University accommodation: ten things you need to know

University accommodation is an important decision. Choosing and applying for it can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you have never lived away from home before. There are just so many factors to acknowledge before moving in (as if picking a university was not already hard enough!). To help, here are ten things you need to know about university accommodation.

The first thing you need to know about university accommodation is

University rooms are very similar. Most halls are purpose-built and rooms are pretty much identical, so don’t bother about basing your decision on the interior too much.

Ten things you need to know consideration #2

Private student halls can be expensive. If you’re not placed in university student halls, have a look around at other choices. Private halls can be a good option for convenience and student experience. However, they are often ‘designer’ and priced higher than other private rented accommodation.

#3 Make use of online resources

The videos/pictures and online information about the halls are a life saver. Unless you are able to view a show room at an open day then the online information will be what you make your accommodation decision on.

#4 Know that money isn’t everything

And that cheaper halls aren’t the worst. The budget halls save you more money to spend on other aspects of university life. What’s more, your flatmates will have a similar budget which makes finding flatmates for subsequent years easier.

#5 Size can be important!

Smaller blocks of flats are more fun. It gives you a chance to get to know others in your halls better (and the fire alarms tend to go off a lot less.)

#6 Having an en-suite isn’t everything

See points 4 and 5 above! By living in non-en-suite flat your room is likely to be much bigger than the en-suite rooms. Ask about how many bathrooms and toilets there are shared between how many and if there is cleaning arranged for these to see if it could work for you.

#7 International students make great flatmates

There is no better opportunity to learn cooking, dancing and celebrations from all over the world. Also, you will never be short of anyone to go sightseeing or travelling with!

#8 University accommodation doors are always locked

Pop out for just a moment and by the time you come back, your room door will be closed and locked! While this might seem like a pain it is in your best interests, even if your flatmates are the friendliest people, you need to lock your room otherwise your room insurance is void! That and the university staff will lock it for you if they find it unlocked – even if your key is inside.

#9 Where there is muck there is money!

Enquire about showing your room to prospective students. Universities pay (in cash or vouchers) for students to show their room and help out at open days. A great way to earn a little pocket money, just remember to tidy up first!

#10 Speaking of money

Often you can alter your payment times and sums. Paying in one lump sum at the start of each term doesn’t work for everyone. If this doesn’t suit you and you prefer to budget monthly then speak to your accommodation officer or team and see if you can find a better agreement between you.