On the big, long list of things to sort before you eventually ship off to uni, where you’re going to live is going to be an especially big thing you want to tick off. There are many routes to sorting out your accommodation, most universities up and down the country will tend to have halls of residence which you can apply for as soon as you have accepted the offer, but due to the way that they are allocated and limited places, sometimes people can miss out.
However, if you haven’t heard back from your halls of residence yet, don’t panic! Sometimes allocations can take longer than anticipated, so make sure to not count it out until you’ve heard back. Even after you’ve heard back a regretful letter stating that they are at full capacity, there are often drop-outs (which the author of this blog himself experienced), and because of that, prospective halls-dwellers can find out their space as late as two weeks before move-in. Appreciatively, that is a bit squeaky-bum-time in terms of proximity to starting uni, but if it is possible, university halls offer that perfect halfway-house between home and private living, that has an awesome social aspect.
The next option is the prospect of something known as ‘private halls’. Private halls seek to essentially recreate the experience of living in a university halls of residence, except not as close to campus, and nowhere near as cheap. While the quality of the housing may superficially seem better at a private halls, often the costs aren’t necessarily worth it but it can still emulate that ‘freshers feel’. In any major city with a university, there will be plenty of private halls options and student accommodation, but if you do end up choosing one – be it out of necessity or choice – just know that they will be by and large more expensive than your university’s halls.
The next one is probably the one that is the least attractive, but some students find the experience valuable in your first year. Privately renting/flat sharing is a full baptism of fire as not only does it expose you to the world of dodgy bedsits and even dodgier landlords, but it doesn’t offer the secure safety net of campus or private hall security.
It does, however, sometimes mean that you can save quite a bit on your rent, especially if you look to only rent a room through such sites as spareroom.co.uk, or through a flatsharing group on facebook, and it also allows mature students to get away from the hyperactive hustle-and-bustle of a university campus on Fresher’s week. Another thing to consider is the difference in the terms of rentals, where most halls and private halls will be able to offer you 9 month contracts so you aren’t renting for longer than you need, traditional estate agents and landlords are less likely to offer this, always worth checking though!
Really, there are no right and wrong answers when it comes to choosing your path for accommodation at uni, as long as it is comfy, safe and in your price range – it’s really down to personal preference! If you need any further advice, or if you’re chasing up a place in your uni’s halls of residence, a quick search of your University’s website will find their accommodation service, which will be able to give you any information or helpful tips and tricks to help you find the place you can call home while you study.
Wherever you end up calling home, Fresh’s Shared Occupancy Insurance policy is essential for keeping your home and your stuff protected. It’s a pretty scary statistic that 1 in 4 students are the victims or property theft while at uni, and are more likely to experience it than any other – and Fresh want to give you that peace of mind. Find out more and get your quote, here.