The countdown to resumption is ticking fast and the race to secure accommodation is getting more fierce. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the narrative of housing for students of tertiary institutions, and in this case University of Ibadan. It is almost certain that the school wouldn’t be offering on- campus accommodation to her students in her 9 undergraduate Halls of Residence, and coupled with the new system of learning, the students will be resuming into a new system that may require ample acclimatization time and need for a convenient living space.
Although, the university is set to embrace e-learning for the incoming academic session, many students still think it’s necessary to be close to the school environment even though they may not be receiving physical lectures. This has made the search for conducive private accommodation off-campus seem to be the credible alternative to solving the housing crisis that many students are bound to face with the withdrawal of on-campus accomodation by the university management.
This article is strategic in helping students solve any housing issues with regards to location and selection of suitable houses. It also outlines five (5) important factors to consider before getting accommodation off-campus.
Factors to consider:
- Price: The communities around the school environment have utilized the opportunity made available by the presence of a federal university in their locality. They have built buildings specifically meant for alternative accommodation for students around the school environment. However, the major limiting factor has been the affordability of these houses. Before securing your accommodation off-campus, consider the pricing of the apartment. The basic questions you should ask yourself is “does this house worth the price?” In a situation where, as a prospective tenant, one doesn’t have the needed knowledge to determine the worth of the house, secure the services of an expert in that field or if possible a friend with some knowledge of real estate to help determine if the accommodation is worth its price. Also, it is advisable to consider the sustainability of the pricing system and ability to continue to pay over the coming years, most especially if one has decided to finally stay off-campus through the remaining of one’s stay on campus, having to rent an apartment that one won’t be able to keep up with the pay over the coming year is not advisable in this case. An appropriate way to avoid such happenings is to consider having to accommodate a roommate. With this, the bills are split in the agreed proportion and the burden is lessened.
- Access and security: After pricing, the most important factor to consider when picking a house for accommodation is its accessibility and security. It’s advisable to settle for a house in an accessible environment with at least 2 entry and exit points into the locality, this is due to cases of unforeseen circumstances and emergencies. Also, the security of the locality is a big determining factor. The past security record and present security condition should be factored into consideration when acquiring a space for accommodation.
- Convenience: This is very important. As a student, the last thing to jeopardize is your convenience. The stress from your academic work is enough to throw you off balance, then not to think of putting yourself in a position of inconvenience. The basic measurement of convenience in a house includes the availability of a recreation center or something similar, well-furnished restrooms (bathroom and toilet), a source of clean and accessible water supply, and a well-ventilated room(s). These are basic parameters for measuring convenience in an apartment. In a situation where these basic things are not available, there is little or nothing anyone can do to make the house more convenient for residents. Although there are some other secondary measuring parameters that are based on individual preferences which include paintings and serenity of the environment, and many more, the basic things are still important and their importance can’t be overshadowed.
- Presence of other students in the environment: Any environment in which one is the only different entity, it is acutely advisable to avoid such an environment. This is also applicable in the world of accommodation for students. It is advisable to avoid any environment that is void of the presence of other students. The inclusion of students into the host community can become hostile sometimes as it has been in several university environments and in a situation where there is no heavy presence of other students, the few students available in that locale may be preyed upon by the vexed host community. However, if there is an established presence of other students, the right of the students can be collectively protected in such hostile situations. Also, student networking is very important. A very cogent factor to be considered for anyone seeking to secure accommodation off-campus is the ability to network with other students available. This would help to ensure quick and effective adjustment and settling down of the new students in the midst of other students’ neighbors. The presence of students in an environment is a clear indicator that such a place can be conducive and appropriate for a student seeking to reside.
- Proximity to the university location: One of the major factors to consider when choosing accommodation off-campus is the distance between the school and the site for accommodation. It is advisable that one secures accommodation in a trekkable distance to school. Staying outside of the school premises comes with its own positives and negatives but it’s surely going to be additional and unnecessary psychological stress to deal with the issues of proximity due to distance between the school and one’s residence. Staying too far from campus is not advisable, it’s most preferable if your accommodation is within a distance of the school environment. However, if there is an availability of a private source of transportation that evades one of the stress of having to board public transportation, maybe it can be considered.
Many students are left with no choice but to secure accommodation off-campus for the upcoming 2020/2021 session, however even with the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, one has to still make the best choices and most especially in the aspect of accommodation to ensure a hitch-free learning process.