Student Guide to a Strange City: Finding the Best Accommodation

What does it mean to be a student in a strange city? So you’ve finished your A Level exams and gotten your Uni offer. Summer is almost in the rear-window and you start to look for safe and affordable accommodation on the usual property platforms like Student Roost and Unite.

StudySmarter and Staytoo, Student Guide to a Strange City, StudySmarter Magazine

Here’s the issue; you have no clue about the city and where everything is, don’t know anyone well enough to pick a roommate to split the cost of accommodation (if that’s an option you need to consider), or even what type of accommodation to choose from. You don’t know if you are lost, overwhelmed or just delulu about your future independence and student life. Whether for study or your first apprenticeship, the challenges of being a stranger in a new city or university just hits different than what you faced in high school.

Finding the right accommodation and community can be done right, however, when you sit down, breathe, and think about each challenge many students face as they move to a new city.

How Moving to a Strange City Leaves You Shook

Here are the 5 difficulties you face when moving to a strange city as a student:

  1. Finding Accommodation: Hunting for a cool spot to crash in a new city can be a real struggle. From scrolling through endless listings to actually visiting places, it’s like a full-time job! Plus, you have to make sure it’s not just a roof over your head but also a vibe that matches your style (and that it’s close to your Uni of course).
  2. Adapting to a Strange Environment: Getting lost while trying to find that one coffee shop everyone talks about is a classic move. New streets and weird bus routes? Major confusion vibes. You might end up on a mini adventure just trying to get groceries. It can take a while to adjust to transportation or the local cuisine.
  3. Meeting Your Squad: Breaking into new social circles in a new city or just finding folks who get your humour can take a hot minute. Taking a while to form meaningful relationships with people can be a lot when you feel like you are talking to strangers all the time. You are also away from your friends and family, so you’d feel alone and experience FOMO from all the events and time you are missing out on back home.
  4. Budgeting Blues: Keeping your wallet happy while trying to enjoy everything the city offers can be tricky. Between rent, transport, and those sneaky late-night snack runs, your bank account might be screaming for a break. And let’s not talk about paying bills.
  5. School vs. Life: Balancing classes and soaking up all the cool stuff your new city has to offer? That’s the real hustle inside your new independence. You want to ace your exams and keep your chores up to date, but also make memories outside those lecture halls. Independence can be overwhelming and challenge your organisational skills at the same time.

So how can you reduce the challenges of a new city? Let’s take a look at how choosing the right accommodation and activities to build your squad can make you feel safe in a strange city to do your studies hassle-free?

Guide for Students Living in a Strange City, StudySmarter

Checklist of Housing Options

For many of you, the move begins with the search for the perfect place to call home. Your housing choice impacts not just how you manage your budget, but also how you connect with your new community.

Let’s look at some examples of housing choices:

  • Shared Apartments (WG-Wohnung): These are popular among students because they offer a balance of privacy and community. You have your own room but share common areas like the kitchen and living room, which are great spaces to bond with housemates.
  • Student Apartments: These facilities are designed with students’ needs in mind, featuring individual rooms and essential amenities. What makes student apartments stand out is their community-focused events and structures that help newcomers integrate smoothly.
  • Flatshare: When several people live together in one flat or house. Everyone has their own bedroom, while the kitchen, living room, and facilities are shared.
  • Micro-Living Units: This style of living caters to students looking for an all-inclusive experience. Micro-living spaces are efficiently designed to ensure that even a small area is comfortable and functional, often equipped with furnishings and utilities.

Did you know:  Staytoo shows what modern, efficient living looks like for students. Watch this video to see how Staytoo might just be the new place you call home.

Benefits and Challenges of Each City Living Style

When moving into accommodation in a new city, each housing option comes with its perks and challenges:

Shared Apartments:

– Benefits: Lower costs, social environment.

– Challenges: Less privacy, the potential for conflicts.

Student Apartments:

– Benefits: Designed for students, supportive staff, and organised social activities.

– Challenges: Can be pricier, less interaction with the broader local community.


– Benefits: All-inclusive, modern amenities, great for privacy.

– Challenges: Limited space, fewer in-person interactions.

The Struggles of Finding Your Squad

Right, accommodation is checked off. What about friends? The most common pains of making your own community include:

Shaky social skills: Meeting someone new or joining a group event solo can be scary. It’s like, “Will they get my vibe or nah?”. In the grand scheme of things, you probably feel pretty shy or anxious around one person or a big group. Improving your social skills then becomes a priority, but that can take time or a lot of trial and error.

