Living at Out-of-Campus Halls, Pros and Cons

Hello! I am Chloe and I was born and raised in Hong Kong but went to Sixth Form in Cardiff, Wales.

I am currently a First Year Undergraduate here at Imperial College London for MEng Computing. Having been exposed to both sides of the globe, I would like to bring you Imperial College London, in a “when East-meets-West” approach. I am massively into anything tech-related, mathematics, and diving (SCUBA).


Imperial College London has many different types of halls, from a stone’s throw away to miles away (or probably a stone’s throw away if you are the Rock), I currently live at Woodward Buildings, one of Imperial College London’s halls located at North Acton.

Some might say “Why staying at an Out-of-Campus hall when you are here to experience the university life?”, so here I am to tell you the reasons why Out-of-Campus Halls are almost the best thing you can ever find:

  1. You pay less.

Halls located out of campus are massively cheaper than at campus ones, and prices often differ from a few pounds a week to more than halving South Kensington Halls, no matter if you are a home student, trying to survive with your student loan, or internationals first time here at London, paying a bit less means you could probably get a fancy meal at the weekends, or just even an extra drink!

  1. You explore London more.

People living at South Kensington halls tend to stay at campus for lectures, labs, and working hours, and stay *also* at campus after a day at university ends (other than the occasional night’s outs). On the other hand, for off-campus halls, people tend to go a bit further beyond campus and would see the little things in the vibrant yet busy London. Students who stay at North Acton and Waterloo would almost definitely get a discounted Zone 1-2 month travelcard which encourages you to go around London.

  1. You get to know more people

As commuting takes time, many students who live further away would spend more time at the University itself, probably chatting with friends, staying at the library for a silent study, or having a gym sesh over at Ethos. Living further doesn’t limit your flexibility in using college facilities and it’s a great way to meet new people. You also form commuting groups (You’ll probably meet one of your best friends there) which is a fabulous chance to meet others

  1. You get prepared for commuting in further years.

Beyond the first year, most people will rent flats, unless you would like an expensive bill for a small flat around South Kensington, many students move beyond the area as travelling in London is extremely convenient (kudos to the tube when it’s delay-free). Living off-campus gives you a similar experience and you’ll get used to the life where you can’t roll out of bed for a lecture. 

So I have talked about so many good reasons of choosing off-campus halls, why do people still resort to on-campus ones?

  1. On-Campus-Halls are really convenient

No matter if you are just lazy, or you left something at your room needed for lectures, you can easily head back to halls in a matter of minutes. Students staying at campus also often cook their lunches back in their kitchens which might be a money-saver.

  1. Commuting Delays

The underground isn’t the most famous for their punctuality, nor does peak hour traffic in London. If you live at moderately close halls, you might still get away with walking to campus (not for heavy snow tho), but for the further ones would get stuck when tube lines fail, Panopto (our online lecture resources system) might be your friend (just don’t overuse it)

I hope this brings an incentive for you to choose off-campus halls, or to reinforce your choices. I’ll see you next time, and by then, drop me a comment if you have any questions for anything Imperial College London (or London) related 🙂

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