If you are finding the prospect of moving to the UK daunting and have left finding your accommodation to the last minute read our short guide, which should give you all of the basic information you need to find a place to live.
Types of accommodation
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to stay in halls of residence or private rented accommodation during your stay. If you opt for halls, there are two different types: University-owned and private rented halls.
University Halls of Residence
Owned by the University, you can view them on the University website (usually located in the Undergraduate section). Universities differ on when you reserve your room – if you’re starting your degree in the UK then you will choose your accommodation once you’ve been offered a place, and will either receive confirmation almost instantly; or you’ll rank your chosen halls and receive notification a few weeks before moving in.
Many first year students live in University halls, however not all Uni’s can accommodate every one of their first year students. On average you can expect to pay £134 per week for this type of accommodation and over £180 per week in London.
Similar to University Halls, except they’re owned and managed by an external company. Private Halls tend to be popular with international students as they generally offer the best quality accommodation and the opportunity to live with a wider variety of students.
A key benefit of private halls is that you can book you room relatively close to the date that you want to move in and they will generally benefit from excellent locations. The average weekly cost of a room in a Private Hall is £166. However, the average cost outside of London is £145 and £275 in London. This website has the full range of Private Halls on there and is free to use.
Halls have many benefits:
• Bills are included in the price, so you can use as much water/electricity as you want without worrying about the cost.
• They’re extremely safe. You’ll more than likely need a code or a fob to get into the grounds, and often other codes for each block; not to mention wardens and CCTV.
• Most halls are situated close to University, or even on campus. They’re also a good option if you really want to focus on your studies as you’ll have your own private space to spread your work out.
Renting a house
The other option is renting a house – this can be a great way to meet new people, and will cost you much less. The difficulty for an international student moving to the UK, is that you might not know anyone to share the house with. However if you are interested in this option we think that this is a great resource to use. This housemate finder enables you to find students to share with and also students who have spare rooms in their house.
As well as making friends, there are other benefits to houses, such as more independence as you can pretty much do what you want (within reason). Plus, the rents are generally cheaper too, expect to pay around £80 per week (£122 per week in London).
While the rents are cheaper it is worth being aware that bills often aren’t included in the rent, so you’ll need to make an arrangement with your housemates and this will increase the cost. Also, it is less likely that you will benefit from a prime location close to University campus and therefore may incur some travel costs.
A little extra help
Whilst the idea of sorting out accommodation can seem complex, in reality, if you are armed with a bit of information it is not a big issue. As an international student moving to the UK we are more than happy to help, either by answering your questions or even by helping you find a place to live. Just get in touch with us today at [email protected]