Is Student Accommodation in London-Expensive or Affordable for Students? Simple Review:
How to Choose your “Student Accommodation in London”
Accommodation is one of the major concern for all students. Finding a suitable Student Accommodation in London to stay should be at the top of your list when you arrive in your destination University. It is better to plan this well in advance because you will be asked about accommodation at the Immigration counter at the airport.
You will need a signed permission slip for accommodation from your guardian if you are under 18 years of age. When you sign up for a college or university, you will need to indicate that you require accommodation (unless you have something pre-arranged)
Now-a-days according to student’s need perfect student accommodation in London is hard to find. Do not assume that you will automatically be given accommodation. As an international student, you will likely be given housing priority. First-year undergraduate students are generally guaranteed accommodation by universities in UK, whether it be on-campus or off-campus. Some universities do the same for PG students as well. After one year, depending on the college, you may continue with the university accommodation or you may move out to live in other places.
Once you have been accepted into a program, start looking and arranging accommodation right away. Finding the right accommodation may be a bit of a tricky affair for the students who are migrating to London city since it’s a bit expensive living there, but there are some options that help students find housing facilities with great ease in budget.
While you are staying in the UK, you will have many accommodation options available to you. Your choices will depend largely on
- Whether your college or university has halls of residence,
- distance of your residence from your campus
- transportation (in case of off-campus residence)
- the amount of your monthly budget and cost of residence
Accommodation On Campus
On-campus accommodation consists primarily of Halls of Residence, sometimes known as just ‘halls’. Halls are a great way to meet new people. They are buildings that have a number of separate rooms, as well as some common amenities like kitchen, communal bathrooms, entertainment facilities, etc.
- Rooms can be single-occupancy or on a sharing basis of 2-6 occupants. They may vary in size, and some may even have en-suite bathrooms.
- Basic furniture like a cot, desk, and chair are provided in the rooms, and students have to get everything else on their own.
- Most halls of residence have a canteen with food for students (usually at a fixed cost). As an international student the food may be unfamiliar, but eating at the canteen would be good way to immerse yourself in the culture of London.
- Many international students prefer the self-catered option because it allows them the freedom to cook their own food and on their schedule. Self-catered halls are similar to standard halls of residence, but there includes a communal kitchen available to hall residents. These kitchens so frequently used by students do have a reputation for becoming unsightly when not kept up, so try to do your share in cleaning behind yourself and encouraging the same of others.
- They are normally mixed-sex facilities, but some colleges have single-sex facilities as well.
- Halls are either single or co-ed, so if you have a preference for either you will need to inform your university from the beginning when choosing where to live.
All these factors decide the price of the room, and you have to apply for them before you move to the UK. Special accommodation facilities are available at most colleges for disabled students, but you may have to announce the disability in advance in order for the Housing Services to take it into consideration during room allotments. Sometimes colleges also have special accommodation services for international students in the UK, in order to make them feel at home.
The advantage of living on-campus at UK universities is that there is better safety and security than living outside. However, although it makes for great bonding with your fellow college students, it may be difficult to learn to live independently with wardens and guards directing everything you do.
Cost of ‘On-Campus’ Living in UK Top Universities
The rent for rooms in halls varies from college to college, but we have given below the price range at the top universities in London.
|Universities||Accommodation cost (GBP per month)||Catering cost (GBP)|
|University of Oxford||£655-£790||£280-£400 per month|
|University of Cambridge||£850 + utilities||4-7 per meal|
|Imperial College London||£400-£1,208||£60-£80 per week|
|University College London (UCL)||£528-£1,584||£30-£50 per week|
|London School of Economics and Political Science||£456-£1,724||£750-£300 per month|
Student Accommodation Off-Campus
Typically, students live in halls during their first year, as it makes adjusting to campus life much simpler and helps in making friends. In their second and third years, some students opt to move into a house or flat not associated with the school.
If you do move into a flat or house, you will have to sign a tenancy agreement, which is a legal document outlining the terms of your stay. Make sure you fully understand the terms and issues of the contract, and if you do have any doubts talk to your international student advisor who can assist you.
A flat or house is likely the costliest option, and you may find it hard to find accommodation that is close to campus. However, many students enjoy the freedom to live where they choose, live with whom they like, and choose the type of place they want to live in. With halls, you don’t have this flexibility.
If you choose to live off-campus, you can look for either university-owned accommodation or private-owned accommodation. Private property can be owned by landlords as private individuals or registered housing agencies, but either way, the places to stay can be:
- Rooms – You can rent out rooms in a house or building, for a single person or for more number of people. The rent amount varies greatly in different locations, from GBP 4 to 800 per month.
- Flats/Apartments– You can rent an entire apartment with multiple rooms as well as a kitchen, bathroom, and other facilities. In this case, you will usually have flatmates who can split the rent with you. The national average for rent of a whole apartment for a month is around GBP 1,000.
- Studio apartments – You can rent a studio apartment for GBP 400-8,200, where the bedroom, kitchen and living area are in a single space. These are usually occupied by single students but sometimes people living with spouses also prefer this arrangement.
- Houses – You can rent an entire house complete with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms and a kitchen, living area, yard, etc where you can live with a number of people, for GBP 376-1,500. This is also a good option for students who have their families, i.e spouse and children, along with them.
- Homestays – You can live with a family in the UK if you do not want to manage everything on your own. Host families take in International students, charging GBP 10-60 per night, such that the family provides for your stay and food, as well as includes you in their activities. This is a recommended option for students on study abroad/exchange programs.
- Furnished apartments: Naturally, you have to minimize the cost of renting as much as you can. But, to the limit you won’t have to sacrifice your needs for a comfortable place to live in, just to save some money.
Furnished apartments are a perfect option for people who are studying abroad because they don’t need to buy items of furniture on their own, which they will be selling when returning back home.
The good news is that the cost gap between furnished and unfurnished apartments is very small. Also, landlords of furnished apartments take care that their apartments have everything in place in order to be the first choice of incoming foreign students. So it is highly preferable you always seek furnished apartments. Usually, you can ask a landlord or an agent to do it for you.
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