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Choosing Your Accommodation

Smrithi Kumar Student Life

Yay! You have got your offer letter and you are preparing to move to Newcastle for a fresh start at university. I am sure you want your room away from home to be as similar to your own bedroom at home so that you adapt very quickly and easily. That essentially means you need a sense of comfort and familiarity.

At Northumbria, you’ll be spoilt for choice as you have over 5,000 bedrooms to choose from. There are different accommodation facilities for every taste and budget. These rooms are very close to the main university campus or have good transport facilities all day long to ensure you go to and from uni without any hassle.

All University Accommodation includes fast 100 MB Broadband and utility bills. You can get a detailed list of all the university accommodation and their facilities on the Accommodation webpages.

Here are a few tips and factors you need to consider while booking your room:

Accommodation My Room

1. Location

  • Check where your course faculty is situated at Northumbria University and book a room in an accommodation that is nearby. The university in itself is quite extensive with the City East and City West campuses and you want to save those precious minutes in the morning so that you can get to class quickly and be in on time. You should technically be out of bed and in uni in under 5 minutes. This is a blessing especially in the colder months when you dread that long walk to class.
  • You might also want to consider booking an accommodation which has a supermarket nearby so that you could go any time to satiate those pangs of hunger that suddenly develop while you are working on an essay.
  • If you are a fitness freak or play a lot of sports, you might consider booking a room closer to Sport Central at university or close to a gym.

2. Budget

  • As students we all live on tight budgets and obviously some accommodation is cheaper than others. So do thorough research so that you get what you are looking for at the best deals.
  • Other than university accommodation there are many student letting services also which help you find cheap accommodation. These are obviously a little further away from university but would easily fit into your budget. But, I would recommend staying in University accommodation for the first year and then moving out after you are familiar with the area and know how to get the best deal. In year two you could even move into a house with your course mates.
  • Do not forget the number of weeks your accommodation contract lasts for. Some contracts are for a longer number of weeks and hence you will have to pay more even after university shuts for summer break so look for shorter contracts so that you don’t have to pay for those extra months.
  • On the other hand, if you are coming to University before the contract starts or staying on after it ends you can get the contract extended by talking to the reception desk or emailing the said contract provider.

3. Catered vs Uncatered

Do you like cooking food?

Whatever your answer is, do consider the fact that while at university you have multiple things to do and healthy eating might not seem like a priority. So it might be better if you sign up for catered halls, so that you don’t have to worry about cooking the right kind of food However, for people like me who love cooking and trying new things uncatered halls are the cheaper and better alternative.

4. Types of Room

I remember when I was looking for accommodation I was confused about what these terms meant. All of them are different and have their pros and cons.

Halls:

  • The best part about living in halls is the socialising and the number of people you get to know. As all of you in one hall share a couple of bathrooms and a kitchen, you are bound to bump into each other and that’s how conversations start and friendships begin.
  • Some halls are catered and if they are may only have small kitchens, some people don’t prefer this.
  • Some of you may not like the idea of sharing three bathrooms among ten people as at times it gets difficult if you are running late for university and all the washrooms are occupied.

Flats:

  • Flats give your more privacy and you have a bigger kitchen with more cabinet and fridge space to stock up! You end up forming close bonds with your flatmates and may regularly have pizza and movie nights in the kitchens which are quite large with sofas.
  • Flats can either have en-suite rooms in which case you have your very own wash-room as is the case with accommodations like Camden Court, Manor Bank, and New Bridge Street or they can have common bathrooms, maybe 2 bathrooms shared among 7 flatmates as is the case with Stephenson or Lovaine Flats.

Studios:

  • These are much more expensive with extra facilities like a double bed and your own private mini kitchen.

5. Facilities:

Some of Northumbria’s accommodation have common rooms and pool tables etc. which can help you with socialising and enjoying nights in. Some even have basketball courts, gym and sport facilities which you might want to look into. Accommodations have laundry facilities as well.

I hope this article helps you make a well informed choice and enjoy your stay while at university.

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