Back to blog

The Quickfire Guide to How Student Accommodation Works

Are you excited to be leaving home for the first time or are you stressing about the logistics involved? Whether you’re a super organised person who has met all of the application deadlines and are already packing or someone who's slightly more nervous about what to expect, this quickfire guide will help put your mind at ease and help you navigate the world of university student accommodation effortlessly.

What is student accommodation?

Student accommodation is commonly one of two options, large halls of residence or shared houses. Here's a quick look at the difference between the two.

University halls

University halls are typically large blocks of furnished flats housing mainly first-year students. However over recent years they have become increasingly popular with second- and third-year students. Generally, you will have your own bedroom and share living space such as bathrooms and kitchen. However more student halls are now offering en-suite rooms and studios, so if you prefer your own private space, then check what the halls near your university are offering.


Student housing

Student housing are houses which have been specifically designed to house students. Like university halls, you will have your own bedroom and share the communal areas. Unlike student halls, student housing tends to also offer a garden for you to enjoy. However, they generally are not as close to university campuses as university halls.

The best part about university halls is that it is easy to arrange your accommodation, move in and organise. Most halls will have an accommodation office and security on-site, so you will be fully supported. Plus, bills are usually included in the price, so you have nothing else to worry about apart from the endless socialising (and studying, of course).

What will it cost you?

The costs of living within university accommodation vary depending on the local area, amenities, and facilities the accommodation provides and which city you chose to locate to. En-suite and private student halls and private accommodations typically carry a higher price tag, especially if you need to go through a letting agent.

Contact the university accommodation office you are looking into to find the exact costs so you can find the right accommodation for you whilst also enabling yourself to save money.

What will your room be like?

This will depend on which type of room you opt for. An en-suite room will have a private bathroom and a studio will have a small kitchenette. Many universities offer rooms which are slightly on the small side, yet they have everything you need including:

  • Modern furniture,
  • Plenty of storage,
  • A desk set-up,
  • A comfortable bed 

The advantage of a smaller room is less time spent cleaning too!  


Finding the right moving in day

Now, this depends on the sort of person you are. If you are excited to meet all of your new fellow students and want to explore the city before university starts then the weekend before freshers is the best time to move.

However, if you would prefer to get settled in your own space before meeting the students living with you, then moving in earlier might be best for you. Whichever way you think would work best for you, double-check with your university accommodation office on when they can accommodate you.

What to take with you

It can be tempting to pack up your whole room and take everything with you, but be mindful that you may not have that much space for all your possessions. We have created a great guide for everything you need to bring to university, and what can be left behind! 

Internet access and TV

Most student halls will provide the internet and TV licence within your monthly rent, which is very handy for those of us who are not so savvy when it comes to money and financial planning. But always double-check, with your accommodation office before you move in.

Can you stay over the holidays?

If, for whatever reason you choose not to go home over the holiday period, it is best to check with your student accommodation office before you move in whether they allow you to stay put during the holidays. Although years ago it was unheard of, nowadays many universities guarantee accommodation for 365 days a year. You may be required to move into another part of the halls of residence for the university to carry out important maintenance work, but it’s only across the hall! If you are planning to work in Bournemouth over the summer, check out your universities short-term summer let’s, for the perfect option for you.

Making new friends

Living with other students is one of the perks of university life, but it can be challenging when there are many students from all walks of life living together on one campus. But, don't fear, we have some great tips on how you can make life-long new friends and how to live university life to the fullest!

Remember, everyone is in a similar position to you, some people can naturally dissociate their nerves by appearing more outgoing and others take a while to come out of their shells. You are going to be living with these new students for at least a year, so make the most of the situation and use the facilities within your student accommodation to connect and have fun.

But don't forget, if you don't get on with someone, it's only a year and you will make friends in other places, like in your course and at the student union.


The no-no's of student accommodation

As with all accommodations, there are some basic house rules you need to abide by, yet most of them are pretty logical and easy to apply. Here are a few that you may need to be aware of:  

  1. Non-smoking policies - Most halls will not allow smoking within the building due to the increase in fire risk, but many will have an outdoor area for you to use if you need to.
  2. No pets - Not that you will have time to care for a pet with all the studying and socialising you will be doing, but if you get the urge - don't bring a hamster or ferret to halls with you!
  3. Don't cook in your room - we know this sounds logical, but you will be surprised how many people try and do this! So, keep those hot plates, rice cookers and toasters in the kitchen.
  4. Candles and incense sticks are not practical - in fact, they cause fires, so opt for battery-powered tealights for your ambience instead.

But the most important rule is to have fun and don't stress about the small things!

Finding the right university accommodation for you

Now that you have read our quick-fire guide, check out our tips on how to maintain a study/work-life balance to ensure you experience all the fun student life has to offer whilst gaining that all-important degree!

If you are still unsure about which type of university accommodation you would prefer, speak to our team today who will talk you through our room options and the fun experiences living in Bournemouth can bring.