Blog & Insights

What to look for in student accommodation

Is it important to you to be close to university, or are you happy to travel each day? Do you enjoy having a like-minded community close at hand or do you crave solitude? Is it nice to have the odd amenity or are convenience and accessibility simply non-negotiable?

We all have different needs and requirements, and what works well for one may feel inconceivable to another.

Here are 6 key considerations that can help you decide what exactly you are looking for – and what might best fit your needs.

1. Location

If you know you’re the type of student that doesn’t necessarily always leave enough time to get to lectures, or simply enjoys the convenience of everything on your doorstep, then location will be a key consideration. Being situated close to transport and amenities means having an easier life – and more time to enjoy the bits in between.

2. Community feel

Feeling part of a community will form one of the most enjoyable aspects of your time at uni. Living and studying amongst like-minded individuals creates experiences, memories and networking opportunities. Achieving a balance of enough quiet time for study and enough time to let off steam creates the perfect blend of work and social time.

3. Safety first

It’s crucial to feel safe and secure in your new home away from home. Check that your accommodation choice has in-built security measures such as CCTV, 24/7 onsite assistance and secure key entry.

4. Company

Do you prefer your own space? Will you want to share your living space with friends, or maybe meet some new ones? Decide on your preferences and then work out where they can best be accommodated. Don’t feel pressured to just do what your friends might decide, this is your opportunity to make your own choices.

5. Settling in benefits

If you’re keen to get stuck in to university life, check out what is on offer that will help you settle in and get involved. Are there events or activities timetabled that draw the community together? How can you meet fellow students? Also consider what support is available for those times when life is not running as smooth as you might like.

6. Budget

It’s also important to understand what you can actually afford. Read the small print carefully and check out inclusions such as utilities and wi-fi usage to avoid any unwelcome surprises when the bill arrives.


Types of accommodation

Whilst it might seem like there is a minefield of confusing information available, accommodation options are really very simple once you have decided what you want. When you have identified what will best suit your needs, you can then focus in on that particular sector. Let’s break it down.

On campus

Many universities have their own accommodation. These are usually on, or very close to campus and often have university staff members living on site. You can choose from a number of single or share options and even have all your meals catered for. While this option may offer a little less independence, it does bring a built-in social scene with students all from the same university – which also means plenty of distractions are available at all times. Some on-campus options have a few rules and regulations so be sure to check these out too.

Off campus

If you like the idea of being supported by like-minded individuals but would prefer to get away from campus at the end of each day, Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) like Iglu is for you. Blending an offering of independence within a safe and secure environment, PBSAs are perfect for those who enjoy a variety of people alongside a wide choice of amenities and social opportunities. Usually positioned in great locations, PBSAs offer convenience and accessibility across all areas of student life.

Independent rental

If you prefer to be fully independent of home and university, there is the traditional option of renting a house alone, or with friends. This would involve taking responsibility for the rental lease (usually for a minimum of a year) as well as signing up for utility providers such as telephone, internet, electricity and gas.

Share house

For those who prefer a smaller pool of company to enjoy, renting a room in an established share house is also an option. It’s a good way to meet new people and allows full independence without taking on the responsibility of the lease.


Want to learn more?

There is a lot to think about when you are preparing to head to university for the first time, especially if you are also moving away from home. Check out our Iglu Guide for everything you need to know!

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