Considering getting into University? If yes, you are in the right place!
Every student has to take care of a couple of things before starting university. Unless you and your parents live in the same city as where the university is you are likely to ask yourself: "Should I stay in halls offered by a university or rent a private flat?"
I had to answer this question myself and I know that it is not an easy one. Although it really depends on the university you are about to go to, there are some things that all the halls have in common. All the advantages and disadvantages are going to be listed and explained so it is easier for you to make a right decision.
- Expect to have some loud neighbours (not unexpected, huh?), however a good point is that they can be controlled more easily as resident assistants and managers are likely to be around at all times.
- You will meet a lot more people than living in a flat. You will make connections with students from other schools and there will be no time to feel lonely. If you are an outgoing person who loves to have loads of friends around at all times, student halls are for you.
- Is toast pretty much the only meal you can make? Do not worry, universities usually have both catered and self-catered halls so it is up to you to choose. I personally did not know how to cook and went for a self-catered accommodation and that was great fun, because my flatmates were terrible at cooking as well. As a result, we decided to cook together and became better at cooking (and better friends as well!) pretty quickly.
- The difference in price is highly dependent on the city you are about to study at. There are other factors that can influence prices as well and it is really up to you to find out which one is cheaper. Rent of university halls sometimes includes services such as electricity, gas or internet so this is worth finding out before making your final decision.
- You university halls might look awesome! Check the picture above. That castle is actually a student accommodation.
- The first thing worth knowing about private owned flats is that there might be some hidden costs such as administrational, screening or other fees. The deposit is also very likely to be higher and it is possible that your landlord is going to try and snatch a larger bit of your deposit if you damage or break something. This is not necessarily the case though and you might just get a landlord who is actually a lovely person.
- Freedom is something you will get if you decide to go for a private owned flat. You are quite unlikely to have your landlord visiting you and annoyingly checking everything (at least my guy never paid me a visit) if you are not causing any problems or not annoying your neighbours. Or cause a fire. You are free to choose how many people do you want to live with and also who these people are.
- Since university halls are quite centralised most of the time there is rarely a chance to pick a spot of where you want to live. Especially if you university halls are situated inconveniently or simply because the location does not fit your needs. This is where private flats have a big advantage. There are usually many flats available for rent and it is totally up to you to decide of where you want to stay.
- As mentioned before, you are going to meet a lot less of the fellow students around. However, if your flat is just a place where you sleep you should not worry about it too much.
In conclusion, both types of accommodation have their pluses and minuses and it is really up to you to decide which one to go for. I had a chance to live in both and have to admit that I do not regret choosing university halls for my first year simply because it was such a great opportunity to meet all these people. I would probably have stayed if I was allowed to, but in my case university halls were for first year students only so it was not really up to me. You could count that as a disadvantage as well, I guess. Anyway, I hope this article is making your decision at least a little bit easier.