Hall Vs Hostel: Which should you choose

Hall Vs Hostel: Which should you choose

The choice between living on- or off-campus can be as difficult as choosing which college to apply to. Just as you debated on which school, university, course to pursue, similar consideration should be given to your accommodation choice.

For freshmen, the choice is often made for you. At Makerere University, most first year government students are immediately signed into University halls.

Makerere University: Hall life

Most first year students are allocated placements by residence or attachment in university-managed accommodation known as halls, which certainly have advantages.

In terms of making friends, living with other students is a great way to get to know people you may end up becoming good friends with (and even living with in the future).

Halls are also believed to be conveniently located, in that a student does not have to worry about missing daily lectures, issues to do with trekking long distances to use the library.

Mr. Rafsanjan Kibirige, the chairman of University hall one of the halls at Makerere, believes that one can easily shun hostels and opt for halls this is because of its numerous advantages.


Not different from Kibirige, when i visited Ndaada Racheal the chair lady of Mary Stuart hall she shared how wonderful being in hall is.

In the same spirit, Lukwago Steven who doubles as the chairman of Nkurumah hall and chairperson of chair persons in his personal experience ,finds halls more convenient than hostels.

Hostel living

A second option is to go for a room in a purpose-built student living complex, an option that is growing in popularity with the majority of Makerere Students residing in hostels.

The set-up is almost similar to that of halls but these are managed by private individuals or groups – a student is given space and where he or she can have access to communal areas like dining hall or TV room. These hostels are quite common in areas of Kikoni, Wandegeya, Kikumi-kikumi, Kalerwe, which are nearer to the University making it an option to lots of students who end up looking for a place in these complexes.

Habib Kamugo , a fourth year student of Journalism and Communication argued that hostels can be a great way to expand your social circles, as you may find students from other courses and universities in the same building.

The University has an approved list of private accommodation providers, and may even have a more formal partnerships in place because they don’t have enough room to accommodate all the students.

Nawudo Sharuwa a student of journalism and communication feels that hostels are a great home and comfort. Below she shares her views on why hostels are better.

Nalumansi Getrude a second year student of Social Sciences residing in Frama hostel in Kikoni opts for hostel because she believes they are safer. Below she tells us her account on hostel life.The videos below show different students sharing their views on the advantages of hostels compared to halls.

I visited most of these hostels and halls, below is an interactive map plotted. You can click on the box on the top left Conner to view the different hostels and halls in there respective areas. You can also click individual icons for details.

I did a survey on Facebook considering the different students’ take on while choosing a place for accommodation, below are some of the comments and responses. You can click to like, comment and share.

In addition to the Facebook feedback, different student leaders (chairpersons of halls, off campus minister, guild president) at Makerere University were interviewed on what they believe students should consider when looking for accommodation.

Above is an audio of , sharing what one should consider before making a choice for accommodation.


The audios and the Facebook polls above informed the list below of what to consider before you make a choosing a place for accommodation.

What to consider before you make a choice on where to stay for accommodation.

Getting a good place for accommodation when you get to University is always hard, to come by easily. On the road of searching for a place to stay, you will have more of “that place is a mess” than “Ooh, that is an amazing place, I never want to leave it”

Places of residence while at campus are more than the physical place. Some places are fun because of the people there.

Where you stay while at the University whether in hall, hostel, and rental should reflect an atmosphere of home away from home. A combination of the facilities, staff, conveniences, and the people make this possible.

When trying to cherry-pick a good place to stay in, here are some of the tips on what to consider when looking for an ideal place to stay in while at campus, basing on the different opinions from different students collected through Facebook responses and one on one interviews:


The location of a place of residence is a key factor. For example it would look odd for a student of medicine to stay in Kikoni yet most of their classes take place in Mulago.

Type of rooms

It is important to know the best option for the type of room you are going to be staying in, to be as comfortable as possible, choosing between single, double or triple, according to your needs and this is usually influenced by affordability.


Price is a variable that you will need to view in relation to the previous factors to make a final decision. You should look for attractive offers and packages that include other added services.


This is a very important aspect to put into consideration in that the services at a place beforehand are relevant. Some of these include: a restaurant, a pool or parking.

Payment method

Normally, payment for the reservation is taken once you occupy the place of residence. When it comes to hostels and rentals it at times different, you are required to book earlier. You should be aware.

Time in and out

Residencies that have flexible check-ins and outs will be the best option.

Organized activities

Really good places of residence should have organize activities such as walking tours, beach bashes, Porridge nights, or anything else that gets people together.

Privacy and Security

This is vital for any student looking for accommodation in around the university . This is because safety is key (personal and property safety and privacy is fundamental therefore one should take time while choosing a place to stay in.


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