We have some or the other dream college that we want to get into. Most of the time that means having to move to another city, away from the comfort our homes. Thus, while short listing the colleges a major step involves figuring out the availability of right accommodation for ourselves. While most colleges offer on campus hostel facilities many don't. The ones that even do not have enough space to accommodate all the students enrolled with them. Apart from on campus hostels there are a lot of off-campus accommodation options for students such hostels, PG's and private flats. The definition of the perfect accommodation also varies from person to person, what might be an excellent facility for someone might be completely unacceptable to someone else.
However, before you go looking for available housing options you must decide upon the facilities that you need at your place of stay. Figure out the ones that are completely non negotiable it will help narrow down your search saving you valuable time. Also don't forget to check out factors like that of safety, distance from the campus and available food options.
Campus Accommodation v/s Off Campus Accommodation
The primary choice of living accommodation students face is between campus accommodation and off campus accommodation. To aid them in their decision we have listed below are some pros and cons of both the options.
1. Living on campus means no travel worries. Saves you on both time and money.
2. Helps you make friends with people in other courses easily.
3. More participation in on campus activities, social events, sports facilities, cultural gatherings etc.
4. No worries of electricity, water or other maintenance bills.
5. No worry about the availability of food options.
1. Rooms are allocated by the university. Hence, no choice on the room-mate.
2. Might have to share a common bathroom with other students.
3. Smaller and less furnished rooms
4. No privacy possible.
5. Curfew hours usually start early evening.
1. It's your own personal space. You are your own master.
2. More spacious rooms.
3. Complete or some privacy
4. Choice of room-mate if you decide to have one.
1. Travel Expenses - If the place is far from campus
2. Keep track of maintenance bills such as that of electricity and water.
3. If it's a rented place you might have to deal with nagging landlords.
4. Figuring out your food options.
5. Safety Issues.
How to find Good Off-Campus Accommodations?
It's mostly outstation candidates who struggle the most while finding off-campus accommodations. Not all them have friends and family in the city and are strangers to the area. Thus they rely mostly on brokers and dealers. A lot of universities also have tie-ups with nearby hostels and PG owners where the students can stay off-campus.
However, with the fast growing market of student accommodation a lot of startup have sprung up with the aim to help students find the perfect accommodation for themselves, online. Some of these website put in a lot of effort to ensure that the actual room images are uploaded online and any claims made by house owners are legit. Some of these popular platforms are -
3. Magic Bricks
Measures to keep in mind when looking for off-campus accommodations
Safety Matters -
The first and foremost thing is to look for an area that is safe. Especially for girl students, it is critical to find an area where they feel safe and secure. Parents should also check out the student safety measures followed by the house owners. Check for or ask if the place has 24-hour surveillance measures or not.
Start Your Search Early -
Its best to start looking for possible living options while short listing the colleges of your choice. Once, you get the acceptance letter from the college you can straight away finalize on the best available living facility option saving yourself a great deal of time. Finalizing the deal before the major student rush comes in will give you more choices and better chances of securing a room at a good facility.
Housing Location -
Location of your accommodation from your campus also is a big factor. The closer you find a space to the campus, the less travel have to undergo saving you on both money and time. Rooms in prime locations of the city might cost you more. A lot of student hubs have sprung up in major cities in close vicinity to major college campuses you can also look at them as possible options.
Food Options -
Living away from home, the major concern for both parents and students alike is the availability of food options. A lot hostels and PG's offer really good mess facilities for students. For places that don't students can opt for tiffin services or the ones that know how to cook can find themselves a place with decent kitchen and cooking their own meals. Food joints near college and college canteen or dhabas around their living facilities also are popular food choices amongst students.
Sharing rooms or private rooms
One also needs to decide on the kind of room they want. A private one, or one with sharing facilities. Both have their own pros and cons and one should the option most comfortable to them. Sharing rooms offer no privacy, have less space, and you got to deal with a room-mate but cost less. Private living quarters on the other hand are more spacious, offer privacy and you are your own master, free to do as you will. But the luxuries of a private room burn a bigger hole in your pocket. The choice of a sharing or private room, in short mostly depends on one's budget.
Other Necessities and Luxuries -
Everyone has need of some personal luxuries. Sometimes, their non-availability can be completely non-negotiable for you. To avoid a compromise with them make sure to have a checklist of all such necessities and to ask the house owners for their availability. Also, check for their state of conditions wherever required to avoid conflict in future. A lot these services may bore extra cost and exclusive of your room rental. It's best to be selective and opt only for services that are completely non-negotiable.
Living away from home during college life also, is a great experience. One gets to witness the world from a whole new perspective. Collective living with friends away from home teaches you a lot of things. Friendships formed in college last a lifetime and most close bonds are formed between you and your hostel mates. For the few years of college life they are the people with whom you spend life at very close quarters. Whether it be on campus or off campus it doesn't matter. The right living environment suitable to your needs is what is the most important aspect. And finding the right kind of accommodation is very essential to ensure that.