Choosing student accommodation, especially when it’s your first year at college or university, is an
exciting yet daunting experience. For many, it will be the very first time they are moving away from
home into their own little space for which they are fully responsible so far as looking after the place
and paying rent goes.
With more and more people around the world going into higher education, it is hardly surprising
that the number of student accommodation providers is on the rise. This makes the choice more
Once upon a time, student accommodation was synonymous with dingy damp, small, and old-
fashioned rooms. Whilst these still exist today, especially within older institutions, the options for
students are far more generous and there are digs of all types on offer, from cheap and cheerful box
rooms to luxury modern apartments.
If you’re looking for student accommodation, here’s a very brief quick start guide to get you going.
#1: Choose a Reputable Provider
Thanks to the internet, picking a reputable and well-regarded provider is easy. All you need to do is
have a dig through Google and check out reviews which have been left by former tenants. For
example, there are providers such as Collegiate who offer an impressive portfolio of student properties
across the UK and Europe. They also have brand new accommodation being built in the next year,
for example in Coimbra.
With student accommodation, many providers are largely the same. It is a heavily regulated market
which isn’t quite as cutthroat as traditional private renting, however, exercising a little due diligence
really does go a long way - there are still rogue landlords out there who view students as cash cows
trying to exploit them with sub-par properties and high rents.
#2: Consider Staying at the University
Accommodation managed by the university (“halls of residence”) is the typical place where most
first years stay. Halls of residence come with a great many advantages – not only do they enable you
to find your feet in adult life and adjust to being independent, they are also typically placed on
campus making it easy to crawl out of bed in the morning and to lectures.
We would always recommend that students stay in halls of residence during their first year of study.
If nothing else, it’s a life experience which cannot typically be matched by jumping straight into true
private rented accommodation from the first day.
#3: Try Before You Buy
With student accommodation particularly, it is important that you arrange to go view any properties
that you are interested in. Even if you’re studying abroad, you should definitely check out the city
and accommodation first before committing.
Pictures can be very deceiving, and you can never truly see what you are getting yourself into until
you actually go and visit the property in person. Many students neglect to do this and regret it
further down the line when they find out that their bedroom which looked huge online is actually a
quarter of the size.
Renting student accommodation is both exciting and stressful, however, with some due diligence
and by knowing what you want, the situation is a whole lot easier.