Tips to find the right student accommodation

Tips to find the right student accommodation


Yippee you’ve got a place at the university of your choice. Now you’ve got to sort out your student accommodation, which can seem like an overwhelming job considering you’re not even in the UK yet. 

Luckily, there are a lot of good quality options for student accommodation in the UK which we’ve broken down for you in this article along with the pros and cons for each one!


University run accommodation


Living in university accommodation (which is commonly referred to as 'student halls') is popular with first year students because it's a great way to meet other students and make friends. The halls are normally located quite close to your university, which is handy if you're new to the area, and not to mention if you're running late for a lecture!


Room costs vary between universities, but this option is by far the most economical and your rent will probably include all your bills including internet connection to your room and some universities also include a meal plan whereby your breakfast and dinner is included.


Most universities try to provide international students a place in student halls if you meet the application deadline.


Pros to living in university run accommodation

  1. Often close to the campus
  2. Good way to meet other students at your university
  3. It is sometimes an economical option


Cons to living in university run accommodation

  1. You often must share a kitchen and sometimes a bathroom with other students
  2. The rooms are often quite small
  3. They can be quite noisy places, given the number so students living there


Rent a house or flat privately


In the UK there is always a good supply of houses and flats near universities. This option may suit you if you want to live with your friends or are moving to the UK with your family.


You may choose to rent a whole place or take a room, which is called a flat or house share, and could mean you end up sharing with students or even locals. This option will mean you have to find the property yourself and the rent often excludes the bills, such as water, gas, broadband and electricity, which you will have to sort out yourself. 


Finally, you will have to liaise with a private landlord. But don’t worry, there is a lot of protection for tenants in the UK, such as the Tenancy Fee Act, which means that deposits are capped at five weeks’ worth of rent.


University and Students’ Unions often provide lists of approved estate agents and landlords where you can find private houses and flats to rent. 


Pros to a private house or flat

  1. Living in a house or flat is a great way to fully immerse yourself in living in the UK and getting to know the locals, helping you to immerse yourself into the local culture. 
  2. There is greater privacy, and you can save money by cooking at home.
  3. You will have greater privacy and can choose to live by yourself, which will provide a calmer, tidier and quieter environment.


Cons to a private house or flat

  1. Neighbourhoods that are most convenient for your commute to university might be expensive. 
  2. In most cases you will be responsible for all bills and maintaining the property, including the garden, if it has one. 
  3. If you don’t live with other students, it might be more difficult to make friends which could lead to loneliness.


Living with a host family


If you’re looking for a home away from home, have you considered living with a host family? There are numerous websites that can pair international students with local host families, depending on what they need. You’ll need to fill in an application to help narrow down what you need and then you’ll be presented with some options that best match. For example, you can choose to stay with a host family that offers meal plans like breakfast, a packed lunch and dinner. Or you can go with the self-catering option, where you have full access to the host’s kitchen.


Pros to living with a host family

  1. Can help you settle into your new home faster, avoid culture shock and help you feel less home sick
  2. Your rent will include bills and possibly meals
  3. Your university should be an easy commute from your host family


Cons to living with a host family

  1. You might feel disconnected from university life
  2. It is unlikely you will be able to invite friends over


Private purpose-built student accommodation


Private student accommodation in the UK is generally in newly built multi-storey blocks, which are designed to a high standard. The advantage with this option is that it often includes all your bills, contents insurance and internet as well, so you know exactly what you will be spending each month.


The rooms are designed and decorated to a high standard. And in most cases,you will have your own bathroom. Some accommodation even comes with your own kitchen, which isn’t always the case with university accommodation.


Private accommodation does attract a lot of students from outside the UK, meaning you’ll be with people who have come from around the world to study at different universities – so you have no excuse not to have a great time and make loads of new friends.


Pros to private purpose-built student accommodation

  1. Often located in the city centre, near amenities and close to the university
  2. You will meet students from your university and possibly other universities in the city
  3. All the bills and often content insurance are included in the rent


Cons to private purpose-built student accommodation

  1. This option can be more expensive
  2. They can be quite noisy places, given the number so students living there
  3. You might end up living with lots of other international students, rather than home students