Student halls alongside the river Thames with the O2 in the background

We know that student life can be a challenge. It’s a time in your life when you will have to make big decisions that impact your future. Not only do you have to choose the right course, but you also have to choose the right city and find appropriate accommodation – it’s a lot to take in.

You’ll be spending your time at uni working hard to give yourself the best chance at a good future career – with plenty of nights out in the process. The ideal accommodation gives you everything that you’ll need to maximise the student experience, providing the perfect balance between your uni work and your social life.

We’ve put together a rundown of the things you should be looking out for in good student accommodation.

Price

Being a student means you’ll probably have to manage your money for the first time – it’s one of the biggest struggles of uni life. There are a few things that you’ll have to pay for, like toilet paper, soap powder and, most importantly, a place to live.

Price is obviously a big factor in choosing your accommodation, and it may be tempting to choose the cheapest option. The problem with this is that many landlords will overcharge for substandard housing – so you’ll only save a bit of money if you’re prepared to sacrifice basic things like cleanliness. It’s better to look at it from a value-for-money perspective rather than attempting to find the cheapest accommodation. As the saying goes, you’ll get what you pay for.

Purpose-built accommodation is a popular option, especially for first-year students. These residences are often tailored to suit different needs – students who need some space to focus on their studies can pay more for a private studio, whereas students who are seeking a more social experience can choose a 5- or 6-bed shared apartment, which is ideal for making new friends while you study.

Location

When you’re choosing your university, it’s important to consider if the town or city fits with your personality – everyone is different, and some people prefer large, busy cities while others are better suited to smaller tight-knit communities. Choosing the right city is going to make your life as a student more enjoyable, and the same logic should apply to choosing accommodation.

For most students, the biggest challenge is getting out of bed in the morning, and this is only made worse if you have to get up even earlier to get to lectures on time. With that in mind, the ideal student accommodation should be located close to your uni campus, meaning you can spend that extra hour or so in bed recovering from a night out, or getting on with a bit work if you’re feeling up to it.

If you’re unable to choose accommodation that’s close to your uni, you should make sure that it’s easily accessible. Find out how often local transport runs and if it’s close to your chosen accommodation – if you have to walk miles just to get into uni you’ll probably find that you’ll go in less and less. Keep in mind how close the accommodation is to local shops and restaurants as spending money on travel to and from these places can add up – especially on that student budget.

Facilities

For those of you who are moving away from home for the first time, you’ll probably come to realise how much you’ve taken for granted. Looking after yourself can be a struggle, especially when you’ve got more important things to worry about – like getting that essay written by the deadline.

When you’re looking for student accommodation, try to find somewhere that has all of the facilities that you might need on-site or within walking distance. You have enough to think about without having to trek 30 minutes to the nearest laundrette. Ensure that the accommodation includes all of the basic amenities such a cooker, TV and good internet access, as this will save you money in the long run. You should also keep an eye out for rooms with plenty of study space where you can get on with a bit of work, as well as good communal areas for when you want to socialise with friends.

To Summarise

Choosing the right student accommodation is a big decision, as you’ll be spending at least a year living there. It’s important to find a place that suits your needs, and remember to find accommodation that gives the best value for money, is well located and has everything that you need nearby to ensure that your time at uni is enjoyable and free of stress.

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