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On Campus Vs Off Campus Living: Which is Better?

on campus vs off campus

Moving to a different location for your education and finding the right accommodation is arguably the toughest part of the process. Once your enrolment is confirmed, the biggest question that arises is whether to choose on-campus or off-campus living. To determine the better option, we need to analyse various factors and take into consideration the aspects of a typical student’s life that would be directly affected by choice of accommodation. Although, ultimately, the final decision depends on your preferences, look at the comparison of on-campus vs off-campus living in the following sections to get a better insight!

Which Is Better: On-Campus Vs Off-Campus?

To determine which is better out of living on-campus vs off-campus, let us look at some of the intricacies. For instance, cost of living, amenities, commute, flexibility and social life are all major aspects that would be directly affected by the accommodation type.

Cost Of Living – On-Campus Vs Off-Campus

Of course, the cost of accommodation depends on the city, country, university, dorm/hostel type and further details. However, according to different surveys and statistics comparing on-campus vs off-campus accommodation, we can infer that private housing is significantly cheaper than on-campus housing in a maximum number of countries or universities. This brings up a major point since the living expenditure is often a considerable aspect, especially for international students.

Amenities

Electricity, water, WiFi, and a heater are some of the standard utilities that are often included in the rent of on-campus accommodation. Similarly, additional amenities, like cleaning, maintenance, laundry, etc., may also be included in the same monthly rent. On the contrary, off-campus accommodation may not have all these facilities, and tenants might have to pay extra to avail of the same.

Privacy

Comparing privacy in on-campus vs off-campus housing is essential since students will be staying by themselves and will often need their personal space. If you’re choosing a roommate to stay with, extra noise, distinct schedules, and conflicting sleeping patterns might cause an issue in the long run.

Travel

Living on-campus vs living off-campus has one prominent distinction of transport. On-campus housing helps students save time in commuting in addition to saving the cost of transport. On the other hand, private accommodation, if not in close proximity to the campus itself, will compel students to find ways to reach the university. Although public transport is a great solution, the city you choose may not have good access or might be expensive.

Food

When comparing on-campus vs off-campus living situations, food becomes a vital aspect. On-campus accommodation often offers different meal plans and complimentary food options that students can explore and pick according to their convenience or preferences. Moreover, kitchen spaces or cooking facilities are also often available. However, if you choose off-campus housing, you may have to necessarily cook every day.

Social Life

Social life is greatly supplemented in on-campus housing. Loneliness and depression are two of the most prominent issues that international students face, especially those living alone. At such times, staying in a community and having a social system to fall back on can become one of the top ways to survive in university. Quite the opposite, students usually rent off-campus housing with friends or alone which restricts them from making new friends and finding different communities.

Rules and Restrictions

Rules and restrictions are quite subjective to the university, hostel type, housing type, sharing situation, etc. and can’t be narrowed down. However, when comparing staying on-campus vs off-campus, the former usually has more restrictions relatively. Off-campus housing, on the other hand, has more leniency and added flexibility that might become a pro for people accustomed to their personal space.

Safety

Without a doubt, safety measures are heightened and medical help is far easier to come by in on-campus accommodation. Because a large number of students reside on campus, authorities usually have a setup of immediate first-aid and resources for urgent medical attention – something that might be tough to arrange in off-campus living situations, especially if staying alone.

Pros And Cons Of Living On-Campus Vs Off-Campus

To accurately look at on-campus housing vs off-campus housing, it is best to consider the pros and cons of each. Through the following tables, students can determine the advantages and disadvantages of each type of living situation at a glance.

Pros And Cons Of On-Campus Accommodation

On-campus housing is often recommended for students moving out of their homes for the first time. Although it is usually more expensive, the safety measures, security, social community and proximity to university resources make it worth it. In the beginning, when you’re still exploring the new location, university accommodation can relieve you of the stress of security and comfortable accommodation.

ProsCons
It is usually close to the university buildings and classes.You may have to share a room with other roommates.
It helps save time and money on commuting.You may not have private living spaces, like a bathroom, kitchen, etc.
It enables you to mingle with peers.It may have more rules and regulations to be followed.
On-campus housing helps you stay connected with campus activities.It might be more expensive than private housing options.
It offers additional security.You may have limited space.
More amenities and facilities may be included.It might not be close to local grocery shops, tourist destinations and popular places.
It is easier to find career support and student guidance services.You may not have a lot of freedom in planning your meals.
Meal plans may be included.You may not get the option to choose your roommates.

Pros And Cons Of Off-Campus Accommodation

Off-campus accommodation is more suitable for students in their second and third years. As students gain more experience living in the city and learn the local ways of business, finding a private accommodation that suits their preferences becomes easier. Check out the major pros and cons here:

ProsCons
It has fewer restrictions.If the location of the property isn’t close to the university, you may have to spend extra money on commute.
You can choose to stay with your friends.The daily commute will take your time.
It offers additional privacy.You may have reduced accessibility to campus events, programmes, etc.
You can choose a property with a private bathroom for more privacy.It brings the added responsibility of cleaning and maintaining the property.
Student weekend activities in this regard are moreSocial life may become restricted in the long run due to a lack of connection with new people.
You can choose from a vast range of options for accommodation.Basic amenities may be charged extra.
The average cost of private housing is often cheaper than on-campus accommodation. You may not have immediate access to medical help and other campus resources.

Important Things to Consider Whether Living On-Campus vs Off-Campus

  • Check the location of the property and find how far it is from the campus.
  • Compare the cost of the property with other available options.
  • Verify if you’re going to be staying with roommates or not.
  • Verify how many amenities and facilities are included in the rent.
  • Check the safety measures available, like CCTV, entry and exit logs, etc.
  • Inquire if immediate medical support is available.
  • Double-check how much privacy you will have.
  • See if adequate and cheap transport is available.
  • Are meal plans included? Is there a cooking space to cook?
  • Read the terms of the contract thoroughly.
  • Calculate the average monthly cost of living at the property.

FAQs

1. What’s the difference between on and off-campus?

The difference between on-campus vs off-campus is the location of stay. On-campus housing is usually on the university property in close proximity to the buildings where classes are held. Off-campus housing includes private properties that aren’t necessarily linked to the university, like apartments, studios, etc.

2. Is off-campus housing cheaper?

Although the cost of accommodation depends on several factors, like location, popularity, and type of housing, off-campus housing is typically significantly cheaper than on-campus living in most places.

3. Which is better for placements – on-campus vs off-campus?

Universities that assure placement at the end of the course have an advantage when it comes to on-campus placements. Students get confirmed offers. If not a job, companies may offer internships or part-time opportunities. On the contrary, off-campus placements take effort and students need to research and apply to different companies on their own. But the final salary package may be higher.

4. Does CGPA matter in off-campus placements?

In off-campus placements, CGPA isn’t always a requirement but students need to have good technical skills and some good hands-on projects in their resumes to secure good jobs.

Thank you for reading our guide to on-campus vs off-campus living! Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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