Student accommodation options explained

For most students, university is their first experience of living away from home. Whether this thrills or terrifies you, it’s a big decision and whether you’re happy in your student accommodation or not will heavily influence your university experience. As with many aspects of modern life, there’s a serious amount of choice and something for everyone. We’re all about making life easier (that’s why our private student accommodation is all-inclusive) so have summarised the main options to help you work out what will suit you best.

University halls

A hugely popular choice with first year students are university halls. These buildings are brilliant for finding friends, and usually offer accommodation near the university. This is a convenient option when starting at university because it streamlines your admin – you’ll only be dealing with the university about all aspects of your studies and living.

Although halls will now provide internet access as standard, facilities can often be a little behind the times, and you’re unlikely to have much choice about your space. Some university halls are catered, whilst others operate as blocks of flats with your own kitchen access.

At most universities, it is unusual to stay in university halls beyond first year, and by this point most people have gained confidence in their new city and are ready to live independently either alone or with friends. If you decide to opt for university halls, be realistic about the amount of time you’ll be spending in your accommodation.

Top tip: if you study best at home and are renting only a bedroom in a catered hall, think about the size and layout of that space for all of the hours you will be spending in it.

Private student accommodation

There is often a wealth of accommodation near universities, but only some of it will have been made with students in mind. A house or block specifically designed and managed for students will always make your life easier!

Private student accommodation can take many forms, but we’re best placed to explain the Almero Student offering. We take pride in offering affordable luxury accommodation created to enhance your university experience and support your student lifestyle.

Our properties are all-inclusive, so your fixed weekly fee covers all bills and utilities, saving you time and giving peace of mind knowing your costs are consistent. Our private student accommodation is all freshly decorated, and we offer studios, flats, rooms and houses to suit whatever living style you (and your friends) are seeking.

Every Almero Student property has regular cleaning services, maintenance teams, modern furnishings, security features, and environmentally friendly accreditation. We hand pick the sites which will give you the best access to university facilities, transport links, and local amenities.

Top tip:private student accommodation should provide ongoing support. Check that any provider offers cleaning, maintenance and a management agent you can contact in the event of any issues.

Private rental

Particularly in later years of study, student house rentals become a popular choice. These offer some autonomy, as you have complete control over who you live with, where, and for how much.

When looking at houses to rent on the private market, remember that they have not been designed specifically for student life. It’s worth asking yourself whether there is enough room for everyone to cook, study, entertain and chill out.

Think about what is most important to you, and check that this aligns with your prospective housemates. Are you about location or luxury interiors? Do you want to be close to the library or the bright lights of the city centre?

Think also about the financial priorities you hold as a group. You’ll have to divide bills and agree heating schedules with these people, so good communication is key! You’ll also probably need a lead tenant to be named on the bills and handle the group’s money. Is there an obvious person for this role, and are they happy to play it?

Look (and smell) carefully at any potential home you view. Any sign of mould or damp should be an immediate NO!

Top tip: ask graduating students about the private student houses they are leaving, early in the term. You might be able to contact landlords or agencies pre-emptively and grab a good property before the big hunt begins!

Family stay

Usually more common with students visiting from overseas institutions, a family stay is where you rent a room from a household in the city. This is essentially a lodger setup, where you become part of a family home. Sometimes this means gaining pastoral support and community, but it can also mean limits on some of your freedoms.

Speak to your university directly about whether this is an option they would suggest, and then follow their advice on where to find a family who might suit you. Often these are also arranged through church or community groups, so if you are part of a network at home it can be good to ask if they have a sister branch in your university city.

Top tip: this is not somebody’s business or investment, but their actual home. Remember to always treat it as such and you could have an extended family in no time!

Whatever you’re looking for, there’s a type of student accommodation which will make you feel at home. Think hard about what matters most, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if any of our team or student ambassadors can help with more information.