Local and Commuting Students

Each year over 300 new undergraduate students choose to live off campus. Many of these students opt to continue living at 'home' with family, a partner, friends or alone. Some of these student live in York and others are spread across the region and beyond. There are many advantages of not living in 'student' accommodation, including saving money and being able to fulfil family commitments but there are also challenges that come with being a local or commuting student.

If you are a local or commuting student we hope the information in this section will help you adjust to university life; meet other local and commuting students and ensure you know where to go to access support if and when you need it. 

Choosing a college

Even if you won’t be living on campus you will still be part of a college community. There are eight undergraduate colleges at the University. Once you have enrolled through e:Vision you can select which college you would like to belong to.

All colleges provide social spaces as well as opportunities to meet other students, take part in sports and participate in well-being workshops and the inter-cultural competency programme. Most colleges also provide access to a microwave and kettle so you can warm food and drinks on campus. 

If you don't choose a college yourself by the end of August the University will allocate you one. This is to ensure you receive emails about college welcome events and other important information prior to the start of term. You can change your college further down the line if you feel this is necessary. 

Visit the different college webpages for more information about what each has to offer. If you wish to chose a college in order to take part in events and activites and meet other students, look at the events and activities the different colleges organise as these are largely student-led and vary considerably between colleges. Alternatively, you may wish to choose a college so you have access to a kettle and light food preparation area. In order to find out where these, and other facilities, are situated on campus so you can choose a college based on this, use the links below:

  • Map showing the location of showers and light food preparation areas (which include microwaves) on the Heslington and Kings Manor Campuses. Please note some of these areas will be restricted access (i.e only to be used by PhD students/ students in that particular department) where this is the case it will be clearly indicated in the description which appears when you click on the marker. 
  • Information on the location of study spaces, including those with IT facilities.

Many off campus students opt to join a college close to their department. This can be handy, however, bear in mind that not all of your lectures and seminars are guaranteed to take place in your department.

Adjusting to University life

It will take you time to settle in and adapt to University life, don’t be too hard on yourself in the first term when you are dealing with so much change. You may need to find ways of balancing your new University commitments with the demands of running a home, working or raising a family. 

As a local or commuter student in some ways your transition to University life may be easier than it is for students who opt to live on campus, as your home life will change less significantly. You may also benefit from having an established network of support around you.

However, there can be some unique challenges associated with being a local or commuter student, including:

  • A lack of peer support – resident students often fall into friendship groups within their accommodation soon after they arrive. You will need to make more of an effort to get to know other students. Try to get involved in University life as much as possible in order to meet others with similar interests and attend any events organised for Local and Commuting students to meet others who understand some of the challenges you face.
  • Time spent travelling – if you are a commuter student travelling to and from University will be a major part of your university experience. Try to make your commute as enjoyable (!) and productive as possible by:
    • Making sure you know the quickest way to travel to University.
    • Ensuring you get the best deal on public transport costs.
    • Having public transport enquiry numbers (e.g. National Rail etc) in your mobile.
    • If you are travelling on public transport make the most of your journey time by using it for University reading, note taking etc.
  • Not feeling part of the University community – living away from campus will mean it is more difficult for you to make use of some of the university’s facilities (e.g. library, sports centre) and to get involved in university life (e.g. joining societies, engaging with your college).  However, there will be ways you can access facilities and get involved in life on campus that will work for you, so try to make the most of these opportunities as they will help you to feel part of the University community.

You may find these tips for commuting students on The Student Room website helpful. 

Student Buddying Scheme

All local and commuting students starting an undergraduate course in September 2017 will be offered the opportunity to sign up for a Student Buddy. A Buddy is a second or third year student who will help you settle into university life and support you through your first year here. 

If you are a current local or commuting student and would like to find out more about being a Student Buddy, or if you are interested in having a Buddy when you start studying in September 2017, visit our Student Buddying Scheme page to find out mor

Meeting other students

You will meet many students from all walks of life through your course and any other extra-curricular groups or activities you get involved in. 

Also, for the first time, this September the University has organised a Welcome Event specifically for students who are living off campus, see below.

Welcome Café for Local and Commuting Students

11am – 12.30pm on Monday 25th September in Vanbrugh Bar, Campus West

All students who are continuing to live at 'home' with family, a partner, friends or alone, while they are at University are invited to come along to this event for non-resident students. This event will give you chance to chat to other local and commuting students, some who are new to the University and others who have been here for a year, or more, already. We'll give you a voucher for a free hot drink and our student helpers will also be happy to show you where to confirm your attendance for your student loan, as well as any other parts of the campus you'd like to see 

There is no need to book for this event, just come along!  

Welcome Week Drop-ins

During Welcome Week we will be offering free hot drinks to all mature, local and commuting students who would like to join us for a chat and a chance to get to know each other. These informal events, which there is no need to book for, will take place at the following times and venues:

10 - 11.30am on Wednesday 27th September in the Ron Cooke Hub, Campus East

1.30 - 3pm on Thursday 28th September in Alcuin Bistro, Campus West

11am - 12.30pm on Friday 29th September in the Roger Kirk Centre, Campus West

Accessing support

Studying as a local or commuting student can be challenging. It is normal for there to be bad days as well as good days. However, if you feel like you would benefit from talking to someone, there are plenty of people you can approach for advice or a chat when you're at York. This includes your college team (non-resident students still belong to a college), your academic supervisorYUSU and colleagues in Student Services

If you are a current local or commuting student and have any suggestions as to any other information and/ or events which would be useful for you and other students in this group please get in touch with Nicola Browne, Student Support Co-ordinator by emailing: nicola.browne@york.ac.uk

Important information

In order for payment of your student loan to be triggered you need to confirm your attendance at the University. For resident students this will be done when they collect their room keys. Non-resident students need to confirm their attendance by going to the Student Hub in Market Square with their Student ID card.

Attendance confirmation for student loans will be taking place in the Student Hub between 9-10am and 2-3pm Monday to Friday in Week 1 (w/c 25th September). It's important you go along to the Student Hub at one of these times in order to receive your student loan.