So, you have your offer – perhaps you have you’re results or perhaps you are still waiting. However far down the line you are – congratulations! You’ve made it to Aberdeen, the education centre of the North East. You’ll find vibrant culture, sports, drama, the arts and a fantastic university to boot. It’s just a matter of making it through the summer and working through that checklist of things to do before you head up (or down!) to the Granite City.
At the top of that list is probably something along the lines of ‘sort out your digs!’ Well, choosing your accommodation can be daunting, particularly if you have no older siblings to turn to for advice. Or perhaps you’ve been living in halls for your first year and it’s time to venture out into the city or find some other halls to live in. Whatever your situation, there are some questions that you are likely to be asking. ‘Which area should I live in?’ ‘Who should I live with?’ ‘What sort of accommodation should I choose?’
If this sounds like you, then never fear. Most new students will be asking similar questions. Here are five tips that will hopefully answer the most pressing of them!
The Aberdeen University campus is located in the old town in north of the city, whilst Robert Gordon University has two campuses; one in the centre and one out of town at Garthdee. Whichever you are attending, there is a range of accommodation available across the city. Transport links are good and so almost the entire city is an option in terms of commuting time.
King Street is the most popular area as it is very close to the Aberdeen University campus (under 20 minutes’ walk). The areas of Hilton and Westburn are also a favourite amongst students studying at Foresterhill. Many students all live in and around the city centre, which is around 30 minutes’ walk from the campus.
- Accommodation Type
Aberdeen University guarantees accommodation to first year students, and RGU also offers first years halls of residents. This isn’t for everyone however, plus after your first year it is likely that you will want to live out of university halls.
There are a number of options available to you. Private rented halls can be a lot of fun, and typically mean you get your own en-suite and do not have to worry about finding housemates. On the other hand, ‘living out’ in a flat or house is a real rite of passage and offers a lot more independence than living in a student hall of residence. There are several private rented halls and plenty of private flats and houses to rent across the city; search for something like ‘student accommodation Aberdeen University ’ to find out more.
- Flat Mates
If you are planning on living in a flat or house with some of your fellow students then choosing the right group can be a difficult task indeed! Without wanting to let anyone down you’ll have to choose the three or four guys and girls you wish to live with (or more if you can find a big enough house!) and gently inform anyone else that was hoping to be involved.
When choosing your housemates, think further than just who your best friends are. Even the greatest friends can make lousy housemates. If you’ve visited their digs in first year make sure you pay attention to how messy they are, how much they go out and whether their lifestyle is compatible with yours!
With all that in mind, remember that you are only likely to commit to live with them for one year (which equates to around 30 weeks of actual term time) and so even if the worst comes to the worst, you can be shut of them next year!
Finally, many landlords and halls will include your bills in with the rent at somewhere around £10 – £20 a month each. Whilst you may believe that you can get a better deal by sorting out these bills separately, it is often simply not worth the hassle. The set price means there is less scope for arguments about who keeps turning the heating on and who spends half an hour in the shower each morning! Sorting the bills out yourself will mean one of you has to stay on top of the gas, electricity, water and internet. Believe me; not having to deal with all those utility companies is worth £20 a month alone!