Cite Universitaire Paul Appell

20 Oct

Everyone always knows it’s the little details that make someplace home. Whether that’s a rug in front of a door that has special meaning or a picture frame on a desk of a family member, we are able to make someplace feel like home in a short time. With that said, let me tell you about the residence hall that I call home.

The “Cite Universitaire” Paul Appell was named after the founder of Strasbourg Academy, one of the first schools of Strasbourg. I’m not quite sure about the history of the Academy but I do know that it was prestigious enough that buildings were named for its headmaster. There is also a street named in his honor and a fountain of him somewhere in Strasbourg.

Paul Appell is much like any other residence hall in the United States; every student has a room and of course other necessary things like bathroom/shower facilities, kitchen facilities and a student recreational area. There are dining courts, work out centers, campus centers and of course, and a medical center. Paul Appell consists of 6 parts: Buildings A, B, C, D,E, and F. Each building has the name of some famous Strasbourg student who accomplished some feat. Building E is named after an important chemist. As a resident of Building E, I’ve had the chance to explore my building as well as the others and see what golden opportunities they contain. Building A has the front desk with the secretary; its manned 24 hours and one has to go there for any room problems, laundry chips, etc. Building B handles all the administration and all that is monetary. C has a “mediathek” that has cassettes, DVDS, books, and CD’s as well. I even saw a few real records. It’s a very cozy room very much like a library, comfortable egg chairs included. Building D is one of the luckiest when it comes to facilities. It contains a workout room with a few tread mills, stair steppers, weights and more. It also has a multipurpose room that can be rented for birthday parties or whatever you should wish; just go see the reception and talk to them about it. The residents are also lucky enough to have a tennis court and a very nice grassy area in the common outside area available for use. Also, let’s not forget the various study rooms in the buildings, which are open until 11 Pm at night.

The sizes of the rooms vary just as much as Purdue’s would vary. Here there are three kinds of rooms: simple, room with its sanitaries, and studios. A simple room size depends on building you live in, as they are getting renovated slowly. It’s a project in the works. My simple room has the basics: a bed, a wardrobe, a desk, night table and shelving area. There’s also an emery board that one can use if one wishes to. I also have my own sink. I find that very convenient especially in the mornings; it makes brushing your teeth and washing your face a private thing. Who doesn’t enjoy avoiding scaring people away with the “I just woke up hair”? I know a few colleges do have sinks in res. hall rooms in the US; it’s definitely something that could be considered as essential. Some rooms have their own “sanitary facilities” which include a shower and a toilet along with a sink of course. This does take up quite a bit of space within the room; what you gain in having your own bathroom is lost in floor space. Studios are the only multi-person rooms available; they have 3 people per room. They are often larger and also cost more, which is logical. Overall, the rooms are very nice though and provide you with anything Purdue would.

The bathrooms are quite interesting here. While Purdue would normally have separate bathrooms for men and women, we, as a floor, all share a common bathroom area. This means the toilet area and shower area are all communal and thus it can make for some interesting experiences; it’s definitely one of the things of Europe that can shock people. You also have to provide your own toilet paper, which was one surprise for me at first. I’ve since adjusted.

While the kitchen space is pretty large, it lacks a few vital things sadly. There are two sinks and four hot plates to use; oftentimes, only 2 of the hotplates work thus making cooking somewhat difficult at the vital times of the day. This includes weekends which can get very hectic. Every floor has a kitchen, and if the kitchen isn’t taken care of, the cleaning ladies will close the kitchen for a few days. It’s a lesson on housekeeping and keeping your kitchen clean for your “housemates”. While the kitchen is a great way to meet your neighbors, it also has a few disadvantages. Some neighbors choose not to clean up thus ending with dirty kitchen, a sink full of various food items and trash overfilling because people do not always respect the rules of the kitchen. When 3 out of 5 kitchens have non-functioning hot plates, it’s not the best situation. So far, it’s happened once and it was not a fun experience. Overall, the saddest thing and the biggest difference is the lack of an oven. Having an oven has really become a luxury; while cooking on a stovetop can make you most meals, it can’t cook you a pizza or a tarte flambé sadly. I find that Purdue kitchen are very well stocked, even offering to rent you pots and pans if necessary. There’s nothing like people making cookies in the fall and smelling the chocolate chips as you walk by on the way to your room. This experience makes me appreciate Purdue’s facilities very much. Even if the kitchen does lack an oven, I find it a relief to be able to come home to my room at the end of the day and know that I can sleep comfortably in my bed, cook my dinner in the kitchen and take a nice hot shower in the bathroom. In the end, that’s what matters most.

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One Response to “Cite Universitaire Paul Appell”

  1. Robert Wildman October 9, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    I spent school year ’66 – ’67 at Paul-Appell on the Washington University (St. Louis, MO) Junior Year Abroad program. Sounds like it’s quite different now from what it was then–completely separate lodgings for men (in the front building, above the concierge desk) and women (in the rear building beyond the TV lounge and over the gym/recreation room). We understood the place was about 10 years old then, so that would put it over 50 years old now–impressive for a student dormitory!

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