Going to university is a very exciting prospect, but for international students in particular, finding somewhere to live can be quite daunting. Many young people choosing to study abroad are leaving home for the first time, so choosing accommodation is a particularly important decision. You need to feel safe, secure and happy. |
There are several options to choose from, three of which are highlighted in this article.
Halls of Residence
One of the most popular options when it comes to university accommodation is student halls. London universities have plenty of choice, so if you decide this is for you, you’ll be pleased to know that full-time first year students are normally guaranteed a place, as are postgraduate international students.
Halls of residence are large blocks of flats made up of individual bedrooms. The quality of this type of accommodation is usually good, as they are managed by the university and have to meet national standards for student halls.
London is a fabulous city in which to study but first time students may find it overwhelming – this why living in halls of residence is so popular. Not only are they usually on campus, but all the facilities you need are also onsite. They normally work on an all-inclusive basis, meaning you don’t have to worry about other bills.
Halls might be more expensive than other places to live because of the convenience they provide. They don’t suit everyone and if you prefer your own space and a little peace and quiet, they might not be for you. Internet may not always come for free and you may be required to contribute to repairs.
Perhaps you would prefer to share a flat with a small number of other students. Privately rented accommodation is normally in a house that comprises of a few bedrooms. This is normally the choice of second and third years who have already lived in student halls. London is such a varied city, and choosing this accommodation option gives you the flexibility of deciding where you live.
It is worth remembering that you are responsible for paying for all of the extras when you are flat sharing. The costs of Internet, TV license, utilities and insurance are all things that need considering. Rented accommodation might also be further from the campus (despite this, transport links from popular student areas are normally good).
This is a great option for international students, particularly because it offers the opportunity to stay with a host family and enjoy a genuinely authentic experience. Hosts will be able to recommend places to visit, shop and eat and will have inside information on some of the off-the-beaten path highlights.
Choosing to stay with a British family can be very good value for students. You will be given two meals a day and have your laundry done, too. You will also be able to enjoy relaxing time with your hosts, while improving your language skills all the time. Total immersion is the best to way learn any language and a homestay offers exactly that! How to Decide
Think really hard before you decide what option to take. Ask friends about their experiences, attend specific accommodation days organised by the university and contact the institution itself if you have any questions.
When it comes to student halls, London has plenty to offer. Take your pick and prepare for an unforgettable student experience!
Sophie Smith works as an independent consultant and offers advice to young people looking for London-based student halls. 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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