UMASS Blog

University accommodation and beyond

In my first year at university, I lived in halls of residence. The University of Manchester offers a range of different halls so it’s important to research the accommodation on our website to get a clear idea of what your options are. The halls I lived in were organised in separate flats of eight students, half girls and half boys. If you decide that you want to live in halls when you start university, there are a number of things to consider.

Would you prefer to live in a more traditional style of halls, with bedrooms coming off a long corridor? Or perhaps you would prefer to live in halls that are separated into flats?

Do you require an en-suite or would you be happy to share a bathroom? Would you prefer to prepare your own meals in self-catered halls, or have breakfast and dinner provided in catered halls?

The price of halls of residence vary depending on what is included in the accommodation, so it is really about deciding which is best for you and your budget. I went for the cheap and cheerful option – shared bathroom and self-catered! My halls were relatively basic but we had everything we needed and I enjoyed cooking my own meals. My flatmates and I shared cooking skills and tips with each other, and those who were less confident in the kitchen at the start of the year were pros by the end!

The University of Manchester also guarantees a place in university accommodation for all first year students,  as long as you have applied before the deadline at the end of august. There is no need to panic about whether or not you will be offered a place! For international students, the guarantee is also extended over the full duration of your degree.

Before moving into my halls of residence, I remember being pretty nervous about who I was going to be living with and whether we would get on. When moving day arrived, my fears were suitably calmed. Everyone is in the same boat, experiencing the same nerves about not knowing anybody, and all eager to make friends. By the time winter approached, we were all well settled into life in Manchester.

In my second year, I moved into a private rented house together with my flatmates from halls. We wanted to carry on living in Fallowfield where our halls had been. It is just a short bus or cycle ride away from the university and a popular area for students in Manchester to live. There are plenty of student houses to cater for the vast number of students in Manchester, but it is good to get looking early in order to secure a place that suits your budget and is in the area you want to live in. Moving out of halls and into a rented house is a really exciting time, but with more independence of course comes more responsibility! Although it may seem daunting looking to rent your first house, the University provides a lot of support to make this process as stress free as possible. We used the Manchester Student Homes website  to find a house to rent. Run by a partnership of Manchester-based universities; it’s a great resource to help with your search. They only list accredited landlords, so you can be sure you are getting a decent home and a fair contract. The Student Union Advice Service  can also answer any queries you may have regarding accommodation, but also regarding any financial or personal issues.