Many people first leave their family and live away from home when they go to university. It’s a big change, and some people can get a little worried. This is a quick guide to accommodation at university and what you can expect to ensure nothing comes as a shock.
Types of Accommodation
- Halls of Residence – Particularly popular with freshers, halls of residence are a great way to meet lots of new friends either in your flat or the many flats within the block. A room in halls may be self-catering or catered and may come with a private ensuite bathroom or shared bathroom.
- Privately Owned Student Flats – While more expensive than renting university-owned halls of residence, you’re likely to live in more comfortable surroundings at private halls and still get the benefit of living with lots of other students. Many international students choose privately owned student flats as they lie in the most popular areas of a city and offer excellent amenities.
- House share – From the second year of uni most people choose to live with friends in a house, which can be less hectic and gives you more living space. On the downside, you could have more responsibilities such as taking care of bills, being in charge of recycling and cleaning the house.
Bills are usually included in the fee for halls of residence and private student accommodation. Some private landlords renting to students also include the bills in any rent they take, but if they don’t make sure you’ve got a good idea of how much you’ll be paying for electricity and water so you can budget. Check the details of the contract – ‘bills included’ might not include things like internet. Be aware that a television licence usually isn’t provided either.
Where to find accommodation
For many people, finding somewhere to live in university will be the first time they’ve house-hunted. It might seem daunting but there are plenty of places to turn to for help. Your university website may have a list of resources, while you can also visit your local estate agent and tell them exactly what you want (many of them advertise that they specialise in student lettings).
Looking online is a great way to find a house. Websites like uk.urbanest.com allow you to search for accommodation within a particular area, specify the type of room you want, and see detailed pictures to help you decide whether to see the room in person.
What makes good accommodation
Your studies are likely to be affected by how happy you are at home, so it’s important to think carefully about where you live. Think about whether;
- It is close to public transport links
- It has local amenities, such as shops, restaurants and bars
- The area is reasonably safe
- You will have a peaceful night’s sleep – are rooms facing busy main roads?