The search for ideal student accommodation doesn’t begin and end with the commonly emphasised factors, such as the location in relation to the University campus. Granted, something like the location is indeed extremely important (one of the most if not the most important), but it’s not the be-all and end-all. If that were the case then it would be as easy as choosing the closest accommodation, which in some instances exists in the form of a dormitory room that might perhaps be located on the campus premises.
With that said, we’ll discuss location as the first pointer to consider when looking at the quintessential factors of ideal student accommodation.
As suggested, it’s about more than just aiming for the shortest distance to campus. Ideally, you would indeed want to be as close as possible to the campus you’ll be frequenting, so that you can quickly and easily make it to regular classes, use the facilities such as the research labs and others at night if you’re perhaps a night owl, and be in a position to quickly scoot over and make the time for your early morning class should you perhaps oversleep by a couple of minutes.
All things considered, however, it might make better sense to settle a little further away from campus if you perhaps want a bigger space, a quieter one to study, maybe, a bit more privacy, etc. It could work out cheaper if you can perhaps cycle to campus and not have to pay the premium that’s often associated with accommodation that’s as close to the campus as it can get.
You’d have to consider other elements such as safety, i.e. is it safe to walk at night if the need arises?
For the most part student accommodation is in high demand and so the urgency generated around its general availability is indeed justified. However, you would do well to consider the overall costs involved, which is unfortunately something that appears to be discouraged on account of the time factor.
However, with proper research you can make sure to settle on the right decision, in the end, factoring-in what could otherwise be hidden costs, like how much you might have to spend on your daily commute, whether or not you’re staying in an area that has 24-hour access to all the services and products you might need, food (including preparation), etc.
It’s all about striking a balance, so what you might want to do is first assume student accommodation options that don’t require you to commit long-term.
Services and facilities
What would you have to do around requirements such as getting your laundry done, for instance? Do you have time to do it yourself, in which case does it make sense to pay for facilities that you might not even use, included in the price of the accommodation irrespective?
This is probably the most important factor alongside location because you’re ultimately here to come away with your academic qualification and that’s going to require you to knuckle down and get a lot of studying work done. You can definitely make-do by perhaps studying on campus, but ultimately being a student is a lifestyle and the most prominent feature of that lifestyle is the seemingly constant studying you’ll be doing.
The working environment has to be comfortable enough for you to be able to study effectively and uncomfortable enough for you to be compelled to get some meaningful work done over each of your study sessions.