Student Housing - Study in the UK - Across the Pond

The Benefits of Living in University Accommodation

As a student, one of the most important things to think about before your studies begin is where you’re going to live. The reality of studying abroad is that for many it will be your first time moving away from your family home, or your first time living on your own. Moving away from your hometown is hard enough, but moving away from your country? Many students will get stuck on the “what if’s” before looking into different accommodation options.  

For most UK universities, time, money, and attention are dedicated to building student accommodations that will create a sense of belonging and family by those who are calling them home (whether for a short or longer period of time).  

Most students will choose to move into student accommodations (Halls of Residence) in their first year of study, and then move into private accommodation with friends afterwards should their program be longer than 1-year in length.  

Let’s look at the benefits of booking student accommodations for your first year abroad:  

University accommodations are easy to arrange from Canada

This is perhaps the largest benefit from booking university accommodations. The reality of international students finding and securing off-campus accommodations is that it can take time and often isn’t possible until you are physically located within the UK and have a UK bank account. For those who are already stressing about undertaking studies in a new country, this is going to add on stress to the start of your academic journey.

University accommodations on the other hand can be booked while you’re still in Canada (and usually even before you start the visa process!) You can typically apply to university accommodation once you have received an official offer form your university, however some might require that you firmly accept your offer first. It’s important to look at each university website and apply by any noted deadline!

Many UK universities are now offering guaranteed university accommodation to international students

Something that more universities are offering (to international students especially) is a guaranteed room with their student accommodation as long as students accept their university offer and apply to accommodations by the university’s accommodation deadline (this is usually in the spring/early summer but can vary depending on the university). 

Where possible, universities will have separate housing for undergraduate and postgraduate students, but will also take mature students into consideration

A popular programme for Canadian students especially is the Law LLB which is technically studied at the undergraduate level. Students from Canada are often coming to these degrees after they’ve completed a university degree in Canada and may be worried about sharing university accommodation with younger students coming directly from high school. Most UK universities will take this into consideration and tend to house mature students together so that they can enjoy a similar study environment with like-minded individuals.  

Other special accommodation options can include separate gender-specific living, special needs/accessibility options, or dedicated LGBTQIA2+ housing. Special accommodation requests like these are often limited and subject to availability so it’s important to speak to your university as early as possible so that they can accommodate your needs.  

University accommodations are cost-effective because of the inclusive packages

When staying in university accommodation, you also won’t have to worry about paying extra bills (such as electric, internet, heat etc.) as everything is included in one lump sum. Fees for the rooms include utility costs, and internet connection for the duration of your stay vs. private accommodations which would have utilities etc. on top of rent. 

There are also a range of accommodation packages that can include meal plans, shared kitchen spaces, or self-catering spaces in your room. If sharing a kitchen, it’s common to do this with 3-5 other students.  

Another shared space option is a bathroom (with toilet and shower). Most universities will give students the option of having an en suite bathroom (in their room) or a shared bathroom with others. Like a shared kitchen space, this can be with 3-5 others but may vary depending on the university. 

It’s common for the student accommodation to have a common area with a TV, sofas, and other items where you can socialize with other students. Cleaning of common areas is also included in the price. 

A laundry room is also available (either in the basement or another easily accessible building) so you won’t need to worry about where you can clean your clothes or bed linens. In the shared laundry space, you’ll find both washing machines and tumble dryers that are paid for via a university app or potentially coin operated. This is normally relatively cheap compared to other laundry facilities around the city.

There’s going to be something for every budget and need! Unfortunately, the many options offered by university accommodations will likely not be available when flat hunting for off-campus accommodation as you may be more limited with options due to your timeline. 

What are the costs? As a general rule, the fewer people you share with, or if you want your own bathroom/food service, the more expensive your accommodation will be. Prices will range depending on university/location with London and surrounding areas being the highest.  

An Across the Pond Advisor can help you learn more about accommodation options in your budget! 

A note about contract lengths:   The contract lengths for student accommodations are often 2-term contracts to make up the typical year of a student. If your studies go into the summertime (for example, if you’re undertaking a research-based dissertation), you may have the option to find a short-term let to experience private-housing as well. Short-term, furnished lets are quite common in the UK and a great solution when comparing to staying in a more costly hotel or Airbnb.  

Easily meet individuals from outside of your program 

University accommodations are a great way to meet people of diverse social and cultural backgrounds.  It also helps you make friends easily and they are usually people outside of your own program. 

There are often mixers and social events being held for students staying in the halls as well! This can range from movie nights, trips to town/excursions to other parts of the UK, themed parties, sports tournaments, game nights and more! The universities want their students to feel at home while staying in residence and will go above and occasionally beyond expectations to make students feel safe, comfortable and right at home.

Location, location, location

Most university accommodations are within easy access to the main university buildings. This makes getting to class easy! The distance can vary depending on the university however walking, biking, or even accommodation-dedicated busses are common.  

It's important to remember to apply to the correct campus when looking at student accommodation if your university is made up of several campuses. If you’re unsure about this – speak to a student advisor!  

Safety is a priority

CCTV and security are utilized to maintain a safe environment throughout campus, but particularly within the common areas of the residences. Late night study sessions at the library can be completed without worrying – there’s enough to worry about as a student already! 

If you want to explore your university accommodations options, or the options that may be available at your chosen university, speak to an Across the Pond advisor today

Need Help?
Send us a message