Finding the right accommodation is vital to enjoy your life at university and for many of us it will be the first time living away from home. It can be hard adapting to this new life style because of the independence it gives you. So I have come up with six main points in order to help you choose which accommodation will be best for you.
- Catered/Non Catered
- En Suite vs Shared Bathroom
- Number of people per flat
- Review from previous students
The price of accommodation is the first thing a student looks for when looking for their accommodation as this is what will take most of your student loan. University accommodation can be very expensive, especially if you have never paid for living costs before, so you need to decide if you want to pay extra for better living costs or save your money by living in a less quality accommodation.
Next is location, all universities are different in terms of their location. Some universities have buildings and campus’s scattered across parts of town, whereas some, have just one allocated building for the whole of the university. If you are attending a university where the buildings are scattered across the town, a good tip is to ask the university if they provide free bus fare to and from the building you need to travel too. If they don’t, then I would advise checking the prices of bus fares before choosing that particular accommodation or planning how long it would take to walk there.
There are positives and negatives about catered and non-catered accommodation. Non-catered accommodation is going to be substantially cheaper compared to cater. However, non-catered will mean you have to not only budget for your food shopping, but you will have to cook and come up with meals, which can take up a lot of studying (or in most cases partying) time. Catered accommodation takes away the stress of deciding what to make for dinner with the little ingredients you may have, because let’s face it; food shopping will be on your top list of jobs you hate doing. However, for a lot of students, saving money is one of the main objectives, so preferably non-catered accommodation is the best route.
En Suite vs Shared Bathroom:
Most university accommodation offer en suite rooms, which students tend to go for. The main issues with shared bathrooms involve waiting your turn for the shower, as well as, dealing with untidy flatmates. This option is completely up to your preference and budget. En suite bathrooms tend to be more expensive, so the choice between the two lies down to whether or not you will be able to cope sharing a bathroom with other people.
Number of people per flat:
Depending on the person you are, whether you are a social person, or prefer your personal space, this will help decide how many people you want to live in a flat with. Large flats have their negatives and positives. A positive aspect is you will meet and socialise with a lot more people compared to a small flat. This will help you through your university life as friendship is one of the main aspects to keep you going through the hard times. However, large flats can be very distracting when it comes to doing coursework and revision. They tend to be very noisy and untidy, but if you are a social person then these issues will not bother you.
Small flats are perfect if you like your personal space as it will not be noisy and will stay cleaner for longer. However, smaller flats tend to be more expensive, so if noise is really an issue for you, then be prepared to pay the price for it. It really comes down to your personal preference and who you are as a person, but remember, university is all about stepping out of your comfort zone, so I advise choosing a larger flat.
Reviews from previous students:
Speaking to students who have previously lived in the accommodation you are looking at is vital in helping you make a decision. They can give you an honest opinion on what it was like for them and they can give you advice on the positives and negatives about that particular property.
Some university accommodations have pages on Facebook, so it will be a lot easier for you to find students who have previously lived there. Make sure you speak to more than one student as all students opinions differ and that way you can assure you will find the right advice that targets your needs.