I’ve blogged about a range of subjects over the past few months but have not mentioned accommodation. However, as this is the time of year where prospective undergraduate and some returning students will be finalising their accommodation choices for the next academic year, this is the perfect opportunity to change that.
I don’t think it would be fair for me to give advice about where students should live in terms of specific buildings or locations because every person is unique and has different priorities when choosing accommodation. But what I hope will be helpful (even if it only helps one person) is to list the 4 things I considered when choosing my accommodation.
This is usually the biggest consideration. You need to decide whether you would rather have cheaper accommodation and more money to spend on food, drink and other things or whether it is worth paying more for accommodation you would find more appealing. This will probably depend on how much time you plan to spend in the accommodation. If you plan on being out a lot or going home to visit family then it probably doesn’t matter as much if your accommodation is not the most luxurious. Conversely, if you plan to study a lot in your student accommodation and want to bring friends or a partner back every now and again then you may decide to opt for something a bit better even at a higher price.
Are you a sociable person who needs regular conversation to stimulate you? Or are you more introverted? You should take that into account before choosing accommodation. The former is likely to thrive in a bigger student house or shared student flat and be more comfortable sharing a kitchen or a bathroom. The latter is likely to benefit from a Studio or a shared flat or house with the fewest number of people.
Having an ensuite often means paying £20-40 a week more. Is that money worth it? Depends whether you mind occasionally having to wait for a shower and whether you are content to share a bathroom with strangers.
How far away you are from campus is always an important consideration, especially for days when you have 9am lectures or you study a degree which has a lot of contact time. Always factor in how far you are prepared to walk or how much money you can spend on travel. For example, here at the University of Leicester, most 1st years choose to stay in the student village at Oadby which is particularly attractive for the social life and sports facilities. But it’s also a 45 minute walk (or longer at a slow pace) from campus.
There are other factors to consider. These include the distance from the nearest supermarket, town centre, quality of public transport. But the above four points are the 4 critical things to consider in my view.
In my next post, I’ll discuss where I’ve been living in my third year and why I would recommend it as a good place to live for University of Leicester students.