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Leicester Student Accommodation at a Glance

Many students in their first year find that halls of residence provide the ideal place to meet friends and living close to the campus. But there are other options worth considering in particular as you become involved in university life

Student housing at an eye

You can choose to reside in halls, private apartments or even at home.
When deciding on where to live, ask for opinions from friends and family and make sure you attend the accommodation open days.
Do your research on the advantages and costs of each option prior to making a choice.
Start your accommodation application once you’ve accepted your place on a course.

Explore your options

As Heidi Cooper-Hind, director of student experience and employment at Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) says, ‘Choosing where you’re going to reside is among the most exciting and significant choices you’ll have to make during your time at university.’

In general, there are four main alternatives. There are four ways to live:

in accommodation that is managed by the university (typically in halls of residence)
in private halls that are owned by the residence
along with other students in privately rented house or flat
at at home.

If you choose to use the facilities offered by your university for accommodation, you’ll be able to begin your application for accommodation when you’ve accepted an invite to a course – but consult your university to find out more information about the process.

It’s always smart to do some research before you make a decision,’ advises Claire Henshaw, accommodation services team leader at the University of Northampton. It’s best to begin in the early stages as some universities operate on a first come first served basis and popular room types are often sold out quickly.

We announce the dates when applications are open, and provide “how-to” guides as well. The university website is a great way to gather details and ensure that you are knowledgeable,’ adds Claire.

Alternatively, get in touch with the accommodation office at your school Do not be afraid to ask questions when there’s something you’re not confident about.

Open days for a Leicester student studio provide an opportunity to speak to staff and see what’s available available. Claire suggests that even if it’s not possible to make it in person, do go to the university’s website since they’ll have photos, descriptions flooring layouts and floor plans, as well as interactive tour videos.

Halls of residence

“Houses of residence in a university setting allows you to become fully immersed in the student community right from day one,’ says Rebecca O’Hare, assistant director of accommodation and residence office, for the University of Leeds.

“Moving away from home can be an immense change, but it’s important to consider that the majority of your peers will be in the same circumstance and living in university housing will allow you to have easier access to support from campus and residence teams.’

To put it simply, halls or residence are huge blocks of flats that house thousands of students, and have individual furnished bedrooms organised around corridors , or apartments equipped with an open kitchen. In some cases bathrooms can also be shared, though en-suite bathrooms are increasingly commonplace.

They are typically managed by the university or in partnership with a private business and their quality is generally high, since they have to comply with the national code of conduct. Privately-owned halls of residence have all the benefits of halls, however they are not linked to the university – they book rooms directly with the particular hall you’re looking at – they usually offer easy online booking options.

Many universities guarantee a place in the halls of full-time first-year students as well as international postgraduates provided you meet the deadlines for applications. But, this can vary from one institution to another. For instance there may be a problem with your eligibility after you’ve completed Clearing.

Halls are extremely popular with fresh students who have to live away from home for the very first time, says Heidi. In most cases, bills are included so you know exactly what you’re spending your money on It’s also easy to find a suitable accommodation through direct application to the school – usually online.’

They are usually located within or near the campus or within travelling distance the living space in halls puts your in the middle of the student experience. It’s a great way to meet new people and take part in social activities. While your bedroom may be small, the facilities you need (for example a laundrette) are generally available on the premises, and the university accommodation team is always available with regards to maintenance.

Some universities offer accommodation with catering. This is worth considering if you don’t feel ready or able to cook on your own, but it could increase the cost of rent.

In exchange for the comfort of halls it is possible that you will end up paying more than you would in a private residence or flat. You don’t get to choose which people you reside with – which could make it difficult if you don’t get on with the other people in your apartment With so much going on halls aren’t the ideal option for you if value peace and quiet.

Be aware that you’ll need to buy your own TV licence. Heidi states, ‘Keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for any harm that happens in your halls. That means that you’ll need to contribute to repairs.’

To learn more about the amount you’ll be paying for rent, check out your institution’s site, as rent prices can vary greatly based on the where you live and what facilities are available.

To make the most of your time in your student residence, Rebecca advises students to make friends with their apartmentmates on Facebook through the residence pages before welcoming week, and attend events on campus as well as in the halls, and get involved with residence life programmes at the university you attend.

Privately rented housing

You may prefer to live in a privately-rented home, which usually accommodates around five or six people. This is the way that most students follow from the second year onwards, but also by certain first-year students.

One advantage is being able to choose who you live with (for second-year students , this typically means living with a group of your friends), which can make more of a difference.

Another advantage is that you’ll have greater options for where you choose to live. It’s a bit further away from campus, however there are good transportation access, as well as plenty of bars, shops and food establishments serve the popular student areas of many university cities.

The office for accommodation at your university could help you find houses. It’s recommended to look at the houses you are considering before signing up”, suggests Heidi, to ensure everything’s in order. The accommodation team will likely have lots of useful advice about what to look out for and what questions to ask during the viewing, for instance.

There are some additional important aspects to be aware of. In general, rent is cheaper than halls, but there are additional costs to pay the rent,’ says Heidi. It’ll be up to you to arrange your payment for Wi-Fi and utilities along with contents insurance and television licences. Remember, as long as everyone in your house is full-time students, you don’t have to pay council tax.

While you’re taking care to budget your spending You’ll also need to feel comfortable getting in touch with your landlord or letting agent in order to sort any issues or arrange repairs. Be sure to read and understand your contract and know your rights as a tenant.

For instance, Heidi explains that landlords must use a tenancy deposit protection plan, and that the local council may demand repairs if the landlord fails to meet acceptable standards.

Living at home

For many , the idea of getting away from home and the feeling of freedom that brings – is one of the key attractions of going to university.

If you’ve opted to study locally, staying at home may be an ideal option. It will save you costs on rent and expenses and is also convenient. Additionally, you’ll not have to worry about moving out to live alongside new friends.

However, you’ll be further away from the student experience, and it can be difficult to form bonds with people who are away from the social sphere of halls or a house. In order to make it work, take part in events like sports clubs and societies.

Making your decision

It’s not an easy choice to make, so take advice from the most diverse sources you can. Families and friends who’ve gone to university previously are good places to start.

‘Many universities, including AUB are inviting applicants to attend a day of application before the beginning of term, where you can meet other students and tour of local rental properties available,’ Heidi says.

Claire adds that you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to university staff should you have any questions regarding halls of residence or private accommodations.

However, it’s never too early to begin preparing financially. If you plan to live in halls or in private accommodation while studying it is essential to save money in order to save,’ says Claire. A majority of universities will require for an initial rent payment or deposit when you apply for housing.

Also, saving money now to save for your university is a great way to ensure you’re covered in the initial months, particularly if you’re moving from home.