Where is the best place to live during university?

A word to the wise for any students preparing for their first year at university, don’t underestimate the importance of where you live. Your accommodation will have a big effect on your day-to-day life during your studies and there are a number of factors to take into consideration.

Follow our guide to discover more about the various types of accommodation available and decide which option is best for you.

Campus Halls

Campus halls certainly have their advantages and are, of all your available options, the closest you can get to living at home with your parents in the sense that your independence is limited.

Despite being able to let loose and get in as late you want on a school night, you can still opt for catered halls, your utility bills will be included in your weekly payments and there won’t be any conversations with landlords. It’s also comforting to know that your university admin team is always on hand to help with any issues that you may face, and there are plenty of people around to share your days with.

But whilst there are advantages to living in campus run accommodation, there are also potential challenges. For instance, sharing social spaces, including bathrooms, with lots of new people can be a breeding ground for stressful situations. The flip side to this of course, is that halls can be a lot of fun, they’re great places to meet lots of people and who knows you could form friendships in halls that will last you a lifetime.

All in all, halls are a great for those who feel they are not quite ready to live completely independently and are in favour of a social experience in their first year of study. If you are an easy going person then halls can be very exciting, but it’s important to be aware that noise and mess can be par for the course.

Private Halls

Private halls are an increasingly popular option for students as the modern facilities on offer make life simple and convenient, and similarly to campus halls are very exciting if noise and distractions are not a concern.

Onsite staff, Sky TV, Wi-Fi and common rooms are often part of the standard private halls package, and having all of your amenities paid for at the start of each term, rather than in monthly payments, can make for a care-free experience; leaving you to focus on your studies and enjoy your extra-curricular activities.

Private Housing

If you’re beginning to think that halls may not be for you and that you would like a home with fewer distractions, then finding private housing may be your best option. This is often a preference for mature students or for those who want a little more independence from their fellow first years.

Renting from an estate agent or landlord means that you can manage your own utilities and meet people from different age groups. You will also be giving yourself the chance to break away from the rowdier elements of student life when you want to.

However, be warned that private housing does come with its own potential pitfalls – be sure to rent from a reputable estate agent, the university should provide you with a list of recommendations, or alternatively seek help from your students union.

The biggest issue you are likely to face when renting accommodation will relate to your deposit. It is now a legal requirement that any amount deposited with your landlord is placed in the tenancy deposit scheme that offers independent adjudication should a dispute arise. If you do not receive written notification within 30 days of placing your deposit, you should write to your landlord to question their intentions regarding your money. Again, your students’ union will be able to advise you regarding any issues with your deposit.

Staying at Home

For many students remaining at home with mum and dad is the most viable option. It’s cheap, convenient and certainly quieter than sharing with your peers; you might even get your laundry done if you’re lucky.

However, you may find that it’s harder to integrate with other students so you’ll have to make an extra effort to join clubs and societies in order to make the most of the social opportunities that university can offer.

Choosing your university accommodation

Wherever you choose to live while at university there are bound to be some small issues whilst you adjust to your new lifestyle, and it’s important to put things into perspective and focus on enjoying this exciting time in your life. There is a lot to experience and plenty of fun to be had, and whilst it’s important to select carefully, a positive attitude towards making the most of your time at university is the most important thing of all.


The Student Housing Company provides accommodation in cities around the UK, giving students a comfortable and vibrant place to stay during their university years.


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