Upon achieving the right A-Level results, many people choose to enter higher education in order to gain a degree from one of the UK’s many prestigious universities. With establishments up and down the country offering specialist guidance and education in all manner of subjects, it’s likely that many students will choose to enrol on a course away from home, and in some cases a different country…

One of the most important things to consider after deciding upon a course of study is where you are going to live. There are a number of different types of accommodation to choose from, and almost as many factors to bear in mind when selecting your new living quarters.

Student Halls or Private Accommodation: Which to Choose?

Students have a choice of living in student halls (many of which are owned by the university itself) or private accommodation, such as a rented house or flat. Many first-year students choose to stay in halls, as they provide a great opportunity to meet people in a similar situation – living away from home for the first time in a new area.

Others may feel confident enough or perhaps have enough life experience to want to find somewhere a little more private. There are plenty of high-quality private rents on offer, and many people choose to live with friends or acquaintances in a house-share.

Choosing a Suitable Area

When choosing your student accommodation, it’s incredibly important to consider the location of a property. Do some research on potential areas, focusing on things like the crime rate, the proximity of the accommodation to the university, and whether the environment is conducive to effective study.

Be prepared to compromise. It can often be difficult to find a property which fulfils all of your criteria, although finding somewhere which is nearby to your place of study, safe and close to local amenities should be simple enough.

A typical student room...

Choosing your Housemates

When moving into halls, who you share your communal facilities with can be down to pot luck. Many students choose to move into private rented accommodation with friends (often in their second and third years of study), and it’s wise to consider what living with somebody else will entail. Whilst many people will decide to move in with people they get along with, being in such close proximity to friends can often bring its challenges. Be honest and open with potential housemates, and be sure you can handle each other’s habits and foibles – There can be fewer stressful instances than constantly arguing with a housemate!

Consider your Landlord

Most primary concerns students have when it comes to accommodation regard the location, quality and price of a property. It’s also worth finding out about your potential landlord, since in the event of any repairs being required it’s reassuring to know things will be dealt with in a professional, timely manner.

It can often be worthwhile to contact your university for further help and advice on choosing the right accommodation, as they will usually have a list of accredited landlords and agencies to provide you with peace of mind, allowing you to spend more time preparing yourself for the next chapter in your life.