Home or halls?
When you start university you’ll need to decide whether to stay living at home and commute to uni, or move away into halls on campus or private accommodation. It’s a personal choice and there’s no right or wrong answer; some people choose to stay at home to save money, or because they know they’ll miss their family too much. Others can’t wait for three years of independence! We thought we’d give you a helping hand by asking our students about their experiences.
University student halls
- Usually close to the university
- You don’t need to worry about bills or letting agents
- You can’t choose who you live with
- You are not always guaranteed the accommodation you want
There was a real sense of community, and the social aspect of university life was really well organised. I was the only one of my friends not in halls as I lived locally, but I could see how comfortable they all felt.
Move out! Once you've picked your university and chosen your course move out of home, go learn something about yourself, stand on your own two feet, be scared and struggle sometimes, but grow as a person, mature, and enjoy it while it lasts!
To get a better idea of what it is like in student halls read our answers to the top five questions students moving into halls asked before they arrived.
Private student halls
- Similar to those managed by the university except that they are managed by a private company
- Usually in good locations with modern facilities
- Sometimes more expensive than the halls provided by universities
- Check what is included in the rent, you might need to pay extra for things like internet
I didn't live on campus and I have been helped with my fees by family, as juggling studying, work and hospital appointments (I have a long term health condition) would not have been manageable for me.
With parents / family
- Can save you a lot of money on rent
- You might not have to worry about cooking dinner and doing your washing
- More difficult to meet fellow students
- You may have to travel further to campus
I’d have to say the best thing about living at home is my bank account! It’s allowed me to save my student finance, as I can keep my job here and use that for living expenses. Also, saving all that money allowed me to buy a car! So instead of paying ridiculous rent prices I get to have a car and money in my pocket for social activities.
The best thing about living at home is simply the fact that I don't have to suffer from home sickness, because my family are always around. Although there's no doubt that they can be a pain sometimes! However, I am always thankful that I am given the opportunity to live in my own comfort zone at home and able to commute every day. And let's not forget the hot cooked food every night! Living at home has also saved me a lot of money which would otherwise be spent on accommodation.
Middlesex was local to me, but not so local that it was on my doorstep! I could live at home and travel to and from university quickly, while still feeling like I was exploring somewhere new.
With friends / private accommodation
- Means that you can live wherever you like
- You can choose who you share with
- Have to work out paying your own bills and dealing with a landlord or letting agency
- The costs can add up, even sharing can be more expensive than in university halls
I live in a rented property with friends, and it’s cheaper and more relaxed than halls. I would suggest living on campus for the first year, to find the mates you’ll move in with the following year.
I live in my own flat. I’m originally from the East Midlands so it was quite a far move, but I wanted to enjoy the experience of living somewhere unknown and discovering everything all over again. I lived in university accommodation for my first year, so that was a good safety net as everything was organised for me. Some people like their home comforts and want to keep their friends close, and that’s fine. Others like the idea of going off exploring somewhere new, and that’s good too. It’s all preference. But don’t be scared about moving away from home; if you can get picked up by your parents or get a train home within a few hours, you could go home for the weekend easily, so you’re never actually that far away.