At UNAV, first year students typically have three housing options: colegio mayor, uni residences, and shared apartments.
The first option, “colegios mayores”, is probably the most common. Think sorority / fraternity but without the greek life – there’s a sense of community that normal “uni residences / dorms” don’t have. They organize activities, and tend to be more expensive than regular uni dorms. At UNAV, colegios mayores tend to show a certain ideological or religious bias, whereas uni residences (such as “Camplus” in Pamplona) are more secular.
I stayed at a uni residence. I preferred this option since it’s cheaper, not religiously led, and still offered similar services: meals, cleaning, a large room, study spaces, etc. While colegios mayores tend to be within the campus, uni residences are further away (mine was about 15-20 mins walking distance). I liked that I was staying somewhere closer to the city center, since it made it easier for me to achieve a work-life balance.
The last option is apartments (“piso” in Spanish). This is the least common option for first year students, but I’ve heard pretty good things about this option. A lot of people in Pamplona get an apartment with “Campus Home”. This company finds apartments for groups of students and even offers cooking and cleaning services. You can either find an apartment with friends or get paired with students you don’t know (they tend to match you with someone with similar interests). After the first or second year, it’s really common for students to get apartments with friends.
All three options have their pros and cons. It’s up to you to determine which one suits your needs best. If you want to meet a lot of people, choose colegio mayor / residence. If you want more independence, choose a flat.