Campus living vs. student accommodation in the city

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orleanna
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Hi guys! I have been researching the accommodation opportunities near Keele and tbh, it's making me very nervous as I am not sure how to make the right choice. I would like to hear some pros and cons for both living on campus and in the city as I have never studied in an University outside my homecountry and it's tough for me to make the decision.

I am an international masters student and I would like to have my own room with my own comodities. On the accommodation site I have been given the opportunity of choosing an en-suite superior at Barnes, a studio flat or a shared flat. I have emailed the acommodation team about the shared flat and the studio as I have not seen any photos or prices avaliable on the site.

On the other hand the student studios in the city seem much more tempting (also they seem newer) but I am worried about the commute as I have been driving for my whole student experience and I am afraid it will be tough to get used to multiple bus drives a day. How expensive is the bus drive anyway? Are there any late night buses from the campus, in case I need to spend the evening in the library?

Also, I am confused about the prices, living on campus seems to be a bit more expensive. Also are there any extra expenses I will need to pay during my stay? I have read somewhere that one must pay for laundry wash but besides that, what other expenses my I expect both living on campus and in a studio outside the campus?

I would also like to find a part time job (no more than 15-20 hours a week.) I understant that it would be much easier to find a job in the city hence it would take less time to get to work. On the other hand, I don't know anyone and it seems like campus living can be much more beneficial in terms of socialising. Even if we go back to quarantine, I'll be able to spend time with people living in my building versus to living in a studio alone.

As it's pandemic time, I will not be able to visit and check the accommodation myself prior to actually arriving before the beginning of my studies so I want to be sure I am making the right choice.
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Keele Postgraduate
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(Original post by orleanna)
Hi guys! I have been researching the accommodation opportunities near Keele and tbh, it's making me very nervous as I am not sure how to make the right choice. I would like to hear some pros and cons for both living on campus and in the city as I have never studied in an University outside my homecountry and it's tough for me to make the decision.

I am an international masters student and I would like to have my own room with my own comodities. On the accommodation site I have been given the opportunity of choosing an en-suite superior at Barnes, a studio flat or a shared flat. I have emailed the acommodation team about the shared flat and the studio as I have not seen any photos or prices avaliable on the site.

On the other hand the student studios in the city seem much more tempting (also they seem newer) but I am worried about the commute as I have been driving for my whole student experience and I am afraid it will be tough to get used to multiple bus drives a day. How expensive is the bus drive anyway? Are there any late night buses from the campus, in case I need to spend the evening in the library?

Also, I am confused about the prices, living on campus seems to be a bit more expensive. Also are there any extra expenses I will need to pay during my stay? I have read somewhere that one must pay for laundry wash but besides that, what other expenses my I expect both living on campus and in a studio outside the campus?

I would also like to find a part time job (no more than 15-20 hours a week.) I understant that it would be much easier to find a job in the city hence it would take less time to get to work. On the other hand, I don't know anyone and it seems like campus living can be much more beneficial in terms of socialising. Even if we go back to quarantine, I'll be able to spend time with people living in my building versus to living in a studio alone.

As it's pandemic time, I will not be able to visit and check the accommodation myself prior to actually arriving before the beginning of my studies so I want to be sure I am making the right choice.
Hi orleanna,

Firstly, welcome to Keele! Great to hear you'll be joining us in the next academic year!

I commute into Keele so I've never lived on campus but I'm tagging Keele Student Ambassador1 - she's also an international student and has lived both on campus and in the local area so can give you information on what both experiences are like.

In terms of on-campus accommodation, you do usually find that it is more expensive to live on-campus at universities in the UK. However on-campus accommodation usually includes your utility bills (water, gas, electric) and your internet connection - which are often additional expenses with off-campus accommodation. So you're only really paying for your laundry (which you can do at the on-campus laundrettes: https://www.keele.ac.uk/discover/acc...ettesoncampus/) and your food, plus personal expenses such as mobile phone, clothing etc. If you decide to bring your TV to university or stream live TV on a computer/laptop, you also need a TV license- you can find out more about that at https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-.../students-aud1.

