One of the first decisions you will have to take concerns the type of accommodation you want to live in: university dorms, student houses, a private studio / apartment, or an apartment shared with friends – all of these (and more) are viable options. We will briefly describe the differences between each, so that you know what you’re in for.
As the name suggests, these are classic university-style dorms. You usually share the kitchen, toilet(s), shower(s) (and possibly even your room) with (an)other student(s). You’ll likely throw house parties and meet lots of people and make great friends – the quintessential student lifestyle.
These are private houses with many rooms. You usually rent out a room and share all other facilities with the rest of the people in the house – how many people you share with will depend on the size of the house and the number of facilities. Some student houses have more than one kitchen, as well as a few toilets and bathrooms. Some even have a common living or dining room. They’re usually very social places, and many students opt for them, but bear in mind that you can’t usually choose the people you live with – if you’re lucky, though, you can find student houses offering more than one room, and so you could move in with (a) friend(s).
Independent accommodation refers to properties with their own front door and private facilities (i.e. your own kitchen, bathroom and toilet). Independent accommodation tends to be more expensive than shared housing (although you can find some good deals out there), and while you benefit from having privacy and independence, it’s less social than a student house or university accommodation.
If you already know the people you would like to live with, it’s possible to find a flat with them. This is a great option, as it’s both affordable and social, but start looking early, as it can be hard to find a place that meets all your requirements. 2-4 bedroom apartments are most common, so bear this in mind when deciding how many people you’d like to live with.
In the following sections, you will find more information on obligations, basic rent, service costs and much more.