You will have a lot of flexibility when it comes to living as a student at higher education. There are many options to consider, in order to find the best choice for you.

Most students tend to move away from their home to attend university as a way to access higher education. This could be moving away to the next neighboring city, the other side of the UK or perhaps another country.

However, you may decide to live at home and travel to a university, a college or even study online for your degree. When starting to think about living as a student, it's always good to look at your living choices and decide the right option for you.

Living at university

If you decided that the way you wanted to study at higher education was by going to a university, you may already know that there are two main types of university: 'campus-based university' and 'city-based'. Consult our jargon buster for a definition of the two types of university.

When preparing to live as a student, you may want to ask yourself whether you would prefer to attend a city-based university and be more immersed in city life, or perhaps choose to study at a campus-based university where everything you need is all on one site. Some universities, like York, are campus-based but are only a short walk away from the city centre.

There are pros and cons to both, but you have the choice to decide what is right for you. Once decided, you'll be able to narrow down your search and look for either a city-based or campus-based university that offers a course you are interested in.

Contact us

Leave a message in the Community Chat. If you'd rather email, the team are available Monday to Friday and will respond as quickly as possible.

Commuting to university

Just because you have decided to access higher education, this does not mean you have to move away. You might want to stay near your family and friends, or you may have other personal commitments. You can decide to live at home and commute to university or college when you have lectures and seminars scheduled into your timetable.

If you choose to commute you will still make new friends and enjoy student life by joining societies and sport teams. 

Watch on YouTube

Hollie, one of our Graduate Ambassadors, was a commuter student. Watch Hollie share her experiences of commuting to university.

Independent skills

In addition to gaining a degree, you will also learn lots of new independent life skills such as managing your money, cooking for yourself and doing your laundry.

You may already be a great chef, but you might also need to brush up on your cooking skills and learn some new recipes. Learning to cook a handful of recipes is something you could be doing in preparation to live as a student!

Activity one: recipe cards

Getting a few simple recipes under your belt is something we would recommend anyone to do whilst preparing for student living. Also baking some sweet treats is a great way on your first day to break the ice with your new flatmates or course friends.

We've created four recipe cards of some delicious and easy to make recipes for you to download and try yourself:

We recommend taking care when trying out these recipes and having the support of an adult to help out.

We'd would love to see your creations of the simple recipies - email us at

Hear from some of our students about cooking at university

Activity two: checklists

When it comes to preparing to live as a student, we know there's lots of things to think about, so we've prepared some useful checklists of student living essentials:

Find out more on what to bring with you to university

Contact us

Leave a message in the Community Chat. If you'd rather email, the team are available Monday to Friday and will respond as quickly as possible.