Moving abroad is an exciting experience, but preparing for your stay in another country can feel quite the opposite if you do not plan it well.

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Finding comfortable accommodation while studying at a university is a must. After a long day at your university, a party or aweekend trip, you'll want a safe location to return to that feels like home. No matter what your daily lifestyle looks like, here are some important pointers to keep in mind when looking for the ideal private student accommodation (on a budget, of course!)

Early Bird Catches the Worm

You won't be the only student seeking housing, and the competition for desirable apartments and homes can heat up quickly. Beginning your search early will not only give you the best possible locations, but will also give you time to decide which one fits your preference perfectly. Setting up "push" notifications with the accommodation website is a wise move; it can help you stay on track with any new updates relating to your choice of accommodation. 

Something For Everyone’s Budget

Student housing has many different price points, so there are a wide range of options for everyone who needs a place to stay on any budget. On-campus student housing may be more expensive based on which university you pick. In contrast, off-campus housing is less expensive and the most preferred option among students. Don't worry though; whatever your budget may be, from cityside student accommodation in Birmingham to suburban student accommodation in Bristol, you will find something in your budget if you look in the right places.

Take A Good Look At The Cleanliness

You should be able to unwind in your student accommodation after a hard day of classes without falling ill from dampness and muck. When you go to visit a property - especially if it is a privately rented home - look for mould or filth. When visiting a college dorm, find out if the common areas are cleaned by staff members and make sure that the hygiene requirements are met.

Consider Utility Bills

As a college student, life may get chaotic with innumerable papers that are due, seminars that need to be prepared for, and endless parties to go to. Life can get challenging! Choosing a rental that includes utilities in the rent can make your life much easier. This makes entering the world of adulting go smoother because you have one fewer item to remember on your list. Many off-campus student accommodation providers offer utility bills included in your rent together with many other beneficial services.

Proximity and Commute are Very Important

The benefits of living on campus include being close to your classes, social events and the library for late-night study sessions. However, sometimes campuses can feel a touch disconnected, with residence halls located distant from other facilities. Before booking a room, measure the distance by comparing your on-campus and off-campus student accommodation’s proximity. If you want to spend the majority of your time studying at home, working off-campus or frequently visiting your family, living off-campus can be a great option. Comparing the living option that best matches your lifestyle by weighing the commutes for on-campus and off-campus living is a wise move.

Stay Safe

College is already stressful enough without having to worry about whether you or your belongings are secure enough at home. All reputable student housing will have robust security measures in place. A fire alarm and other fundamentals like burglar alarms are required. Is there staff at the entrance of your student apartment building? Do they use a regular lock and key or a key fob entry system? Decide whether you would feel safe enough to unwind in that area at the end of the day. London is said to be one of the safest places to live in the UK. Picking student accommodation in London will give you a chance to roam the streets freely without having to worry much; even at night, the city is lively and there are always people around. Nevertheless, it wouldn't hurt to play it safe. A fire alarm and other fundamentals, like security camera systems for schools and burglar alarms, are required.

Check Your Flexibility

Some student housing options only offer term-time leases, forcing you to hunt for summer housing elsewhere. On the flip side, there are some sites that lock you into a year-round agreement, which can be constricting if you don't intend to stay over the holidays. Consider whether you want to live on or close to campus all year long or whether you need some flexibility. This will depend on whether you want to go home, on vacation or work outside of town during the summer.

Make Sure It's Legitimate

Every year, students fall into the trap of signing non-binding rental contracts that offer them little protection in the event of a dispute. You must be provided with valid documents to sign from your prospective landlord or the university. Don't rush into signing anything; take the time to carefully read all the terms and have someone you can trust check it out as well. You should trust your instincts if any of the terms make you uneasy or if anything doesn't feel quite right.

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