to fill the rooms, you can buy out an apartment, but you will have to pay an extra couple thousand to do this.
In a nutshell: Ciliegi has great location, one of the quieter dorms on campus, and is apartment styled. However, it is usually a double room dorm (see virtual tour) and not the most spacious which means that people who live together will have to get along well. I think you can definitely consider Ciliegi if you know someone that you are comfortable rooming with. If not, then you better hope that you get a roommate who shares similar habits/lifestyles as you. 

Alba: means sunrise in Italian.

Pro:
  • Lots of singles available, so there are lots of chances to get your own room/space. There are also double rooms available. 
  • Every room has a kitchen. Pretty self-explanatory. This is the only dorm not on the virtual tour. I was going to take pictures of the dorm but given the COVID-19 situation, this task has become much tougher to do, so sorry! 
  • Right next to the train station. If you plan to travel a lot, Alba is a great option!
Potential Cons:
  • Alba is the furthest dorm away from campus. It still is not that far away, about 10-12 minutes from North Campus, and 15-17 minutes from Kaletsch Campus. However, if you must make that walk multiple times a day for multiple months, it can start to really drain you. You can take the bus, but you’ll have to figure out if the bus schedules match with your class schedule. In addition, a lot of people who live in Alba struggle at the start because they feel very disconnected from campus just distance-wise.
  • Noise. It can get very loud because there are pubs and restaurants all around Alba.
In a nutshell: Alba requires a very specific type of person. The rooms are very nice, but you need to want to be alone sometimes per se. You need to be able to deal with isolation every now and then. If you like to travel and plan on travelling, enjoy walking (10-15 min walk to campus), and are very independent, then Alba is a wonderful option.

Giardino: means garden in Italian.

Pros:
  • You live on top/across from a restaurant. So obviously there are cons about this. It may be noisy from the people in the restaurant, or you may catch the scent of food when you may be hungry. However, you can also walk down the stairs and order a pizza. That’s pretty nice, isn’t it? 
  • Great view of Laghetto di Muzzano, and a great view of the sunset. 
  • Single room possibility. Giardino has 3 different types of rooms. Triple rooms with 3 people (found in virtual tour, I do not recommend these dorms at all). A single room, with shared bathroom/kitchen between 5-6 people. A single, but with a shared bathroom and kitchen for the floor (shared with 6+ people). The single rooms are not shown in the virtual tour unfortunately. 
  • Access to a kitchen. You will definitely get access to a kitchen. However you will also definitely have to share that kitchen with either 2, 4, or more people depending on the room. 
Potential Cons:
  • Possibly the loudest dorm. Given the restaurant and proximity to the bar, Giardino is very loud. People throw many parties as well, so you will have to be okay with noise if you live here. 
  • The triple rooms in Giardino are very small (see virtual tour). There are no walls (other than the bathroom. It is one huge room from the beds to the kitchen. There is a shared balcony, which is nice if you have nice neighbors. However, there is little to none privacy. If you and your roommates have different sleeping schedules, you better be a deep sleeper. 
In a nutshell: Giardino is where many freshmen start their Franklin adventure. I would recommend the Giardino singles for either the 1st or 2nd years, but afterwards the noise may be very distracting and annoying for schoolwork. The view, restaurant, and setup of some rooms are good aspects about Giardino. Location is also not bad (5-8 mins from both campuses). 

New Building (A and B):

Pros:
  • Your own room. Almost every New Building resident gets their own room. Some rooms are doubles, but most are singles. That means privacy when you need it. The rooms are kind of small, but you have the room to yourself (see virtual tour). 
  • A shared kitchen. However the nice thing about New Building, is that you have a shared kitchen with other people (usually shared between 4-6 people). Thus, you have privacy in your single room, and you can socialize and spend time with your roommates if you want to as well. 
  • The biggest beds. Yeah the beds are nice, really nice. They do take up nearly 1/3 of the room though (see virtual tour).

