How to Find Student Accommodation in the UK as an International Student

Once you get admitted into a University, finding accommodation is the most crucial, yet stressful thing to do. Some universities in the UK send application options for university halls of residence to your email after you’re offered to study there, whereas for some universities you have to indicate that you need accommodation. Either way you have to arrange accommodation right away as the places fill up pretty quickly. As for what types of accommodation you can get heavily depends on whether your university has halls of residence, what city you’re living in and what your budget is. 

However, in the UK two main options for accommodation are halls of residence and private housing.

Halls of residence

In the UK, student dormitories are called halls of residence. There are actually two types of halls of residence, one is provided by the university and another one is private which is located outside of the university campus. 

Halls are usually large buildings where there are 5-10 rooms on each floor. You can have either a single room or may have to share it with a roommate. The structure and decoration of these rooms are pretty basic. Halls generally provide standard furniture like bed, desk and chair. Anything extra has to be managed by the student himself. Rooms can have bathrooms of their own or in another case there may be a communal bathroom for all residents of the same floor. Each floor has a dining area, living room or any other common area that the residents of that floor have to share. 

Students can choose from catered or non-catered halls. Usually, students are provided with three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in every hall. But, in catered halls, apart from the regular meals, you’ll be offered to use the common kitchen for cooking meals for yourself. Private halls of residence are not much different from the university provided ones, apart from the fact that these are located outside of the university campus. 

The costs of accommodation in halls of residence varies on which type of rooms you’re choosing and whether it’s catered or non-catered. You’re likely to pay more for the catered ones. However, you have to pay the rent in advance. It may be either six months advance or a whole academic year depending upon your hall. 

Halls are great for so many reasons. In halls you are always surrounded by other students, so it’s easy to make friends. As an international student, you may feel lonely from time to time and your hallmates can help you deal with your homesickness. Plus, if you’re staying in a university provided hall, you’re likely to save a lot of time and energy as you won’t have to commute much.

Private accommodation

If you prefer to live in a private place, you have options available for that too. Perfect time for finding a private accommodation is June, when the exams are over and the academic year ends. Most students go to their home in summer vacation, hence they leave their current accommodation. 

If you’re moving into a private place, you have to sign a tenancy agreement. Make sure you understand all the terms of that agreement. If you have any doubts you can speak to your international student advisor. Before renting a place, you are recommended to check out the place yourself and talk to the landlord face to face. 

Renting a place can be quite costly. So many students look for a roommate. If you already have a friend who you would like to live with, things will get really easy for you. In that case you can search for a place together. If you don’t have any friends like that, don’t get discouraged. There are many students who are looking for both a flat and a roommate. 

Finding a private accommodation which is closer to your university can be tough. Also, many of these places are pretty expensive. Still, many students like private accommodations as they can have the freedom of choosing where they want to live and who they want to live with. Moreover, private accommodations are more flexible with rules and regulations. 

Moving abroad and living there can be pretty daunting. But, once you settle in and make some friends, you’ll feel much more comfortable. Remember, it’s not the place that makes us feel home, it’s the people around us. So, take this as an opportunity to meet some new people and immerse yourself in the culture of the UK.

Related Posts