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How to Customize Your Leicester Student Accommodation to Suit Your Needs

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Many first-year students find that the halls of residence are the perfect base for meeting acquaintances and staying near campus. However, there are other options you can consider, especially as you get involved in university life

Accommodation for students at a glance

You can choose to live in halls, private apartments or at your home.
If you are deciding where to reside, seek opinions from friends and family and also try to go to open houses for housing.
Take time to study the costs and benefits of each alternative before making a choice.
Make your accommodation request once you’ve accepted a place on an educational course.

Find out your options

As Heidi Cooper-Hind, director of student experience and employment for the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) says, ‘Choosing where you are going to live is one of the most exciting and vital decisions you’ll make during your time at university.’

In general, there are four major options. It is possible to live:

in university-managed accommodation (typically rooms of residence)
in private-owned halls of residence
along with other students in with other students in a privately rented flat or house
at home.

If you decide to use your university’s provision of accommodation, it is possible to begin your application for accommodation when you’ve accepted a proposal for a course – but make sure to check with your institution for more details on the procedure.

It’s always smart to conduct some research in advance,’ advises Claire Henshaw, accommodation services team leader for the University of Northampton. You should start this at the earliest possible time, as most universities operate on a first-come, first served basis and rooms that are popular can be gone fast.

‘We advertise the dates that application deadlines are announced and provide “how-to” guides as well. The website of the university is a fantastic resource for details and ensure you’re well-informed,’ says Claire.

If you prefer, contact with the accommodation office at your university Be sure not to be shy to ask questions if you’re not sure about something you’re unsure about.

The open days at the university accommodation provide an opportunity to speak to the staff and find out what’s available. Claire suggests that even if you can’t make it in person, do look up the university’s site for more information. They’ll probably contain descriptions, photos of floor layouts, floor plans and even interactive tour videos.

Halls of residence

‘Living in halls of residence at university allows you to get involved in the student community right from day one. Rebecca O’Hare, assistant director of residence life and accommodation office, in the University of Leeds.

‘Moving away from home is a huge transition, but it’s crucial to keep in mind that a lot of your students are similar to you and living in a university residence grants you easier access to assistance from the residence and campus teams.’

To make it clear, halls of residence are huge blocks of flats housing hundreds of students. They have private bedrooms that are furnished and set around corridors, or apartments that have the kitchen shared by all. In a few cases bathrooms can also be shared, but en-suite rooms are becoming more common.

They are usually run by the university, or in partnership with a private corporation The standard of the facilities is generally excellent, given that they must be in compliance with standards set by the nation. Privately owned halls of residency have all the benefits of halls, but they are not tied to the university. You reserve a room directly with the specific halls you’re interested in – most have easy online booking systems.

Most universities will guarantee a space in halls for full-time first-year postgraduates from abroad, in the event that you meet the deadlines for applications. This may vary from one institution to another. For instance there may be a problem with your eligibility for admission if you’ve been through Clearing.

Halls are extremely popular with new students who are living in a different location at first, says Heidi. In most cases, bills are included which means you’ll know precisely the amount you’re budgeting, and it’s easy to arrange your accommodation by submitting an application directly to the school – usually online.’

They are typically in close proximity to campus or within walking distance living in halls can put you at the centre of the student experience. It’s a fantastic way to make new friends and be involved in social activities. Although your room may be small, all your facilities (for example a laundrette) are available, and the university accommodation team is on hand in the event of maintenance.

A number of universities also offer accommodation with catering. This is worth considering when you’re not sure or equipped to cook for yourself, though it will increase the cost of your rent.

In exchange for the convenience of halls they can be a bit expensive. paying more than you would in a private residence or apartment. You aren’t able to pick which people you reside with – this could be difficult If you’re not a good fit with your fellow residents With so much happening halls aren’t the ideal most ideal option if you prefer peace and quiet.

Be aware that you’ll need to purchase your own TV licence. Heidi says, ‘Be aware that you’ll be accountable for any damages that occur in your halls, meaning that you’ll need contribute to the repair costs.’

To find out how much you’ll be paying for rent, see your university’s website, as costs vary considerably based upon your location and the facilities.

To make the most of your time in the student accommodation, Rebecca advises students to make friends with their flatmates through residence Facebook pages before welcome week, attend activities on campus and in halls, and be involved in residence life activities at your university.

Privately rented housing

You may prefer to live in privately-rented Leicester uni accommodation which typically houses around four or five people. This is a path taken by most students from the second year onwards however, there are the first year students.

One advantage is being able to pick who you’ll reside with (for second-year students, this typically means moving in with friends) This can make the experience better.

Another advantage of living in the city is having a greater choice over where to live. It’s a bit further from campus, but good transport connectivity, as well as numerous bars, shops and eateries serve the student-friendly areas of the major cities with universities.

The office for accommodation at your university could assist you in finding suitable houses. It’s recommended to visit the homes you’re contemplating before signing up”, says Heidi in order to make sure that everything is right. The hotel staff will provide a wealth of information on what to search for and what questions to ask during the viewing, for instance.

There are some other important points to keep in mind. It is common for rent to be lower than halls but you’ll pay bills on top according to Heidi. It’ll be up to you to organize your expenses for items like utilities, Wi-Fi access or insurance on contents, as well as a TV licence. However, when every person in your home is a full-time student, then you don’t need to pay council tax.

Alongside managing your budget carefully It is essential to be at ease in communicating with your landlord or letting agent to deal with any issues or to arrange repairs. It is important to review and comprehend the terms of your lease and be aware of your rights as tenants.

For example, Heidi explains that landlords have to use a tenancy deposit protection plan, and that the local council is able to insist on repairs in the event that your landlord fails to adhere to reasonable standards.

Living at home

Many people find that moving away from home, as well as the feeling of independence that it brings is among the primary attractions of going to university.

However, if you’ve decided to pursue your studies locally, staying at home is an ideal option. It helps you save money on rent and bills as well as being convenient. you’ll avoid the stress of moving out to live in a new area with different people.

But you’ll be removed from your student life and it could be more difficult to establish friendships away from the social sphere of the halls or even a student home. For a successful experience be active, join activities like sports clubs and societies.

Making your decision

This isn’t a straightforward decision to make, therefore seek assistance from the most diverse sources you can. Family and friends who’ve been to college before are good places to start.

‘Many universities, including AUB, invite you to attend applicant days ahead of the start of the term. You will meet fellow students and take a look at some of the local rental properties that are available,’ Heidi says.

Claire adds that you shouldn’t be hesitant to reach out to university staff should you have any questions on halls or private accommodation. For more information, look on University of Northampton – Our accommodation.

It’s never too early to start making financial preparations. ‘If you intend to stay in halls or private accommodations while you study or working, you’ll need to save some cash according to Claire. The majority of universities will require you to pay an upfront rental payment or a deposit when you apply for accommodation.

Additionally, saving now to prepare for college is a great strategy to ensure you’re covered during the initial few months, especially if you’re moving from home.