One of the biggest decisions you’ll face as a student is where you’re going to live. At UCB, I’ve noticed a lot of students are in fact local to the area, in which case, living at home makes sense, particularly financially. However, for those who are coming from further afield, and even overseas, you have a tough decision to make. Depending on whether you are a first year this decision can be even more difficult.
I know most of you have already found somewhere to live, but there’s a number of considerations to make for next year and the year after – so read on to find out more!
UCB offers two separate student halls, The Maltings and Cambrian Hall – both are a great choice, particularly for first years. I believe Cambrian Hall is predominantly international students.
The benefits of UCB halls, particularly for first years, is that you can make friends easily! The place is full of students studying at the same university and probably even your course! You’ll make friends and be able to socialise with ease – and they’re local! That means less time travelling and more time in bed! Always a bonus..
There are of course halls outside of UCB too. Often they’re more expensive but you get to mix with a wide range of students from universities across Birmingham, so that’s something to think about. They usually have spaces later on too, so if you’ve left it late and missed out on UCB accommodation they’re a good alternative to turn to.
Most students will move out of halls after their first year and into a shared house. This offers cheaper living coupled with more freedom, but often increases travel. You’ll likely have to get a bus into university which can add to the expense so it’s important to think financially. Houses are great if you group together with friends from your course so you have a close group of people to share your living space with!
Shared houses are also an option as an individual – many people find a room in a house with people they’ve never met before, much like halls. You’ll make friends in the same way as before, but you won’t have the almost community feel around living in halls.
As previously mentioned, if you’re living locally staying at home makes sense financially, but you lose out on the freedom and responsibility of moving out. That means nagging parents..
Living at home and commuting if you’re further afield than the West Midlands could be problematic – I know of people who have travelled from as far as London to study at UCB and it adds hours onto their day on just travel! Probably not wise if you’re coming in more than a couple of days a week.
To summarise, halls, houses and homes all have their positives and negatives and it’s important you weigh up your options carefully before committing to a contract – once you’ve signed the dotted line you’re bound by law to pay for the length of the contract – there’s no moving out after a week if you don’t like it. Don’t jump in to anything right away and you’ll be sure to make the right decision. Happy hunting!
Tip: If you’re looking for a shared house http://www.spareroom.co.uk is a brilliant site to use.