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As university applications are now in full swing many first-year undergraduates will be considering their accommodation options for the following years to come, while prospective students will be looking at the types of accommodation available. There two main types of accommodation options: University Accommodation or Private Accommodation. Both have their pros and cons, but which suits you most?

University Accommodation

Pros Cons 
Access to an exciting social life with the ability to meet lots of new people. The flat/houses can accommodate a variety of students, so there will possibly be disruption during unsociable hours.
On campus services, such as welfare/pastoral care and a security team are able to provide extra support. First year accommodation is not always guaranteed if you do not meet all the deadlines and requirements on entering the university.
Usually located close to the main university campus with the option of further accommodation near the other campuses.  Accommodation fees vary between universities and each academic year. 
Most accommodation has all-inclusive bills and is linked up to the university network.  
There is often a variation in accommodation offered, such as same sex flats, kosher flats, bunk rooms, en-suite etc.  
You often don't have to pay for accommodation in the summer months, thereby reducing your costs.  

Choosing university accommodation for your first year is a great way to reduce the hassle of searching for private accommodation if you are moving to a new area and do not yet know anyone. Many universities offer a number of different types of accommodation which can be on or off campus. Each halls of residence has a different feel to it, so make sure you look at all the options available before making a decision.

Private Accommodation

Pros Cons 
If you are heading to university with a group of friends it is a good way of ensuring you share accommodation.  Can miss out on the social side of meeting new people in university accommodation.
Universities usually have a list of registered and approved landlords in the local area and are helpful in supporting you in finding private accommodation. You have to pay your bills separately and you need to consider how much this will add to your monthly outgoings - and don't forget to pay the TV licence!
You get to choose your ideal location.  
It's often seen as your first taste of independence and you can make your accommodation feel like home.   

There are lots of benefits to choosing private accommodation in your first year, and the university will usually support you in your endeavour. You will still have access to all the services provided by the university in regards to pastoral and welfare care but be aware, you can sometimes find yourself located away from the “hub of student life” (the main campus and students' union). In your first year you are likely to spend a large amount of time on your main campus attending lectures so be prepared to expect a longer commute to uni and home again if you are located off campus. 

Other Accommodation Options

  • Lodging - with a local family
  • Commuting from home - if you live nearby this will significantly decrease costs

Furthermore, remember to check the universities you are applying to through their website or accommodation brochure for specific details of the accommodation available, fees, payment dates, holiday options etc.