Yesterday I finally moved into the new apartment! All of us students have been going a little stir crazy in our hotel - I was living at the Intercontinental for almost three weeks. The hotel was nice, but not like having my own place.
Not many students in the states get a king sized bed. All of the student flats are two story townhouses, this is some of the nicest housing I have seen anywhere. All of the furniture, sheets and towels, artwork, and everything else in these pictures (except the books on the shelves) came with this apartment. They are treating us really well!
I have a balcony too!
There are three types of housing: male, female, and married/family housing. The single gender housing areas are strictly segregated - not even visitors of the opposite sex are allowed to visit. Saudi Arabian culture keeps very rigid gender boundaries, and even having men and women in the same classrooms at KAUST is a radical step here. I have been placed in the married housing, which means that my wife is allowed to stay in my house when she visits in January.
The kitchen is nice, and each house even has its own washer and dryer - this is really much more space than I could ever need or use by myself.
Not everything is perfect, because the contractor was in such a rush to finish building these apartments and get us moved in, almost every house has minor problems with plumbing leaks, dead electrical outlets, or broken appliances. Mine were no hot water, no telephone or TV connection, and no dinner knives, but everything besides the dinner knives was fixed yesterday. One of my friends' apartment had no electricity, and another was missing a bed, so I could have been much worse off.