Living Off Campus: What You Really Need To Know
E Magazine Issue 12 March 2020

Living Off Campus: What You Really Need To Know

Living Off Campus: What You Really Need To Know

Life off campus without the rules and regulations of a university setting can certainly appear like the greener grass on the other side of the fence. But it often entails more than what meets the eye. If you too are lured by a life that is away from the campus, you need to consider these essential points.

The choice to live a life as an off-campus student is not an easy one. There are many questions and risks linked to life off campus, such as the expectations of landlords, finding a property within your budget and the safety of surrounding areas. But on the other side, it has plenty of benefits too. It gives you the essence of an independent life and freedom to live your life according to your choice. It can be a great experience, because you are entirely dependent on yourself, giving you key lessons in self-management and discipline, budgeting, time management and when to say no to partying and yes to studying.But before you decide to get on this bandwagon of self-discovery, you need to look upon the factors linked with it. Here are some of the detailed tips and some questions that may be rolling in your mind, if you decide to live life as an off-campus student.



It is very important to build a healthy relationship with your landlord once you have decided to be his or her tenant. For this, always try to clear your rent before the due date. Don’t cause deliberate damages to the premises and you should always act responsibly when inviting your friends for a get together or for a group study. It is important to follow through with all of your commitments that you made at the time of rental agreement.

If you detect a defect that needs taking care of by the owner, you should bring it up with your landlord at the earliest, at least before the problem turns worse and becomes your responsibility. If you want to move out, act responsibly and inform him or her in writing and ask for your security deposit. After reviewing, it is his or her responsibility to make a list of any damages made by you or to return your security deposit fee before you leave the property.



You should do careful research with a clear financial plan for yourself in mind. Your financial plan could incorporate things like your earnings if any, getting financial assistance from your parents, and other sources of income. Here are some key considerations:



Almost all property owners ask for a security deposit fee, making it quite the hard and fast rule. However, you should be set up to incorporate that sum in your financial plan. A general security deposit could be as much as a whole month’s rent or even more, depending on the norms in the area, city or country you are. Remember this cost while looking and planning off-campus life.



It will be the most important part to consider when planning a budget for your accommodation. What amount of your pay or funding would you be able to allow to pay as your rent? It is a decent principle guideline to put close to 25 percent of your monthly budget towards rent.



If you drive a car, a few properties may provide parking spaces, but many may not. Make sure to get some information about that when you are on the hunt for a property. On the off chance that you don’t drive, you may need to pay for travel to and from your college, depending upon how far your residence is from your college. Consider an estimate for that as well in your plans for off-campus life.



If you have a car, distance from the campus will not be a major issue, but commuting time certainly will be. However, if you are considering using public transport for your commute to and from the campus, you should look for a property that is as close to the campus as possible. Trust us, the time spent on hours of commute really drains you out and leaves little energy for hitting the books with full force.



Your monthly rent could possibly cover all utilities. But in many cases, you will have to cater to the expenses for various utilities separately. When you are thinking about an accommodation off campus, keep certain things in mind so there are no surprises. Average utilities would include water, gas, power, waste, and Internet services. The monthly cost of utilities will differ depending on the area, so you should do your research to discover the amount you can expect to spend.




The neighborhood and neighbors will play a considerable role in your life off campus. So while you inspect the property, a little finding out about the neighborhood will also do you good. Find out if the surroundings offer a peaceful environment, are away from noisy traffic and from thoroughfares. You will be needing quite a bit of peace to concentrate on your studies, assignments and projects. So a noisy neighborhood could prove a difficult setting for studies. On your part, you should also take care of the rights of your neighbors. You don’t want loud music blaring out of your and causing distress to people in the area. With some research beforehand, you can ensure that the life off campus is spent away from trouble. 



As you will likely be heading to the campus or returning from at odd hours, security in the area you are choosing to set up camp should be a major point of consideration. Find out if the landlord has a security mechanism like security guards, CCTVs or electronically monitored locks in place. You should also ask about the general safety of residing in the area. Is it a neighborhood known for crimes or other anti-social activities? If so, you certainly need to look for other options in your list.Living away from campus will offer loads of new experiences and learning to a student taking the first few steps into adult life. But to truly make it a pleasant experience worth recalling, we suggest you really do your homework first, so that the only thing you have to worry about is your studies.


Amelie is the CEO of French Lessons Australia. Her passion for languages never quitted her: Amelie undertook multiple language exchanges in Spain, America or Ireland, and also decided to make it part of her academic life as she completed a Bachelor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Paris and a Languages program at the University of Cambridge.

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