Student blog: On campus vs off campus living


We asked Viviana one of our current students living on campus to share her experiences of living on and off campus that led her to decide to live on campus again for her third year.

Hello, my name is Viviana, and I am a Drama and Film 3rd year student at the University of Kent, Canterbury campus and I have lived in both on-campus and off-campus housing. In this blog, I will talk about everything I like and preferred about living on campus, which is why I came back to student accommodation for my 3rd year of studies.

In my experience of living off-campus some landlords can be sketchy or take advantage of students by charging them more money than needed, asking for monthly rents in advance, and requesting very costly deposits and guarantee fees, especially from international students like myself which is a risk you need to be aware of. When living off-campus, you may also need to pay for different utilities such as internet (Wi-Fi) plus everything else, which is an extra cost and hassle. In the university’s accommodation, it is sorted. Therefore, to begin with, one of my favourite things about living on campus was that bills are automatically paid by the student accommodation office, instead of you having to deal with the payments yourself.  This is a benefit as it is time-saving, easier to process, and there is no fear of accidentally overcharging yourself (since no matter how much electricity, water, or gas you may use the university accommodation does not charge you more than your accommodation price).

Aerial view of Canterbury campus

There is also a big range for all to choose what is affordable to their liking when it comes to university accommodation prices. Furthermore, the Wi-Fi connection on campus is excellent, while in off-campus houses, I have faced internet issues, which as a student can be detrimental to our studying. Student accommodation also comes with electrical devices such as microwaves, kettles, big fridges, and freezers with plenty of space, ovens, vacuum cleaner/s, mop/s and buckets, cleaning products and cloths, iron, ironing board, bins, and bin bags, which are sometimes not included, and/or need to be bought for an off-campus house.

A profound personal reason I came back to university accommodation is because of the easy access to everything I may need. Being able to wake up and your house being a five-minute walking distance from your lectures is a blessing for every student. Every campus accommodation is close within walking distance to lecture theatres, workshop buildings, library, cafes, Co-Op (supermarkets), café-Nero, Jobshop, the Gulbenkian, Canvas, Origins, the Sports Centre, K-bar, Venue and many more restaurants and places to hang out. Therefore, whether you want to study in the library, catch up with friends, go for a drink, watch a film or a theatre performance, find work, go to the gym, buy your groceries, it is all within a short walking distance. You save so much time, energy and gain the ability to better schedule your day with more freedom. The number of entertainment choices allows students to explore different dishes, events, parties, cafes in the most convenient way. You do not need to worry about buses passing rarely or missing them since student accommodation has many bus stops with buses running to town every ten to fifteen minutes on the regular semester’s season. Also, when you are on campus, you can feel much safer. Campus security is operating on a twenty-four-hour service available to assist students and even walk them home if it is late in the night or if anyone is feeling unsafe in general.

Viviana's room in Tyler Court A
My room in Tyler Court A

University accommodation provides accessibility and inclusion in their residences for people with disabilities and/or complex personal care needs, elevators, easy access to laundry rooms, study/PC rooms, and hallways accessible to everyone. The overall sense of community of living on campus is strong. With the Accommodation Office locating people who are usually in the same academic year as you meaning it is easy to connect and form bonds with your housemates. For example, first-years and postgraduates are in different accommodations; therefore, you can have more things in common and possibly belong in a closer age group with your flatmates. In the first year and now in my third year, I was located with students with whom I share a common academic year. There is a homely vibe in every accommodation, and it is fascinating and interesting to meet new people, especially when coming from completely different places than yourself. Also, in Tyler Court A (which is where I am currently living) I have access to a PC/Study room which as a third year, when the library is busier in exam season, has been very practical, as it is the perfect space for me to study. Also, the laundry rooms are close to all accommodation rooms, with dryers provided, too. I get to collect my parcels and letters from the reception in Tyler Court, so even If I am not home to collect a parcel, they collect and keep it for me, and I can go and collect it at reception opening times.

These were some of the reasons I love student accommodation and personally preferred to live on-campus. I hope it gave you some insight into the benefits of living on campus, too.

~ Viviana