For many people, leaving home, and the feeling of freedom that it brings, is one of the key attractions of going to university. Most universities offer a wide range of different types of accommodation for new students. The universities understand that for most students this will be their first experience of living away from home and they therefore offer loads of support in helping to choose the right type of accommodation for them.
So, what are the options?
- University owned accommodation – typically known as ‘halls of residence’
- Privately rented flat or house share
- Live at home and travel to the University
Let’s find out more…
Halls of residence
Halls are popular among new students who are living away from home for the first time. They are easy to access via the university accommodation department and most bills are included in the rental price.
Halls are large blocks of flats housing hundreds of students, with individual furnished bedrooms organised around corridors or apartments with a shared kitchen. In some cases bathrooms are also shared, although en-suite rooms are increasingly common – yet they do cost more.
As they’re typically located on or near campus, living in halls puts you at the centre of student life. It’s a great way to make friends and easy to get involved in social activities. All the facilities you need (for example a laundrette) are usually on-site, and the university accommodation team is on hand when it comes to maintenance and support.
Private rented flat or house share
This option is taken by most students from the second year onwards, but also by some first year students. One advantage is getting to choose who you live with – for second-year students this usually means moving in with friends made in the first year.
Another benefit is that you’ll have more choice over where to live. You will often be further from campus, but the popular student areas of most university cities are served by good transport links, as well as lots of shops, bars and food outlets.
The university accommodation office can help you find available flats or houses.
Living at home
If you have decided to study locally, living at home can be a great alternative as you could save lots of money on rent and bills.
It is worth bearing in mind that is can be a little more difficult to socialise away from the social hub of halls or a student house. We recommend getting involved in different societies to meet lots of different people! You can find out more about student societies in Part 3 of these resources.
Making your decision
This isn’t an easy choice to make, so seek advice from as many sources as possible. Family and friends who have been to university before are a good starting point as are university student ambassadors.
Undertaking a tour of the university and their halls of residence, in person or virtually, is also an excellent way of finding out more.
Click here for Part 3: Students’ Unions and Societies.
Click here to go back to Part 1: How to pick the right course for you.