Tips for choosing first year accommodation

Applied to study at Kent and wondering what comes next? Well, it’s time to start considering your accommodation options. Choosing the right place to live is an important part of your university experience, so I’m going to share some useful tips to help you choose the best option for you.

1. Attend Open Days

Open days are a great way to get a taster of university life and explore the wide range of accommodation options available to you. They allow you to immerse yourself in the campus environment and talk to current students and staff who can provide you with further advice about living on campus. After attending an Open Day myself, I left with a clear idea of the type of accommodation I wanted to live in during my first year. Kent also offers virtual Open Days, so if you can’t visit in person you can attend virtually from home.

Keynes Houses

2. Location

Location is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your accommodation, including whether you’d prefer to live on or off campus. I chose to live on campus during my first year, which was great for meeting new people and embracing all that campus life has to offer, from social life and societies to academic facilities. On-campus accommodation is also a good idea for those who don’t want to spend time commuting into university for lectures or seminars (especially those 9ams).

Park Wood Houses

3. Price

Accommodation prices can vary vastly, with options at both the higher and lower price ranges. Take time to look through all of them and see which one seems the best value to you. Also, consider the cost of living outside of your accommodation – your maintenance loan, savings, and any bursary or grants you are eligible for, need to cover your accommodation rent and all your other needs, so it’s worth grabbing a blank piece of paper and listing what you’ll be spending it on.

Turing Houses

4. En-suite or shared bathroom

Consider whether or not you’d be happy to share a bathroom with other students. Around 60% of Kent’s rooms have en-suites, however they can be in high demand so if this is a dealbreaker, it’s better to apply early. The rest of Kent’s rooms have shared facilities, with the ratio of students to bathroom varying across different halls. Often the cost of rent is lower when more people are sharing facilities.

Once you’ve worked through these questions, you should be ready to choose the accommodation that seems most suited to you and apply.

This blog post was written by Kent student Minetou Mbodje