Lifestyle

Looking for the perfect student accommodation? Here’s what you need to know  

Going to university is a great way to expand your knowledge and skills and open the door to better job opportunities, so choosing the right institution and educational programme to further your studies is one of the most important decisions you’re going to make in life. However, the big choices don’t stop here. As a freshman student, you have to be aware there are many other decisions that can influence your academic trajectory and shape your student experience, and accommodation is definitely one of the factors that play a huge role in it. 

This may be your first time taking on such big responsibilities and dealing with major life-altering commitments, so the need to find the right type of accommodation can feel quite overwhelming and add to the overall stress and pressure of student life. You can obviously change your housing choice if things don’t work out for you, but it’s definitely easier and less messy to get it right the first time. Therefore, finding a suitable place where you’re going to live for the next few years of your life requires careful consideration, as there are multiple factors to take into account, such as location, amenities, budget, and so on. 

The good news is that university centres in the UK boast a wide range of housing options to suit all budgets and preferences. For example, in Newcastle, the demand for student accommodation is always high due to the large number of students that come to study at its two prestigious universities. As a result, there are many great locations for students around the city, making it easier for newcomers to find an accommodation that will match their specific needs.  

The not-so-good news is you still have to do your research and learn the pros and cons of each accommodation type if you want to make a sound decision. So, here’s a quick rundown of the most popular accommodation options to explore and the main aspects to consider. 

University halls

University halls are generally thought of as the default for freshmen or international students, given that most universities guarantee a place for first-year students in these types of residences. These halls are owned and managed by the universities and provide a series of advantages that can make life easier for the residents. 

First of all, university halls are usually conveniently located on campus, or close to the main university buildings, so you won’t have to worry about commuting. You’ll have all the amenities you need nearby, and you’ll be surrounded by other first-year students, which can benefit your social life. Besides, you’ll get a taste of independence and see how it feels living away from home but without having to rent a place of your own and deal with utility bills, landlords and other complications; thus, you’ll be getting the best of both worlds and enjoy a smoother transition.

On the downside, you probably won’t get much choice in terms of the place you’re going to be assigned or the people you’re going to share it with, nor will you enjoy the most modern facilities. If privacy, peace and quiet are important to you, university halls are not going to provide much of any since you’ll have to share common areas like kitchens and bathrooms and get used to constant noise. 

Private student halls

Private student halls are quite similar to university residences, but they are owned and operated by private organisations for profit. They offer more housing variety, so you can either rent rooms in shared flats or even live in your own studio apartment, although you’ll obviously have to pay more for it. 

What draws students the most to these private halls, apart from variety, is the fact that they are specifically built to accommodate the needs of modern students and tend to have higher quality facilities than university halls and extra perks such as en-suite bathrooms, gyms or fast Wi-Fi, which can make your stay a lot more comfortable. However, you’ll have to pay more to enjoy these little luxuries, so you need to consult your budget first and decide if opting for private student halls makes financial sense for you. 

Private rentals

Private rentals are at the other end of the student accommodation spectrum. These are best suited for those who are ready to take the big leap and move straight into an independent housing unit rented from a landlord or an agency. The options are much more numerous – you can rent apartments, studios, or even houses and move in by yourself or share them with friends. 

Privacy, independence and freedom of choice are the most notable advantages of living in private rentals. But these advantages come at a hefty price since you’ll have to factor in more expenses such as rent, utility bills, deposit and commute. On top of that, the responsibility for finding and managing your stay in a private housing unit falls entirely on your shoulders, which can be a bit daunting and challenging as a student who’s never lived away from home. 

Living at home 

Finally, there’s one more option for you to consider – staying at home. If you’re going to university in your hometown, you have the possibility to continue living at home and avoid the hustle and bustle of relocating and the costs that come with it. You’ll be able to save money and enjoy all the comforts of staying in your usual environment. 

However, this might make it more difficult for you to integrate and make friends and also get in the way of becoming more independent and taking on more adult responsibilities. Your parents will be the ones setting the rules, and you’ll just have to comply with them. 

Now that you know both the pros and cons of the four main types of student accommodation, it’s time to decide which one suits you best and get ready to start a new chapter in your life. 

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