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I am a bit confused...

I was (just our of curiosity and for the purpose of estimating living costs in the areas i intend to apply to) checking for student accomodation (UK and US) and first of all, I was surprised to notice, that more often than not the accomodation offered by the universities seems to be more expensive than the general accomodation one has to look for privately. Does that just appear so (maybe because utilities and everything is included in the university accomodation and the private accomodation would possibly cost more than the university accomodation once all utilities were included in the prize), or is university accomodation really more expensive than private accomodation? :blink:

And even more important: The contracts never cover the entire year, there are 39week contracts, 40 week contracts, 48weeks contracts and so on, but almost never is there a contract for the entire year.

So my question is:

Where do people stay in the meantime?? :blink:

Why are there so few accomodations for the entire year, if any?

This is very confusing to me because I have absolutely no idea where people should go in the meantime...

What kinds of contracts are those? Does one have to leave the accomodation after one year alltogether and look privately? I would find it very stressfull to always have to leave the home i hope to make in that accomodation for a few weeks every year...

Does anyone know more about this?

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Hi Nuya,


You are right. It is cheaper to rent privately. Some people like to live in student residence because it's easier to make new friends that way. (Some new students live there for 1 year for the purpose of making new friends and finding new roommates for the following year. Then the rent privately as a group).


If you do live in residence, if it's not a special residence exclusively for grad students, then most of the students will be undergrads and your place will probably be very noisy (not really the ideal setting for a grad student). I can't comment on residences that are only for grad students, however, as these aren't common where I live. But I'd imagine the students would be much more mature and respectful of others' space. 


If you do live in residence, you should be able to extend your stay for longer than 8 mths if you want to. Most schools quote the price for 8 mths because undergrads typically go back home and live with thier parents in the summer.  Most universities rent out rooms to the public during the summer by the night, kind of like a hostel or hotel, to make extra money since few students stick around so extending your stay shouldn't be a problem.

Edited by jenste
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Also, sometimes graduate students stay in the residence for e.g. 39 weeks and then move into another place that is privately rented. This could be a good idea if you don't live close to your new school and so it might be hard to find a place to rent privately.

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When I studied in the UK I picked university accommodation (though off-campus) because it was much cheaper than private accommodation.  Plus it was furnished and in an ideal location.  As a postgrad I was offered a year-long contract but I think other posters are right that the university might be able to extend the advertised 39 week contract. 

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