As you've said, if you live on campus you usually get the benefit of secure entry/campus security services, plus proximity to your lectures/classes and to the social life on campus. You'll also find that your contract is usually adapted to the length of your course/academic term - so you're not paying for accommodation during the summer when you might be going back home. When I did my undergraduate degree, living on campus definitely helped me to settle in when first living away from home and also helped me to make friends - including the friends I then moved into off-campus accommodation with in my second year.

We've got some good FAQ pages about living on campus at https://www.keele.ac.uk/discover/acc...livingoncampus where you'll find more information. The accommodation team should get back to you to confirm this, but prices for accommodation for international students for the 2021/22 academic year are on our website at https://www.keele.ac.uk/discover/acc...nfees/#2021/22.

Living off-campus is usually a bit cheaper in terms of your rent, but you may have to pay for utility bills (water, gas, electric) and internet/phone connection in addition to your rent. You might also have to pay fees to a letting agent for referencing, as well as deposit (which is often equivalent to 4-6 weeks rent), and you might need someone to act as guarantor on your tenancy. You also need to check your contract length - some off-campus accommodation will be on a standard 12-month tenancy agreement, so you may find yourself having to pay rent over summer even if you're not living in the accommodation.

Again, we have some FAQs on our website at https://www.keele.ac.uk/discover/acc...s/offcampusfaq, and some further advice about finding safe and accredited off-campus housing at https://www.keele.ac.uk/discover/acc...vingoffcampus/. I also wrote a blog post about finding off-campus accommodation at https://api.unibuddy.co/og/keele-uni...b3560abfed874d.

In terms of getting up to Keele from the nearby area, there's a regular bus service to/from Newcastle that also goes on to Stoke and the train station. Keele negotiate a special price for Keele students - it's called the Keele Key Ticket - and you can find information and prices at https://www.keele.ac.uk/keele-key-bus/. There's also a volunteer Safety Bus run by Keele SU to help students get home after late-night events: https://keelesu.com/shopsandservices...ire/safetybus/. Plus we have electric scooters available for hire if you fancy dashing up and down Keele hill on one of those!

So in terms of finding a job, I wouldn't worry too much about getting to/from campus - it's pretty easy to get into Newcastle and Stoke. Plus there are often a range of jobs on campus through both our Student Ambassador scheme (https://www.keele.ac.uk/studentambassadors/), via the SU, and in the other on-campus shops and bars. I wrote another blog post about finding part-time work whilst studying with lots of links and tips in it so you might find that helpful: https://api.unibuddy.co/og/keele-uni...cb2e01046b55d7.

That's a lot of links but I hope that they help answer a few of your questions but please do let me, Keele University and Keele Student Ambassador1 know if there's anything else you'd like to know!

Amy Louise
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(Original post by orleanna)
Hi guys! I have been researching the accommodation opportunities near Keele and tbh, it's making me very nervous as I am not sure how to make the right choice. I would like to hear some pros and cons for both living on campus and in the city as I have never studied in an University outside my homecountry and it's tough for me to make the decision.

I am an international masters student and I would like to have my own room with my own comodities. On the accommodation site I have been given the opportunity of choosing an en-suite superior at Barnes, a studio flat or a shared flat. I have emailed the acommodation team about the shared flat and the studio as I have not seen any photos or prices avaliable on the site.

On the other hand the student studios in the city seem much more tempting (also they seem newer) but I am worried about the commute as I have been driving for my whole student experience and I am afraid it will be tough to get used to multiple bus drives a day. How expensive is the bus drive anyway? Are there any late night buses from the campus, in case I need to spend the evening in the library?

Also, I am confused about the prices, living on campus seems to be a bit more expensive. Also are there any extra expenses I will need to pay during my stay? I have read somewhere that one must pay for laundry wash but besides that, what other expenses my I expect both living on campus and in a studio outside the campus?

