One of the biggest decisions you’ll make at university, whether it’s in your first year or last, is that of what student accommodation to choose. It’s likely that if it’s the first year of your undergraduate degree then you’ll be put into halls, whilst during your second and third year, or if you’re doing a Masters/PhD, then you may well need to find a student house/apartment.
Here are some things you need to consider when choosing student accommodation during your time at university…
As you’d expect, the cost of student accommodation varies wildly depending on a huge number of factors, including whether you’re self-catering, if you have an en-suite bathroom, if you have constant internet connection, location, what other facilities are available, and much more.
You need to decide how important your accommodation is to you. If it’s vitally important then you might want to think about spending a little more to get somewhere you know you’ll be happy, whilst if it’s not that high up your agenda then you might want to save your money.
If you’re at a campus university, then most university owned accommodation will be on-site or very close to it, whilst if you’re at a city university, it could be anywhere. You’ll probably pay more for a prime location, but it could be worth it if you want to be right in the heart of the city or on the university doorstep so you can roll out of bed for lectures. For example if you get an Urbanest student room in London, you’re smack bang in the centre of the Capital, a stone’s throw away from amazing restaurants, theatres, bars, museums, and more, which can really enhance your university experience.
Again, you’ll need to ask yourself exactly what you want from your accommodation, as different types have different facilities. Some halls of residence have shared bathrooms, so if that’s an issue for you then you may want to try and get somewhere with an en-suite. Also, do you want self-catering or catered accommodation? Some halls of residence still don’t provide internet access as standard, so you need to think about that too, whilst with private house and apartments you’ll of course need to provide for yourself. You need to do plenty of research as to what different accommodation has in the way of facilities, so work out what’s important to you.
If you’re in halls of residence then you’ll also want to check what on-site facilities there are aside from the ones directly in your building. Is there on-site security, student advice centres, laundry facilities, restaurants, bars, etc? Obviously some aspects are more important than others but they may well factor in your final decision.
For more advice on student housing and accommodation, the NUS has some worthwhile information.