9 questions to ask on your tour of student halls
Touring student halls of residence is an exciting step on the way to newfound independence, or perhaps a new start if you’ve already finished your first year.
Moving into student accommodation is likely to be one of the biggest commitments you make, so it’s best to make sure you’re well informed.
Here are 9 questions to keep in mind as you’re shown around private or uni-owned halls.
1. Are there any other room types or sizes?
When you’re taking a tour of your potential new student accommodation, you may well be shown a few different room types.
However, the likelihood is that it’s going to be a busy day, so they may not show every single size along the tour route.
If you think you might like something a little bigger, or you’d prefer a double room or one with an en-suite bathroom, find out there and then if that’s available and how many of these room types they have.
2. What’s the security like?
Your security in halls is super important, and it can put your mind at ease to know the ways in which you and your things will be kept safe.
Is there CCTV, or security personnel? Who do you go to in an emergency? Is content insurance included? Your guide should have all the details.
3. How long is the travel time to uni, town and other local places?
The last thing you want is to choose student accommodation that’s absolutely miles from town or your uni.
While you can always check on Google Maps, sometimes it’s better to know the realities of the local bus services from someone who lives there.
4. Can you decorate or personalise the room?
It’s always nice to add your personality to your room and make it feel like a proper home. But how far can you go beyond fairy lights and photo frames?
Best to ask now so you know what NOT to pack.
5. How much will a room cost?
This one’s pretty much a given - you can't commit to something unless you know you can afford it.
However, it’s important to dig a little deeper to find out how much is due, how often, and what that price covers.
6. How long can you stay?
In student world, leases are often set according to the academic year. Some providers will let you extend your contract to stay over summer but make sure you double check this before signing.
7. How are rooms allocated?
You might be interested to find out whether you can ensure you’re in a mixed sex flat, or if you can be with other students who share your first language.
Often, first years are grouped together so that they can easily make friends, or post-grads are placed near one another as they tend to prefer more peace and quiet than Freshers!
If this isn’t covered in the tour, make sure you raise your hand.
8. Which rooms and facilities are shared, and by how many people?
It’s important to find out which facilities you’re expected to share.
Many rooms will have their own bathrooms, but others won’t - can you deal with that?
Finding out how many people you’ll be living in close quarters with can also help you to prepare for the flat-sharing lifestyle. (Start mentally drafting that cleaning rota!)
9. How and when should you book?
This one's important.
Once you’ve decided that you like the accommodation and you’ve found out everything you need to, it’s time to seal the deal.
Make sure you know how to secure your place, because places are often competitive!