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Leicester Student Accommodation At A Glance

A lot of first-year students discover that the halls of residence are the perfect base for meeting friends and living near campus. However, there are many other options available especially when you are immersed in the university experience

Student housing at a glance

You may choose to live in halls, private accommodations or in your own your home.
When you’re deciding on where you’ll reside, seek opinions from friends and family and make sure you attend the events for open days on accommodation.
Carefully research the costs and benefits of each option before making a decision.
Start your accommodation application once you’ve accepted a place on an educational course.

Discover your options

Heidi Cooper-Hind who is director of student experience and employability for the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) says, ‘Deciding where you are going to be based is among the most exciting and significant choices you’ll make while at university.’

In general, there are four main options. You can live:

in accommodation managed by universities (typically in halls of residence)
in private halls that are owned by the residence
together with other students in a private rented apartment or house
at at home.

If you choose to take advantage of your Leicester uni accommodation, you’ll usually be able to start your accommodation application once you’ve accepted a proposal for a course – but consult your university for details of the process.

It’s always smart to conduct some investigation to make sure you are doing your homework,’ suggests Claire Henshaw, accommodation services team head in the University of Northampton. You should begin this at the earliest possible time, as many universities work according to a first come, second served basis, and the most popular rooms can sell out fast.

“We promote the dates on which application deadlines are announced and provide “how-to” instructions as well. The website of the university is a excellent resource to find information and make sure you’re well-informed,’ says Claire.

You can also get in touch with your university’s accommodation office, and never be afraid to ask questions in the event of something you’re not sure about.

The open days at the university accommodation provide an opportunity to meet with staff and discover what’s on offer. Claire suggests that even if you can’t make it in person, do look up the university’s site as they will likely contain descriptions, photos flooring layouts, floor plans, and even interactive tours.

Halls of residence

“Living in halls of residency at a university lets you become fully immersed in the student community from the very beginning,’ says Rebecca O’Hare, assistant director of residential life and accommodation office in Leeds University. University of Leeds.

Moving away from your home is a huge transition, but it’s crucial to keep in mind that most of your classmates will be in a similar position and living in a university housing will allow you to have easier access support from campus and residence teams.’

To make it clear, halls of residence are large blocks of flats that house hundreds of students. Each has separate bedrooms with furniture set in corridors, or apartments that have an open kitchen. In some cases bathrooms are also shared, however en-suite bedrooms are becoming more frequent.

They are usually run by the university, or in partnership with a private firm The quality is generally good, as they are required to adhere to standards set by the nation. Privately owned residence halls offer all the benefits of halls, however they are not connected to the university. You reserve a room directly with the specific halls that you’re looking for – they usually have easy online booking systems.

Most universities will guarantee a space in halls for first-year full-time postgraduates from abroad, as long as you meet the deadlines for applications. But, this can vary between institutions – for example it is possible that you are not eligible for admission if you’ve been through Clearing.

Halls are particularly popular with new students who are living in a different location for the first time, says Heidi. In most cases, bills are included which means you’ll know precisely the amount you’re budgeting It’s easy to get your room by applying directly to the university, usually online.’

Because they’re usually located within or near the campus or within driving distance living in halls places you in the middle of student life. It’s an excellent way to make friends and take part in social activities. While your bedroom may be small, all the amenities you require (for instance, a laundrette) are generally available on the premises, and the university accommodation team is on hand with regards to maintenance.

Some universities offer accommodation that is catered. It’s worth looking into in case you aren’t sure or capable of cooking on your own, but it could increase the cost of renting.

However, if you’re looking for the ease of living in halls it is possible that you will end up paying more than you would in a private residence or apartment. It isn’t possible to choose which people you reside with – which could make it difficult If you’re not a good fit with others in your flat and there’s a lot happening halls aren’t the ideal option for you if are looking for peace and quiet.

Keep in mind that you’ll be required to purchase your own TV licence. Heidi adds, ‘Remember that you’ll be accountable for any damage that occurs in your halls. This means you’ll have to pay for repairs.’

To find out how much you’ll be paying for rent, visit your university’s site, as rent prices can vary significantly depending on location and facilities.

To maximize your time in student accommodation, Rebecca advises students to connect with their flatmates via the residence Facebook pages during the week before welcoming week, attend events both on campus and in halls, and engage with residence life programmes at your university.

Privately rented accommodation

You could prefer to live in a privately-rented house, which usually accommodates around 4 or 5 people. This is the path followed by most students from the second year however, there are some first years.

One advantage is being able to decide who you’d like to reside with (for second-year students this usually involves moving in with a group of classmates) and this makes more of a difference.

Another benefit will be that there is more choice over where to live. The location is further away from the campus, but good transport connections, and many bars, shops and eateries serve the popular student areas of many university cities.

The university accommodation office will assist you in finding houses. It’s recommended to look at the houses you are thinking about before committing”, advises Heidi, to ensure everything’s in order. The hotel staff will offer a lot of helpful advice on what to look for and the best questions to ask during viewings, for example.

There are some other important points to keep in mind. In general, rent is less expensive than halls, but there are additional costs to pay that,’ says Heidi. It’s your responsibility to arrange your payment to cover things like the cost of utilities, Wi-Fi connectivity as well as insurance for contents and a TV licence. But remember, when every person in your home is a full-time student, you don’t need to pay council taxes.

While you’re being careful about your budget It is essential to be confident in contacting your landlord or letting agent in order to deal with any issues or to arrange repairs. Be sure to review and comprehend the terms of your lease and be aware of your rights as a tenant.

For example, Heidi explains that landlords are required to utilize a tenancy deposits protection plan, and the local authority can insist on repairs in the event that your landlord doesn’t maintain reasonable standards.

Living at home

For many people, getting away from home and the feeling of freedom which it provides – is among the primary attractions of going to university.

But if you’ve chosen to go to school locally, living at home is an ideal option. It can save costs on rent and expenses, is convenient, and it will help you avoid the hassle of leaving home to live in a new area with different people.

But you’ll be away from the student experience, and it can be difficult to find friends from the social scene of halls or a student house. In order to make it work you must be involved in activities such as sports clubs and societies.

Making your decision

This isn’t an easy choice to make, so get advice from any and all sources. Family and friends who’ve gone to university previously can be a great starting point.

AUB is among them. AUB will invite you to attend applicant days ahead of the start of the term. You can network with other students as well as have a look at some of the rental properties available,’ Heidi says.

Claire advises you not to hesitate to get in touch with the campus staff with any concerns about halls of residence or private accommodation. There is more information at University of Northampton – Our Accommodation.

In the meantime, it’s never too late to begin planning financially. If you plan to reside in halls or private accommodations while you study or working, you’ll need to save some money in order to save,’ says Claire. The majority of universities will require for an upfront rent deposit or payment when you apply for housing.

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