Living alone: 10 benefits of student dormitories

Written by Kerstin Lakits, Dec 23, 2021

You’re done living at your parents’ place, but you’re not sure whether a shared flat or a student dormitory suits you better? Without a doubt, it’s an important choice that should be well reflected. Here are some differences between shared flats and student dormitories. We also show you benefits of living in a (STUWO) student dormitory.

Student dormitory vs shared flat

Let’s take a quick look at the differences between a student dorm and a shared flat first. In a shared flat, you share an apartment with other people (mostly students). Each person has their own room and the other rooms like living room, kitchen, bathroom and toilette are shared. You sign the lease agreement with your names and are responsible for everything that happens in and to the flat. You organise your daily chores yourself: grocery shopping, cleaning, paying rent, etc.

Many students live in a student dormitory, but everybody has their personal area (either a personal room or apartment with a small kitchen, bathroom and toilette). In addition, there are common spaces like common kitchens, learning lounges, laundrettes, community areas, gyms, spas and more. You sign the lease agreement only for your personal quarters. The rent usually includes operating costs like heating, warm water and energy and sometimes (e.g. at STUWO) even regular apartment cleaning, WIFI and TV. The dormitory does all the organisational work.

Here are ten advantages of student dormitories:

Your personal realm

A shared flat is a bit like Russian roulette. Either you get along well with your flatmates and your living situation is great, or you don’t get along at all and quarrel all the time until one of you moves out. Unfortunately, that happens more often than you think.

In a student dormitory, you can ideally choose your own apartment with a kitchenette, bathroom and toilette. This reduces potential conflicts immensely and offers you the perfect place to live, study and relax. If you pick a double apartment, you still have your personal space, but share the common rooms with a resident.


Generally speaking, student dormitories are cheaper than shared flats. Sure, it depends on various factors, but the rents at many student dormitories are all-inclusive. Beside the costs for the apartment, they include power, gas and water bills. At STUWO, the rent also includes regular cleaning, free WIFI and TV expenses. All these costs are additional to the rent in a shared flat.

Community feeling

In a student dorm, you have a great connection to the student community. If you want, you can relax with other students in learning lounges, common kitchens or party rooms and make friends. Or maybe you start a conversation with another resident in the elevator or in the hallway. There are so many students from different countries, cultures and study fields, all under one roof.

Close to universities and schools

Flats and shared flats close to universities are rare and mostly strongly overpriced. They’re gone too quickly too.

Student dormitories on the other hand are usually located close to educational centres. So, if you want to avoid long travels, the most practical option would be to look for a student dorm close to your university.


Usually one person in a shared flat handles all the administrative tasks: collecting money for the rent, paying rent, TV and WIFI fees, power and water bills and extending the lease agreement. And everybody depends on this person’s responsibility.

Student dorms are way less complicated. After signing your lease agreements, you install a standing order for your monthly rent and that’s it. You don’t have to do anything else.


A big advantage of student dormitories is that you have more safety than in a shared flat. As mentioned above, the people in a shared flat are responsible and liable for their flat. There can be unwanted surprises, such as unfair landowners, big rent increases, inadequate insurance, etc.

Since the dormitory manages everything regarding administration, you have fewer risks and competent employees that will help you with any problems or questions.

No carrying around furniture

Every shared flat has their own rules, but often you have to bring your own furniture. So, you have to buy and carry your bed, wardrobe, desk and chair into your new flat.

Most student dorms provide the basic furniture of your room (bed, wardrobe, desk, chair). This saves you money, time and unnecessary carrying. But there will also be a solution, if you want to bring your own furniture. Some student dorms, like STUWO Smart Living in Graz offer apartments without furniture, so that you can bring your own as well.

Rental periods

Many lease agreements have a fixed period of time because ever-changing tenants are not welcome. Lease agreements in student dorms often start at 6-12 months. That’s also perfect for a semester abroad.

Additional offers

Student dormitories are more than just a place to stay, they’re places to live. Many student dorms have amazing leisure activity offers, such as gyms, wellness areas as well as additional services (e.g. regular cleaning and events). For example, the STUWO StudentCity Graz is host and event location for the yearly Urban Art Festival Styria. Moreover, student dorms with their many residents are perfect to plan activities and events. The possibilities are endless.

Contact person

Living alone for the first time can be quite overwhelming. Now you have to manage everything that your parents always did for you. But in student dorms, you always have a competent and experienced contact person who can help you with problems and questions.

Living in a student dorm has a lot of benefits. You are part of a community and still have your personal space. Student dorms take care of the administration and are close to universities and educational centres. If you can imagine living in a student dorm, we would be very happy to welcome you in one of our STUWO dormitories. Before moving out, check out our tips for moving out.


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