Tips for Choosing the Right Accommodation

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By Varan, Computer Science
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham

Choosing the right accommodation is very important because this is where you will be living for 9 months away from your family and the place where you meet new people. It’s important to feel comfortable and happy in the place that you are living in.

When choosing, it’s important that you decide what you are looking for. This varies between more expensive and modern living, green areas, short commuting distances – whatever is most important to you.

We are lucky that the University of Birmingham provides a broad range of living accommodations. For example, living in The Vale means that you live in a green area with larger grassy areas, perfect for sunbathing and BBQs. I should also mention that The Vale is located furthest away from the university but is connected with a walking path by the main road and the canal. It also means that you live in a very social area where there are lots of events put on by the university for free.

Meanwhile, living in Jarrett Hall offers a different living experience – you are closer to the university campus and sports grounds. In addition to this, you also have Aldi and Selly Oak at your finger-tips for lots of excellent eating out and socialising opportunities.

This wide variety of options means when choosing accommodation there should be something there for you, you just have to decide on what your priorities for living here are.

I would recommend talking about accommodation with students who have lived in Birmingham previously/currently. As residents we can offer an insight that university websites can’t provide. As a resident of Maple Bank in The Vale, I found that the price of the rooms does not mean that the quality of the building itself is bad but the size of the flats may differ. It is the perfect place for people who enjoy sunbathing or exercising due to the large open spaces and routes around the lake. Personally, I find that one of the best parts of living in The Vale is the fact that it is designed for students with a Costcutter on site, 24/7 reception, several laundrettes and regular events mean that it is an ideal place to meet more people and have a good time.

An important area to consider that has not yet been discussed is the price that you are willing to pay. Remember price does not mean that you are living in a low quality building but you should expect different things from your flats. In Maple Bank, we pay some of the cheaper rents which means that if we are sensible with our money, we are able to make some savings.