I would also like to find a part time job (no more than 15-20 hours a week.) I understant that it would be much easier to find a job in the city hence it would take less time to get to work. On the other hand, I don't know anyone and it seems like campus living can be much more beneficial in terms of socialising. Even if we go back to quarantine, I'll be able to spend time with people living in my building versus to living in a studio alone.

As it's pandemic time, I will not be able to visit and check the accommodation myself prior to actually arriving before the beginning of my studies so I want to be sure I am making the right choice.
Thank you for the tag Keele Postgraduate!

Hi orleanna! Congratulations on your offer from Keele! Glad to have you joining us in September!

I think Amy has included a lot of important information on how to go about finding the right accommodation for you. I can see that she has given you links to information about the accommodation options on campus and transport. As Amy also mentioned, I am an international student and have lived both on and off campus. I lived on campus in the first year of my undergraduate degree and moved out into town for my second and third year. I wanted to do it this way so I can meet some friends I could share a house with and it worked out perfectly! Therefore, as Amy said in her response I would also recommend living on campus in terms of the social life and meeting new people. When I lived on campus I lived in the Barnes superior en-suites. We were really lucky because we were the first set of students to live in these blocks (Y and Z)! This was only in 2018-2019 so these blocks are still really new. Blocks W and X were also renovated this summer- the en-suite plus rooms were changed into en-suite superior rooms.

In terms of off campus accommodation, I think Amy's article has a lot of useful tips on finding a private space. I highly recommend using StudentPad to search for housing options. I used the website to find the flat that I lived in during my second year and to find the house I am sitting in right now! I had really good experiences with both estate agents/landlords I met through the website. All the landlords and agents on the website are accredited by the university so it is the safest option!
I assume you have also looked into the student studios on offer in the private student halls in town? If not, please let us know and we can provide you with some links on how to book flats in these halls.

I am going to leave it there because I feel like we have thrown lots of information at you in one go! If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to ask me and Amy on here and we would be more than happy to help!

Thirangi
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orleanna
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Thank you @Keele Postgraduate and @Keele Student Ambassador1 for your help. It took me a few days to look carefully through the links and it did indeed help a lot. I did send an email to the accommodation team earlier last week and sent it once again today so I am still waiting for an answer. I did look through StudentPad and found some options and saved them so thanks very much for that!

As you mentioned @Keele Student Ambassador1 I did indeed look into the student studios in the private student halls and I feel like it might be the best option for me as they are very close to the bus stations and have plenty of common place to meet new people. My only concern with that many of the companies who offer those to rent don't have the best reviews online and I am still searching for someone who has previously lived there so I can get some feedback. Also, if you have some additional information on how to book flats and how to make sure they are reliable I will be very thankful for your help! The two options I like the most, are both listed on Keele's studentpad page so I hope it's a good sign.
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(Original post by orleanna)
Thank you @Keele Postgraduate and @Keele Student Ambassador1 for your help. It took me a few days to look carefully through the links and it did indeed help a lot. I did send an email to the accommodation team earlier last week and sent it once again today so I am still waiting for an answer. I did look through StudentPad and found some options and saved them so thanks very much for that!

As you mentioned @Keele Student Ambassador1 I did indeed look into the student studios in the private student halls and I feel like it might be the best option for me as they are very close to the bus stations and have plenty of common place to meet new people. My only concern with that many of the companies who offer those to rent don't have the best reviews online and I am still searching for someone who has previously lived there so I can get some feedback. Also, if you have some additional information on how to book flats and how to make sure they are reliable I will be very thankful for your help! The two options I like the most, are both listed on Keele's studentpad page so I hope it's a good sign.
Hi orleanna!

Glad you've found the website links helpful!

