The level of the student experience is greatly influenced by where you reside. The friends you make in your first year are typically the ones you keep, and meeting them is greatly influenced by where you reside. It is challenging to overestimate the influence of your lodging on your overall student budget because it is expensive student accommodation.
The majority of institutions will house you for your first year, though a small number of institutes will house nearly all of their students for the duration of their studies. University halls (on or off campus), university-owned or managed local homes or other assets, some institutions employ local private halls or private-sector accommodation, or a combination of all of these may be available.
Accommodations at universities
If you can, consider residing in student housing. Although there are different standards and rents, it is simpler to establish friends, you have more influence with the landlord, and it might be closer to the students’ union and the teaching areas.
What is offered?
Typically, you have a selection of rooms in several halls at various rents. Modern halls are typically packed in flats and some rooms may have en-suite bathrooms; traditional halls are centered on hallways (although the rent will be higher than for a shared room). The majority of university housing is self-catered, but some universities now provide catered halls as an option.
Visit the university website for thorough descriptions of each residence hall and check university profiles at the University Search for an overview of what each university has to offer. If at all feasible, visit the Student Accommodation for which you are applying. And before you go, find out what is provided and what you need to bring such as your own bedding.
What will the price be?
From about 55 pounds per week for a basic room in a cheap region to 120 pounds per week for an en-suite room with broadband connection in posh new halls in a more expensive location. You can find out how much it costs at each university (approximately) and, more importantly, how many weeks your contract is for in the university profiles (see the University Search).
If you have a place to go over the holidays, it’s fine if you have a term-time contract that requires you to leave during the Christmas and Easter breaks. Some agreements span the first 36 to 40 weeks of the school year (best if you want a base for most of the year and plan to travel in the summer). Some are for the full 52 weeks, which is necessary for folks who have families or have no other place to live but a huge financial waste for others.
How do you submit an application for student housing?
Typically, it entails completing yet another form, increasingly online. Also, the accommodation office may ask you to make a brief personal statement or respond to questions (such as about your interests or if you smoke) in order to try and pair up students who get along. Make careful to submit your application well in advance of the deadline because some housing is given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
There are commercial student halls run by private companies, like Unite, in several cities with a large student populations. You might share with students from several other universities in the city, and they are typically central and purpose-built.
Renting a residence for students
The university housing department will almost probably assist you when you need to rent privately, and if you’re lucky, it might even have screened the housing options on its lists. Institutions without first-year housing occasionally have “housing days,” where freshmen can come and meet one another and local real estate brokers to arrange house shares. Look at some of the national websites covering the largest student cities as well as the information on our institution profiles for more details about regional prices.
In leafy suburbs or vacation locales, it can be more difficult to find affordable rental housing (where the term starts before the holidaymakers go home). As long as you know how to feed yourself affordably, self-catering accommodations are typically less expensive. Don’t forget to factor in travel expenses when determining rents (no point in something dirt cheap if it costs a fortune getting to lectures).