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VFU Fresher’s Guide: Kounicovy Koleje

The ‘VFU Fresher’s Guide’ is a series of picture guides. Each guide annotates and explains Brno in the order that you will experience it in. e.g. Arrival, Dormitory & Campus. The guide is designed for; VFU Freshers, VFU Erasmus, VFU Summer School & your visitors.

The second part of the ‘VFU Fresher’s Guide’ series, tells you everything you need about the Dormitory – Kaunicovy studentské koleje. Information includes: Finding your Room, Registration, External & Internal Layout, Facilities & general Tips.

 

How to Read this Guide:

The pictures will, quite literally highlight, the important elements of this area via bright halos (hereafter ‘h’). Pay attention to these halos, as they will be identified and shortly described. All halos will be described in a left-right order.

 

VFU Dormitories

The students of VFU Brno, can choose between two Dormitories. They are:

  1. Kaunicovy / Kounicovy studentské koleje (KSK)
  2. Listovy koleje (opposite Billa at Klusackova)

Kaunicovy Koleje is exclusively for students of VFU with a few exceptions. Listovy koleje, on the other hand, is shared with students from another university. While KSK has a history that is dark, I personally am not bothered by it. I thoroughly enjoy living here & have yet to find a more beautiful dormitory. Looks aside, the area is very quaint and full of family homes which is a nice perk.

Listovy koleje has multiple disadvantages. The rooms are smaller than the rooms in the B-block of Kaunicovy koleje. Additionally it is located right next to a busy street with a tram-line- which really makes me appreciate the quiet walks and peaceful sleep KSK affords me.  It is 5 minutes closer to campus and right in front of the supermarkets. There’s also the flat & ugly exteriors- KSK on the other hand. Evidently I cannot stay neutral on the topic.

However in general, Listovy koleje is used mainly as an ‘overflow’, as KSK has been over-capacity the last two years

 

Kaunicovy Koleje – Exterior

The Dormitory is shaped like two ‘C’s that are joined at the bottom. The two ‘C’s are properly called ‘Block B‘ (left) and ‘Block A‘ (right). Generally Block B is where all the foreigners stay, additionally if you’re a full-time student, you are guaranteed a room here.  The dormitory is a historical structure and around it’s back you can find a lawn, benches and a few memorials. The periphery of the dormitory has four sides, each with it’s own gate, making the dormitory easily accessible no matter where you taxi decides to stop.

Below is the view you will be greeted with when entering from the front entrance.

  • H1; Centre- Front Door. The two blocks are visible in this picture, with Block B being on the left of the door and Block A on the right.

Now make your way to the front door. Once there, press the white buzzer on your left. The buzzer is what non-residents have to use. Once you obtain your RFID Card you can use the reader on the right instead.

Registration

Once you are buzzed in, head over to the Reception on you left. It should be known that most (rare exception) of the receptionists do not speak English, but they will try to fetch a student who can translate. Alternatively you can reach out to me or BVOIS to arrange for someone to help you.

Below is a picture of the reception area:

  • H1; Left- Reception Desk
  • H2; Centre- Employee-only entrance. However if you’re nice & they see you lugging a 22kg suitcase, they may allow it.
  • H3; Right- The stairway to Block B. Yes, it can be quite a workout with a large suitcase, but it’s do-able.

Registration is a two step process.

  1. Reception Registration– when you arrive. You get a RFID card, Room Key & Linen. I believe you might pay 500 for the RFID (deposit). The RFID activates 3 different entries: Main Entrance, Revolving Doors & finally your room door.
  2. Office Registration*- generally the day after. You fill out a proper form, pay a deposit for the dormitory (2000-2500CZK), 1 Month’s rent (approx 4000 CZK). You will obtain your contract for that year & a dormitory card. This process should always be fulfilled on the day, time that is requested. *Pictured further on.

For both steps of registration, I cannot say accurately, but I would advise that you keep the following at ready:

  • Acceptance Letter / Proof of Erasmus status.
  • Passport / Other ID.
  • 2500 CZK + 4000 CZK (approx. 1 month’s rent).
  • 2-3 Passport-sized photos.

