Advantages Guides both prospective and returning students on what factors to consider in choosing both on and off- campus accommodation
Disadvantages Not relevant to all unis, but is to most
It is difficult to write this opinion from a general perspective, as choosing and applying for accommodation varies so greatly between universities. I am about to start my 4th and final year at Warwick University, where I have lived both on and off campus. Based on my experiences, I shall try to give prospective and returning university students some kind of general idea of what to look out for when selecting accommodation.For some students the main factor involved in their choice of accommodation will inevitably be the cost. On one hand, cost may not be an object, especially if your parents are funding you, but there are still certain factors I would advise you to take into account. These factors will apply to all other students for whom the most expensive residences may be ruled out. Warwick has a great choice of on-campus accommodation to choose from. Prices and rental periods vary widely, allowing for maximum student choice as to where they live. This is pretty much the same at all campus universities, so allow me to explain what the factors are that one should consider.
*Duration of the rent
This is quite an important factor that is often overlooked. A typical university year is 3 terms of 10 weeks, ie. 30 weeks. Most residences are available for only this period of time. Students will often return home for the holidays, but those that have nowhere to go are stuck if they have only chosen a 30 week residence. In the 1st year this is less of a problem, but what about when your degree starts getting real important? You may want to stay around in the holidays (especially at Easter) to revise and write essays, something that you can't do with just a 30 week let. So, if that bothers you, narrow your choice of accommodation to those available for 39 weeks.
* Bathroom Facilities
This is closely linked to the factor above. You must consider factors like: Can I live without an en-suite bathroom? Do I mind sharing a bathroom with 2, 4, 8 other people? Must there be a bath and/or shower? I had en-suite in my 1st year, but must share a bathroom with a bloke I've never met before next year, and am not looking forward to that experience!
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