(If you want to live on campus you need to apply now)
Once you’ve chosen where you want to study (and what you want to study there) the next thing to think about is where you’re going to live.
Unless you chose your university for its accommodation (close to Mum & Dad so you can stay at home, for instance), the first thing you need to do is weigh up your options:
Can you stay at home?
If uni is close enough and good public transport is available staying at home might be a good idea for at least the first semester. That way, you can work out which halls your friends live in or if you’d prefer to find share accommodation before making any big decisions.
Pros – staying at home is most likely the cheapest option, plus you’ll be able to concentrate on your studies in the first semester without the stress of moving out at the same time.
Cons – living at home is less social than living with friends, and you might find it harder to get to uni for extra study groups or late-night library sessions.
What if staying at home isn’t an option?
You’ll need a job (or lots of support from your parents) to move away from home, but if uni is too far away or you would prefer to be in the thick of the action then you might need to move closer to campus.
So, share house or on campus?
Finding a share house or room for rent when you’re just starting out can be tricky – and you’ll want to avoid overcommitting early on. Most students who share a house generally come from on-campus accommodation or from living at home after first year is finished.
On campus accommodation however is designed to be easy for students who are moving out of home, and you’ll find lots of support and assistance from your chosen university. Plus, when you add up all the bills including utilities and transport, living on-campus may end up costing you less.
Pros – when you live on campus, you’ll be in the heart of all the action and it’ll be easier to roll out of bed to get to lectures on time.
Cons – campus accommodation can be pricey, and is often noisy and busy. Food hall cuisine will probably not live up to your parent’s cooking, and you’ll have to share facilities like bathrooms, laundries and kitchens.
If you decide living on campus is the way to go, the next thing to do is choose a college and secure your room
Most universities offer quality student accommodation on or near their campuses. You can choose from private or shared rooms, and now many uni’s offer self-contained apartment-style rooms as well. There are usually a mix of co-ed and single sex colleges, and sometimes colleges are aligned with interest groups or areas of study.
Many colleges even offer scholarships, but most of them have cut-off dates that are closing soon – each college or residence is different so check with your chosen college for details. Sometimes universities offer subsidised accommodation or bursaries for regional and remote students as well, like this program from the University of Wollongong.
The best residences are usually popular, so it’s wise to get your application in as soon as possible. We’ve put together all the links to on-campus accommodation here for our subscribers – you can get your copy through your Careers Advisor or Guidance Counsellor with a MHSCareers login.