Housing is always the biggest cost of studying abroad, and it can be hard to find a reasonable price for the right kind of student accommodation. London is a city filled with opportunities which should not be missed however, whatever the obstacle. There are a number of ways to find affordable, high-quality housing in the city, including the best in my experience: house shares. It may seem daunting at first, but they are increasingly common among international and English students alike and can be the gateway to a range of fantastic experiences. |
House shares are when students live together in a house or flat that is not university accommodation or inhabited by a host family. Instead, it is rented from a private landlord or estate agent. They allow you to live independently at a lower cost, while giving you a great opportunity to forge lasting relationships with your housemates.
There are plenty of benefits to this kind of student accommodation. London is filled with students from all over the world, many of whom live in this sort of arrangement. The positives include:
1. Lower expenses – House shares tend to cost less than forms of accommodation, and can include money-saving aids like splitting bills and the cost of cleaning products… which is great for those on a budget.
2. Experience – This way of living is also a guaranteed way to meet new people who you can explore the city with and form lasting bonds.
3. Language skills – This is also a good way to improve your English, given that it is likely to be the predominant language spoken.
4. Independence – Perhaps the best thing about this form of housing is the ability to live exactly as you like in one of the most exciting cities on earth. You can fit unforgettable cultural and social experiences around your studies however you see fit.
One thing to get used to with this sort of co-habitation is sharing living areas with your housemates, including the kitchen, living room and bathroom. Though it can lead to a great deal of fun, there are also instances where a little advice might be needed. I had a great experience with my house share, but there are a few things that you might like to try to make your home a frictionless environment.
The main thing to remember is that living together with others smoothly is all about communication; if you are able to do this effectively then it will be very easy to get along. Try holding a group meeting at the start to get to know your new flatmates and decide on some basic rules. Once you’ve done this it might also be a good idea to arrange some group activities and even plan to cook each other meals now and again – these are great opportunities to bond with one another.
In my opinion everyone should try this sort of student accommodation. London will never seem more exciting than when it is shared with other people of the same age and in a similar situation. You’ll explore new parts of the city, make new friends and, if you’re lucky, have a little more spending money to boot.
Sophie Smith works as an independent consultant and offers advice to young people looking for London-based student accommodation. London has a wide range of options when it comes to student living, and Sophie’s helpful suggestions make deciding where to stay even easier. Her expert tips and tricks stem from her first-hand experience studying in the city and living on a budget, so she is more than qualified to support others doing the same.
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