Saturday, 26 March 2011
As a student, you have several options available to you regarding accommodation during your years of study at University. You can stay on campus, residing in the University Halls of Residence, arrange your own private accommodation with flatmates, live with a family,or stay at home. As a rule of the thumb, the more convenient the option, the higher the cost. But there are many variables that make each situation different. The following is a brief introduction that may help you to decide.
The University Halls of Residence provide the convenience of being close to the school, and you will be sharing the facilities with like minded students. You have no travel time and the convenience of the all your needs as a student close by. Most Universities will offer you the choice of catered or non-catered accommodation. If you choose catered, you will be provided with three meals a day. If you choose to self cater, you can do so in a kitchen that is usually shared with other students. The downside of living in the halls of residence is cost. You pay for the convenience of living so close, with catered accommodation costing more than self catered. The accommodation will also likely be a 'no-frills' variety.
A second option is to rent private accommodation with flatmates. It may not necessarily be cheaper than residence at the school, but you get to choose the quality and standard of accommodation, and your company. This kind of arrangement is generally of a higher standard with a homey atmosphere. Naturally, with it being off-campus, there will be some travel time, but the extent is entirely dependent on where the flat is situated. You also have to deal with a landlord and negotiate things like rent, bills and repairs.
You might like to live with a family who live close by. You'll have the familiarity of family life to come back to after a hard day at school, and company that is not related to your studies, to allow you to "switch off" and relax at night. Cost will usually be the same as with sharing a private flat, unless you have an arrangement whereby you help out with cleaning or child-care in return for board and lodge. If you are funding your own studies, this might be the ideal arrangement.
If you are lucky enough to be attending a school near your own home, you can just stay where you are, with all your own home comforts and the familiarity of your own family. This is the cheapest option, although it may involve the time and cost of travel. Depending on how you would like to spend your student years, this option will either appeal to you, or it won't. You miss out on student life, be it for the benefit of 'living' your studies, or for enjoying the night life, but you have the stability of your own home, where you can tune out, unwind, and relax.