And yes, if a property is on Studentpad it means that landlord or provider has been accredited by the local council - the accreditation scheme is voluntary but landlords who sign up to it have to demonstrate that their properties meet certain requirements. So you can be sure that any property there will have valid gas and electrical safety certificates, an energy performance certificate, and is registered with the North Staffordshire Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

I've not had any experience with the student studios myself - and I don't know anyone who has lived in them to give you anecdotal experiences - but I believe Keele Student Ambassador1 has said they can provide you with the relevant links?

Amy Louise
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(Original post by orleanna)
Thank you @Keele Postgraduate and @Keele Student Ambassador1 for your help. It took me a few days to look carefully through the links and it did indeed help a lot. I did send an email to the accommodation team earlier last week and sent it once again today so I am still waiting for an answer. I did look through StudentPad and found some options and saved them so thanks very much for that!

As you mentioned @Keele Student Ambassador1 I did indeed look into the student studios in the private student halls and I feel like it might be the best option for me as they are very close to the bus stations and have plenty of common place to meet new people. My only concern with that many of the companies who offer those to rent don't have the best reviews online and I am still searching for someone who has previously lived there so I can get some feedback. Also, if you have some additional information on how to book flats and how to make sure they are reliable I will be very thankful for your help! The two options I like the most, are both listed on Keele's studentpad page so I hope it's a good sign.
Hi again orleanna ! As Amy mentioned, glad you found the links and the information helpful!

As for your questions about the private student halls, can I ask which halls you have looked into or prefer?

Off the top of my head I can think of Keele House, Orme House and Hassell Bridge Apartments. I can confirm that all three of these halls have an excellent location in town. Keele House and Hassell Bridge Apartments are both really close to the main bus station and the centre of town (I lived in a flat near Hassell Bridge Apartments, and the apartments are a crossing away from the bus station)! Orme House is a bit further away from the centre of town- it is at the end of Orme road that is closer to the town so is around a 5 minute walk away from the centre. However, there is a bus stop opposite the halls so it is really convenient to get to and from campus.

Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who has lived in these halls either, however I found a page on the STUDENTCROWD website with reviews and ratings on these apartments.You can access the page through this link- https://www.studentcrowd.com/hall-l1...le-house-keele

I have also found some individual web pages with more reviews on these halls which I will link down below.
Keele House- https://www.expedia.co.uk/Newcastle-...el-Information
Orme House- https://uniacco.com/uk/newcastle-under-lyme/orme-house
Hassell Bridge Apartments- https://uniacco.com/uk/newcastle-und...dge-apartments

You can book online viewings and book rooms at these halls on Urban Student Life and UNILODGERS. I have attached the links for you below.

Keele House:
Urban Student Life- https://www.urbanstudentlife.com/stu...me/keele-house
UNILODGERS- https://www.unilodgers.com/uk/newcas...me/keele-house

Orme House:
Urban Student Life- https://www.urbanstudentlife.com/stu...yme/orme-house
UNILODGERS- https://www.unilodgers.com/uk/newcas...yme/orme-house

Hassell Bridge Apartments:
Urban Student Life- https://www.urbanstudentlife.com/stu...dge-apartments
UNILODGERS- https://www.unilodgers.com/uk/newcas...dge-apartments

I would also recommend emailing the accommodation team at Keele about private halls if you haven't already. They might've have helped past students with this so might have more information/tips on how to go about this.

I hope this helps! If you have looked at other halls that I haven't mentioned in my response, please let me know and I will see how I can help! Best of luck!

Thirangi
Last edited by Keele Student Ambassador1; 2 months ago
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orleanna
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Again a HUGE thank you for your input @Keele Student Ambassador1 and @Keele Postgraduate. It took me a few days to dig a bit deeper into researching the accommodation sites. Keele House was one on the top of my list but unfortunately, there are not left any bigger rooms avaliable. As for now my top two are Hessell street apartments which are a bit closer to the central area and also they are a smaller house, with about 30 rooms and also very close to the bus station. My second top choice is the One London Road apartments which is a new building, even though it's a few bus stations further, still it isn't very far away. I have also texted some people in the Keele groups on facebook, but could not get any reviews((( I think I'll risk and choose one of them as I am afraid to be late and just be left with something that isn't for me.
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I strongly recommend living on campus, especially as a new student.

