Moving to your first student accommodation is exciting yet stressful. For many students, it is the first time they are going to live on their own. And deciding on the place might seem overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be scary. In this article, you’ll find all the essential things to consider so that your student home makes your college experience positive.
Access the Budget
The first thing is to figure out how much you can comfortably spend on rent. The range you come up with might narrow down your options, which is quite common.
But it is important to stay reasonable and not put yourself into more debt than you have to. If your budget is limited, consider what things you can compromise on and what is not up to negotiations (proximity to campus, internet connection, utilities, etc.).
Set the highest you can pay and the ideal lower price in mind. Always ask whether utilities are included in the rent. This is also important. Because some lots might seem like a great deal, but when you add bills for internet, water, gas, and electricity – it is not so lucrative anymore.
It is impossible to overestimate how essential an internet connection is for a college education. Students need it for many things:
- Following digital courses;
- Accessing study materials;
- Doing academic research;
- Reaching out to college mates;
- Ordering essential services or goods.
Without a good and speedy connection, you waste a lot of time and energy because the simplest tasks become difficult. For instance, if you need instant paper edit help, you can easily apply for it online. Of course, as long as you are connected. With the professional assistance of an academic writing service, students can keep up with the curriculum, get good grades, and advance their skills at the same time.
By cooperating with experienced authors, one can also get writing and proofreading help so that their paper is polished to the maximum and ready for submission. Having such a resource close is a perfect opportunity to avoid stress or failed deadlines. And this is just one example of how essential a good internet connection is.
So always ask about it before settling for a place and, preferably, test it out.
Types of Student Accommodation
The next step is to decide what types of accommodation might work for you. Here are the main types that are available for learners.
This might be an optimal option for freshers as it gives more socialization options and takes a lot of responsibilities off your shoulders. And despite what some people would say, you can make your dorm room design functional and comfortable.
Living in a college dorm is a perfect way to meet new friends and live very close to the campus. This ensures an easy way to attend lectures, classes, libraries, and clubs. It gives some independence without the need to think about landlords and utility bills. The main downside is that you do not choose who to live with and there are no guarantees to get the place in the preferred accommodation.
Private Student Halls
These are complex buildings designed specifically for students. They are similar to college-run options. Usually, a student gets a private room and shared kitchen and TV/leisure room. Sometimes such buildings have studio apartments in them.
Pay attention to what is included in the price and ask the college about a list of approved private providers. The downside is that such options are not available everywhere. And all the cons of the usual dorm apply – noise and neighbors.
This is the most independent option – moving right into the private sector on your own. This also requires the most planning to make the right decision. But it comes with the freedom to choose what you like in terms of location, interior design, utilities, and roommates.
One can go for a studio, a shared apartment, or a shared room. Some rooms offer en-suite bathrooms, while others do not.
If you are aiming for private accommodation, location is one of the major factors that make it comfortable or not. Ideally, it should not be too far from campus. Or there should be easy and comfortable transportation routes so you can get to class on time.
When looking into specific neighborhoods, pay attention to the following:
- Crime rates;
- Transport infrastructure;
- Shops, cafes, and restaurants;
- Park and recreational areas;
- Overall atmosphere.
Ideally, you can visit the neighborhood and walk around for a bit to see how it makes you feel. After all, you are going to live here for a year at least.
The next factor to pay attention to is what amenities are available on the property. Surely, the list of priorities here is individual because some prefer cooking themselves, and others do not mind living without a fully equipped kitchen.
Check out cooking and eating possibilities, washing options, and places you can go in a situation you need to repair something. Some halls might have a gym, cinema room, or even pool. All of those sound fancy and exciting, but they add to the price, so think about whether you are going to actually use them.
When possible, always visit the place and inspect it carefully. This is good to have a better understanding of how you will feel there. And also, it is a chance to look out for potential problems like mold, dampness, or pests.
It is easy to do an on-budget renovation or add some personal touches to the interior. But getting rid of those problems is not easy or cheap. So it is better to stay out of them. Instead of focusing only on aesthetics, pay attention to detail and physical attributes.
Mold and damp spots provide an awful smell and can damage your goods like furniture or clothes. They can also harm one’s health. Check corners, windows, and places behind the cabinets. The red flags are peeling parts on paint, the smell of mold, and uneven patches.
For pest infestation detection, also check corners, drawers, and especially the kitchen. Watch out for flies, ants, cockroaches, and rats. It is also normal to ask the landlord about the last pest control visit.
Security and Contract
Last but not least, make sure the place is secure, and the contract has no hidden fees or unsatisfactory limitations.
Ask whether there is a security service patrolling the ground, a CCTV system, or at least a gated entry to the facility. Ask about the emergency helplines.
The more security there is, the better it is. You can never be too safe.
As for the contract, read it carefully before signing. If you are not sure about some parts, ask for advice from a relative or friend with more experience. If something feels off, do not sign to it. Check the clear duties and responsibilities for you and the landlord.
The first independent accommodation is one of the exciting parts of the college experience. It can be a bit stressful, but with the right approach, you can choose the best place for your new stage of life. Start with the budget and available accommodation options. Think about your comfort and what you cannot compromise on. Check out the physical state of the property and security.