20 January 2020
Finding the right accommodation can be a stressful process unless you get very lucky. I usually try to start looking early. However, the process of researching and finding the right place can take so long that I often only end up booking a place a month or two before I plan to travel. I would highly recommend starting your search early for student accommodation in Edinburgh, so that you can find something close to the University at a reasonable price.
Getting University Accommodation If You're an EU Student
Initially I was hoping to live in University accommodation, but because I am from an EU country I did not have priority. Sometimes, if there are still places available after the international students have been assigned accommodation, the University can then offer EU students accommodation, but that can be quite late. So it is good to have a backup plan. I actually waited a bit too long to see if I would get offered accommodation on campus, and unfortunately there was nothing left, so I quickly had to find something else.
The Benefits of Choosing Private Student Accommodation
I wanted to live close to the University, but I also wanted to live in student accommodation instead of a private flat. I had never been to Edinburgh before and I was not sure if I should agree to rent a flat before having a look at it first. I also like to be careful about giving out private information due to the risk of fraud. For the student accommodation options, there were plenty of reviews available and all the utilities are included in the rent, so it seemed easier to manage things. However, it can be more expensive than renting a privately owned flat.
Nevertheless, living in student accommodation allows you to meet new people other than your friends from your course. I got lucky with my friends at my accommodation, because I spend a lot of time with them and we have become very close. The only downside for me is the distance to the University; it takes around 30 minutes to walk there. There are buses but I thought it would be a good way to exercise a little (I was wrong).
If you want to live close to the University it really is important to start the process as soon as possible, because this is a priority for many new students. If you have the opportunity to speak to a student ambassador, you can ask them your questions about choosing accommodation. This is what I did, as I had never been to Edinburgh before and I wasn't sure about the areas. It was very helpful having someone to talk to who was living in Edinburgh.
Niscanthyni Sivasaravanabavan is studying for the MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation