Moving out of home for the first time is a huge step to take, so making sure you feel at home away from home is key to settling in to college.

Choosing the right accommodation

When it comes to moving out, you have options of what type of accommodation to move into. Digs and Student Halls/On Campus Accomodation being the most common. Both have pros and cons but you need to focus on what’s the better choice for you.


Digs meaning you’re renting a room in a family house.

Speaking to Debbie on The Takeover, Jack Deacon from Spunout suggested it’s a good option if you’re a homebird. 

‘That can be a really good option as your first year living away from home as you’re in a family environment. You have meals provided potentially and you don’t have to worry as much about common areas and keeping them clean.’

Another advantage with Digs is that they are normally cheaper than private accommodation and the bills are usually included in the payment, reliving the worry of hidden costs.

On Campus accommodation

These student halls should have everything you need nearby – shops and launderettes to name a few.

Jack told Debbie they are a ‘really good option if you don’t know the people going to the college you’re going to. A really great chance to meet new people’.

When it comes to payment, it depends on the college but paying semester by semester and potentially the whole year is the most common. 

‘You don’t have to worry about whether it’s a 9 or 12 month lease. If you’re off campus you might only want to rent from September to May, whereas most off campus accommodation might only offer a 12 month lease’, said Jack. 

Another plus is you won’t have to worry about dealing with third party landlords – you’re only dealing with the college. So it’s a bit easier, but you might not have control over who you live with as that’s usually determined by the college.  

If you’re looking for accommodation such as a house, check out your new area’s local newspaper and websites such as It can be easier to secure accommodation in groups as a landlord is looking to fill the house. Having a reference and deposit at the ready is a big plus. 

How much will I have to pay for student accommodation? 

Student accommodation prices vary on different factors such as the location of the accommodation and type you choose. 

What are your rights when securing accommodation?

Main thing to note is you have a right to a lease and you should get it from your landlord. You should sign a lease before you ever move in. 

‘The lease is a legal contract, probably one of the first legal things you’re putting your name to. It’s important to understand you need to understand all the terms in it and ask the questions before you put your name and sign it’.

Jack also states that ‘if you’re paying a deposit – get a receipt for that deposit before you move in’.

Make sure that you examine the property before you move in, look for damage or damp spots and take pictures of the rooms before moving in to record any damage. Make sure to say it to the landlord so you’re not charged for the damage when you’re moving out. 

A good tip is to email the pictures to yourself so they are date stamped for future reference. 

How to choose between accommodation

‘If you’re looking between 2 or 3 properties at the minute, consider how far a walk away it is for lectures each day, what the cost is – budget: there is support out there. Students assistance is found through SUSI which could potentially cover some of the accommodation cost’.

Don’t be shy to ask your Welfare Officer in the Student Union for their advice on surrounding areas, and be sure to look up reviews too. 

Moving out of home for the first time is stressful enough, nevermind under current circumstances so remember there’s always help for you.

Threshold provide housing support to anyone and everyone on loads of different topics surrounding accommodation. 1800-454-454 from 9am to 9pm. provide a free supportline direct to a Youth Information Worker between 4 and 8pm every evening. Simply scroll to the end of your article to get in contact.

If you’re anxious about anything, text HELLO to 50808 and chat immediately to a trained volunteer at any time of the day. They are available 24/7 to talk. 

Part two of ‘Moving Out’ looks at the do’s and don’ts ahead of accepting an apartment/house/room . 

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