Moving from a different country and settling in at University is a significant part of the student experience, on the whole, therefore, it is important to make an informed choice concerning which accommodation option suits with student’s budget and lifestyle choice. To make this process simple and smooth, students need to investigate and find out where they could be residing, and the kind of accommodation they would prefer and would be most suitable for their individual needs.
Selecting the places where students will stay can be considered to be one of the most exciting as well as important decisions. Generally, students can start their accommodation application after accepting an offer on a particular course. It is always wise to research accommodation facilities and students can start doing this as early as possible. Universities advertise the dates of application and offer guides as well. The official website of the university is also a credible source to gather information on accommodation. As such, there are mainly three different alternatives:
– staying in university-managed spaces (halls of residence)
– staying in privately owned, managed, and maintained halls of residence
– staying with other learners in privately rented spaces (houses/ flats)
Halls of residence
Halls are usually huge blocks of flats accommodating hundreds of students, with discrete furnished bedrooms ordered and organized around passageways or apartments with a common kitchen. In certain cases, bathrooms along with kitchens are also shared, even though en-suite rooms are more and more common.
Halls of residence are typically managed by the University or are operated in partnership with a private enterprise, and the overall quality is generally decent as they have to comply with national codes. Privately owned and managed halls of residence present all the benefits and facilities of halls, however, they are not associated with the university. Therefore, students can book a space directly in which they are interested.
Many universities guarantee a space in halls for students in the first year of the full-time course and international postgraduates, on condition that they satisfy application deadlines. Halls are mostly preferred by new students who are staying away from home for the first time and are new to the place.
It is quite advantageous for students to reside in halls as bills are normally included and students can know precisely what they are budgeting for, therefore, it becomes easy for them to arrange accommodation buy straight away applying to the university- usually online. Also, these halls are normally situated on or near the University Campus, residing in halls can help students to put them at the center of university life. Thus, it becomes an opportunity to make friends and to get associated with various social activities of students.
Private rented accommodation for students
Students might prefer to stay in a privately rented space (house/ flat), which normally provides accommodation for about 4 to 5 people. This option is chosen by the majority of learners from the second year onwards and sometimes by first-year students as well.
In private rented accommodation, students get the opportunity to select who they live with, which in turn can help them in gaining a better experience. Another advantage is that students can decide where to stay. Students will certainly be further from campus, however, there are popular radius that is served by proper transport links, have lots of shops, food outlets, and bars. Normally, this option is relatively cheaper than halls, but students need to pay their bills on their own over and above their rent. Moreover, students need to keep in touch with their landlords to sort out any issues or for maintenances. Therefore it is important to read and understand the accommodation agreement and be conscious of tenants’ rights.
Arriving at a decision
Choosing accommodation is not easy for students, so students can get suggestions from different sources before arriving at an informed decision. Many universities call students to attend applicant days before the start of their session. This can be an opportunity to meet other students and get an idea about available accommodation facilities. Students should also feel free to contact University staff in case they have any questions on halls or private accommodation.
Vita Student provides amazing spaces at a starting price of £169 per week in Cardiff. For more information, students can visit their website my.vitastudent.com. Students can also check student.com for gathering more information on available accommodation facilities in Cardiff for students.
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