Living at home while you study at university

Where you live while you study can have a direct impact on your university experience. Many students choose to live in halls or rent privately, but that does not suit everyone. For some students living at home is the best, or only, option. 

On this page you will find a few things to consider when you work out what's best for you. There are also tips for commuting students, such as travel discounts, the flexi-stay room hire service and facilities on campus to help you.

Advantages of living at home

Over 50% of students at Kingston University live at home or off-campus while they study, so don't worry – you won't be alone if you choose to join our commuting community! You will have access to great transport links. It is easy to reach Kingston University from Greater London and Surrey by public transport. Remember to make the best use of your commuting time – a train journey can be a great place to study, stream a film or catch up with friends.

While living at home you could save money by not having to pay rent and utility bills – and there is no need to enter into a tenancy agreement. However, if you choose to live at home, the level of Maintenance Loan you can apply for will be different. Make sure you use the Student Finance England Maintenance Calculator before making your decision.

Having your family around you, and staying in your local area, can provide stability when you start your student life. Enrolling at university is a big event so you may find comfort in being in a familiar place, surrounded by people you know.

Focusing on your studies may be easier at home, without the many tempting distractions experienced by students living in halls or private accommodation.

Disadvantages of living at home

Commuting can be expensive and time consuming. The cost of paying for daily travel can add up quickly, even with the student discounts available, and commuting can take up a large part of your day. Make sure you research the travel options and costs on your route to and from uni. How will you get home if your normal route is blocked or if you miss the last train home in the evening?

As a commuter student, you will spend less time on campus so it may take longer for you to make friends and experience student life in full. Enjoying a night out in Kingston with other students may be more difficult if you have to head back home early – an important factor to some students. Joining a society or university club, connecting with classmates online or pairing up with students who have a similar commute is a good way to start making friends.

For many students, going to university is the start of their adult, more independent, life. Depending on the relationship you have with your parents, this transition can be more difficult if you are living at home, with your parents watching over your shoulder and keeping an eye on the time you get back in the evening.

Missing out on the ‘halls experience' can also mean that you are not experiencing important life lessons that your peers may be going through. These might be paying utility bills and rent, cooking dinner every night, budgeting your money and doing your own laundry. It's important that you make an effort to learn these skills if you live at home while you study.

Discounts for commuting students

Inside London

If you are a full-time student, and live in a London borough, you can apply for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard that enables you to get discounted travel on the Transport for London network. Please note: You must enrol on your university course before you can apply for the discount card.

Free bus

You can use our free intersite bus service to travel to our four campuses from Kingston and Surbiton train stations.

Outside London

If you are travelling from outside of London, studying full time and aged 16-25, you can get a 16-25 railcard that offers one-third off rail travel.

Flexi-stay in halls of residence

If you commute to Kingston University, you can book a room in halls on a flexible basis. This can be useful if you wish to stay near the University when completing coursework or if you are worried about getting to an exam on time!

The flexi-stay rooms are extremely popular during exam/deadline season when staying in halls of residence the night before an exam can elevate any additional stress you may experience about a long commute. This flexi-stay scheme has been suspended during the Coronavirus pandemic; however, we hope that we can re-launch the scheme in 2022.

You can book a flexi-stay room for up to 3 consecutive nights at a time.

We have 10+ bedrooms in our halls that are let in a flexible, hotel-style booking system. The flexi-stay rooms are on our Chancellors (Kingston Hill) and Seething Wells sites.

Flexi-stay in halls of residence
On-campus facilities to support you

On-campus facilities to support you

Laptop loan service

Carrying a laptop on your commute can be heavy so we have a laptop loan service in the library, on all four campuses.

You can borrow a laptop for a maximum of 4 hours, up to 30 minutes before the library closes. Don't worry if you need one for longer – you can return the laptop and take out a new one.

Microwaves on all campuses

If you prefer to bring your lunch from home, you can heat up your food in one of our microwaves and enjoy your lunch in one of our comfortable common spaces.

Student support

Whether you choose to live at home, off campus or in halls, we have a full range of services to support you through your university journey. From advice on studies and finances to healthcare and counselling, our Student Services have it covered – we can even help you find the right club or society to join.

Any questions?

Please get in touch if you have any queries for the accommodation team at Kingston University.