Articles and reviews
Art for sale
Castles and Historic Houses
Museums & Attractions
News and Breaking Stories
Places to visit
Quizzes and puzzles (Fun Only)
A guest article by Tim Barlow (contact details below)
As the student house hunting season is rapidly approaching, I will be
writing a variety of articles to help you through the ins and outs of the
accommodation rat race. This article focuses on the various different
accommodation options that will usually be available to you and the pros and
cons of each option. So without further ado:
This is usually the preferred option for first year students. Normally, most
people will opt for halls at first and then move out into the private sector
for the rest of their university career. Only the strong willed (and often
those with a passion for freshers) tend to survive in halls for more than a
year. Most people opting for halls will do so in order to meet people.
Freshers' activities tend to revolve around them, and not being part of one
can make it difficult to make friends.
Each hall will typically have an identity based on the type of people it attracts (e.g. sports fanatics, moshers, yahs etc). Alternative prospectuses (or prospecti? - my Latin fails me) will usually provide a good indication of the halls identity and standard of accommodation. Failing that try reading between the lines in the main prospectus.
Be warned, you may not have the option of being able to keep your room over
the Christmas and Easter Holidays. This can be a major headache,
particularly if you live far away and don't have a car.
Getting a place - Most universities try to guarantee all first years a place
in halls and will frequently send you the relevant documentation
automatically (but not always). If you gain a place through clearing you may
miss the boat so get in touch with your accommodation office at the earliest
opportunity. Always make sure that you confirm your place as soon as you
know which university you are going to.
1.3 University-owned flats/houses
These are frequently reserved for mature and/or foreign students. They can
present quite a cheap option and be in good locations, but as usual there
will be exceptions. You will not have to find others to fill the flat as
your institution should take on this responsibility (you will also have the
added advantage of not being held responsible, should one of your
flat-"mates" leave part the way through the year).
This may also be your favoured option if you are looking for somewhere for a
short course (a few months or half a year). (If you are looking for a short
term let, your accommodation office should be your first port of call)
This article is courtesy of Tim Barlow. Tim has designed a system to allow
students to automatically register property requirements with letting agents
as part of a countrywide site specialising in private sector student