Sending your son or daughter off to university for the first time is a milestone moment for any parent. Families in Toronto (and cities across Canada) have mixed emotions when the time comes for their child to leave the family home for a more independent life at university. In most cases this is the first time these young people have been out in their own. Like their parents they are both excited and normally a little apprehensive.
Aside from the emotional aspect of university moving there are quite a number of practical issues that must be dealt with to make the transition easier. Keep in mind that your son or daughter will be living away from home for 9 months and as such, they need their “home away from home” set up properly so that they have what they need to be comfortable.
Here is a list of the top things that need to be attended to when prepping for university moving:
Choosing where your son or daughter will live is the first order of business. Usually first year students choose to live in on-campus student residences. While some universities have a limited number of single rooms, most students will share a room with a room-mate or in some residences a four-person suite may be available.
Off Campus Housing:
Other housing options include a shared rental condo, apartment or house. If you are considering this type of housing it is important to start researching available properties well in advance of the start of the school year. Universities have a student housing department that can provide lists of rental accommodations. Other sources include on-line advertisements placed by landlords, ads on bulletin boards in student centres or even in local community newspapers.
One thing to keep in mind with rental housing is the fact that some properties may not be in the best state of repair. For this reason, it is important for a parent to inspect the properties with an eye towards safety and cleanliness. Obviously, most student rental properties will not be up to the same standard as your own home, but they should be pest free with working heat, electrical and other basic necessities.
2. WHAT TO PACK
For Student Residences:
The rooms assigned for student residences come furnished with beds, desks, chairs and in some cases bookshelves. Therefore, if this is the type of accommodations chosen for your son or daughter it will not be necessary to provide any furniture items. You should pack sheets, pillow cases, duvets or quilts as well as towels and face cloths. Remember there is limited storage in a student residence, so don’t over pack. Students living in residence usually sign up for a meal plan and will take most of their meals in the student cafeteria. You should check with the university to see if they permit students to have a small microwave, toaster oven or even a mini fridge so they can prepare some mini meals or have snacks in their room. There may be restrictions in place for safety reasons.
For Rental Housing:
Some rental properties come fully or partially furnished, but they will likely be more expensive. Most are unfurnished or only partially furnished, but will come with the basic appliances. Therefore, you will need to furnish your son or daughter’s bedroom. At a minimum this will include a bed, desk, desk chair, side table, lamp(s) etc. If there is no furniture provided for the common living areas then it will be necessary to consult with the other room-mates to determine who can help furnish these areas. This will include a sofa, a couple of side chairs, a coffee table, a kitchen table and a few chairs.
3. HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE
If your son or daughter is going to live in rental housing you should talk to your insurance broker about adding a rider to your policy to cover your student’s personal items. Generally, it is the responsibility of the landlord to carry fire insurance on their property. You should expect to have to provide a damage deposit with student rental housing.
4. MOVING SERVICES
If your student is moving to a university that is out of province then using a professional moving company like Premiere Van Lines to transport their belongings can be beneficial. This is particularly true if you are having to send furniture items.
Getting your son or daughter settled at university is the first step to helping them feel comfortable in their new environment. For more information about university moving call our Premiere Van Lines Mississauga Branch at 905-502-6683 or contact Your local Premiere Van Lines office.