 

Kaunicovy Koleje – Interior

Now that you are done with registration, head up the flight of stairs to your left, this will be your view:

  • H1; Left – Revolving Doors.
  • H2; Right – the Study Hall, an ephemeral pond for students, filling up in December and June, while dried out the rest of the season. There are computers here that you can access with you student code and password, the WiFi connection is also better here than in some rooms.

Once you pass the Revolving Door, below is your view:

  • H1; Right- To your left, when pass through the revolving doors, is a stairway, the way down takes you to ‘-1’ where the Reception* is located. *Pictured later.

Finding Your Room

When searching for your room, pay attention to the first digit of the room number, it represents the floor you’re on. eg. B454 = 4th floor, B block. Once you’re on the right floor, walk through the central corridor, on one of the walls is a ‘floor-plan’ for that floor, which you can use to determine where exactly your room is.

Flats in B-block consist of two rooms with each room housing two people. There is a shared kitchen, a separated W.C. and Shower.

In the unlikely event that you have arrived during office hours, on a weekday, below is a picture of Floor -1, where the office is.

  • H1; Left – Stairway to the Laundry Room.
  • H2; Office. The office hours and days are on the paper stuck to the door.

 

Laundry Room / Prádelna

The laundry room of KSK (Kaunicovy studentské koleje) is located in B-block. It has four washing machines, each machine is numbered. The machine labelled ‘1’ is only for ‘heavily soiled laundry’. To rent a machine, you pay 40 CZK per machine at the reception. The receptionist will ask you for your Dormitory Card, it will be returned to your after you’re done using the machine(s).

Over the years, there has been a recurring problem with misunderstandings, so I will list the process in clear steps;

  1. Ask if there are free machines –> State how many you want –> Pay, give your card, get the keys.
  2. Load your laundry–> Note the Machine No. & Cycle Duration –> Inform the Receptionist, return the keys!
  3. When you laundry is ready, Collect Keys –> Get Laundry –> Return Keys –> Collect Dormitory Card.

With the explanation out of the way, below are pictures:

Stairway to Laundry Room
The door to the right is the Laundry Room.
Laundry Room. The drying room is visible at the back.
H1; Yellow- Machine 1 for dirty laundry.

Other Facilities:

You can also rent a Vacuum cleaner & Iron at the reception for a small fee, you will be asked for your Dormitory card again. If you play Tennis, there is a court at the back of the dormitory that can be rented by the hour. There is a T.V. room on the 2nd floor which is available for free, you need to ask the reception for it’s keys.

Tips

This section is very anecdotal and should not be considered a formal piece of information.

  • Guests– officially, after 6pm, one is required to register any visitors by the reception. Understandably this protects the financial interests of the dormitory & acts as a safety- measure. Returning from a night out with a non-resident can lead to both of you being ID-ed. In the case of visitors from home, you can ask the office for a rooms, it is a paid service.
  • Dormitory card– this is the small 4-sided paper card with your rent payments on it. It is an important document necessary for ID (new students) and using any facilities
  • Rent payment– paying rent late is penalized.
  • Printing & ISIC– there is a printer in the study-hall that prints black-and-white only. You require an ISIC card to use it.

Lastly, I hate to be a buzzkill, but over the last years there has been recurring pattern of irresponsible behavior, mostly on the part of foreign students eg. Triggering fire alarms, Disruptive behavior past midnight & shopping carts being brought into the dormitory. At the end of the day we are guests here, and if not out of courtesy, there are consequences as well- some disruptive students have been expelled in the past.

With that said, Brno is a great city, there is abundant night-life, culture & activities to explore! Four years later and I can certainly say that Brno grows on you! Whether it’s your experiences, education or friends, you leave Brno richer than you came here.

Thank you for reading this far, I hope this helped you, if it did, I would love to hear from you in the comments or in person! If it didn’t and you have suggestions or need further help, comment below.

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