Finding Accommodations in the UK
Finding the right place to stay while studying at University is very important and there are several things to think about when choosing your accommodation. There are several different types of accommodation available each with some advantages and disadvantages:
University accommodation – nearly all universities provide residential accommodation for their international students but the standards may vary even within the same university. Although they are always upgrading their accommodation some rooms will be a little old and not all rooms have their their own bathroom. However many universities have modern ensuite rooms available as well. A major advantage is the university is your landlord so this is convenient and safe, and you can expect a good free internet connection in your room.
Private accommodation providers – there are several companies that specialize in providing University student accommodation. These rooms are similar to modern ensuite rooms at Universities. These are often a little more expensive than University accommodation and may require you to have a UK guarantor for the rent. See companies such as Unite, Liberty Living, Opal , Victoria Hall and Nido
Renting privately – in all university towns and cities there is usually lots of rooms advertised for students. These can range from getting your own apartment to taking a room in a house with other students living there and sharing the bathroom, kitchen and living room with them. This can often appear the cheapest option but remember you will also get bills (water, heating, electricity) which are usually included in the rent of the University or Private Halls above. You will also have to pay a damage deposit and understand the contract you will sign. We don’t recommend this for first time visitors as finding a good room in the right location can take some time. There are lots of websites advertising student accommodation like the studentpad.
All the above will require you sign a contract and this makes it difficult to change accommodation, although the Universities, and to some extent the Private Halls, will let you move if you can find someone else to move into your room and takeover the contract. Contracts are legally binding and you should understand what you are signing and know it can be very difficult to change your accommodation.
Your room will usually have a single bed, and work desk and shelves and wardrobe for your things. If you have an ‘ensuite room’ you will have a small bathroom with shower, washbasin and toilet in the room too. ‘Standard’ rooms will have the use of a shared bathroom with other rooms in the accommodation block. Both will usually have access to a communal or shared kitchen allowing you to prepare food and these are often a social area too. There are also places to wash clothes at most halls of residence. Usually rooms are a similar size to a standard hotel room and can be smaller than some international students were expecting.
Whatever you choose we recommend you plan in advance and make sure you have somewhere to stay when you arrive in the UK (and you know how to get there!)
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