Where should I live?

Are you planning on going to university? One of the most important decisions to make choosing where you'll live. Check out this guide to the ins and outs of student accommodation...

Where should I live?
The cost of accommodation varies a lot depending on where you are. London is predictably the most expensive, at an average of £6,143 a year. Across the rest of the UK, the annual average is £4,834. However, wherever you live there will be lots of different options available.
Home or away?
Many students choose to live at home with their parents to avoid some of the costs of university. Others prefer the freedom that comes with living away from home. Check out the list of benefits that come with each before you make your decision.

Home - Pros
  • Even if you pay rent to your parents, it will be cheaper
  • You may get help with household tasks
  • You don't have to buy so much food
  • You're starting uni from a familiar, secure environment
  • You don't have to deal with flatmate hassle - though you do have to deal with your parents
Home - Cons
  • It's only an option if you're studying near home
  • Your student loan will be reduced, cancelling out some of the saving
  • You'll probably have less freedom
  • You'll have to make an extra effort to be sociable
Away - Pros
  • You'll probably feel part of campus life
  • Living on your own makes you grow up and feel more responsible
  • You'll have your own space with no one telling you what to do
  • You'll learn to live with people with different tastes and attitudes
  • You'll learn how to handle things like household finances
Away - Cons
  • You'll pay more in rent and bills
  • You'll have the hassle of arranging accommodation and moving house
  • Student accommodation can be a target for crime
Halls or houses?
If you do decide to live away from home, most universities offer a choice of accommodation, or you could also choose to rent privately off-campus. Have a think about where you would feel most comfortable.

Halls - Pros
  • You will be living with other students
  • Uni accommodation is often cheaper
  • You may have access to extra services, such as accommodation
  • You don't have to deal with a private landlord
  • Accessible accommodation is often available if you need it
Halls - Cons
  • It might only be available in your first year
  • You might have to pay for things you don't want, such as catered meals
Private - Pros
  • You can choose exactly who you want to live with
  • Your location is more flexible - you can live further out of town if you like
  • Some facitilites, such as the kitchen, might be better
  • The only house rules are the ones that you make yourself!
Private - Cons
  • You may pay more in rent and for some utilities
Many cities also have private student halls. These include some of the benefits of university accommodation, but are rented privately
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