So, you’ve got your sights set on moving to new student accommodation, or you’re on the lookout for some when you start your studies? Choosing a place to live, often for three years or more, is a big decision, and one that you shouldn’t take lightly. After all, it’s a place which you need to be able to call home. A place where you can relax, party and socialise, and, of course, get your head down and study. Here are some of the things you should be thinking about when picking your digs.
Know the area
Going to university often means moving to a completely new city, town or district. It may be somewhere that may well be completely alien to you. So, before you start putting pen to paper, and signing a tenancy agreement, make sure you have a good look around the area to see where you want to live and whether it’s convenient to where you will be studying. Will you be able to get to and from home easily? Are there good public transport links? Talk to other students who live in the area and see what their top tips are.
Most universities offer a variety of their own accommodation for students, often built in complexes on or near campuses, or in central locations. When you’re heading off to start your studies, speak to your university about what kind of accommodation they offer and who is eligible. Places are often limited. In-hall accommodation usually offers a good standard of accommodation and can be a great opportunity to get to know fellow students and make new friends.
Away from halls, you can also find a wide range of other student accommodation available to see you through your studies. For example, private providers offer complexes where you can choose higher standard and luxury student accommodation. You can ask your university for full listings or check the web and social media for information.
Rent a flat or house
As well as tailored student accommodation, you could also look to the wider property market to pick yourself up a place to live. Rental agents often offer a variety of properties, including flats and houses, which you can take up on your own, or share with friends and fellow students. However, don’t be pressured into signing on the dotted line before taking a good look at what’s available to ensure that it bests suits your needs.
Budget, budget, budget
When it comes to picking student accommodation, be realistic in your expectations. Yes, you want somewhere that’s comfortable, safe and convenient, but you also have to make sure it’s within your budget! There is no point getting yourself into a rental agreement that, in the longer term, is going to push your finances over the edge.
Think about how much you can afford and stick to it. Your monthly budget should include your rent, food costs, transport tickets and any study expenditure. Leaving some spare for a night out or two as well!