Once you’ve applied for your place at university, anxiously waited for your exam results and had that conditional offer confirmed, it’s time to get excited. But before you move, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. We’ve outlined some of the biggest below…
Before you start planning your big move to a new city, make sure that your place has been confirmed. You might need to log into UCAS to confirm your attendance, or you may need to attend an open day at your university before you’re formally invited to enrol as a student.
Once your place has been confirmed, you’ll receive a confirmation in the post and via email, outlining your new course, start date, and any information you need to know ahead of time. There’s no going back - you’re now signed up and ready to start learning from September!
The chances are, you’ve already been looking at options for student accommodation, but now that your place has been confirmed, you can sign on the dotted line. If you still haven’t found somewhere suitable, act fast: the best apartments and shared houses go quickly, and if you leave it until the last minute, you might have to make compromises on location or the condition of the property. Have a back-up plan in place in case your first choice falls through.
When you’re viewing student accommodation, look out for damp, pest problems, the location of the property, its security, and ask whether white goods and furnishings are included. You should also check to see whether the house is well-insulated and speak to current tenants where possible - asking for their opinion on the landlord and general property will help you.
Once you’ve found the right accommodation for your studies, the next step is to spend some time in the local area. Get to know the streets surrounding your student apartment and walk the journey to campus during the day and on a night so you know the best route. You should look out for grocery stores, as well as pharmacies, a local doctor and dentist, and any other amenities. Oh, and be sure to make a note of nearby bars, restaurants, and takeaways, too.Other “nice to knows” include the closest bus stop to your new student accommodation, the nearest ATM and bank, and the best way to head to the high street for some retail therapy.
Though most student accommodation comes with some furniture as standard, you might want to buy your own desk or chest of drawers to store your clothes. We recommend a visit to IKEA with your parents - they can transport your flat-pack furniture to your new student house on the day you move in, and help you put it together. You might want to consider a coffee table, some comfortable cushions and bed linen, and a second wardrobe if you’ve got lots of clothes. Remember: you’ll need to take all of this furniture with you when you move out, so choose lightweight pieces or budget furniture that you’re happy to donate to charity.
Finally, think about how you’re going to pay your household bills when you move into your new accommodation. Some student apartments include all of your bills, but in a shared house, you’ll need to work with your housemates to split everything equally. This can be time-consuming and stressful, so we recommend working with a student bills package provider such as Billing Better. Rather than setting up your utilities, phone lines, and TV, you can leave the responsibility to us, and pay a small monthly amount for your share of the bills.
Whatever stage you’re at, we wish you the very best of luck as you head off to university this September. Check back to the Billing Better blog soon for more tips and tricks on making the most of your time at university, including saving money as a student, advice on making your student loan last longer and finding the best student accommodation for your budget.