Choosing where you will live when you go to university is a really key decision. Your student accommodation will directly affect the people you’ll meet, the friends you’ll make and the experience you’ll share. But how exactly do you choose the accommodation that’s right for you? We asked student accommodation experts Vita Student to share their top tips to help make the right choices.
Be honest about your budget
Searching through the mass of university owned accommodation and private halls on offer can be overwhelming, so one of the best places to start is by looking at My Student Halls. Here you can narrow down your search based on a variety of criteria including budget. This is a great place to start your filtering process and remove the risk of unnecessary heartache further down the line. How sad would it be to find your dream accommodation only to realise you can’t afford it!
Location. Location. Location.
A prime location will mean different things to different people. Sure, in an ideal world just about every student would love to live within walking distance of their university, great nightlife and major high-street shops. But, you’ll rarely find a location that ticks all your boxes, meaning you’ll have to compromise.
Consider what’s most important to you. Would you rather have a short commute to lectures but a longer trek across town for good bars, or would you prefer somewhere further from campus but amongst the hustle and bustle of the city’s nightlife and shops? It’s completely up to you. It’s your personal preference, but here are some valuable tips:
- It is always wise to consider proximity to the local supermarket, a long-weighted walk back is no fun for anyone!
- Finally, and most importantly, you want to find a location where you feel safe. Do your research and ask yourself is this somewhere I could comfortably walk home alone in the dark? If the answer is no, keep looking! If not for you, for your poor paranoid parents who will be calling every hour to check you are still alive! And that brings us to our next point.
You can’t put a price on peace of mind and every good university accommodation should have 24-hour on-site security and CCTV, to keep you and your belongings safe.
Demographic and community
Think about the types of people you’d like to live with, then do your research to ensure you find accommodation where you’ll be surrounded by your desired demographic. For example, as a first-year you aren’t likely to be wanting to live with a bunch of been-there-done-that third years or post grads!
Most accommodation will have a presence on social media. Take a look and get a sense of the community events that take place there. Is this a place you could see yourself living? Social media will give you a more real picture than the accommodation website.
Any worthwhile student accommodation will offer the following as standard:
- On-site security
- Secure door entry
- Shared kitchen and fridge/freezer
- Laundry facilities
Many university owned and private halls now offer en-suite bathrooms, so if you value your privacy keep an eye out for those offering this facility. If convenience, a high standard of accommodation and a ready made community are what you are looking for and your budget will stretch to it, then check out some of the more high-end student accommodation providers such as Vita Student. Here you will find high spec self-contained studios, state-of-the-art communal facilities, with games rooms, cinema spaces and gyms as standard. With an additional plus that they provide free to use bikes and daily breakfast! With all the incredible all-inclusive community events you won’t even need to do all the standard student nights out, Vita Student brings the party to you!
So, there you have it. Vita Student’s top tips for choosing your university accommodation. We hope that these tips will be helpful. Do contact us at Gabbitas if you want to talk through your accommodation choices – we are here to help!