Whether you’ve just been offered a place at university and are looking for your first year accommodation or are a returning student considering where you want to live in your second or third year; choosing uni accommodation can be a tough decision. We thought we’d put together our top things which any student should consider when they’re in the process of choosing university accommodation to ensure they end up living somewhere that they’ll enjoy.
Consider The Accommodation Options
First things first; you need to decide whether you want to live in university halls, a privately rented house or in private halls. Generally, freshers will opt for university halls as they’ll more often than not be placed with other freshers who can get to know the area and make friends together. For returning students, however, most will opt for a private house rental with a group of friends made in their first year. Private halls can also be a sound option for those who want a little luxury as most come complete with en-suite rooms and you’ll more often than not find that private halls have less rooms sharing kitchen and lounge facilities. What type of accommodation you choose though depends on who your group of friends are and what they want to do and whether or not you’re a fresher.
Location, Location, Location
Once you’ve established what type of accommodation you want to live in, you need to have a careful think about the location. If you’re going to be based at a particular part of the university campus for most of the week, it makes sense to find accommodation located as close to it as possible. That way, you don’t have to be up exceptionally early before a 9am lecture and you’ll often be able to return home in sessions where you have no lectures. Whilst this isn’t always possible, it should always be taken into account how close a perspective house or flat is to your part of campus and if it isn’t possible to be reasonably close, you need to make sure there’s at least strong public transport links to and from university.
Consider Facilities and Your Budget
Lastly; you need to consider the facilities you want and the budget you’ve got. University accommodation can vary greatly both in terms of budget and the facilities provided so you need to take a careful look at what’s on offer. You need to establish whether bills are included in the weekly rental price (water, gas, electricity, internet) or whether these will need to be paid on top...if you can, opt for an ‘all-in’ rental price so you’re not met with unexpected bills every month. You then need to take a look at the facilities and whether they’re worth paying extra for. Whilst an en-suite room is nice, is it really a necessity? That plasma TV in the lounge which the landlord has provided may look fantastic but will you really all be sitting around watching it every day or would you prefer to pay a little bit less rent and watch movies and TV on your laptop? You need to have a careful think about the facilities you want and compare these with the rental price charged...perhaps there’s room for negotiation on what’s included in the rent.
Above all; if you’re a fresher, you’re best off opting for university halls, however if you’re a returning student, club together with your friends and have a look at all options together. There’s a fair bit to consider, however if you do it as a group you can all put your opinions in and make sure you end up with somewhere that suits you all.