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With the beginning of the 2008/09 academic year fast approaching, students will soon be settling in to the realities of student life. For new students this means at some point they’ve made a choice: between studying away from home on the one hand and continuing to live with their parents on the other. Almost a third of students choose the latter option. This often means a long commute to a university chosen on the basis of its location instead of its merits – but at least these students have the security of a roof over their head. For those who have chosen to study away from home, often unaware of the true cost of student life, this means moving in to student accommodation and an ongoing struggle against poverty, unscrupulous landlords and, more often than not, appalling living conditions.