UK – Accommodation

UK towns and cities have long experience of providing homes for students and there are many affordable, comfortable and safe places to live.

Finding Accommodation

You should always try to arrange your long-term accommodation before you leave home. Your institution should be able to help you with this. Colleges have student advisers who can advise you on how to find accommodation and universities have accommodation officers.

When you accept a study place, you should receive a package of information, which will include accommodation information. Complete the accommodation application form and return it by the date stated. Even if residential accommodation is not available, there will be an accommodation advisory office which can help you find private accommodation.

If you are coming to the UK for the first time, accommodation provided by your school, college or university might be the most suitable choice. This is an option taken up by more than half of the international students on degree courses in the UK and around 30 % of those who come to FE colleges.

There are advantages to living in accommodation provided by your institution:

  • you usually live close to where you are studying
  • you get to know other students easily
  • you are likely to spend less time travelling, so you have time to get to know the local area
  • you will be living in a safe and secure environment.

College and university accommodation is also affordable: a room in a self-catering hall of residence or student apartment costs from £180 to £360 per month. The term `self-catering means that you will have access to a shared kitchen where you can prepare your own meals. Some universities and colleges also offer accommodation where meals are provided and the cost of your breakfast and evening meal is included in the rent you pay. Where meals are included you can expect to pay from £320 to £400 per month. In the traditional student residence, bathroom facilities are shared but an increasing number of universities and colleges now offer residences with rooms where you have your own private bathroom. You would pay slightly more for this option.

If you choose to rent accommodation in the private sector, the options are private hostels, lodgings, bed-sits or shared flats/houses. A lodging is where you rent a room in a private house. Your landlord/landlady would live in the same house, possibly with their family, and would prepare your meals for you. For hostel accommodation and lodgings where meals are included, you can expect to pay £300 to £400 per month. For a bed-sit or a room in a house or flat shared with other students, you would pay from £200 to £380 per month.

Leaving Home

Coming to study in the UK will be one of the most exciting adventures of your life, so be equipped.

Arriving in a different country can be a scary experience at first. Do not be surprised if, after the excitement of arriving, you later find the UK strange or you miss home. You will not be alone – others will be feeling the same way. Don’t worry. These feelings will quickly pass and you will soon get caught up in the heady bustle of student life.

Essential documents

Once you have decided to study in the UK and have been accepted on to a course, you must ensure you have the right documents and money before leaving. Make sure you carry the following items with you:

  • your valid passport with visa or entry clearance, if relevant your travel tickets
  • money – cash, travellers- cheques, and credit card. All ideally kept in a money belt or a very secure inside pocket
  • health documents, if required
  • a letter of acceptance from your institution
  • documentary proof that you have enough money to pay your fees and meet your living costs
  • originals (or certified true copies) of any degree certificates or technical qualifications you have.