Find out what it's like to live in college residence.
You’ve decided to study in the UK, you’ve chosen your course, and now you need to decide what type of student accommodation you want to live in – the college residence or in a homestay. Whichever you choose, its important to feel safe, comfortable and happy. Below is a list of the pros and cons of living in the college residences.
The pros (advantages) of living in the college residence:
- Distance: Living in the college residence gives you the advantage of being close to anything in the college from lessons to extra-curricular activities and meal times. You’re basically in the college so you don’t have to wake up extra early to walk or take the bus to the college each day. You just need to wake up, get ready and you’re there. But it’s worth noting that not all college residences are next to the college, some may be a short distance away.
- Getting to know other students quickly. You’re in a building filled with students from around the world. You’ve got a whole hallway of potential new friends. This is a huge benefit to younger students as they usually feel more confident as time goes by. It’s also comforting knowing everyone around you is an international student studying in the UK.
- Finding a study partner is pretty easy: you’re in a building where you have other students, your very own course mates included. So not only do you have potential friends, you also have study partners, which is really helpful. Never underestimate the power of teamwork. Two are better than one. Learning together is essential and the issue of struggling with homework or a concept you found hard to understand in class will not be a problem. There’ll always be someone to help out.
- Nicely cooked meals and access to the cafeteria at meal times as well as common rooms. Don’t fret that you may not like the food, there will be something you like. It’s deliciously prepared and remember it’s just for you too - the student. The common rooms are also available to students, whether you want to relax or study, it’s up to you. That’s another avenue to meet potential new friends.
- A sense of responsibility and independence: Another benefit of living in the college residence is you get to be more independent and responsible. Living in the residence means your own room, your own toilet, your own bed and desk. You’re basically staying there alone with no family even though you do have friends next door. Although most people do see this as a disadvantage, I see it as an immense opportunity to boost confidence as you learn to live and live on your own.
The cons (disadvantages) of living in the Residence:
- The Noise: I can assure you that all the supervisors and security staff do their very best to maintain some sanity in the residence. But come on, you’re in an entire building filled with hundreds of teenagers! It would be unusual not to expect to hear some bizarre person running across the hallway or talking loudly next door. This could however be disturbing sometimes especially when you may feel the need to sleep or do some work. But to be honest it’s not really that much of a problem as the residence staff maintain peace and order most times.
- The absence of that cosy home feeling: This is one of the huge advantages that homestay has over the residence. With homestay, you are surrounded by a family and that nostalgic feeling of home will be very minimal unlike when you’re all alone in your room in the residence.
- Depending on the type of person you are though, sometimes being away from all the students in a residence can be a good thing. There’s bound to be something going on and this is one of the disadvantages of the residence. In this case, living with a host family could spare you from most of the inevitable college drama and this could be a wise choice if you’re an introverted person or one who enjoys their solitude.
- The tendency to live that boring routine life: Not that the tendency isn’t there in a homestay, it’s just more likely to happen when you’re living in the residence. You see the same people each morning at the cafeteria, the same set in the lifts, the courtyard and even the common rooms. Everything can suddenly seem boring compared to the homestay students that have the privilege of seeing and exploring the town each morning before school and also knowing more places in town as they are already staying with family who probably know all there is to know about that particular city. This could be quite disadvantageous to a foreign student living in the residence who is new and alone and isn’t really great at making friends.
Written by Osaikhuwuomwan, Osariemen