Deciding where to stay while studying in the UK can leave you feeling overwhelmed, but don’t fret, every year students face similar worries and fears. Whether you are considering a student hall or have your sights set on private accommodation, there are a few things to consider.
Student halls or halls of residence are provided by the universities. They are large buildings often divided into individual flats where you may have the option of taking a single room or sharing with another student. Student Halls are a safe, comfortable, and affordable option. Although basic, the rooms are usually furnished with a bed, desk, and chair. There is an option for a private ensuite room with a separate shower and toilet, but most often, the kitchen and bathroom are shared with other students. Other communal facilities include a common room, a tv room, a small shop, and a laundry. Sometimes men and women share the same hall, however, most universities will also have single-sex halls for those who prefer such arrangements. Student halls have a self-catering option or you may want to include catered meals as part of your overall accommodation cost, where you will be able to eat in a designated dining room or cafeteria. Access to all university facilities including after-hour programs like on-site tutoring, counsellors, or mentors. Travel costs are minimal as these buildings are often in or near the campus. Student halls offer security, along with basic maintenance and access to Wi-Fi.
Private accommodation can be found in large buildings where students can rent rooms within shared flats. This means that you can rent a private room while sharing communal spaces such as a kitchen, bathroom, and lounge with your housemates. You will have the option to select the housemates that you are going to stay with – they are often like-minded local or international students that have the potential to become your life-long friends. Unlike student hall accommodation where the university includes additional costs as part of the rent, household costs such as water and electricity and even maintenance will need to be divided between all housemates within the home or apartment. Depending on your lifestyle and study needs, the location of your home is your choice. Some advantages of private accommodation include - signing a lease contract with a landlord means you do not have to leave the room during the holidays and you are not surrounded by hundreds of other rooms filled with potentially rowdy students, so it is usually a lot quieter. Although you will have a lot more freedom, along with a sense of independence, you will have to do your research and understand all that is involved with private rentals.
When it comes to choosing where to stay, you will have to decide which aspects are most important to you, such as location, safety, finance, or social needs.