By Saurabh Arora, Founder & CEO, University Living
The world today revolves almost entirely around technology. Technology has established its presence in every nook and corner, from our daily lives to major businesses and industrial operations. The student housing sector is no exception. The landscape of student housing has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, thanks to the integration of advanced technologies.
The student housing sector’s journey
The student housing market, as we know it, has come a long way from its humble origins. In an ever-evolving world, learning about this transformation is crucial. From the pre-1990s era, when student housing meant cramped dorm rooms and minimal amenities, to the cutting-edge smart living solutions of today, the evolution is nothing short of remarkable.
Before the 1990s, students were often accommodated in basic dormitories with limited facilities. The priority was function and purpose rather than comfort and convenience. Fast forward to the present times, where student accommodations are the pinnacle of comfort, convenience and functionality with modern amenities, spacious rooms, and a sense of community that goes beyond the classroom. Further, booking student accommodations now comes with the benefits of value-added services, ranging from travel insurance and forex cards to airport pick-ups and drop-offs, making them the ultimate one-stop destination for a pleasant and seamless study-abroad experience.
Student accommodations are thus no longer mere places to reside; instead, they are immersive living spaces where technology has become a critical enabler for enhanced overall experiences. For example, University Living introduced the Student Abroad Buddy platform, where students can access integrated information about some of the expected hurdles in their international education journey. This comprehensive platform acts as a reliable resource, connecting future students through country-specific communities and offering valuable guidance on exam preparation, visa procedures, accommodation choices, and living expenses.
Therefore, as is evident, technology integration into the student housing sector serves as a much-awaited boon. That said, let’s delve into the transformative impact that this has had on the sector.
Seamless access control systems
Gone are the days of fumbling for keys or access cards. Technology has revolutionised access control systems in student housing. Today’s students have access to secure, convenient, and efficient entry to their housing units and common areas. The integration of RFID cards, biometric recognition, and smartphone apps has not only eliminated the hassle of physical keys but has also significantly enhanced security and control. A simple tap on a smartphone screen can unlock doors, exemplifying the transformative power of technology in ensuring a safe and efficient living environment.
IoT-enabled smart living spaces
IoT has paved the way for smart living spaces within student housing. Students now have the ability to control their environments with ease, optimising comfort, and energy efficiency. Smart thermostats, lighting, and appliances can be managed remotely through smartphone apps or voice commands. This technology not only offers personalisation but also contributes to sustainable living, making it an integral part of the modern student housing experience.
Virtual reality for immersive exploration
Selecting the right accommodation is a crucial decision for students. Virtual reality (VR) technology has redefined this selection process. Prospective residents can embark on immersive virtual tours that provide a comprehensive view of room layouts, common spaces, and the overall atmosphere of the property. This technology enhances transparency and empowers students to make informed decisions based on realistic, firsthand experiences, illustrating how technology has elevated the initial stages of the student housing journey.
The rise of AI and Chatbots
AI and chatbots are now fundamental to providing exceptional support within the student housing sector. These technologies offer round-the-clock customer support and assistance. Chatbots can swiftly answer frequently asked questions, guide students through application and leasing processes, assist with maintenance requests, and ensure a seamless and convenient experience. The integration of AI in this manner has redefined and personalised the standards of service and support. University Living’s student accomodationgpt.ai is a perfect example of such a platform.
Enhanced security measures
Security is paramount in student housing. Modern accommodations have embraced advanced security systems. High-definition surveillance cameras, biometric access controls, and real-time monitoring collectively reinforce the safety of residents. These technologies ensure that students and their families enjoy peace of mind, marking a significant transformation in student housing security.
Community building through social apps
When one moves abroad for their higher education, it becomes their home for the duration of their study. At such a juncture, it’s essential to build contacts and expand your network to find people you can build strong bonds with, both professional and personal. Social apps connect students within a housing community, promoting interaction and engagement. These apps enable students to organise events, create study groups, share information, and foster a sense of belonging and unity among residents.
In addition to this, there are platforms available that help students shortlist courses and universities and help them connect with future classmates on social media platforms to make information sharing easier and enable them to engage and bond.
The integration of technology into the student housing experience has indeed heralded a transformative era. It has altered the way students perceive, access, and relish their accommodations. Student housing has evolved from a basic living space to a dynamic, intelligent, and engaging environment that caters to the needs and preferences of modern students. As technology continues to advance, it is clear that its role in elevating the student housing experience will only become more prominent, reshaping the way we define and experience student living.