In first year at Durham you live inside your college. The colleges all have very good accommodation, with most colleges having meals included. (With the exception of Josephine Butler, and one of the St Cuthburts Society halls of Residence) The food is very good, with a wide range of choices of meals. In subsequent years you normally live in private accommodation (although in your last year you have the choice to live back in college). Durham has a surplus of student accommodation - with more beds than students there is never any problem in finding a house to live in. Many freshers panic when they first get to Durham and try and sign up for a second year house very early on. Don't do it! It's not necessary and just means that the landlords are able to charge excessively high rent. If you wait until after Christmas then it's much easier to get a reasonable place to live, at a reasonable price.