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Student accommodation: Pros & Cons of different property types

Francisco Peres

If you’re moving out of the house next semester for the first time, you may find yourself a bit surprised to find out just how many options of student accommodation there are for you. There are catered university residences and non-catered halls, studios and 1-bedroom apartments, flatshares and Erasmus houses – and maybe you have no clue of what kind of student accommodation would be the right choice for you. I can relate.

I think that, at Uniplaces, we can all relate with that. We’ve been there before – and we’re here to help you out, with an easy guide to different property types of student accommodation.

Student accommodation to meet people and make friends: Student Residences

A Student Residence (in England they’re also called Halls of Residence, Student Halls, or just Halls) is usually quite a large building with several rooms. Some older residence buildings will be spread around large areas with only one or two floors but now you’re more likely to find tall buildings with several stories. Exclusively dedicated to housing students, they have a great atmosphere – full of energy and life. If you’re about to begin a 3 year degree, residences are a great option to meet a lot of people from day 1.

Residences can be divided into two groups: private Residences and University Halls. Private Residences belong to private accommodation providers. Other residences, usually called University Halls, are run by a specific University  and only house students from that college. Private Residences tend to be higher quality and in better shape. There’s also a much greater range of choice between Private Residences.

Catered Residences serve meals – make sure to check how many, as it can vary between only dinner and 3 full meals. Non-catered residences are the ones where students cook their own meals. They’re usually a bit cheaper than the alternative, but expect to go out for take-out food about 5 times a week (even if right now you’re telling yourself you’ll cook every night!)

I wrote a post a few months ago you may want to check out: why I loved living in a Residence.

More independent student accommodation: Flatshares

There are literally thousands of shared apartments on the market. I highly recommend you find ones that are specific for students. You’ll have more freedom in these: house parties are expected and great fun, you’ll be able to come in and go out at any time of the day, bringing friends over is always cool, etc. This kind of behaviour isn’t always well received when your housemates are going to get up at six the next morning to put on a suit and go to work.

Some student apartments have all bills included and others you pay what you use. There’s even some apartments where there’s a cap on bills, in which case you’ll pay for a part of the utility bills if the landlord is billed over a specific amount.

If you already know the friends you want to move in with, look for an apartment where each of you gets a room. If you don’t, don’t worry, you can always find a single room for you in a shared student apartment. Smaller apartments (2 or 3 rooms) tend to attract quieter, tidy people. The large ones (anything over 5 rooms) are very popular with Erasmus students and can be a little wilder.

Maria wrote an article you’ll want to bookmark if you’re going to book a shared student apartment: this is a survival guide to living with other students.

Student accommodation for lone wolves: Live-alones

Being a student doesn’t have to mean living with a ton of other people you don’t know. Whereas some people really enjoy this part of studying abroad, there’s plenty of people who much prefer the quiet comforts and added privacy of having a home of their own.

Studios are small apartments with only 1 room, and sometimes a bathroom. Many of them will have a small integrated kitchen (or kitchenette).

A 1-bedroom apartment is larger. The bedroom will be just a bedroom and it will have a kitchen and maybe a living room as well.

You’ll be able to keep the place just as tidy or as untidy as you want, be as noisy or as quiet, and you’ll never have to wait for the bathroom to free up. Always remember, though, that living on your own is definitely the most expensive of the three options for student accommodation.

Thanks for reading this post! We hope to see you soon, coming back for more.
Did you enjoy our article about student accommodation? Just drop us a line in the comment section below to let us know you did. And remember! If you need to find student accommodation in London, Lisbon or Madrid – or you know someone that does – you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on http://uniplaces.com.

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