Finding Somewhere Safe To Call Home

AFTER you’ve selected your university and course, it’s time to decide where you want to live for your first year of studies. Do you prefer to be in halls of residence or rent a room in a private flat or house? 

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 a 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 people who drop out of 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 places for first-year students in their own halls of residence. These are usually furnished flats that you will share with other students, it might be mixed or single-sex accommodation. You will more than likely have your own bedroom, which may be en-suite, as well as a shared kitchen and lounge area. 

Some halls have a catering service, but many are self-catering, leaving it up to the students to provide their own meals. Some towns and cities will also have privately-owned halls which tend to be more luxurious with en-suite 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 renting a room in a private house, which 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. With any of these options, make sure 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 you need to take into consideration how much it will cost to travel to and from university before you decide whether it’s the right option for you.


One downside to staying at home 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.