The Student Room Group

What to Choose: House Sharing, Student Halls, Studio Flat, or Commuting?

Dear prospective and current university students :bumps:,

Getting ready for the exciting journey called university is a big deal, and the idea of figuring out where to live might be causing a few butterflies in your stomach. I understand it perfectly - leaving the comfort of home, venturing into a new city, and living with new faces can be a little scary.

But try not to worry too much! It is also the beginning of a wonderful chapter and adventure where you will grow enormously, become more independent, and make memories that will stick with you forever.

So, even though it might feel a bit overwhelming, a lot of good stuff is waiting for you!

I am going to share with you all my knowledge and experience so that you can easily find the right accommodation for yourself. I will also discuss a unique commuting experience, as I am aware that some of you are likely to opt for this option.

Shall we start :thumbsup:?

The first step in this adventure is to explore your options. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. The factors I would recommend you consider are your lifestyle, preferences, and budget. Here are the most common choices:

1. House/flat share: Sharing a house or flat with fellow students is an arrangement where you have your own room and share other areas unless you opt for an ensuite (however, it is not very common).

Utility bills are often not included but based on shared use. That makes rent prices lower than those of student halls. Nevertheless, do not get caught, because nowadays the bills can be very high and you might end up paying more.

Living with others can be a fantastic way to make friends and share experiences. I met my besties at the accommodation. I cannot express how significantly it eased the transition into university life.

Finally, you might not get that central location as the student halls offer. Furthermore, the better the location, the higher the rent.

2. Student halls: Students living in a flat together with private rooms and shared communal areas. Although, the ensuite option is much more common.

In most cases, rent prices include all bills, and there is minimal or no deposit, which tends to be very high when renting a room from a private landlord or an agency.

Prices range significantly based on the standard and location. Those more expensive options offer a mix of frills, such as a communal study area, cinema room, gym, and more.

One common thing is the paid laundry room available for all residents, meaning you will probably not have a washing machine in your flat. However, it is not a strict rule. Last year, I lived in halls that offered a washing machine with dryer in every flat.

The best advantage of student halls for me is their central location. They are usually located close to campus, making it convenient for attending classes and campus activities.

Living in close quarters with many people may mean less privacy but also fosters a vibrant and community-oriented environment, offering organised and socialising activities for the residents.

3. Studio flats: Fully personal space for you offered by student halls, private landlords or renting agencies.

A studio flat could be the answer for those who value privacy and independence in terms of lifestyle and living arrangements.

They are much more expensive and offer limited social interaction compared to shared accommodations. Therefore, even if you are an introvert appreciative of privacy, I would recommend trying with a small and shared flat or house in your first year, as having people around in such a diametric change to your life is invaluable.

4. Staying at home and commuting: Living at home and commuting to university is a valid choice, too.

It offers the comfort of familiar surroundings and can be a budget-friendly option, as you avoid additional living expenses.

While it may seem isolating at first, with a bit of effort, you can still make the most of your university experience. Join societies, attend campus events, and connect with fellow students during classes. The university community is for everyone, regardless of where you lay your head at night.

Remember :five:, this is your journey, so make the decision that aligns with your needs and capabilities. To ensure a successful accommodation hunt and stress-free living experience, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Start early: Great accommodation goes quickly, so kickstart your search early to have the best options and plenty to choose from. My personal advice is to start exploring around December.

2. Think about your budget: Money should not be your biggest concern while embracing the university journey. Be realistic about what you can afford. Factor in rent, along with continuous and random daily expenses.

3. Visit places: Do not rely solely on pictures. Visit accommodations before making a decision. Very often, you can do that during the Open Days.

So, which option will you choose?

I hope you will find that helpful :h: Feel free to reach out if you have any questions :wink: You can chat with me or other students directly through The Ambassador Platform.

Best of luck,

Julia
Psychology student
De Montfort University
(edited 3 months ago)

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