Find your next home: private halls

Happy Halloween! It has suddenly started to feel quite wintry this week, so why not take 5 minutes to pop the kettle on and make a nice warming drink while you read today’s blog? We are looking at the option of moving into private halls of residence after your first year, reminding students who will be coming to Exeter for a semester’s study in January about applying for accommodation, and letting you know about local firework displays that will light up your weekend.

So what is Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA)?

Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) is the new student halls for today. They are designed and fully equipped to meet the varying demands of today’s students, ranging from studios to shared apartments. Some providers also offer ‘townhouses’ so you can share with more of your friends and feel as though you are living in one big house together.

Shared areas within larger student accommodation buildings usually include TV and cinema rooms, laundry facilities, games areas, study rooms and fully equipped gyms along with other modern multipurpose social spaces.

Purpose built student accommodation blocks tend to be situated in central locations and within walking distance of the University. An ‘all-utility bills’ inclusive rent is what you can usually expect and this has proven a very popular and important aspect for students.

Although there are smaller purpose built blocks, apartment complexes usually have around 150 or more bed spaces, managed by an on-site team who are responsible for the running of the building.

The onsite management team are there to support you through each stage of your enquiry. They can assist with booking and arranging viewings, answering your questions and act as your main point of contact from the initial stages right through to looking after you when you move in.

Many PBSA providers use the social spaces within the accommodation to arrange events throughout the year that promote and encourage the student atmosphere and help tenants integrate into the student community.

What’s out there?

There are so many PBSA options in Exeter and the great part about this is that there is really something to suit everyone. Location plays a big part in what kind of ‘crowd’ or ‘student community’ the student accommodation will attract. City centre locations usually appeal to undergraduates, as the vibrant nightlife is easily accessible. Locations that tend to be a little further outside of the city centre, for example, by the Quay or River Exe, tend to appeal more to students studying at postgraduate level. These locations offer a more tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and there are also options for studio apartments for your own space.

Where to look?

We now have a map on our Accommodation website which shows all the purpose built student accommodation in Exeter. You can use this to identify locations which may appeal to you. Our Private Housing options webpage offers a list of private providers and links to their individual websites where you can view room types, prices, photo galleries and even arrange a viewing. If you cannot view the accommodation in person, it’s worthwhile contacting the provider as many of them are able to arrange Facetime or Skype viewings.

What to ask….

When you do arrange a viewing or have a conversation with a private provider, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You can often get a good ‘feel’ for a place and the kind of student atmosphere that is present as soon as you walk in. Ask what mix of students the accommodation usually appeals to and why? Is this suitable for you and your studying and socialising requirements? Don’t forget to ask about important things such as prices, deposits and if the provider requires a UK guarantor as well as about the terms and conditions of their accommodation contract. You can have a look for reviews online and see what other students are saying about the accommodation you are interested in, but be cautious in how much you rely on these – they may be several years’ old and are not always representative of the majority of residents’ experience of living there.

We really hope all of these things to think about helps and that you enjoy setting out on your new accommodation venture. Remember, there are so many different housing options out there and the key is to enjoy doing a bit of investigative work before many your final decision.

Semester 2 applications opening

Applications open at 10:00am (GMT) on Monday 4 November for students who will be coming to study in Exeter between January and June 2020 on an international exchange or study abroad programme. These applications are dealt with in order of receipt and offers of accommodation are subject to availability. You will not be able to make an application for accommodation until your offer to study at Exeter has been confirmed.

You can find lots more information, including details of how to apply, on our Study Abroad, Erasmus and Exchange Students webpage.

Bonfire and Firework Events in Exeter

With Guy Fawkes Night (commonly known as Bonfire Night) coming up on Tuesday 5 November, there will be several local displays happening this Friday and Saturday as well as on the day itself. Visit Exeter has a comprehensive list of events happening in and around the city, plus the Students’ Guild are selling tickets for the annual Tar Barrels night at Ottery St Mary (coach travel included). These events are a great way to put some light and colour back into these chilly autumn evenings so have fun, but stay safe!


Next week we will be taking a look at another stage in your house-hunting journey: Paperwork. Have a spook-tacular weekend!

Accommodation Meridith

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