Living off-campus as a second or third year (or in my case, in my fourth/masters year!) is a great experience, and there are plenty of options to cater for all types of students. You could rent a house / flat with friends or course mates, rent in private student halls, apply to live on campus, or commute from home.
How I found living off-campus
In my first year, I lived in catered accommodation in James College; in my second year I lived in private halls; in my third year I rented a flat with a course mate, and in my fourth year I again lived in private halls.
For the years I lived-off campus, I lived on Lawrence Street, the main road between the University and the city centre. I liked this location as it was close to the shops and cafés in town, wasn’t too far from the university, and was around the corner from the supermarkets Lidl and Morrisons. For more niche ingredients, there is a convenient international food store and halal meat shop, Makka International, about a 10-minute walk from the university.
Something I loved about living off-campus was being able to cycle everywhere, as this suited my lifestyle really well. For two out of my four years at university I lived in a studio flat, which may sound lonely, but I liked the peace and quiet of my own space, I also made friends with lots of people in my accommodation building. Plus, being so near to town meant I could go out and socialise easily, or have friends round for dinner.
Dealing with bills
A key way living off-campus is different from halls is that you might have to organise and manage your own bills, such as, gas, electricity, water and TV licence. Plus, you’ll need to cook for yourself, as constantly getting takeaways will soon eat into your student loan! Some off-campus accommodation offer bills included packages, so look out for those! I have experienced both cases and I had no issues with either. When I did have to manage my own bills, I asked my landlord for advice on how to go about it; then my course mate and I split the bills fairly between us.
Common student accommodation locations
Although Lawrence street is great, it isn’t the only option! Other popular student locations include the City Centre, Hull Road, Fulford, Tang Hall and Badger Hill. Don’t worry about finding somewhere to live just yet though! In the first term of your first year there’ll be a housing fair where you’ll be able to find out more about the different letting agents, as well as the private student halls. You can go to this fair in later years too!
Read more about student experiences of living off campus