Choosing your student home from home

Posted in: Accommodation Help, University Life

It’s never too early to be thinking about your university student accommodation for the next academic year. There are many options; private halls, renting a house, or even a stylish studio tucked away from the campus. Here are some things to consider…

Do you have any friends going? 

If you and your friends are headed to the same university it might have crossed your mind to share your accommodation with them, after all having familiar faces in an unfamiliar place may be of some comfort to you. If you don’t feel like you know them well enough to actually live with, it could be an option to live in the same building or block, just not necessarily in the same flat. This way you have the comfort of old friends nearby but you are not confined to them. 

Where do you want to be?

Most universities will have the option to live on or close to campus. This will mean you can wake up and literally roll to your 9 am. Of course, being on campus may mean that you are further away from amenities in the city centre. Groceries on campus can often be more pricey too. 

I remember in my first year I was about 10 minutes from campus. This worked well as I was halfway between campus and the city centre so shops and restaurants were as far as the library. In my second year I rented a small one-bedroom flat in the city centre and this was perfect, despite being further away from campus I found that the morning walk woke me up for the day. 

There are benefits to each type of accommodation. It just comes down to what will be right for you? 

Shared Halls

Whether the student halls are run by the University or by a private rental company, the basic features are essentially the same. Most halls have an ensuite bedroom with a shared kitchen, some offering studios for those who want security but do not want to share. 

Benefits of shared halls:

  • Most halls are close to campus 
  • Fantastic as ‘practice’ homes as you are paying for your bills without the tricky bits. Often the on-site management team organise payment for power and electricity 
  • You have a support network. The welfare teams in the student halls are fantastic. There is almost always someone there 24 hours a day who you can go to with any issues. 

Other considerations for halls:

  • You don’t always get to choose who you live with, this can lead to problems in conflicting lifestyles (for me it was studious and early nights versus partying animals)
  • If you are someone who needs their own space then shared halls would not be the best place for you. Especially in larger cities, halls and cluster flats can accommodate large numbers of people in one flat, that can be a lot of people to one or two kitchen 

Private houses and flats are not as popular as they used to be but they are a fantastic option.

Benefits of private housing:

  • You decide who you want to live with. Often in 2nd and 3rd years of study once you find your crew it makes sense to live together, especially if you are all studying similar things.
  • Similarly, you can decide where you will be living, if the bustling city scene and crowded campus were a little too much for you then you can decide to live in the suburbs. Alternatively, you could look for stylish apartments in the city centre that give you great access to the nightlife and social elements of the university life. 
  • Living in an actual house or flat can give you a sense of the ‘real world’. Paying your own bills and managing admin can be a huge responsibility. 

Other considerations 

  • You are responsible for the house with no 24-hour assistance or halls security. Although, many landlords and letting agents will have emergency numbers and call out facilities.
  • If you leave your decision too late you may miss out on your ideal place.
  • You may end up living further away than you originally hoped. 

Regardless of what you decide it is important to be well informed about your options. If you have any questions or would like to see what we have to offer, get in touch on 0116 467 0315 /

At Sulets we offer both purpose-built halls and private housing via our great set of landlords. More information is available in our advice guides here:

Photo by Bernadette Gatsby on Unsplash

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