Chelmsford student accommodation

Living at university

Have you got lots of questions about student accommodation, housemates and moving to a new city? Here are some of our frequently asked questions about living at university.

Living at University

I’m not sure I can afford student accommodation.

  • The cheapest on-campus accommodation in Cambridge is £152.04 per week, which covers utilities, furniture and internet.
  • The cheapest on-campus accommodation in Chelmsford is £132.86 per week, which covers utilities, furniture and internet.

If you feel like you may not be able to afford our accommodation, then make sure you get in touch. Our Residential Service will be able to talk you through the best living options for you and our Finance Team will be able to help you work out a budgeting plan.

What if I don’t like my accommodation?

Many applicants get a chance to see all of the accommodation options during open days, but some applicants don't see their accommodation until the day they move in during freshers week. No matter whether you have or you haven't seen where you're going to live in person, finally moving in to a new room can be overwhelming.

It's important to give yourself time to settle in, but if you arrive to your new accommodation and you feel that something isn’t right then you should get in touch with your accommodation team. If you feel like you would be happier elsewhere they will always be willing to talk you through your other potential accommodation options. However, University accommodation will be dependent on availability.

The accommodation team at ARU will always work with you to make sure you are in a living situation where you feel safe and happy.

If I’m living in private accommodation will I still have the same university experience?

Living at home or renting private accommodation doesn’t mean that you can't immerse yourself in student life. Renting will give you the chance to be a part of the local community and will give you a real sense of what it is like to live independently. You can search on our official property website StudentPad to make sure that you find private accommodation that gives you a good balance between independence and university living.

Can I go to university and live at home?

Living at home is a great opportunity to keep costs down, especially if you live in a convenient distance from campus. You will still meet like-minded students on your course, in societies and at events, so there’s no need to worry about missing the social side of university life.

If you attend an ARU open day you will have the opportunity to tour our student accommodation. Even if you are planning to live at home during your degree, it's still worth taking part in the tour to give you a feel for what university might be like if you opted to live on campus. 

Do you provide accommodation for students with disabilities?

We understand that certain medical conditions, disabilities and life events can have a big impact on day-to-day living, so many of our rooms already have some useful features to help you make the most of living in university accommodation. If you have other adaptations or considerations in mind, you can let the university know so they can do their best to facilitate your needs.

What do you get in your university room?

What is supplied in your room may change from university to university. However, you can probably expect the following as standard:
  • Single bed
  • Wardrobe
  • Desk and chair
  • Desk lamp
  • Chest of drawers
  • Mirror
  • Bookshelf
  • Noticeboard
  • Rubbish bin
  • Under-bed storage space (some rooms include a storage box too)

Will the university help me find private accommodation?

If you ask the accommodation team at whichever university you apply for, they should be able to provide you with advice and support throughout the process. New students can sometimes be easy targets for renting scams, which is why your university should help you to ensure that who you are renting from meet Local Trading Standards.

If you apply to ARU, you can use our very own Studentpad property listing platform. The properties shown on this platform have been reviewed by the Residential Service, so the basic rental paperwork has been checked before we agree to advertise it. You can also use the message board where you can find spare rooms posted by other student

Do I get to choose my housemates?

If you choose to live in university accommodation, you are usually placed with other applicants who have made the same accommodation choices. If you have special requirements, your accommodation team should be able to tackle these. For example, if you require single sex accommodation options, you will be given an opportunity to disclose this when you apply.

Typically, you are not able to choose who you live with if you are opting for university accommodation. However, if you get in touch with the university they may be able to help in exceptional circumstances.

If you would rather choose your university housemates, it may be best to opt for private accommodation. Knowing a group of people you can apply for private accommodation with may even streamline the process.

The idea of living with people I don’t know makes me nervous.

Moving in with people that you don’t know can be a source of great anxiety for some applicants. It’s important to remember that the majority of first year students will be going through the same experience as you are when you arrive, which means they may be just as nervous. The first few weeks of university is an intense and exciting time. You’ll be meeting lots of new people all in one go and not just people in your accommodation. There will be students from your course, students attending freshers events and students who join the same societies as you. This is good news, as it means you can meet lots of different people and form friendships where it feels natural.

It’s important to be polite and kind to your housemates, but there is no pressure to be friends with them exclusively. If you help to keep your communal spaces clean and you are respectful of their personal space and their right to be able to study in the accommodation, you should have no problems. That being said, many university students find that the friends they make in their first year accommodation end up being friends for life.