The two sides of living off-campus closed to Coventry city centre – OurWarwick

The two sides of living off-campus closed to Coventry city centre

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For masters students, choosing where to live throughout the academic year could be quite challenging. You might want the convenience that on-campus accommodations offer, but at the same time, experiencing living within a British residential area or the unlimited attractions a city centre can offer might be equally tempting to you. I was in a huge dilemma before deciding to live in a shared house, outside of the campus. I chose a location that is not far from Coventry city centre and after five months of living there, I can now share some of the pros and cons of living off-campus from my perspectives and my personal experiences. There are five main things I have realised and I will talk you through them, one at a time. You can decide whether each of them belongs to pros or cons!

  1. Lower rent

It is not a secret that off-campus accommodations cost lower than the ones on campus. The main reason for that is because one cannot just wake up ten minutes before the class and arrive at campus on time. It can take fifteen to thirty minutes walking if the house is not so far from campus, but for me, it takes me at least twenty five minutes to reach campus. It does not include the time I have to spend waiting for the bus to come. Luckily, the bus to campus from where I live has plenty of schedules and it almost always comes on time.

  1. Transportation and access to city centre

I chose a room in a house near Coventry city centre. The location is great because the city centre is only within walking distance. If you shop at the market a lot, or enjoy city life during your free time, living around the city centre can be a good option. I only need to spend twenty minutes walking to Coventry market, but even when I am lazy, I still have several bus options to take me there. The buses stop at two different bus stops near my house and they are going through different routes, which means I can reach different places easily from where I live. Besides, there is West Midlands Cycle Hire station very close to my house with which I plan to cycle a lot during spring and summer time.

Trains and buses are the most popular modes students use for travelling to other cities. Since I live very close to the city centre, it also means trips to the stations are very short. Both Coventry bus station and railway station are nearby. By bus, it takes five to ten minutes to go there and even if I miss the bus, I can reach both stations by walking for twenty minutes which, in my opinion, is a good thing to have during unexpected situations.

  1. Food

Living near the city centre means surrounded by unlimited options for eateries, again, within walking distances. Getting my food delivered to my house never costs me much. During the weekend, I sometimes walk to the city centre to shop at the market, grab takeaways from some food stalls, or eat at the cafe and restaurants. From western, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese to Japanese, there are more than enough options to suit every palate.

Talking about food in relation to living off-campus does not only cover positive sides of it, but also some of the disadvantages. I often cook my own meals and snacks. I make ahead my meals and snacks (cookies, bread, sandwiches, granola, pudding) and I will keep them in my fridge for the whole week. When I have several classes with an hour or two in between the classes, I normally choose to stay at campus because if I go back home, I will waste most of the time on the road. This means, I have to always pack my lunch and snacks, sometimes my dinner, too if I go to campus, especially when I study for the whole day in the library. I do not have that option for running to my accommodation for ten to fifteen minutes to eat my lunch or grab my snacks and then return to the building on campus in no time. I often whine for having to carry so much weight inside my backpack daily. This one is clearly a con, right?

  1. Housemates

This is personal. In fact, this was not among the reasons I chose to live in the house I am currently living in. However, after all this time, I realised it is actually something appealing from living off-campus. In my house, there are only two students, including me. The rest of my housemates work around Coventry areas. Living with non-students housemates makes me feel like living with my elder brothers and sisters. It also teaches me to be more responsible in keeping the house clean! I am always surprised how our kitchen is always neat and stays clean even when there are always some of us cooking on a daily basis. The only choice I can have is to do the same as them. I can say I have been inspired to be diligent and to keep things neat and clean in the house.

Living with non-students also means I get to hear a lot of their experiences related to working in the UK. Besides, we are all from different countries. When we hold a social gathering, we always end up with a lot of new knowledge about each other’s country. My perspective for life has since broadened since I moved into the house.

  1. Other life experiences

Another thing that living off-campus cannot give us is that vibe of university students surrounding you day and night. What presents around where I live is the sight of elementary and middle school students going to their school and my favourite is that time when the little kids get picked up by their parents and tell them the story of their day at school enthusiastically while walking on the sidewalk, past my house. Things here happen quite differently than those in my country and it makes me value even such small things around me.

Unusual package delivery is also a new experience to me. Unlike living on-campus, I can get my packages delivered right to my door. However, for some reason, they can sometimes be delivered to my neighbour’s house instead. Or, depending on what my packages contain, the couriers would leave them somewhere near my door. Of course those happen occasionally, when I happen to be outside home and none of my housemates are in as well.

Another thing I was not aware of when I decided to live in my current house is the existence of a convenience store across it. There are normally some convenience stores in every residential area and I am lucky enough to have one which I can reach in a blink of an eye, literally within ten seconds of walking! Trust me, being able to reach a convenience store so quickly when you really need to buy something for cooking, for example, is really valuable, although some convenience stores might not be as big as the grocery store at the central campus. But, still, like its name suggests, it is convenient to have them close by!

That was all! So, like the experiences of mine that I have told above, wherever you choose to live, be it on or off-campus, there will always be pros and cons and each choice will be the best choice if we can see things from the two sides and try our best to live our days to the fullest with the housemates we have in the house or flat we choose.

Anything! About baking, cooking, lifestyle, music, travel, Indonesia, English teaching,…
Find out more about me Contact Irene

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