Living Away from Student Campus
As a student you really have two main choices regarding your accommodation: whether you are going to live on or off campus. Whilst many students choose to live on campus during their first year, living off campus is the most popular choice for students in their second and third years of university. Whether you are just starting at university or not, living off campus can seem daunting and exciting in equal measure. That is why it’s important to know more about living off campus before you make a decision. From choosing the right private rented accommodation to considerations of practicality and budget, there are a few things you should consider before deciding upon off-campus living.
When to Live off Campus?Although living off campus is an option at any time of your university life, it is generally better to wait until at least your second year before you decide to live off campus. Although some students will have more experience when they start university and are quite happy living off campus, other students will find off-campus living hard. In order to be better prepared, living in halls of residence the first year is usually advisable. Not only does this give you time to settle into university, but also allows you to make friends and live with other people that you can then consider living with off-campus in the future.
Where to Find Property?Finding off campus property is actually quite easy, with many different sources available for you to use in your search. Most university accommodation offices will have a list of places that provide off-campus accommodation for rent. If you can’t find anything this way, then there are plenty of notices up in most university common rooms for flats and houses to rent, as well as rooms in current student houses and flats. If you are still looking, then you can always try local lettings agents, as even those who don’t specifically cater to students should have something in your price range. If you look around you will find something that suits your needs, although whatever sort of property you choose make sure that it’s within your budget and in a good location for getting to and from university.
Who to Share With?Deciding who to share with is always hard, but generally friends you have made whilst in halls or at university is the most likely option. In addition, deciding how many people to live with is just as important as deciding whom you should live with. Whilst you might want to live on your own or with just one other person, larger properties are often cheaper per person to rent. However, living with more people means having to share the facilities with a larger group and increases the chance of arguments and problems.
Rent And Other CostsWhilst halls of residence have all bills included in the basic cost, living off campus is a completely different story. Not only will you have to think about the costs of rent, but you will likely have to pay one or two months’ rent in advance, as well as a security deposit to cover potential damage. This could leave you needing to pay anywhere up to £1000 before you have even moved in! You also need to think about household bills such as gas, electricity and water, as well as telephone bills and Internet costs. Living off campus takes a lot more effort than on campus living and you are responsible for a great deal more than in halls of residence. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting into and how much you can afford to spend. Budget in the costs of all items you need to survive, including bills, cooking utensils, travel costs and other items.
Whilst living off campus may cost a lot more and be a much bigger responsibility than living at home or in halls of residence, it is a great experience and gives you a chance to grow and learn about fending for yourself. You also have much more freedom than in halls of residence, and if you are living with the right friends it can lead to some of the best times of your life. As long as you budget properly and pick student accommodation that suits your needs, you will have a great time living off campus.