Going to university – it’s not only choosing the place and course, but also choosing accommodation. I know how stressful this can be so thought I should try to help you with pieces of advice based on my own experience?
Last year I decided to stay at one of UCB student halls: The Maltings. For me, accommodation was a big part of my life as a student on my first year. It was where I met most of my friends, where I enjoyed parties and snow fights, where I laughed and lived the most amazing experiences.
If you’re coming for your first year I totally advise you to choose student accommodation, as it’s a unique experience. You get to meet people from other courses and backgrounds only to find that they are just like you – nervous with assignments and deadlines, maybe homesick but excited for their new chapter in life. Besides the ones mentioned, there’s one PRECIOUS advantage for students: all bills included! Electricity, water, wi-fi… you don’t have to worry about it at the end of the month or even stretch your budget a little bit because a bill was higher than you expected. Instead, you’ll just pay the same amount every time.
But, if you’re not the kind of person that fancies living in halls you have probably considered moving into private accommodation. And although I do fancy that, I’ve decided to say goodbye to The Maltings and rent my own home! While I was still in student accommodation, besides making friends and going to parties I also fell in love. So my boyfriend and I decided to live together in this second year and even though I will miss the maltings very much, it’s also amazing to have my own apartment that I can decorate in my own way. I’m still living in the city centre and close to all amenities as I was before (and paying a little bit less), so don’t think that to live in private accommodation that has a fair price you need to move far away from the city.
Whether you want to live alone or with someone else there are two websites that I consider to be the most useful and complete ones when searching for a house:
- Rightmove – in this website you will find advertised a huge number of houses from different estate agencies. You can filter your search in terms of area, price range, number of bedrooms and property type. Houses are added almost everyday and if you decide you want to book a viewing you just have to e-mail or call the estate agency responsible for the place you’re interested in.
- Zoopla – in my opinion, this website is not as good as Rightmove just because it has fewer houses advertised and it’s not as easy to use. However, one great thing that Zoopla has is that it can estimate how much the total cost per month will be by combining the rent and the utility bills on the houses advertised.
My advice would be to use both! Normally estate agencies advertise on more than one website, so if you find your perfect house on Rightmove and would like to know how much it would cost you with bills just search for it on Zoopla and you’ll probably find it.
If neither student halls or living alone/with a friend is for you and what you really want is to find a room in a flatshare than that’s possible too! I’ve done some research for you and found the best websites where you can look for rooms according to your preferences. You can place an advert yourself or even find another person who is also looking for a room and might want to try and find a house with you.
So here are my five chosen sites:
Go ahead and do a little digging on each website to try and find the perfect place for you to live. Happy searching!