Private student accommodation vs university halls

Student packing for university

Student halls of residence are always the first port of call for students starting their university experience. Usually, first years choose university halls; however, private halls are also commonly used for international student or postgraduate accommodation.

In this article, we look at the different private accommodation options available to students and compare them to the typical university hall accommodation. We also explore what to look at when choosing student accommodation and how renting with Mansion Student could be an excellent option if you want to live somewhere more comfortable than university halls during your studies.

Accommodation options for students

University halls are a fantastic accommodation option for first-year students looking for a social living experience when moving away from home. Since first-years may not have formed any friendships before arriving in a new city, university accommodation is an excellent option for making friends from day one. In university halls, you will have your private room. Still, you will share communal areas, including a bathroom, kitchen space and a living/social area, and you could share with as many as fourteen other students, which can be exciting or quite daunting. Another type of university-managed accommodation is private halls; these are slightly different to halls of residence. International and postgraduate students often choose private halls since there are options for quieter and more private living.

Student on laptop with mum and dadOn the other hand, private sector accommodation differs from halls of residence and private halls altogether. This purpose-built student accommodation can offer a greater variety of accommodation options, including a single occupancy or shared flat.

Some students, especially second and third years, choose to live in student housing once they leave student halls.

Student halls

University accommodation is an affordable and straightforward choice for first-year students seeking to socialise and meet new people. You will be automatically directed to rent halls of residence accommodation when you enrol for your first year of university. Student halls are usually located near one another, and many students will live in one building which can be great for socialising. Additionally, you may choose a catered hall to take the pressure off at mealtimes. You may be able to select an en-suite bathroom for greater privacy, although it is not always guaranteed.

Student halls are not perfect for everyone; student rooms are often smaller and are sometimes less modern than private accommodation; many also only offer a single bed. Additionally, you will have no choice on who you live with or how many people you live with.

Why choose student halls

Student halls are ideal for students who want to experience all that university life offers, including sharing their first home away from home with many other students. You may also prefer living in a student village with your friends just around the corner. Of course, rent for student halls is usually more affordable for first-year students. Moreover, they are a hassle-free accommodation option since your university generally handles everything when you enrol.

Student packing for university

Private accommodation

Private accommodation allows you to either live alone or with others. However, the main advantage is that purpose-built student accommodation often has higher quality amenities giving you more space and comfort than student halls. These buildings are usually centrally located and nearby to your campus. You can guarantee the type of room you require, for example, en-suite, studio or apartment. Bills are usually included in private accommodation, so you can easily budget each month. Finally, private rented accommodation offers greater privacy and security compared to university halls.

While private accommodation has many advantages, it can be more expensive than accommodation offered by your university. You will need to take your accommodation search into your own hands. There is always the option of shared living or a studio flat which can be much more cost-effective for students looking to save on living costs.

Why choose private student accommodation?

Private student accommodation may be the perfect option for students looking for greater assurance. There is a greater variety of living options; you can choose either shared or solo living, an en-suite or shared bathroom, a one-bed apartment, or a studio flat. If you are looking for comfort in your student accommodation, Mansion Student has a ¾-sized or double bed in each room, high-speed WiFi and in-building amenities such as cinema rooms, common rooms and games rooms.

Student accommodation bed and deskPrivate accommodation is usually situated in the city centre, and near campus buildings, so it can often be more convenient for students, especially those at city campus universities.

Renting privately with Mansion Student

If you think that private student accommodation is the right fit for you, then Mansion Student might be able to offer you the perfect accommodation. We can help you find the right property, from booking a viewing to moving in. Our purpose-built student accommodation can be found in the heart of many major university cities in the United Kingdom, including Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield. Since our buildings are central, it’s easy to commute to university or visit the city centre during the day or night.

We offer accommodation to all students, including undergraduates, postgraduates and international students. Whether you choose shared accommodation or solo living, we have plenty of apartment options, including private, spacious and en-suite rooms. You can even take advantage of our onsite amenities, including study spaces, cinema rooms, and games rooms for socialising with other residents and friends.

If you still can’t decide whether to rent halls of residence or private accommodation as an undergraduate, read our advice on finding undergraduate accommodation.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have to live in student accommodation?

You do not need to live in student accommodation; it’s possible to live at home or in private residential housing, even as a first-year student; you can even choose to live with non-students, although this may complicate council tax bills.

How much does uni accommodation cost?

The typical student based in the UK will pay around £166 per week for accommodation on average. However, university accommodation costs can vary significantly based on the kind of accommodation you wish to live in and where you attend university. Major cities such as London can be more expensive than cities such as Sheffield or Nottingham. Whether bills and meals are included can also affect how much you pay.

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