Organising Student Accommodation – Living in Halls

One of the toughest things for students, especially younger ones, when moving to university is understanding the different kinds of student accommodation available to them. While many universities make the process easy for moving in to halls in first year easy, subsequent years can be more challenging to organise. Here, we’re going to take a look at some tips for ‘living in’ during university and organising student accommodation.

Living In – Student Accommodation

“Living in” is a phrase which refers to living in halls or other official university accommodation. Generally speaking, students will live in halls for the first year of university, before having the option to move into rented accommodation during subsequent years.

Your time spent living in halls is excellent because you’ll be thrown in with a group of people, giving you a chance to get to know them. They’re also usually situated on a campus or otherwise close to where your lectures are, meaning that you won’t have to travel too far on a day-to-day basis.

When it comes to the conditions of halls, it will differ depending on how much you’re paying. Universities tend to offer accommodation at a range of different price points, so that as many people as possible have a place to live that they can afford. Paying more might mean that the accommodation you live in is newer, or that you don’t need to share a bathroom with other people.

At this point, you’ve probably already picked the accommodation you’re going to live in (this is usually done before the start of the first academic year). If you aren’t in the most luxurious of halls, that’s not a problem! University accommodation is almost always at least habitable and comfortable, and many students will testify that some of the most fun is had in the cheaper halls, where there tends to be a higher density of people living.

Things to Consider – Student Accommodation

If you’re reading this before choosing your accommodation for first year, take some of the following questions into account before picking:

  • How long can I stay in the accommodation for? When can I first move in? When do I need to move out? Can I stay in halls during the breaks between terms, or do I need to move out temporarily?
  • Do I get the same room throughout the year? Will I need to change between terms? Will this mean I get split up from the people I’m currently living with?
  • How far is the accommodation from where my lectures will be?
  • What amenities does the accommodation have? Are there common rooms and/or libraries that I can use? What about music rooms and sports grounds?
  • What kind of storage is available in the bedrooms and kitchens?
  • Are the halls catered (meals prepared for by staff and eaten at set mealtimes) or self-catered (you have to cook for yourself!)?
  • How much does the accommodation cost?
  • Will I get a room to myself, or will I have to share with someone else (this is quite rare nowadays, but worth checking since some universities still have shared accommodation)?
  • Will I have to share a bathroom, or will I get my own?

When applying for university accommodation, you should be able to find answers to all of these questions in various materials on the university website. If you aren’t sure about details regarding accommodation, try and get in contact with the university. They’ll be able to shed some additional light on the pros and cons of the different accommodation that they offer. 

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