Finding accommodation at university can be a little overwhelming at first and you might not know all of your options. So I have put together a few tips to help you get started!
Types of accommodation:
There are different types of accommodation you can live in when you arrive at university. Different types are more suitable to different types of people. The most common form of accommodation is student halls, privately owned halls and private accommodation such as houses or flats. Alternatively, you can choose to live at home and commute to university.
Student halls are owned by the university and are usually based on campus or as close to the campus as possible. They may also own a few blocks of flats that are a little bit further away – these are usually the cheaper ones.
Student halls come is all shapes and sizes, some are more modern than others. University accommodation can usually be quite outdated which is why some students choose to live in private accommodation.
Student halls are usually reserved for first year students but there is sometimes a chance you can stay here in your second and third year too depending on your university and what they offer. University halls are very social and is a great place to make friends. Flat sizes are usually in groups of 6 but can go up to 12 – I have seen some go up to 18!
With University halls usually being based on campus it means you are in a great location when it comes to attending your seminars.
However, some universities are based outside of the city centre meaning when you want to go into town it may be a little bit further away.
Halls can be good preparation if you are living away from home for the first time. Your bills will be includes, will have washing machines in your block, maybe in your kitchens. You get to live with other students feeling the same way you do meaning you can learn together! You will most likely have a reception so if anything goes wrong you can go here to ask for help.
Private halls are every similar to student halls. They can sometimes be a little cheaper, however, the newer halls that have most recently been built will cost slightly more so make sure you take this into consideration. A lot of the newer builds include things like a gym, common room and study spaces available which is why they cost a little more.
Private halls are places all around campus and they will be in the city centre. A lot of students choose to live in the city and commute to campus if their campus is not city-based.
Private halls sometimes reserve rooms for second and third years so if this is you, take a look! Studios are also available if you want to live alone but be near other students – these will cost more than communal flats.
You can reach out to your university accommodation team who will have a list of private accommodation who they may have partnerships with.
You might also get the chance to choose who you live with in private halls.
If you have a group of friends, you want to live with then it may be worth looking into private housing. This is what a lot of students do in second and third year.
Private housing is usually much cheaper than halls so if you are taking price into consideration then look into this! Houses are based all over the cities and near by campus. Although if you want to find the cheapest place that is close to your university then you need t be quick as student houses can go really fast.
The one thing you will need to look into is whether you will be sorting out your own bills. This might mean sorting things like your own Wi-Fi.
If you are using a letting agency, then check out the reviews to see how they deal with students. The same if you are renting from a landlord. Some companies are known for treating students badly so beware.
If you are wanting to live in a house but you do not know anyone to move in with, then check the Facebook pages to find some housemates. There will always be people in the same position as you!
Staying at home
Lastly, there is the option of you staying at home. This means you will not have to move all of your things from one place to another. It may also be cheaper for you depending how whether you will be required to pay your way in your home. If you are living in the same city that you are going to university in then it may be a lot cheaper to stay home!
Decide on distance from university
There are a number of factors to look into when deciding where to stay during your time at university. The first thing you will want to diced is the area you want to live in. This may be on campus, or you may want to live a short walk away form university. Alternatively, if your campus is not in the city then you might want to find somewhere in the city.
When looking at distance, you need to take into consideration the places you will be visiting regularly, like the supermarket. If you do not have a car at university then making sure you have a supermarket within walking distance is important.
Of course, pricing is the next thing you need to look at. This will also depend on the amount of student loan you will be receiving. Despite the loan being based on your parent’s income, meaning your pent ae meant to help you out, this might not be the case for everyone. So different people will be able to afford different types of accommodation so make sure you talk about this if you are wanting to move in with housemates.
Tour the accommodation/ viewings
When deciding where to live, a good idea is to view the accommodation. If you are wanting houses then book a few house viewings. This way you will be able to chose if you are stuck between a few different ones. You will also be able to see the area you will be living in. You can check if you are near any bus stops or tram stops.
Look at reviews
As mentioned earlier, you might find your perfect accommodation, but when it comes to maintenance issues (which student halls and housing seem to have a fair few of) you come into problems.
Check the reviews to see if other student shave had any problems and see if they were resolved properly.
You don’t want to be a part of any of the student housing horror stories! So just make sure you stay on top of your accommodation search and get it sorted nice and early! This way you will be able to find exactly what you want at the best price you can find!
If you don’t manage to sort as quickly as others, then do not worry, there will always be accommodation left. If you are struggling to find somewhere, or if you are struggling financially to pay your rent then reach out to your student services who will be able to guide you.
Happy accommodation hunting!!