Need some advice about finding housing in the UK ?
Read Interhousing’s list of the top 3 tips for finding accommodation in the UK when studying abroad.
The United Kingdom is globally renowned for its educational reputation. While choosing a university and acceptance are among the hardest steps of your study abroad journey, finding accommodation is also difficult.
First, similar to the majority of countries, the options for students vary. Second, you most probably have to fit within a budget. Nonetheless, when it comes to student accommodation in UK, you do have a wide array of great options, which are both affordable and offer a great place to live.
1) Explore the student accommodation options for international students
If you are studying abroad in the UK, you should first and foremost be familiar with the different student accommodation options. Be sure to start searching for accommodation as soon as you are accepted. In general, there are two main types of student accommodation. They are institution-owned accommodation and private-sector accommodation. However, each type of accommodation has different options. Here’s a more detailed explanation.
- Institution-Owned Accommodation – There are two main types of institution-owned accommodation. You’ll either be in the Halls of Residence and University Flats or Houses. The Halls of Residence is the most common type. These are large buildings housing mainly students. The Halls of Residence usually offers single rooms, but also offer a great budget option, if you are willing to share your room with another student. They usually have catering or have the option for self-catering where you do your own cooking in a shared kitchen. The University Flats or Houses are similar to the Halls of Residence, but they are usually further off-campus and are further away from study facilities. What’s more, they might also require you to pay your own bills, heating and lighting, as well as doing your own cooking, laundry and cleaning.
- Private-Sector Accommodation – when it comes to finding student accommodation in the UK, the facilities owned by the private sector and the quality of your housing can greatly vary. Usually the best option for students are Private Halls, which offer almost the same benefits as the Halls of Residence at a relatively higher cost, due to their luxury and higher accommodation. Privately owned Flats and houses are also a great option. It is basically the same as the University Flats or Houses, but a private landlord owns the flats and houses.
2) Be clear with your choice
You can’t find a proper place without the proper expectations. Depending on the type of student accommodation you have chosen, you will be living under different conditions. Usually, people intuitively know what to expect depending on the price and type of the offered accommodation. For example, private halls give you the chance to meet and interact with students, something that every university student loves. You should also consider your expectations of the quality of housing provided by the accommodation you have chosen.
When it comes to other rooms, depending on where you are staying, you will most probably tackle a shared kitchen experience at least once. Usually these shared kitchens come equipped with a fridge and freezer, but don’t rely on using the fridge as you do at home. In majority of student properties you will also encounter a common room or a living room, where you will be able to freely socialize. Nevertheless, be sure not to keep your expectations too high about your experience and housing. Be intuitive and real, when choosing an accommodation place. Every option has its positives and negatives and you should be able to consider them with proper expectations.
3) Paying the Bills
When considering student accommodation in the UK, you should also consider the price of the accommodation and your living expenses. The prices for Private Halls normally start from about £80-90 per week, although they can be much higher.
You should also consider your other expenses. Here are just a few examples of what the living costs for you may be.
- Food: You will neeed a minimum of £25-£35 per week for food supplies, depending on your lifestyle.
- Mobile: Mobile contracts in the UK usually start at £5-10 per week
- Bills: the bills can cost anything from a minimum of £10-20 per week
Also consider that as you are a student, you will be able to get some discounts. You can get this via Student NUS cards. It’s a student ID issued from the National Union of Students in the UK. Having one will give you further student discounts on a range of things.
The UK is a great place to study and while the accommodation process may seem tough, we are here to help. Simply be familiar with what you should consider when searching for a place, and follow the above tips for international students with finding accommodation. With our help, you should be able to find a place in no time.
By Ivan Ivanov