Student Accommodation: The Pros and Cons

The right student accommodation is an integral part of a university student journey. A student may find university life tougher than expected if there is no proper accommodation in place. Fortunately, we have moved past the era where there are more students than accommodation openings. Universities have adopted feasible plans to make sure every student have a couple of options to choose from as regards to where they will stay.

Are you a university student looking to choose the best accommodation option for yourself? This article is for you. We will discuss all you need to know about student accommodation – the types, the peculiarities of each type, the pros and cons, and some useful tips to help you settle for the right kind of student accommodation.

So, let’s get to it right away!

Student Accommodation Types.

As stated earlier, you are open to a couple of options when it comes to student accommodation. There are various types of student accommodation out there, each with its peculiarities. But the kind of accommodation a student ends up with is largely dependent on their preferences and financial capabilities.

Against this background, this section will offer more insight into each accommodation type to help you make a more informed decision as a university student seeking suitable accommodation.

Option 1 – Staying on campus.

As a university student, you have the option of staying on campus. However, this is only feasible in universities where there are campus residences or those very close to the campus. Such residences are usually managed by the University, although private bodies may be involved in some cases. If it is privately-owned, it is called the Private Residences, while the university-owned residences are called the University Halls.

These large buildings house several rooms spread across one or two floors.  They are mostly open to students who are on a full-time study plan. The atmosphere is generally great in halls of residence.

Why stay on campus?

Staying on campus helps you to socialise. It is easier to make friends with people you see almost every day. You can harness these relationships to help with your studies – study groups and other beneficial joint study activities. Halls of Residence are also safer, considering the presence of various well-structured and properly-managed security facilities. Lastly, they are cheaper and offer more benefits like meals and free or cheap internet.

On the other hand, staying on campus can be difficult. The spaces are quite a few and in very high demand. When the University allocates these spaces, they prioritise students based on their grades and financial situations. This is why most students end up NOT QUALIFIED to get an accommodation space on campus.

Option 2 – Private Off-Campus Residences.

Private residences are accommodation options situated outside the University, although they are usually not too far from the university premises. These accommodation options are not under the management or jurisdiction of the University – it is a private property under an individual or corporate management.  The off-campus accommodation market is quite large; students can always choose from the several options available.

Why stay in a private off-campus residence?

The biggest advantage of private residences off-campus is privacy. If you are a student that enjoys your persona space, this will be great for you. Safety is also guaranteed, alongside other benefits you may not enjoy in University halls of residences. For instance, private residences may offer laundry and cleaning services, improved security arrangements, free internet, in-house gym setup, and free internet.

The downside of living in a private residence off-campus is the cost. You must be ready to pay a considerable amount of money as rent if you want to live in private residences and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.

Option 3 – Shared flat or apartment accommodation.

This is another off-campus accommodation arrangement. As the name suggests, you will be sharing an apartment with other students, for instance, a two- or five-bedroom apartment or a three-bedroom flat. This is ideal for students who move in groups.

Why stay in a shared flat or apartment accommodation?

The major perk of living in this type of apartment is the complete independence that comes with it. The entire bills may be included in the total package or separated. If the bills come in separately, the student may be responsible for a significant part, depending on the total bill. The overall monthly rental bill may include council tax, internet fees, and others.

The disadvantage is distance. You will be spending more on transportation. Also, the food costs and stress of preparing meals are on you. Lastly, you have to find time to do the cleaning of the whole area yourself.

Option 4 – Live-alone or single room accommodation.

You can get a studio apartment for yourself if you want to stay alone without spending much. Such an apartment will come with a bathroom and a small integrated kitchen. Alternatively, you can opt for a larger 1-bedroom apartment, comprising a bedroom, a living room, and a kitchen.

Why live in a live-alone or single room accommodation?

This type of student accommodation is easier to manage. There is little or no disturbance, after all, you have no neighbours. However, you must be prepared to spend more than usual. Living on your own can be very costly.

What is the best student accommodation option for you?

Your choice of student accommodation is dependent on you. Do you want to socialise more? Are you interested in staying close to the University? Do you prioritise privacy, security, and top-notch facilities?  Your answers to these questions will determine which student accommodation option is best for you.

If you are going to live off the university campus, then you will most likely be entering into a rented scenario. In this case, you must work with a reputable letting agent or agency. Such an expert will be better positioned to vet these properties and help with the pairing of the tenants. This will make the process less stressful and help you to concentrate more on your studies.

In the end, ensure that you are staying in a comfortable place – it is crucial to your success as a university student. If you face any difficulty, the student advisers at the University will be on the ground to assist you. 

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