A Guide to Accommodations in the UK for International Students

If you’re planning to study in the United Kingdom, it’s important that you find comfortable and safe accommodation.

Here’s a short and simple guide on the different accommodations in the UK and a comparison of accommodation costs across cities in the country.

Halls of Residence

Halls of residence are usually guaranteed by the university to their first-year students. Halls of residence are owned and managed by the university and are often among the most affordable options for accommodation in the UK.

Halls of residence are usually large buildings built close to the campus. Everything from maintenance, security, and surveillance are often monitored by the university.

The buildings are usually divided into flats or bedrooms that can be single or shared. Some bedrooms may have their own toilet and bath, while others share a communal one with other rooms. 

Typically, halls of residences have a canteen where students can buy food at a fixed price. Food can be a great way to immerse in the host country’s culture.

Private Halls of Residence

Private halls of residence are similar to halls of residence, with both usually offering shared or single bedrooms as well as other utilities like Wi-Fi and air conditioning.

The main difference would be the cost. Private halls of residence are more expensive, even though they are also owned and managed by the university.

These accommodations in the UK are often more modern, and the list of facilities is often more extensive. 

Self-Catered Halls

Self-catered halls are similar to halls of residence but frequently they have a communal kitchen area where students can cook their own food.

If you want more freedom and would prefer to cook and prepare your own meals, you can opt to stay in self-catered halls. The only issue with this kind of accommodation is that kitchens end up being too messy since many students use them throughout the day.

If you’re staying in a self-catered hall, make sure to do your part in the cleaning and be responsible when using communal areas, especially the kitchen.

Flats or Houses

After staying in halls of residence for their first year, a lot of students prefer to move out of campus.

One of the options for off-campus accommodation are flats and houses. These are typically the more expensive options in this list, especially when the flat or house is located near the city.

When renting out a house for your accommodation, you would need to sign a tenancy agreement. That document should outline the terms and conditions of your stay, and may include an agreement of your monthly rent and consequences if you fail to pay on time.

Average Monthly Rent for Different Accommodations in Different Cities in the UK

Renting an apartment is definitely more expensive if you’re renting near the city center. Consider these costs before choosing an accommodation. Remember to take note that costs of living in areas near the city center are also high.

The table below shows the average costs for monthly rent in five cities in the UK.

CItySingle-bedroom Apartment (Inside city center)Single-bedroom Apartment (Outside city center)Three-bedroom Apartment (Inside city center)Three-bedroom Apartment (Outside city center)
London£1,730£1,235£3,320£2,050
Belfast£630£435£960£650
Edinburgh£770£605£1,380£1.050
Cambridge£1,030£820£1,700£1,300
Cardiff£700£540£1,190£910

To live overseas as an international student is a stand-out experience. Go about it prepared with up-to-date, accurate information on accommodation and other student services from our articles!

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