And by that I’m referring to accommodation. One of the things predominately on my mind last year, was whether to apply for a student residence or toĀ rent a room from a house owner.

As a third year student, we are encouraged toĀ opt for one of the university halls during our 1st year abroad. Given that we aren’t even in Southampton yet to view the prospective rooms, this is theĀ safer option. However if oneĀ is understandably wary of student accommodation, they could hire an agent to help review the potential room and gauge how habitable it is. Or you could live dangerously and arrange to view the room just before term begins while bunking in your friends or lecturers place. Yeahnotreally.


Private accommodation, if done properly or through an agent can be quite worthwhile. It is known to be sometimes cheaper in terms of rent, have larger rooms, more private, or simply with easy access to a living room, and If you get really lucky, possibly all of the above. However, normally whileĀ going through an agent, there’s an additional fee to pay and thus should really only be considered for year long contracts. Rushing into a contract is probably one of the worst things you could do while in uni, alongside skipping your lectures till exam period and finding out firsthand what constitutes as karaoke here. These contracts are binding and might result in a forced stay in a house with more holes in the walls than Swiss cheese and a pest infestation worse thanĀ a wheel of casu marzu.Ā Thankfully, the University does have student services that provide legal advice in the worst case scenario and things don’t always end up that dire.

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With student accommodation, the size of your room tends to be based on your budget but each with the same free and easy access to utilities, this includes WiFi and heating. The near constant access to maintenance and the resident saviour(cleaning lady) also played a not small part in my decision to go back to halls for my final year. For anyone that has had experience with messy flatmates, they would know the sweet comfort the cleaning staff bring to your peace of mind, and stomach. I know of friends that would leave the garbage unattended for more than 2 months, with an entire ecosystem possibly developing a culture within. Suffice to say, a deep clean was required, of both the entire kitchen, fridge, and of myself after. On a separate note, the University halls package also includes a bus pass, making it that much easier to explore the town and perhaps more importantly, shop forĀ the bed-sheets, duvet, cooking ware, cutlery, etc, that you would inevitable needĀ to survive on your own.

In the end, It all depends on the type of experience you’re looking for. I would recommend trying both out over term time and summer, before deciding for yourself for the semester to come.

Student or Private

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