Each college has different accommodation. In my college, the first year undergraduates generally have very nice rooms, the majority of them is large, en suite and modern. Some of them are smaller, older and without en suite facility, but they are cheaper. Virtually nobody lives in private accommodation or at home, as living in the college is an important aspect of Cambridge life. Students are expected to pay fixed facility charge each term (price is determined by the college) and the rent. Many rooms have nice views. Each college has different policy on using the rooms outside of the term time. The majority of colleges require the student to clear the rooms as they are used as an accommodation for people attending conferences during vacations. Therefore it is generally not necessary to pay during vacations (rents are usually paid only around 32 weeks). It is possible to request the room outside of the term time and the majority of colleges provide a cellar where international students can store their belongings during vacations (the space provided is usually quite small).