Halls vs. Homes: Which Should You Choose as a Student?

Once you’ve decided where you’re going to be studying, the next biggest decision if where you’re going to live.

Most (but not all) students will choose to live in traditional halls of residence for their first year, but this isn’t always the case, with some choosing to live in a privately rented house, a purpose-built student flat or even to stay at home. Here a quick guide to some of the main options.


The halls which are managed by your uni are the most popular option for first years, and you can see why.

They’re a great opportunity to make friends, and many people wind up living with their first-year flatmates in the years to come too.

They’re also usually either right in the city center or on the uni campus itself, which means you should be within a handy distance of your lectures (as well as many nights out!).

Finally, halls are often the perfect way to ease yourself into living away from home, as while you will have your own independence, you don’t have to jump straight into dealing with landlords, rent, and bills and many will have on-site catering as well.

Purpose-Built Accommodation

There’s an increasing number of purpose-built student flats popping up in university towns around the UK, which are very similar to uni halls.

They’re often a lot nicer than halls, with more facilities on-site, but you’ll be dealing with a private landlord and rents will probably be higher and you might have to pay your own bills.

Check out this post from LandlordZone for more information on why these purpose-built options are growing in popularity.

Private Housing

The idea of living in halls is enough to put some people off coming to university altogether, especially if having your own space is important to you.

On the other hand, many people have this choice made for them, perhaps if they’ve got into their course through clearing and all of the places at halls have been taken.

Either way, living in a private house definitely has its benefits, especially as you can choose who you’re going to be living with.

According to Mighty Student Living, a lot of their tenants appreciate having their own space, and their rooms are usually a lot more spacious than you would find in uni halls.

On the other hand, there are some negatives, perhaps the biggest of which is that you’re going to be dealing with a landlord, who is notorious for taking advantage of naïve students.

(Here a list of some of the most common problems that people have with student landlord as well as how you can deal with them.)

Living at Home

Obviously, this isn’t an option for everybody, but if you do live at home, you’ll be considerably lowering your costs.

This aside, many people don’t necessarily want to leave the comforts of the home straight away.

One negative is that you might find it harder to make friends with your fellow students, but as well as your lectures and seminars, there are loads of university events and societies and clubs that you can join to try and make friends.

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