Going to university can be a hugely exciting time —both for potential students and for their families. But such a busy time can easily become stressful. Browse our top tips for selecting affordable student accommodation, and you will soon find a comfortable home-from-home that is right for you.

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Have a Budget

This is an essential step for staying organised and ensuring you are in appropriate accommodation from day one. If bills are not included in your rental price, you will need to bear in mind charges for electricity, gas, water, and – if you so choose – Wi-Fi and a TV licence. It can be helpful to have a second opinion on all your financial plans, so be sure to have a friend or family member look over your costs to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Your time as a student will be exciting and productive if you can do some planning beforehand and have the discipline to stick to it.

Location

Choosing a pleasant location such as one with a garden or close to a park may seem tempting at first, but be sure to consider locations that are the most cost-effective in terms of travel. You will spend the majority of your time on the university campus, so a first choice might be accommodation that is close to the site. Planning to travel home a lot? Then perhaps accommodation close to the train station, tube or bus station would be best. Even accommodation that is close to a supermarket or corner shop may help save on travel costs in the long run if you can walk rather than take a taxi or public transport.

Choosing Housemates

There are now some excellent websites to help you advertise for housemates simply by posting some details about yourself, where you hope to live and what types of people you are looking for. Not only is this a great way to share the costs of living away from home, but it is also a quick method for meeting new friends and like-minded people. A good start might be to say what course you are planning to study and the types of people you would like to meet: friendly and tidy are always good qualities. Be aware that all the usual rules of internet safety apply. Be mindful of what personal details you include, and always bring someone with you if you’re meeting a total stranger.

Contracts

Checking and double-checking a contract will be a major part of ensuring your accommodation is truly affordable. Here you can check any hidden costs such as deposits or rent in advance. This may be a time when you feel that you want freedom and independence, but when signing a contract, having a parent or guardian with you can be a major advantage.

By using reputable student accommodation websites and reading their reviews carefully, you are sure to enjoy a happy and positive experience of living in student accommodation.