Moving house is stressful at the best of times but add into that the inability to go and look at student accommodation can add to those pre-course jitters.
If you are trying to search for postgraduate appropriate housing entirely online, then we have a few strategies to help you with your search.
Get going early
If you’ve accepted a place on a postgraduate course and know where you are headed, then don’t waste any time. Searching for student housing online is going to take time, just like it does if you are walking around looking at student flats. Contact all the options you can think of, even those you are not online if you are feeling the pressure of finding somewhere. It’s always better to crack on and start looking rather than sitting around worrying about it.
Check with your university
Most universities will set aside accommodation for postgraduate students only, like the University of Manchester. This could be a great option for you, especially if you know you might want peaceful neighbours rather than undergraduate students who have just left home. Find out if the student association has any advice, like at the University of Dundee, in the form of a list of local accommodation providers they recommend and a list of local safety briefings for rented housing. If you are renting privately, then check the details of gas certificates and other safety measures against the information the university gives you before you sign a contract.
Choose a housing provider that operates online
To make it easy for yourself search for postgraduate student accommodation providers who are already working online. Fresh Student Living allows students to view potential accommodation, sign leases, arrange move in details and pay deposits all easily online. You can get a tour around the facilities and shared areas as well as see what social events they organise for their residents. It makes a big difference if the company knows what they are doing already and getting a good look at what you are moving into will let you worry about other things.
Do you know anyone from the area?
Ideally, a good friend or a close relative will know the area well and know the best parts of the town for postgraduate students to live. Of course, this would be handy, but if it’s not the case you should check to see if you can connect with any other students on your course or at the university in general, as a quick chat with someone in the know could help you find suitable accommodation online.
Use social media
If you don’t know anyone at the university yet then you should connect on social media with other postgraduate students. Social media is a powerful tool, so you should be able to find alumni through your network of contacts. Otherwise, contact the university’s social media pages – like this at the University of Exeter – to find someone who might be able to give advice. Most student associations will be focussing on new students coming in and will have lots of advice about finding somewhere to live from a distance on multiple channels online.
There apps and websites that aim to help all types of students and others find housemates and accommodation online. Here is just a small selection of some websites that are out there with a listing of the countries they currently represent: