Making the right choice of accommodation can make all the difference to your new life as a student.
Get it right and your university or college life will be so much happier. Get it wrong and things can be much harder.
As you wait for those all-important exam results later this summer, here are our ten top tips to help you make that right choice:
- Cost is going to play its part in any decision you make – and that will remain the case throughout your university career. No doubt you’ve got a budget you are working to, so the accommodation needs to meet that financial figure.
- The value of your student loan will determine how much you can afford. Do your sums right at the start to avoid problems later down the line. Don’t get overstretched
- However, there is much more to making the right choice than looking at how much rent you have to fork out each month. The accommodation has to be right for you.
- So make sure cost isn’t the only thing you are taking into account. This is going to be your new home, it has to suit and meet your needs. You have to be happy and comfortable with the choice you make as you’re going to spend a lot of time here.
- There are numerous questions you need ask, so putting together your own checklist is a good idea. Sit down and think what’s important to you when it comes to accommodation and use that list to gauge and compare what’s on offer.
- It pays to visit places in person so you can easily ask the right questions, such as are all the bills included in the price? You’ll also get a feel of the place by simply walking around. Ask the people who are already living there how they find the accommodation.
- Location is important. It can help keep the bills down and add to the attractiveness of an address.Portergate’s Riverside House, for instance, is within walking distance of the University of Salford, just minutes away. It also has easy access to Manchester city centre and all it offers. Our new Friargate Court accommodation, which opens its doors later this year, is also minutes from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) campus in Preston. It’s also in the heart of the university quarter and handily place for the city centre.
- Take a good, close look at the kitchens, and the bathroom facilities. Are they fit for purpose? Are you happy with them?
- Other important questions to consider include: is there a meeting area? What about the extras? Is there broadband, and again is it part of the price? What’s the area around the accommodation like? How are the transport links?
- Also, are there laundry facilities onsite? What level of security is in place? Feeling safe and secure is important. Taking a tour and asking the students who are already living there can also help you get a feel of whether the accommodation is going to be right for you.
And here’s our important message to parents: You need to be aware the choice of accommodation is not just your decision. Your child also has to be happy that the accommodation is going to be their home. The atmosphere has to be right for them.
As we’ve said early security is another important consideration. You want your youngster to feel safe in their new home.
Portergate’s acclaimed Riverside House accommodation in Salford has a boutique feel, with modern stylish kitchens and bathrooms. Each apartment includes fully-furnished living space and fitted kitchen complete with appliances. Bedrooms are also fully furnished and there is broadband internet.
Gates, security lighting, perimeter fencing and CCTV help our staff manage 24 hour security. We have a day time Accommodation Manager, concierge, on-site maintenance and 24 hour security. For personal security, all rooms are accessed by swipe card.
Our new Preston Friargate Court accommodation is being created to the same exacting standards. And again, quality of service and support for our students is at the heart of everything we offer – and deliver.