Choosing your accommodation for university can be a tricky decision, where you will probably choose between private or university accommodation. In this blog, I’ll give my opinion on living outside student accommodation as well as my opinion on living in accommodation, which I did in my first year.
In my first year, I lived on Manor Park, in the Daphne Jackson accommodation^, where I met many other people in the first year, or foundation, who are now some of my closest friends. The Daphne Jackson block was particularly nice, it was brand new and held a more modern aura compared to some of the other student blocks. I was in a flat of 6, we immediately got along and quickly came to know the people in the block, through joint kitchen pre’s and going clubbing together, immediately falling into a strong university community. Living around all these friends meant that I was rarely by myself, instead always in a social group, on-campus or studying. The benefits of living in student accommodation are the people you could meet there, the security it offers, its direct bus links and proximity to local restaurants/takeouts! (Heart & Soul, PizzaMan etc..) Remember first years are guaranteed a place in university accommodation!
In my second year, I moved out of student accommodation and got a shared house, this meant that rent and bills were cheaper, and I was able to live with my friends through to my third year, which has been immensely fun. Finding a good house will mean searching early on Zoopla, Foxtons and other providers, but don’t be put off if you don’t find the one that suits you straight away! Private accommodations that may interest you could be apartments along Woodbridge Road or further into town; these are great for still meeting university friends and being in student environments but have the comfort of and privacy of being in your own apartment and having town close by.
Since coming to university, I’ve been asked countless times by people coming to university after me for advice on choosing between private accommodation or student accommodation. In short, my answer is it depends on what you would find more comfortable, but it would always be my advice that university accommodation is strongly considered, as I, as well as several people I know, have had an unforgettable experience in ‘’Uni Halls’’. Though, living out has also had its range of benefits.
I’ve made a list of pros and cons in the two options:
Private Accommodation Pro’s:
- Privacy of own apartment
- Own kitchen, or shared between few people
- Often closer to town or grocery stores
Private Accommodation Cons:
- Higher rent.
- Less students living in close vicinity.
- Less considerable neighbours
Student Accommodation Pro’s
- Students will often be put in flats with fellow first years, or if you are in later years, you will be assigned with people who are also beyond a year of their degree progression.
- Student Village security, student safety is paramount and there are security staff present 24/7.
- Close to useful places such as Surrey Sports Park, Tesco or Simply Fresh.
Student Accommodation Cons:
- Can be noisy at night and well into the morning.
- Messy kitchen!
If you have any more questions, feel free to check out the university’s virtual tours (https://my.surrey.ac.uk/news/download-new-virtual-reality-tour-app). Remember to familiarise yourself with the area, and what’s available around it, as this could make the difference in your decision. Good luck!