How to Choose Between Off-campus and On-campus Accommodation?

How to Choose Between Off-campus and On-campus Accommodation?

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Know how you can choose between off-campus and on-campus accommodation. Learn the top tips to keep in mind while selecting the right student accommodation abroad.

Updated on:  07 Sep 2023  | Reviewed By: 
Ankit Mehra 
| 2.35K | 4  min read

Once you start planning your overseas studies, the first thing you need to check off the list is a secure and friendly place to stay. Your parents must be equally anxious to get you a nice pad to lounge in after a hectic day. There is plenty of on-campus and off-campus accommodation available, and the abundance of choices leaves you confused. Fret not; we bring you a comprehensive list of the different housing and the parameters to consider when looking for a home away from home.



On-campus Housing: University Dorms

The university dormitories or halls of residence are a good place to kickstart an international student life. You can meet new people and adapt quickly to the new environment. You don’t have to deal with landlords or service providers since the university officials take care of any maintenance issues and repair works in the accommodation. Halls of residence at Nottingham University and Oxford University have private rooms for students with an all-in-one bill and meal subscriptions. 

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Off-campus Housing

  1. list items Private Student Apartments - If you are not comfortable sharing spaces with random people but still can’t live alone, you can move into private studios or Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) with your preferred set of friends. Usually managed by private agencies or trusted accommodation providers, you will have access to all amenities like internet, TV license, gym, electricity, and laundry, in a single bill. The new student accommodation in Coventry, Edinburgh, and other major cities has designated spaces for hanging out with your bunch.
  2. list items Homestay - If the idea of living alone in a faraway land makes you homesick, then you can stay with a local family in the city. Homestays provide a homely environment and a better way to explore the place’s language, culture, and lifestyle. You can stay in a private room, and you can live like a family member sharing the common spaces, chores, and meals. It’s an ideal chance to widen your network and discover hidden gems in the town.


Now that we have covered the student housing options available for international students, here are the factors you want to consider while choosing one. Remember that there is no one option superior to the other; it all comes down to personal preference. You can try with different options until you find the one that suits you best.

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Distance from the University

Are you someone who enjoys daily commutes in the metro or train, or does the idea of daily morning trails bother you? Do you like to have all-time access to the on-campus facilities like the library and indoor gym? Do you prefer staying away from the University to have better access to the city and countryside? Answer these questions to understand the optimum distance from the apartment and the campus and weigh it against the options available.

University dorms are conveniently located near the University, whereas off-campus housing takes you away from the campus, demanding daily commutes while offering a more independent life. Decide on the nature of the neighborhood you prefer to choose the location. Homestays are available farther from the campus since families prefer a peaceful site, while the University halls are bustling with night parties and loud hallways.


Availability of the Accommodation

Booking on-campus housing requires you to carry out a lot of paperwork and is often competitive as universities have a limited number of halls to provide to students. Depending on the city and the University, there are different criteria to decide which student gets to stay in a dorm. Students from certain countries are preferred in some places, while high academic records are preferred in others.

Though off-campus housing has better availability and a less stringent screening process, it also requires a lot of effort from your side. You may have to do your research and negotiate with the landlord for a good deal. Here’s a tip: don’t wait till the last minute to confirm a place to stay. If you start early, you will have enough time to go back and forth with different houses.

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Cost and Comfort

Depending on the economic and industrial growth of a city, student housing comes at different prices. For example, student accommodation in Aberdeen is much cheaper than the UCL postgraduate accommodation, complying with living standards. At times, off-campus housing might have separate costs for different amenities and be very expensive compared to University dorms. To tackle this, students often prefer PBSA since it has student-specific services included in a single bill. On-campus housing usually allows students to purchase a monthly meal plan, whereas students living in private studios have to arrange food on their own.


Social Life

Though you can socialize with other students easily in an on-campus apartment, you can’t choose who you live with. Having a roommate makes the experience more fun and fruitful only if you get along well with each other. Off-campus living allows you to select the circle of friends you want to stay with, who can give you company as well as privacy as and when you need it. Living near the city brings you closer to the active and exciting student life, and the countryside brings you calm in the hustle and bustle. The choice is yours to make.


How Can Amberstudent Help You?

AmberStudent serves millions of students worldwide by providing the best options and rewarding experience for booking a house. They are upgraded with the latest COVID protocols and would be more than happy to assist you in booking your ideal home. 

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