Your student accommodation guide for January intake

Updated on: Nov 27, 2023
Your student accommodation guide for January intake
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Finding suitable accommodation is an essential aspect of the university experience, particularly for students planning to commence their studies during the January intake.

As the academic calendar varies among institutions, the January intake provides an opportunity for students to begin their educational journey at a different time of year.

Whether you are an international student or simply prefer a mid-year start, securing appropriate student accommodation is crucial for a comfortable and productive academic life.

In this guide, we will explore the key aspects of student accommodation for the January intake, including the types of accommodation available, factors to consider when choosing student accommodation and when to start looking.

Also read: What are the types of student accommodation available in New Zealand?

Types of student accommodation

When it comes to student accommodation, there are various types available to cater to different preferences, budgets, and lifestyles. Here are some common types of student accommodation:

Also read: Which type of UK student accommodation is right for you?

1. Dormitories/university halls

Dormitories or university halls are typically located on or near the university campus. They are owned and managed by the educational institution and provide rooms or suites for students. Dormitories often offer shared living spaces and communal facilities such as kitchens, study areas, common rooms, and laundry facilities.

Also read: The 5 most popular areas for student accommodation in Manchester

2. Private rentals

Private rentals encompass a range of options, including renting an entire apartment, sharing a house with other students, or renting a room within a private residence. This type of accommodation offers greater independence and flexibility. Private rentals can vary in terms of location, size, amenities, and price.

3. Student housing complexes

Student housing complexes are purpose-built accommodations designed specifically for students. These complexes often offer a range of amenities and services tailored to student needs. They typically provide fully furnished rooms or apartments, communal spaces, study areas, on-site laundry facilities, and sometimes additional facilities like fitness centres or recreational areas.

4. Homestays

Homestays involve living with a local host family in their home. This type of accommodation provides an immersive cultural experience, particularly for international students. Students have their private rooms and may share common spaces, meals, and daily life with the host family. Homestays offer a nurturing environment and an opportunity to practise the local language.

5. Co-living spaces

Co-living spaces are communal living arrangements that provide a combination of private living spaces and shared common areas. These spaces are designed to foster community and social interaction among residents. Co-living spaces often come with furnished private rooms or apartments and offer shared kitchens, dining areas, lounges, and recreational facilities.

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Factors to consider when choosing student accommodation

When searching for student accommodation for the January intake, it's important to consider various factors to ensure you find the right place that suits your needs, preferences, and budget. Here are some key factors to consider:

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1. Location

The location of your accommodation is crucial. Consider its proximity to your university or college, as well as the accessibility of public transportation options. Living closer to campus can save you time and money on commuting. Additionally, check if there are nearby amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, libraries, and recreational facilities that align with your lifestyle and preferences.

2. Budget

Establishing a budget is essential before beginning your accommodation search. Determine how much you can comfortably afford to spend on rent and utilities each month. Take into account other expenses like groceries, transportation, and study materials. It's important to be realistic and find a balance between affordability and your desired living conditions.

3. Safety and security

Ensure the safety of your potential accommodation. Research the neighbourhood and check crime rates and safety measures in the area. Look for accommodations that have secure entrances, well-lit common areas, and possibly additional security features like CCTV cameras or security personnel. It's important to prioritise your well-being and peace of mind.

4. Facilities and amenities

Consider the facilities and amenities available in the accommodation. This may include internet access, laundry facilities, study areas, communal spaces, parking, or even fitness centers. Assess which amenities are essential for your comfort and convenience and check if any additional costs are associated with using these facilities.

5. Lease terms and conditions

Carefully read the rental agreement and understand its terms and conditions. Pay attention to the lease duration, notice periods for moving out, rules regarding guests or pets, and any penalties or fees mentioned in the contract. It's crucial to clarify any doubts or concerns before signing the agreement to avoid any surprises or misunderstandings later on.

6. Compatibility and lifestyle

Consider your personal preferences and lifestyle when choosing accommodation. Determine whether you prefer a quiet and peaceful environment or a more social and active community. If you value privacy and independence, a single apartment or private rental may be suitable. Alternatively, if you enjoy socialising and making friends, you may opt for shared accommodation or student housing complexes that offer communal spaces and organised activities.

7. Room types

Different student accommodations offer various types of rooms. Consider whether you prefer a single room or shared accommodation. Evaluate the options for ensuite or shared bathrooms and the availability of kitchen facilities. Think about your preferences for privacy and living arrangements to ensure the accommodation suits your needs.

Timeline to start looking for accommodation for the January intake

If you are planning to start your studies in January, it is generally recommended to start looking for accommodation at least three to six months in advance. This timeline allows you to research various options, compare prices, and secure a suitable place to live before the start of the intake.

Here is a breakdown of the recommended timeline:

1. Three to six months before the January intake

Begin your search for accommodation. Start researching different housing options such as university dormitories, private student housing, or rental apartments. Look for information on the availability, pricing, and facilities offered by different accommodations.

2. Two to three months before the January intake

Narrow down your choices and start contacting landlords, property management companies, or the university's housing department to inquire about available options. Arrange viewings or virtual tours if possible, and gather all the necessary information about the rental terms, contracts, and any additional costs.

3. One to two months before the January intake

Finalize your accommodation choice and sign the necessary rental agreements or contracts. Make sure to carefully review the terms and conditions, payment details, and any associated fees. Consider making any required deposits or advance payments to secure your booking.

4. One month before the January intake

Confirm the move-in date and any additional requirements or arrangements with the accommodation provider. Begin preparations for your move, such as organising packing, booking transportation, and notifying relevant parties about your change of address.


Finding the right student accommodation for the January intake requires careful consideration of several key aspects. Whether you choose on-campus or off-campus options, factors such as location, budget, facilities, room types, social environment, safety, lease terms, and additional services should be taken into account. Starting your search early, researching in advance, and utilising university resources, online platforms, and real estate agents can help you navigate the housing market effectively.

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Frequently asked questions

What types of on-campus accommodation options are available for the January intake?

The types of on-campus accommodation options can vary depending on the university or college. Common options include dormitories, apartments, or shared houses located within or near the campus. Some universities may offer different types of rooms, such as single rooms, shared rooms, or suites with ensuite bathrooms.

How do I apply for on-campus accommodation, and what is the application deadline?

Typically, you can find information and application forms on the university's housing website. The application deadline may vary, so it is important to check the specific deadline set by your university. It is recommended to apply as early as possible to increase your chances of securing on-campus accommodation.

Can I choose my roommates if I opt for on-campus accommodation?

Some on-campus accommodations allow students to request specific roommates, while others may assign roommates based on compatibility or randomly. Universities often provide roommate preference forms or surveys to match students with compatible roommates.

Are off-campus accommodations typically cheaper than on-campus options?

Off-campus accommodations can vary in price depending on the location, type of housing, and amenities provided. In some cases, off-campus accommodations may be more affordable than on-campus options, especially if you are willing to live farther away from the university.

How do I find off-campus accommodation options, such as rental apartments or shared houses?

You can utilise online platforms and websites that specialise in student housing, such as university-affiliated housing portals or popular rental listing websites. Additionally, local real estate agents or property management companies may have listings specifically tailored to student accommodation. Networking with fellow students, checking community bulletin boards, and attending housing fairs organised by the university can also provide leads for off-campus accommodation options.

What are the key factors to consider when searching for off-campus accommodation?

When searching for off-campus accommodation, it is important to consider factors such as location, rental costs, proximity to the university, amenities, safety, lease terms, and the reputation of the landlord or property management company. Additionally, you should evaluate the condition of the housing unit, the availability of parking if needed, and the accessibility of public transportation.

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