Complete student accommodation guide
Have you made the decision to go and study in the UK? Have you managed to find that perfect course in the perfect location? Congratulations! Now it’s time to think about suitable accommodation that will make you comfortable but won’t cost a fortune..
Which area to choose to live in as a student?
Whatever city you go to you will notice that different areas in the city have very different character. It is best to take advice from your university’s accommodation office or the local information centre which areas are best for residential living. You will find that some areas are predominantly used by students, other by families and some by certain nationalities.
Where to find student accommodation?
If you are planning to use university accommodation, which is usually halls of residence, the university accommodation office will help you. They will also have a list of private houses, mostly student shared houses, which you can also search for yourself by contacting the local lettings agents and looking through private advertisements online. There are websites that are dedicated to renting private accommodation across the UK which will come up if you search for the city and the type of accommodation you are looking for such as ‘studio flat’ or ‘room in a shared house’.
Have a look at these websites:
Types of student accommodation
The type of accommodation will mostly depend on your social preferences. Do you like to live alone or with other people? Would you prefer to stay with fellow students or in a family atmosphere with a homely feel? Here are the options you can choose from.
Halls of residence
Halls of residence will give you your own private space with an opportunity to meet a vast variety of people from different backgrounds. Some of the rooms will have their own bathroom but you will probably share a large kitchen with several other students. There are many positive sides of staying in a hall of residence: there are no bills to pay, your deposit will be very low and you can rest assured that it will be managed well which you cannot be as confident about with a private landlord. The prices for a room range from £600 to £700 per month in London and £400-500 outside of it.
If you are not coming to study at a university or your university does not have the right accommodation for you, there are student halls that are not managed by any particular university.
Please see available private student halls here:
Studio or one-bedroom flat
If you prefer to not be disturbed, this is your best option. However, to be able to secure a flat you will be either required to pay for the whole year ahead or to have a financial guarantor (A UK resident who would be prepared to fulfil your financial obligations). This is the most expensive option and will set you back by about £500-600 a month outside of London and £800-1500 a month in a residential area in London. As a student you will not be expected to pay council tax but don’t forget about utility bills that can sometimes be included in the rent. So it is worth checking with the landlord if they are included in the given price.
For more details on how much a flats cost in different areas of London, have a look at this map.
Would you prefer to share with fellow students, meet new people and have someone to spend your spare time with? Then student house is a good option. The size of the house can vary from two bedrooms to up to 8 but usually you will find 4 or 5 people living together. We advise you to meet the people before you move in or if you know someone from your university you get on with to try and arrange to live together. If you are booking your accommodation from your country before your arrival to the UK, it is probably best to opt for the university accommodation instead unless you can get help with viewing the house. This will be your cheapest option at £350-450 outside of London and £500-600 in London. Again, it is possible that utility bills are already included in the price so it is worth checking with the landlord.
Please see some useful information about renting privately at UK Council for International Student Affairs website.
Staying with a family
Living with a family means you will be looked after and have easy access to any help and advice you need about local life. You will participate in family activities and can even choose to have your meals prepared for you (optional)! Do you feel that your English is not as good as you would like it to be? Then it might help to live with native speakers. This option is especially popular with language students as it is usually available for shorter periods of time (up to one year). The prices range from £500 to £600 in smaller cities to £650 to £800 in London.
Every one of these options has pros and cons and only you can know what is right for you. How much money do you want to spend? Who do you prefer to live with? Having a comfortable place to live will make a big difference to how you will spend your time in the UK and it’s worth investing effort into it.
For more information on the costs of living and studying in the UK please see our article 'How much does it cost to study and live in the UK?'
We hope you found our explanation helpful. If you need any further advice, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org