Potential Cons: 
  • Construction/Aesthetics. As of fall 2019, construction began to build New C (yes Franklin is very creative with its names). New C is projected to be completed by fall 2021, so there will be noise. Construction will be from 8 am to 5 pm, Mondays to Fridays. The outside of New Building is also not appealing to begin with (see virtual tour). Many students used to joke that New Building looks like a concentration camp or prison. Now the outside has the construction site of New C, not nice to look at. 
  • Noise, but not just noise from construction. New Building is where most Franklin students live. There is a lot of noise from parties and gatherings. New B is supposed to be a 24hr quiet dorm, and it's very hard to do that when New A can be loud enough for 2 dorms on some nights. 
In a nutshell: Really ugly exterior, really nice interior. Lots of visual and noise pollution from construction. Lots of noise from parties, but most people live in New Building so it's also very easy to hang out with people. Single room and shared kitchen kind of provides the best of both worlds (privacy but also a social space). Location-wise, it is also good being 2-3 mins from Kalestch campus and 4-5 mins away from North Campus.

Last but not least, Panera: a combination of bread (pane) and time (era). Fun fact: my home for the past 3 years. 

Pros:
  • Great location. Panera is pretty much on Kaletsch campus and right next to the Grotto. Panera is 2 minutes from the library. Panera is across the street from That's Amore (small store for groceries, great sandwiches, other foods), and Tamoil (gas station). Panera is a minute from a bus stop that takes you to and from downtown. Panera is 5-8 minutes away from North Campus. You get the gist, great location. 
  • Pretty spacious room. Panera dorms are all triples (except for 2 rooms). I criticize Giardino triples for its lack of rooms and walls. In Panera, we have a kitchen, a bedroom, a living room, and a balcony (virtual tour kind of shows this. Also fun fact, my room is the one in the virtual tour). It's very possible to be live with your roommates and spend most of your time in different rooms, if you need privacy. Last semester, my roommate would take the bedroom, my other roommate the living room, and I'd alternate between the bedroom, kitchen and living room. Additionally, sometimes there may only be 2 people in a triple dorm, in which case the apartment becomes very spacious. 
  • The Panera lawn. The Panera lawn is severely underutilized. Most of the time, it's used for pregames/parties, but there are also grills to use for cooking. The grass is great for sports, or to just relax, lie down, read a book, listen to music, or just talk. During training week for the orientation team, we hang out on the lawn during dinner. It's wonderful. Some events are also hosted on the lawn, which is great, there should be more! 
  • Cheapest priced dorm. I realize that finances is a huge factor for many university students. The general gist at Franklin is that single rooms are the most expensive, then doubles, and triples are the cheapest. So for Panera, that means they are the cheapest rooms! Currently the price for a Panera triple is around 4,300 CHF per semester. 
  • Your own kitchen. Your own kitchen that you share with your roommates that is. Still, cooking is usually a huge part of the Franklin lifestyle, and your own kitchen in your own apartment is so helpful and a huge benefit. 
  • Balcony/patio. 6/14 Panera dorms have a balcony, 6 of the remaining 8 dorms have a patio. The balcony and patio area are great to sit outside, enjoy the nice weather, eat, or just talk. I love my balcony. I have a great view of the sunrise just coming over San Salvatore (a famous mountain among Frankliners). 
Potential Cons:
  • Roommates. This is the only con I've ever heard about Panera. It is a big factor for many people. Some people need their own space, and Panera is a dorm where you will have to share things (there is 1 bathroom for 3 people usually, so you need to handle that situation with your roommates), and you have to be okay with seeing people a lot given that you may live with 2 other people. I've never had problems with any of my roommates, but I know that some people who've lived in Panera have had issues and they need their own room.
  • Noise. Panera can be noisy, but it really depends. It depends on if there are any events or parties going on, and it depends on how loud your neighbors/roommates are. The walls are pretty thick which is nice. 
      In a nutshell:  
      Panera is great, if you are okay sharing things and sharing a space. Panera has amazing location, looks beautiful inside and outside. Panera is spacious enough for 3 people. Panera is a great experience, I've enjoyed my 3 years in my dorm thoroughly, and I've had so many memories. I am more than happy with my choice, I hope you choose your spot wisely. 

A presto,
Asa

P.S. as always, I'd be very happy to answer or reply to any comments about dorm life. Just leave a comment :) 

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