For many students, being able to live on their own for the first time in their life can be exciting. It can feel like the ultimate form of freedom and give you a taste of adulthood. But before they can go out on their own they need to answer a few questions, including the accommodation they want to live in.

To help you get the most out of living on your own, below is a guide on the different types of student accommodation:

On campus Accommodation

Dormitories or on campus living is where you are able to reside within the university itself. Basic facilities such as bathrooms and a kitchen is shared amongst other students in the same dorm. Most students are required to share their room with another person.


This should be a top choice amongst those new to university living.  Campus living makes it easier to participate in social events to meet new people. Being able to form bonds within the academic community helps you find friends and get the right help you need in your studies.

Another main advantage of on-campus living is the close proximity to the university. You do not need to worry about traffic or commuting a long distance to make it to your next class. The Campus dorms are also able to provide 24 hour security and staff. This makes it stress free for everyone taking advantage of living within the university.


The main disadvantage of on-campus living is privacy. There is hardly any time where you can be alone within a dormitory. You also need to follow the rules set by the university while living in their dorms. For many students, this defeats the purpose of leaving the family home and finding any form of freedom.

For some students, dormitories may have a negative impact on their studies. Without privacy, they are exposed to numerous distractions. Your roommate might be playing music too loudly for example.

Off campus living

Off campus living is usually a type of private accommodation outside of a university. These can be broken down in two types:

  1. Property pre-owned accommodations

This type of accommodation is usually a second home owned by your parents or relatives. It can also be owned by a relative of your friend or roommate. The landlord is the owner of the property and is the one to set the terms of the accommodation. This includes the monthly rental fee and restrictions for residents to follow. This type of accommodation is usually rare.


Property pre-owned accommodation provides almost every benefit of having your own house without the pressure of a monthly rental fee. For most students, this is highly welcomed as they have enough things to worry about. You are also able to gain more privacy than campus dormitories as well.


Property pre-owned home may not be appealing to some students as it can be an issue with the restrictions. The rules can be lenient or strict depending on the owner of the property. Another issue is the rarity of this type of property. Because of this limitation, you do not have much control on how far your temporary home is from your campus. It can be almost impossible to find this type of accommodation near your university.


  1. Independently leased/rented accommodation

This type of student accommodation is where the property is not owned by the university or relatives of the student. These are also used by other non-student guests such as tourists or university professors. Independently leased/rented apartments or flats are readily available for those looking for an off-campus home.


The main advantage of this type of accommodation is the freedom it grants to students. There are no additional restrictions from the university or parents enforced in the property. You have the option of changing decoration of your living space, invite anyone and have full access to every available facility (bathroom and kitchen). This is also a good point in every student’s life to experience the responsibility of independent living where they need to manage their time and money.

Another advantage is the many available options for you. For example, you can choose a flat which has a reasonable distance between the university and a shopping centre. You can also decide to stay in an apartment which contains a number of leisure facilities, such as a gym or pool.


This type of accommodation is the most expensive option. You are responsible for covering the utility bills, monthly rental fees and daily food supply. There is also the issue with leasing a property for a year. You are typically expected to pay for the agreed 12 months even though there are periods, such as summer or the holidays, when you may not using the apartment or flat for a number of days.


Use this guide to help you determine which type of student apartment, flat or dormitory is suitable for your needs in your academic life.


College Student’s Guide


College Student’s Guide to Living on Their Own