While some of it may be a bit pricey and some of the older accommodation is not that great, it's simply more convenient and there are more opportunities to make friends as a new student. Newcastle-under-Lyme is really not as far away from campus (5 to 10 mins on the bus or 30 min walk). I enjoyed living off campus in a house with my friends in the final two years of my degree however this is because I lived with my friends. I hated waking up early to get the bus to campus and the cost of a bus fare is more expensive than in London! In my first year I was able to walk to the library within 2 mins in the middle of the night if needed and I loved it!

You should check with the university accommodation team what kind of students they would put you with on campus. Perhaps they would put you with fellow postgraduate students who are a bit more sensible in a shared living environment? My own experience with private accommodation elsewhere is that no thought is put into the allocation of students in each flat/floor etc and you can end up with a really weird mix of freshers and people doing their PhD lol.

It's also important to note that Newcastle-under-Lyme is a town and not a city so don't think you'll be missing out on anything special if you lived on campus as you can very easily get to the shops etc from Keele campus.

There are some part-time job opportunities on and off campus. If you struggle to find anything when you arrive then look at temporary roles around Christmas time in supermarkets and other retail shops. This is how I ended up working part-time at Tesco for 2 years while at Keele.

Anyways, if having your own space is that important to you then go off campus but you will thank yourself for choosing on campus when you need to rush to the library in your pyjamas at 3am, attend society socials every week or decide to go to the student union or KPA for a few drinks at the last minute!

(Original post by orleanna)
Hi guys! I have been researching the accommodation opportunities near Keele and tbh, it's making me very nervous as I am not sure how to make the right choice. I would like to hear some pros and cons for both living on campus and in the city as I have never studied in an University outside my homecountry and it's tough for me to make the decision.

I am an international masters student and I would like to have my own room with my own comodities. On the accommodation site I have been given the opportunity of choosing an en-suite superior at Barnes, a studio flat or a shared flat. I have emailed the acommodation team about the shared flat and the studio as I have not seen any photos or prices avaliable on the site.

On the other hand the student studios in the city seem much more tempting (also they seem newer) but I am worried about the commute as I have been driving for my whole student experience and I am afraid it will be tough to get used to multiple bus drives a day. How expensive is the bus drive anyway? Are there any late night buses from the campus, in case I need to spend the evening in the library?

Also, I am confused about the prices, living on campus seems to be a bit more expensive. Also are there any extra expenses I will need to pay during my stay? I have read somewhere that one must pay for laundry wash but besides that, what other expenses my I expect both living on campus and in a studio outside the campus?

I would also like to find a part time job (no more than 15-20 hours a week.) I understant that it would be much easier to find a job in the city hence it would take less time to get to work. On the other hand, I don't know anyone and it seems like campus living can be much more beneficial in terms of socialising. Even if we go back to quarantine, I'll be able to spend time with people living in my building versus to living in a studio alone.

As it's pandemic time, I will not be able to visit and check the accommodation myself prior to actually arriving before the beginning of my studies so I want to be sure I am making the right choice.
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shananicole
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Hey!

I'm not an international student, but I am starting my masters in September at Keele and am moving over that way!!

I have just booked my accommodation at The Metropolis (Student FM - https://studentfm.co.uk/?sfm_properties=the-metropolis), where they offer studios. I decided on this accommodation because the spaces are so much larger than what is offered at some of the other companies that have been mentioned. They are a more luxury option, but definitely worth the price! I went to view it yesterday, and fell in love with the building and the area. There's a large bus station a few minutes walk away, where you can easily get buses to the uni!

Newcastle under Lyme is a really sweet little village, and if you're wanting to work there's so many opportunities - retail, bar/restaurant work, etc! I really loved the area, and definitely feel comfortable moving there by myself

It's definitely a big decision to make, but hopefully this can help! Pop me a message if you have any questions about the building specifically xx
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