Not Relating to the Party Scene: Students only caring about going out and getting wasted may feel like a common issue in campus life. You want to make a meaningful relationship outside of alcohol or partying, but that’s pretty hard when that is what everyone else seems to be obsessed about. Good news! There are plenty of other people who are just like you, or student organisations that promote social life without alcohol or partying.

Safety First: Ever hang with someone and they seem sus? Not everyone’s into the same stuff, and that’s cool, but it can be a drag. It’s important to feel safe with new people. You gotta trust your gut if the vibes are off, no matter how cool they seem, or how much everyone else likes them.

Academic Problems: Classes, coursework, deadlines. These can feel like a never-ending rollercoaster. You may feel too over your head with Uni work to feel up to socialising, or maintaining your relationships that you have already made.

Budgeting Problems: Pairing city living with the cost of living crisis, rent, and socialising with people you are still getting to know can really take a toll on your mental health, let alone your wallet. You don’t want to have to lose your new friends because you can’t keep up with the build-up of eating out, cinema, concerts, or other things that everyone else wants to do.

Maintaining Friendships and Community Spirit

Looking for friends in a new city isn’t just about where you hang out; it’s about getting involved and vibing with the community. Here are some solid tips to help you settle into the social scene:

    1. Attend Welcome Events: Places like Shared Apartments have welcome parties twice a year at the start of each semester, and/or parties all year round such as in Summer, Christmas, and Carnival. Joining in with these events can be overwhelming at first, but you might find that one person who can tell you how the bus system works.
    2. Join Clubs and Societies: Meeting groups that share your interests can lead to meaningful relationships. Whether it’s sports, arts, or tech, there’s def a community waiting for you to stan.
    3. Take Classes: Cooking, dance, or language classes are a great way to meet people as you’ll already have something in common.
    4. Use Social Media and Apps: Use social apps and platforms that are designed to connect people, such as Meetup, Nextdoor, or even Facebook groups that advertise events in your new city.
    5. Utilise Your Housing’s Common Areas: If you’re living in a shared space, use those common areas to chill and throw small hangouts. It’s all about making the most of the amenities everyone can enjoy.
    6. Volunteer: Jumping into volunteer work not only spices up your resume but also helps you meet new people and gets you more plugged into the community.
    7. Finding Budget-Friendly Activities: Activities like exploring the park, free museums, or free community events can be just the things to preserve your bank account. Use Student discounts to get cheaper deals on meals, clothing, or tickets, and think about cooking at home or hosting potlucks more often with your friends.

Student Guide to Making a New Home

Moving into a new city as a stranger can leave you salty if you are not prepared enough. Switching between accommodation, transportation, trying to make friends, budgeting, and discovering your new independence can leave anyone feeling lost. But worrying about making friends and accommodation should not weigh on you. By embracing these environments, setting up your accommodation, and throwing yourself into local events, you can really build lasting friendships and memorable experiences that make your Student life pop.

Student Guide to a Strange City: About Staytoo

Staytoo gets it—they know you need that sweet spot of comfy, affordable, and community vibes. Their accommodations are made to fit all kinds of student lifestyles, so you feel safe and plugged in right from the start. Explore how their student living setups can level up both your study grind and social life at Staytoo.

Remember, whether you’re facing the challenges of a new academic year or settling into a bustling city life abroad, you’re not alone. Places like Staytoo are all about making your journey smooth and rewarding, so you don’t stay a stranger lost in a new city. Check out their offer today!

Staytoo Apartments – Experience the ease of all-inclusive living in a thriving community.

Staytoo, your all-inclusive accommodation, StudySmarter

Student Guide to a Strange City FAQS

What are the main challenges of moving to a new city as a student?

Students moving to a new city face several challenges, including finding appropriate accommodation close to their university, adjusting to new environments like unfamiliar public transport and local cuisine, forming new social circles, managing finances amidst city expenses, and balancing academic responsibilities with exploring the new city.

What types of student accommodation are available and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Various housing options for students include Shared Apartments, Student Apartments, Flatshares, and Micro-Living Units. Shared Apartments offer a balance of privacy and community but might have less privacy and potential for conflicts. Student Apartments are tailored for students and often include organized social activities but can be more expensive. Micro-Living Units provide all-inclusive, modern amenities ideal for privacy, though they have limited space and fewer social interactions.

How can new students integrate into their new city and build a social circle?

To build a social circle in a new city, students can attend welcome events and parties hosted by their accommodations, join clubs or societies that match their interests, participate in local classes (like cooking or dance), utilise social media platforms to connect with local groups, make the most of their housing’s common areas for socialising, engage in volunteer work, and find budget-friendly activities like visiting parks or museums with student discounts.