We asked two of our ambassadors, Jake and Zoe, to describe their experiences of both living on campus and commuting from home. For the latest information on Accommodation, please see our FAQ.
Jake - Halls
In my first year, I was lucky enough to stay in BCU’s University Locks accommodation, which is located a stone’s throw away from the Curzon Building on BCU’s City Centre Campus. It was perfect for having a lie-in, even when I’d have early morning lectures!
This wasn’t the only benefit of course. Making new friends, socialising, feeling safe, being close to campus and developing life skills were also reasons why university accommodation was perfect for me.
University Locks was only a year old when I moved in, in 2017. It’s an extremely secure and safe accommodation, with security monitoring the front of reception 24 hours a day, all year round, which was important to me, being located in the heart of a large city.
One of the best parts of living in Uni accommodation is the social element. Although you make friends within your flat and on your course, living in accommodation gave me the opportunity to meet even more people and make even more friends. Social areas above reception, inside and outside, gave me different areas to study and to meet passers-by. There is even a pool table in the social areas where I’d hang out and challenge my mates.
Another element that made my time in University Locks enjoyable were the facilities. From the kitchen space and the storage options, to the speed of the Wi-Fi, everything was great and, most importantly, reliable. My favourite part, however, was the double beds and large, en-suite bathrooms which gave me a lot of personal space, perfect for individual study and storage.
The University is open all day and all night during term-time, so being in the Locks is perfect for late night study there. It was really easy and convenient to access the library for any books I needed for my modules. Although I had my own personal laptop, I had the option of using computers on campus if I needed to, which took less than two minutes to walk to from my room.
University Locks is great, and I loved every minute when staying there. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking to stay in accommodation in their first year.
Zoe - Commuting
Before I commenced my studies as a Law student, I honestly could not decide whether it was best to commute or live on campus. But after carefully evaluating my life, my commitments, and my money, I decided that I should commute.
My first reason for this was that I began university at the age of 19, since I decided to take a gap year before I began my studies, and at the time I thought that was very old (I realise it is not now!). Because of this, I felt that I had already experienced the heavy partying and socialising when I was 18 and had grown out of that lifestyle.
Secondly, I love being at home. I live independently from my parents in my own house and I love being in my own bubble with my partner. My own private house meant commuting was the best option for me financially, since I was able to control my money and invest it in a more efficient way to benefit my future.
Thirdly, due to my existing financial commitments, I needed to work part-time constantly throughout my degree. Luckily, I joined a solicitor firm in my local town where I started as a receptionist, and I got promoted to a litigation assistant. Living at home has allowed me to gain vital experience to hold alongside my degree and to pay my bills comfortably.
Surprisingly, I find my travel in the car for 1 hour each way to Birmingham very simple and easy. This is due to the route I drive, which became more and more familiar as the days went on. I travel before rush hour since I am required to be in university early for my 9am lecture. But I also used the train in my first year, which was just as easy as the campus is only about a 15-20 minute walk away from all the city centre train stations.
Financially, I find that commuting means I have saved money, since the cost I spend travelling is minimal compared to accommodation fees. In addition, I have been able to work in my local town and secure a regular income which means I have not been entering any student overdraft. This provides me with fewer financial worries. I also get to enjoy my home comforts - I am an individual who could not live away from home as I struggle with home sickness, so commuting has allowed me to feel comfortable in my living arrangements and study at the same time.
I want to say to any student reading this, commuting does not mean you do not get the lifestyle of university. I can reassure any student that I have made amazing friends, some who commute and some who live in University accommodation. I have also been to multiple BCU events, and I have completed my studies whilst feeling comfortable being at home and not living out. Commuting does not mean you won’t experience the same as a Uni accommodation student - university is what you make it!