Top 6 Essentials For Choosing Student Accommodation

Starting university is an exciting adventure, but finding the right place to live can feel overwhelming. Your accommodation plays a big role in shaping your student experience. It’s your home base for studying, socializing, and unwinding.

This guide will equip you with the six essential factors to consider when choosing student accommodation, ensuring you find a comfortable and productive environment to thrive throughout your academic journey.

1. Proximity to Campus and Amenities

When choosing student accommodation, one key factor is its proximity to the campus and local amenities. Living close to the educational institution means less time and money spent on commuting, allowing for more study and leisure time. Moreover, nearby amenities such as grocery stores, laundromats, cafes, and libraries enhance daily life by providing convenience and opportunities for socializing. 

For example, accommodations that offer easy access to outdoor recreational activities can greatly contribute to a student’s quality of life. Exploring local trails and natural sites can be a great way to relax and recharge. For those interested in hiking and outdoor adventures around Rexburg, read more about the scenic trails and nature spots that are easily accessible. 

Thus, the ideal student accommodation should not only be close to educational facilities but also well-connected to essential services and leisure activities, ensuring a balanced and enjoyable student life.

2. Affordability

Living away from home often comes with a price tag. But don’t worry, finding affordable student accommodation is absolutely possible. Here’s how to be a budgeting pro:

  • Rent: This is likely your biggest expense. Research average rents in your chosen area and factor in the type of accommodation (studio, shared apartment, etc.). On-campus housing may seem convenient, but compare costs with off-campus options that might offer more space for your money. 
  • Utility Costs: Don’t forget about electricity, water, internet, and other ongoing expenses. Some rentals include utilities in the rent, while others require separate bills. Factor in estimated costs or inquire about average utility charges. 
  • Hidden Charges: Be wary of hidden fees! Read the fine print of tenancy agreements to avoid surprises. Some rentals might have application fees, security deposits, or furniture rental costs. Knowing these things upfront helps you plan your budget more accurately.

Consider additional student discounts. Many internet providers, phone plans, and even transportation services offer special deals for students. Look for these when budgeting to maximize your savings.

3. Safety and Security

Your student accommodation should be a haven that fosters concentration and restful sleep. Here’s how to prioritize safety and security: 

  • Secure Building Features: Ensure the building incorporates controlled access points, ideally equipped with high-security locks, to enhance safety. Key fob entry systems or secure code panels add an extra layer of security compared to traditional keys. Additionally, having well-maintained surveillance cameras in common areas like hallways and lobbies can deter crime and provide valuable footage if needed.
  • Peace of Mind in Your Room: Make sure your room has sturdy deadbolt locks on the doors and secure window locks. Some student apartments offer individual room alarms for added peace of mind.
  • Neighborhood Vibe: Research the crime rates and overall safety of the surrounding area. Check online resources or talk to current residents for their insights. A well-lit street with good pedestrian traffic can make a big difference in feeling safe, especially at night.

With these considerations in mind, you can find an accommodation that prioritizes your safety and well-being, allowing you to fully focus on your academic journey.

4. Community and Social Opportunities

University life isn’t all about textbooks and exams. It’s also about forging friendships and connections that can last a lifetime. Your student accommodation can play a big role in fostering a sense of community and social interaction. 

Consider these factors:

  • Shared Spaces: Look for a place with common areas like lounges, game rooms, or study spaces. These areas provide opportunities to connect with fellow residents, organize study groups, or simply relax and unwind together.
  • Social Events: Some student housing options organize social events or activities. These could be movie nights, game nights, or even barbecues. Participating in these events is a great way to break the ice and meet new people with similar interests.
  • Resident Mix: A diverse mix of residents can broaden your horizons and expose you to different cultures and backgrounds. This can be a valuable learning experience outside of the classroom.

Living among peers offers a strong support network for both academic collaboration and personal growth. This transforms the student housing experience into more than just a place to live; it becomes a foundation for building lasting relationships and a deep sense of belonging.

5. Facilities and Amenities

The space you live in as a student should facilitate both your studies and relaxation time. 

  • The Essentials: Make sure laundry facilities are conveniently located within the building or complex. Having an in-unit washer and dryer is a plus. A clean and well-equipped communal kitchen is essential for preparing meals and saving money on eating out.
  • Study Haven: Dedicated study spaces are a game-changer, especially during exam periods. Look for quiet areas with comfortable furniture, good lighting, and ideally, noise-canceling features if possible.
  • Staying Connected: High-speed Wi-Fi is a non-negotiable these days. Check the internet service provider (ISP) and advertised speeds to ensure smooth online learning, research, and video calls.
  • Beyond the Books: Don’t forget about downtime. Look for amenities that cater to your interests. A fitness center can help you stay active and relieve stress. A game room or outdoor space provides a place to unwind and socialize with friends between classes.

Consider your lifestyle and prioritize the facilities and amenities that will contribute most to your academic success and overall well-being throughout the semester.

6. Room Options and Flexibility

Student accommodation varies significantly in quality and amenities offered. This is where your personality and study habits come in. Do you crave complete privacy or enjoy the buzz of shared living?

If you’re on a budget or enjoy socializing, consider a shared apartment with individual bedrooms. This can be a great way to meet new people and split the costs of rent and utilities. However, if you value peace and quiet for studying, a private studio apartment might be the better choice. 

Lease terms can also vary depending on the accommodation type. On-campus housing often locks you into a full academic year contract. Off-campus options might offer more flexibility with shorter lease terms or month-to-month options. Consider your academic plans and potential internship opportunities that might require adjustments to your living situation.

The key is to find a room option and lease term that aligns with your needs and preferences for a smooth and stress-free academic year.

Finding Your Home Base for Success

Remember, the perfect student accommodation isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Prioritize the aspects that matter most to you, whether it’s a budget-friendly option close to campus, a lively community atmosphere, or a quiet space for dedicated study sessions. With careful consideration and a little research, you’ll find the ideal home base that empowers you to excel in your studies and create lasting memories throughout your university experience.