Hall of residence or a house? Choosing your accommodation

So you’ve chosen your university and course, now the next most important decision is where to live.

Having somewhere comfortable and safe to call home during your studies will impact on your happiness and enjoyment so it’s crucial to spend time finding the right place.

From on-campus university halls to private houses, there are plenty of options to consider.

The cost nearly always comes into it but it is false economy to cut corners when it comes to choosing your first accommodation.

Leaving home is a big move so you need to find somewhere you know you’re going to be happy.

While sharing a flat or house with others may be a little scary, all first-year students are in the same boat.

So you shouldn’t let this put you off, most who leave university do so in those first few months simply because they are lonely and feel isolated.

Sharing with others is a great way to make new friends and if it’s university owned accommodation then support and guidance, should you need it, is always close to hand.

The types of accommodation on offer will vary depending on the location of your university but most will provide provide places for first-year students in their own halls of residence.

These are usually furnished flats that you will share with other students, they might be mixed or single sex.

You will more than likely have your own bedroom which may be ensuite as well as a shared kitchen and lounge area. 

Some halls are catered but many are self-catering leaving it up to the studentsto provide their own meals.

Halls of residence are great places to make friends and be part of the social scene.

Some towns and cities will also have privately-owned halls which tend to be more more luxurious with ensuite flats and great views.

They are often located close to all of the town or city amenities and university buildings. 

Often handy perks such as Wi-Fi can be part of the package.

A cheaper option can be a renting a room in a private house which also gives you more independence.

It also enables you to decide exactly where you live and also who you live with. 

Your university should have an approved list of landlords so ask them for this before you start your search.

Always take someone with you to view accommodation and do not rush to sign on the dotted line for the first one you see.

Make sure with any of these options that you know when the rent needs to be paid so you can keep on top of bills.

If your chosen university is within commuting distance then it might make more sense to stay living at home.

This can be significantly cheaper but make sure to take into consideration how much travelling to and from university will cost when comparing options.

One downside to this can be that you’re away from many aspects of student life so it will require more effort to meet people.

The UCAS website has other tips for choosing the right accommodation for you.