So you’ve chosen which university you want to go to, now you need to sort out where to live! As a foreign student who had never been to Aberdeen before, this was quite a daunting thought. When looking at my options before I moved here, I immediately knew that my best choice would be to move into RGU student halls.
Personally student halls are the safest option for first year. Firstly you know it’s going to be safe, and you won’t have to deal with landlords, bills, finding someone to live with etc. You just need to deal with paying your rent and keeping the place tidy! It’s an easy way to slowly get used to living away from home. It’s also a great way to meet new people! My first year at university was so much fun and this was mainly due to the friends I made in halls, not just my flatmates but other students who live in your halls. This eases all the pressure of not meeting people or not having people to go out with during Fresher’s.
While you may be nervous that you may not get along with your flatmates, there are various options to fix this. I personally stayed at Woolmanhill Halls during my first year, and if something goes wrong, you’ve got the trusty reception staff who will happily come sort it out.
After your first year at university, you may choose to carry on living in halls, or you could even become a Residence Assistant; this allows you to live in halls while also helping out with taking care of your fellow students.
Finally, you could move into your own flat! This is the route that I chose, one of my flatmates from Woolmanhill and I decided that in September we would get our own flat. Being the first time we were renting a place, there was a lot of questions and information that we needed before doing anything.
Here’s a few steps that might be helpful if you are in this position:
- Sit down with your flatmate/s and discuss your budgets, to ensure that everyone will be able to pay for all costs and avoid future arguments.
- Look up costs for TV and internet. Choose a plan which will benefit you and is affordable. There is always a student discount to be found!
- Ask around, see how much people living in a flat with the same amount of people as you need to pay for heating and electricity. When looking at a flat remember to check if you have a ‘Pay As You Go Meter’ or if you will be receiving a monthly bill. Always expect the worst for the first month, but be prepared to wear hoodies and have blankets for the winter time. But really, it’s not as bad as it seems. If I can get through it, anyone can!
- Start looking at flats beforehand, to see everyone’s likes and dislikes.
- You don’t need to worry about contacting landlords until 2 months before you need to move in. Don’t worry, this is plenty of time! We thought we would need to look at least 3 months before, but most flats will not be available so far ahead, and trust me there’s plenty of flats for rent in Aberdeen!
- Once it’s time to look for flats, start booking viewings. This is where you get to go see the flat; look closely, make sure everything is fine, and if you like it, seal the deal!
- Signing the contract is pretty simple but boring, just read over the 14 or so pages and sign! Since you’re a student you will most likely need a guarantor so be prepared to ask your parents for signatures.
- Pack up and move in!
It might seem like a long process, but it is actually exciting and simple once you get into it. Plus friends and Google are always there to help!
You can find out more alternative accommodation just go and have a look on the website. If you would like to know more you can get in touch with Reslife Adviser Jacqueline Cooper who is based at the Student Help Point and can help with any queries about either student halls or private accommodation.
Just make sure you budget, pay your bills in time, take care of your flat, and you will be fine!