Choosing between Student Housing and Private Accommodation

Getting ready for the new school year and unsure how to choose between student housing and private accommodation? Here are some of the key differences to keep a lookout for.

Choosing between Student Housing and Private Accommodation
Photo by Karolina Grabowska:

Today’s typical student has a wider set of educational options than ever before. Thanks to international affiliations, exchange programs, cross-country partnerships between entities, and the internet, students have the choice to study pretty much anywhere in the world – they can be as close to or as far away from home as they please. Still, even for those who decide to go to university in their hometown, the decision to move out is one they know is coming. So how does one choose between student residence and private accommodation? Here are some of the key differences to keep a lookout for.

Student Housing

1. Location

Most university-affiliated student residence units are located on campus or very close to the main campus building. For someone who’s looking to get the full university experience (or wants to wake up 5 minutes before their 9AM lecture), the convenience of living on campus is a big advantage.

2. Security

University halls fall under the responsibility of the university itself, which is why they’re typically staffed 24/7. For concerned parents (or students), this offers a lot of comfort in terms of safety.

This means that the university will be handling maintenance through on-site staff as well. Students living in university halls don’t have to worry about rogue landlords neglecting their maintenance needs or having to wait weeks for something to be fixed in their residence.

3. Cost

Campus student accommodation offers a great value for money. They are generally cheaper than private accommodation. However, it is important to be aware of what you’re paying for. Some university halls offer only shared bathrooms and kitchen spaces, which may be a dealbreaker for students who want privacy in their living.

4. Social Life

If you’re a social butterfly, living on campus could be the choice for you. Students living in university housing typically share their living spaces with 5 or more people, so you’ll be able to make new friends from day one. There are usually many parties and events hosted in on-campus student residence throughout the academic year.

Private Accommodation

1. Privacy

In private housing, you choose where you’re living and how many roommates you’ll have. Though this may mean less socializing, it also means fewer shared spaces and more privacy. This may be particularly important for students looking for quieter living conditions.

This also means that you don’t have to live with students who are attending your university. You can branch out and meet students from other educational institutions, graduates and even expats.

2. Lease Period

Most student accommodation lasts from September to June, meaning that students have to move out by the end of the school year and find a new place at the beginning of the following one. Private accommodation, on the other hand, may have longer terms such as 52 weeks (a full year) and up. If you’re looking to stay in one place long-term, private accommodation may be more suitable for you.

3. Facilities

Private accommodation allows you to choose the location and the property that is most suited for you. Though house hunting may be stressful, it is an opportunity for you to select the place you feel caters to your needs. For example, you may choose a place with parking for your car, or with plenty of storage areas for your belongings. Some places may even feature shared lounge areas, pools, gyms, and other facilities that may be to your liking.

4. Independence

One of the major differences between student housing and private accommodation is that the latter can be regarded as a “trial run” of moving out before they embark on the real deal. In private accommodation, you’ll have to learn to manage your bills with your roommates, keep the place clean, invest in improving it overtime, and maintain a good relationship with your landlord. In contrast, rent at university halls includes all bills, and may even have a more flexible payment schedule. If you’re seeking a more independent lifestyle, living in private accommodation is sure to set you on that path.

Student residence and private accommodation both have their pros and cons. Your decision should ultimately be about the suitable living space for you.

If you decide you’re more comfortable with private housing, make sure to sign up as a tenant on our website and check out the hundreds of listings we have in Sweden.