June 2022

Blog | Accommodation tips from a final year student

By Alex Carvalho

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Hello everyone! The sun has been out lately and I hope you are all enjoying the nice weather. :)

This week’s post is mostly directed to freshers, so if you are joining University College Birmingham in September and still haven’t sorted out your accommodation for the year, keep on reading. Fortunately for you, in my 4 years studying here, I have moved around a lot – and when I say a lot I actually mean it. I literally moved flats every year (Sagittarius you know, lol), and with all the vast experience I have on this subject, I thought it was only right to share it with the lot of you.

I would usually advise freshers to stay in student accommodation at least for the first year, something I did and do not regret one bit. You get to meet a lot of people, there’s always something going on, it’s extremely fun to have flatmates that are from the same age group as you, and you do not have to worry about paying any bills since it’s all already included in your rent.


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However, and there’s always a however, there are some downsides to it. If you’re more of an introvert, you might find it too noisy for you and not really enjoy the environment. It’s also common to have flatmates that are not as tidy as you, so it might be a bit frustrating to walk into the kitchen and find it dirty with all the washing up to do. This may also create problems among flatmates so if you are in a situation like this, try to talk with them. If nothing changes then talk to someone at the office and they’ll be more than willing to help you.

A good thing about The Maltings is that we had weekly inspections carried out by hall managers, so if the kitchen is not up to standard, it will fail the inspection and you might have to pay a fine if by the second time they come around it is not clean.

Video: Take a tour of our accommodation at The Maltings

If uni accommodation is not for you, you can always rent a studio or find a flat to share. If you are new to the city, I would not recommend finding a studio, just because some mates who have done it in the past ended missing out on the fun that comes with being a fresher, since the place you do end up meeting more people is at halls. But a tip if you sort out a studio for yourself: join a society or sports group. :)

When it comes to flat sharing, this is a tricky one for me, most likely because I’m still traumatised from my past experiences. The best tip I can possibly give you is to DO YOUR RESEARCH! And I cannot stress this enough: research about the area, transport links to town/uni, and meet the people you are going to be living with beforehand. It is crucial to know the people you’ll be stuck with for the duration of your contract before you actually move in, because imagine if you don’t like their vibe? Will you want to be stuck there for roughly a year? Well I wouldn’t, and I just say this because I’ve been through something in my second year and only stayed for 3 months as I did not really like any of my flatmates or the house, since I moved in without seeing the house in person, relying solely on pictures. If you already know people who are coming to uni with you, you could all rent a house together and split the bills.

Remember to also take into consideration the distance from the University and the area you’re going to be living in. Birmingham is a large city, and every large city has its good and bad areas. Unfortunately on this one, you’ll have to do some independent research since what’s deemed bad for you might not be bad for me and vice versa.

Wish you all the best and good luck in your house hunt!

Alex xx

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