When starting your academic journey, whether as an international student or domestic student, one vital question students often ask is “where will I stay?” As a student, one way to relieve the daily stress associated with student life is by having a nice place to stay.
There are several student housing options available for you. Each of these housing options cuts across different costs, distance from the university, and comfort. Thus, you must reflect on your preferences and set a budget for yourself. Additionally, you can seek help from reliable sources pertaining to finding an ideal accommodation.
Finding an ideal student accommodation can be a tedious task for a lot of students, especially international students. Keep reading as we explore some tips you can apply to find the ideal student housing option, regardless of whether you are studying in your home country or abroad.
The Most Common Types of Student Accommodation
Are you about to commence your student life at a college or university? Then, it is necessary for you to know the wide range of student accommodation options available early enough, including their advantages and disadvantages.
Here are the common types of student accommodation:
Privately rented accommodation
Most students prefer to stay in private accommodation, thus making this type of student housing the most popular. Accommodations of this sort have landlords managing the properties. Additionally, they are located in areas where a lot of students live.
The advantage of staying in privately rented accommodation as a student is that you can choose the sort of property to move into. Moreover, you can choose to decorate your room by adding furniture.
The major con of staying in privately rented accommodation as a student is that there are no cleaners to help clean your space. In other words, you are responsible for cleaning and maintaining your room.
University halls of residence
This type of accommodation is highly recommended for students in their first or second year of university study. They are large blocks of flats which house over a hundred students. The properties are managed by the university. Hence, you will have to apply for accommodation through the university’s accommodation office.
The advantage of staying in this sort of accommodation is that the residence is located on campus. Hence, you can have easy access to the university’s facilities, such as the library. Additionally, it would be easier to meet new people and make friends.
By applying through the university’s accommodation office, you might end up not getting your first choice accommodation. Again, there are strict rules guiding your stay in this sort of accommodation, such as the number of visitors you can receive. These are some of the cons of living in university halls of residence.
Private halls of residence
This is similar, in a way, to the university halls of residence. However, it is operated by private companies. In this sort of accommodation, you will have your own room, but there are communal areas like the laundry room, kitchen, and sitting room, just to mention a few.
One of the pros of staying in this sort of accommodation is that there are several amenities available, which you are not likely to see in university halls of residence. The amenities may include a gym, a cinema room, and a game area.
These amenities, however, are not for free. In essence, this sort of accommodation is quite expensive. This is one of the cons of living in private halls of residence.
Family or home accommodation
In most cases, university students want to live away from their homes. However, there are other students who choose to live at home whilst studying at a college or university.
Also, international students who are studying in smaller institutions can choose to rent a vacant room offered by local families. This sort of accommodation is a less common option among students.
The advantage of this type of accommodation is that it is a cheaper option. Furthermore, you will have a comfortable space to live in. Also, you won’t feel homesick as a student.
One of the cons of living in a family or home accommodation is that there are a whole lot of restrictions. In most cases, the accommodations are far from campus. Thus, you will have to consider the cost of transportation.
As earlier stated, it is important that you know the various student housing options available. This will guide you in deciding where and how to live as a student. You may be wondering, “Having known the various student housing options, how do I find the ideal accommodation?” We have provided simple tips for you below.
Tips to Find Ideal Student Accommodation at Home or Abroad
Consider your preferences
Since there are several student housing options available, you must therefore choose an accommodation that suits your personal preferences. For instance, some students prefer to live in noisy neighborhoods, while others prefer quiet neighborhoods. Some students are comfortable with a minimal space, whereas others prefer very large and fanciful rooms. Thus, in finding the ideal student accommodation at home or abroad, you must factor in your preferences.
Work with a budget
A common mistake most students make is going to find accommodation without having a budget. That is quite careless on the part of such students. You must ask yourself some vital questions. Do you intend to take a loan to pay for accommodation? What is the cost of living in the city or town where you wish to live? Does the rent cover other bills, such as paying for utilities? Until you answer these questions, you might end up regretting the sort of accommodation you find.
Seek help from trustworthy sources
It is important that you seek help from trustworthy sources, especially if you are an international student. Research credible websites to find trends in the housing sector. Amberstudent is a good place to book student accommodation near top universities around the world. Read reviews. Reach out to a university official who can assist you in finding ideal accommodation.
Consider the location
Depending on your preferences, you can choose to live off-campus or on campus. For students in their first and second years of university study, it is highly recommended that you live in apartments on campus, before moving to private accommodation off campus for the remainder of your studies. When considering the location, you must keep in mind the safety of the area. How friendly is the location for students? Additionally, you can check out student hotspots in that area.
Read the rental contracts diligently
Before signing the rental contract, pay attention to the details while reading it. Starting from the payment obligation to the tenure of stay. If you are in any way confused about the terms and conditions of the contract, ask questions and get clarification before you sign the necessary documents. This will help you avoid any future misunderstandings.
What is the Cost of Student Accommodation?
The total cost of student accommodation depends on several factors, such as the location of the university, the cost of living in the country where the university is located, and the type of student housing option available, just to mention a few.
Let us take the UK, for example. Outside London, the average student rent costs about ₤430 per month. In most cases, utility bills are separate from the rent. As a matter of fact, one-third of the students are expected to pay their utility bills. Therefore, to know the overall cost of student accommodation, you must consider these factors.
How Do Students Pay For Accommodation?
For many students, paying for accommodation while studying full time is a huge responsibility. However, there is a wide range of resources from the government, universities, and other institutions to help students pay for their accommodation.
It can come in the form of a maintenance loan offered by the government of your country. In the UK, for instance, the maintenance loan, which covers accommodation and living costs, is paid directly into your account. The amount any student is entitled to depends solely on their household income.
Additionally, students can receive government bursaries for their accommodation. However, eligibility depends on the courses you are studying, such as medical, social care, or teaching courses. Students who are not studying any of these courses can apply directly to their university to receive a bursary. Detailed information on how to apply will be available on the university’s official website.
How Many Months Do You Pay For Accommodation?
For university halls of residence, the renewal of student accommodation contracts is usually 10 months. On the other hand, the renewal of student accommodation contracts for private accommodation usually occurs after 11 months.
Is Student Accommodation First Come, First Served?
The short answer is yes! Once you have been offered admission to study at a university or college, it is important you apply for university accommodation as soon as possible. This will help increase your chances of getting your preferred accommodation.
To Wrap Up
Whether you are starting your academic journey as an international student or domestic student, it is important you plan ahead of time for accommodation. In your planning, ensure you consider the various student housing options available. In this article, we have explored tips to help you find the ideal student accommodation.