Preparing to move off campus
Whilst most Freshers tend to live in halls during their first year at university, it’s common practice to move out of halls and into a student house when you reach your second year.
It’s surprising how quickly conversations turn to where you’ll be living next year, especially when you’ve only been at university for a relatively short space of time and feel like you’re only just getting to know everyone.
Thing is, student houses are in demand – especially the good ones – so it’s important to start thinking about it sooner rather than later so you’re not left struggling to find a house – or housemates – at the eleventh hour.
Who will you be living with?
Although you’re still in your first semester, you’ll hopefully have a vague idea at least of who you’d like to share with, particularly if you’ve made good friends with your current flatmates or your fellow course members are a friendly bunch.
When I moved off campus in my second year, I ended up living with two of my current flatmates who I’d bonded with during the first few week. Whilst we were a relatively small group, I know others who moved into larger houses with mixed groups of around 8-10 people so there are different options which will suit your particular friendship group.
Whilst some groups will form quite naturally, for others it may not happen this way but don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to stay in halls all by yourself or move into a tiny bedsit for one.
Check out noticeboards in the Student Union, your uni Facebook pages or dedicated online forums such as The Student Room – it’s quite common for other students to be on the lookout for people to live with, particularly if they are keen to secure a great house but don’t have enough people to fill all the rooms.
Searching for accommodation
Get together with your future housemates and make a list of everything you are looking for from your accommodation. Don’t forget that you’re on a budget so set realistic expectations!
The most important things will be:
- Location – is it within walking distance from the University/are there good transport links?
- Cost – How much will you need to pay per week/month? Are bills included or will you need to pay these on top? Is a deposit required?
- Safety – Is the property well maintained? Can the landlord provide all the relevant safety certificates?
- Space – Is there enough space for everyone to live comfortably? What are the communal areas like?
Searching for accommodation off-campus can be daunting and can seem chaotic when everyone is trying to secure the best houses.
The advantage of searching in a group is that you can share the responsibility – splitting up and viewing properties separately will save you time, but you’ll need to trust that everyone will look out for the needs of others!
A good starting point for your search is the Residential Life team on campus as well as the Students’ Union. They aren’t just there to assist students living on-campus, they’ll be able to support your move off-campus too.
The Residential Life and Campus team manage an online search, Studentpad, where you can search for available properties in and around the local area.
In December or January the Students’ Union usually run an accommodation fair where you’ll get the chance to meet private landlords and find out more about the properties that are available.
What if I want to stay on campus?
Whilst most students tend to live off-campus in their second and third years, it is still possible to live on campus as long as there is availability. After all there are many advantages to living on campus such as convenience i.e. the ability to roll out of bed ten minutes before a 9am lecture, the sense of community and 24/7 security.
Halls tend to be reserved for first year students or international students but if there are still rooms available after spaces have been allocated then these will be offered to returning students on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information on accommodation at WGU, speak to our Residential and Campus Life team who’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.