There is always a mixed feeling when you know you are leaving everything behind and moving to another country. As much as you are thrilled about starting a new life on your own, what is the one thing that pops on your mind about the thought of moving abroad? Is it about the classes, place, job opportunities or is it the thought of not being able to make good friends? Well, for some it might be about a place to stay as soon as you land in the UK. Now imagine if I say you can find a place just like how you thought it would be, the price is affordable, it is cozy. Yes, it exists.
So, the place we are talking about is student accommodation. Student accommodation is a residential accommodation built solely for the students. There are many types of student accommodation depending on your budget. Moving for the first time from their home and being independent could be a challenge for some. This is when student accommodation can save you from being anxious. Other than student accommodation, you could also consider searching for rent which is difficult compared to the accommodation. Here are few things to consider while choosing the accommodation:
- Start beforehand: Start looking for accommodation as early as possible, ideally a few months before the start of your course. This will give you more options and help you secure a spot where you want.
- University Accommodation: Many universities offer accommodation for international students.Contact your university's residence hall office or visit University website for more information about available options.
- Budget Considerations: Set a realistic digging budget that takes into account not only rent, but also utilities, internet, and other living expenses.Check whether the bills are inclusive of the fee. Please take note that; if the utilities are not included in the fee, you will have to pay extra for them. Don't forget to consider the cost of living in each city or town.
- Location: Consider the location of your accommodation in relation to the university, public transport and amenities. Living close to campus will save you transportation costs and time.
- Safety and Security: Consider security when choosing your accommodation. Find out how safe your neighborhood is and see if there are features like secure entry systems.
- Support services for international students: Take advantage of the university's support services for international students. They can provide advice on accommodation and other aspects of settling in a new country.
- Read Reviews: Find real estate reviews online. This will give you insight into previous tenants' experiences and help you make informed decisions.
Guide to accommodation viewing
You might get a little worried on how to view the accommodation. Well, there is no need to worry about viewing them online. You could check a few of the websites like amber students, Uniacco, mystudentdigs or check the accommodation of the university you are studying in. You can find detailed information like whether it is fully furnished or not or is there something you need to bring for yourself while moving into the accommodation. Here's a guide to help you with the viewing process:
- Bring a checklist: Create a checklist of key features and questions to ask while viewing. This includes the condition of the facility, safety features, amenities, and other concerns.
- Check the condition of the property: Note the overall condition of the property. Check walls, floors, and furniture for signs of moisture, leaks, or damage. If you notice any problems, don't be afraid to ask your landlord questions.
- Test Utilities: Verify that all utilities are working. Test faucets, lights, heaters, and appliances to ensure they are working properly. If it doesn't work, request for repair or replacement.
- Security Measures: Evaluate the facility's security features, such as door and window locks. Ask if the neighborhood is safe and has a security system in place.
- Furniture and Amenities: Find out what furniture and amenities are included in your accommodation. Also, check the condition of your existing furniture and request if you need any additional items.
- Internet Connection: Inquire about internet service availability and speed. A reliable internet connection is essential for schoolwork and daily life.
- Storage location: Check the availability of storage space for your belongings. This includes crawl space, shelving and additional storage space on site.
- Neighborhoods and Transportation: Explore neighborhoods and experience their safety and comfort. Check to see if public transportation, grocery stores, and other essential services are nearby.
- Ask about bills and additional costs: Be clear about which bills are included in the rent and which are your responsibility. These may include utility charges, internet tax and council tax.
- Consider multiple options: View multiple properties and compare features, price, and location. This allows you to make informed decisions based on your preferences and priorities.
When should I book my student accommodation?
With many student accommodation options, there are also many students who are applying for the accommodations. Not only the new students, there are old students staying in the accommodation as well which might give you a difficult time looking for the perfect accommodation. So, it is suggested for you to book the accommodation as early as possible for the best room at best deal.
Benefits of living in the student accommodation
There can be a difference in staying in a student accommodation and in a private rental. Firstly, it is easier to make friends since you are surrounded by people of almost your own age. So, one of the pros of student accommodation is you do not have to worry about being alone. Since it might be the first time you are on your own without your family, it can get difficult for some to completely become independent. So, you might have to worry less if you stay with a group of people your age. Some of the benefits are:
- Proximity to campus: There is an extra benefit if you stay in the university accommodation and that is you will save a lot of travel expenses as almost every university accommodation is located inside the universities, which makes it easy for you to attend lectures, utilize the library, and take part in campus events without having to make long journeys.
- Extensive Social Opportunities: Living in an international student residence hall can introduce you to people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds since it frequently houses a diverse population. Your social life can be improved and opportunities for cross-cultural interaction can arise from this diversity.
- Structured Payments and Contracts: Tenancy agreements for university-managed housing are usually precise and well-organized. This can make renting easier and guarantee that rent, utilities, and any other related fees are transparent.
- Safety and Security: Security is a top priority in many student housing units, which include amenities like secure entrance systems and on-site security guards. This can make living conditions safer, particularly for overseas students who aren't used to the area.
- Connectivity to the Internet: It's common for student housing to offer internet. This is essential for communication, academic success, and maintaining relationships with friends and family back home.
- Easy Maintenance and Fixes: In university-managed housing, there is usually an easy procedure for reporting and taking care of maintenance problems. This guarantees a clean and well-kept living space.
Lastly, as it is your first time in that certain place, you might not get familiar with the place which could cause you a problem, so it is suggested to stay on the safe side.