Is it better to live on campus or off campus in the UK?
Moving to university can be a daunting prospect. It might be the first time you’ve ever lived away from home and for some students, it could be your first time in a new country. With lots already to consider, you’re also wondering whether it’s better to live on or off campus. Luckily for you, we’re here to help you understand the differences between the two. In the blog post below, we outline some of the main pros and cons of each option and we paint a picture of what life might look like in each choice.
Pros and Cons of Living On Campus
There’s no such thing as a commute when you live on campus. Here, you’re right in the heart of the action with everything from the library to the student bar within walking distance. It’s also ideal for cutting down travel costs.
Living on campus means your social life will be on tap. You and your fellow students are all in the same boat and you therefore have plenty of opportunities to meet lots of people and make friends. In this environment, it’s also easy to cook, study and party together.
On campus accommodation blocks tend to be very secure. You’ll often find the buildings are fitted with CCTV, which is monitored by the building’s staff. Halls buildings often have a 24/7 reception desk so someone is always keeping an eye on the comings and goings.
Living in a dorm means you won’t have to worry about extra bill costs. Everything is included in your rent.
Some student accommodation options provide student meals. This is another great way of meeting people plus it takes the stress out of doing a supermarket shop and cooking for yourself.
Living on campus isn’t necessarily cheaper and the quality of accommodation isn’t always as good as in private rentals so it’s good to think about whether this aligns with your budget.
You might be living for conveience for lectures but where is your social life and your part-time job? If you don’t live close to where you need to be most of the time, you might end up with long walks or expensive commutes.
It can be hard to switch off if you’re constantly around people from your course, the library on your doorstep and the feeling of being claustrophobic.
Are you really experiencing the city?
You chose to study at your uni for a reason and this probably had a lot to do with the city it is in so are you really experiencing it fully if you’re on campus?
Pros and Cons of Living Off Campus
Living off campus means you’re free to roam. You can choose where you want to live, giving you more opportunity to explore the city you choose to study in. You also have more freedom and flexibility, particularly around meal times and having visitors to stay.
You can find very affordable accommodation options off campus and often you’ll find a flat or house that will be cheaper than living on campus. Plus most private halls and landlords include bills which will enable you to budget far easier.
Living off-campus can be more beneficial to your studies as there will be fewer distractions.
Depending on whether you choose to live with other students or not, living off-campus offers more privacy than living in halls.
Living off-campus means you can choose who to live with and this could mean students from different year groups or even different universities.
Whichever way you look at it, living off-campus means you need to get to lectures somehow. Consider though you may not actually need to be on-campus very often.
Dealing with ‘stuff’
There is more admin involved in renting privately – which will be less onerous if you rent private halls.
Be mindful of year-long leases. If your contract starts in June, it can be expensive to pay rent during the summer months when you’re likely to be living at home or travelling. Most private halls offer shorter leases though.
How to Make the Decision
It’s not an easy decision so it’s good to ask around for advice. Speak to friends and family who’ve been to university for their takes and you can also find student-run forums online.
Why not go and see the accommodation options for yourself? We would recommend going to university open days so you can see exactly what you would get living on campus and whilst you’re there, book a viewing for private halls and rentals too.
Also consider what’s important to you and write up your own pros and cons list. You might also want to do a side-by-side comparison of all of the expenses involved and weigh it up alongside your budget.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you and this marks an exciting step towards your life at university. If you’re still unsure Project Student is available to answer any questions you may have you can contact our friendly team either by calling on +44 (0)333 050 0099 or find out more here
Posted on February 2, 2023