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Accommodation for international students

Discover the different accommodation options for international students studying in the UK.

Before you arrive           

During your application process to study in the UK, there are loads of things to consider, such as housing while you’re there. There are many options to choose from, including residential halls, flats, and homestays.  When thinking about your potential housing, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • How close is your potential accommodation to where you are studying?
  • What public transport is available?
  • What is the surrounding area like? Are there lots of shops and facilities?
  • What rooms and facilities will be shared with other students?
  • What is the studying environment like? Is there Wi-Fi available?

University accommodation

If you are planning on studying at a university or college, housing will most likely be offered at that institution. The range of options available may depend on the institution, so check early on in the application process, as it is often guaranteed for the first year. While the style of living varies in each university, the accommodation provided will most likely be a room in shared halls of residence, with a shared kitchen and bathroom. Accommodation fees for an institutionally provided residence will most likely include utilities, such as water and gas. Usually these facilities will have free Wi-Fi, as well.

Private rented accommodation

If you choose to not stay in university provided housing, or it’s not available, private accommodation is another option to consider. The typical option for students is to rent a room in a house or flat that is shared between 2-8 other students. You will most likely have shared facilities, like bathrooms and a kitchen, that is used by everyone in the flat or house. Unlike university housing, utilities (gas, electricity, water etc.) are usually not included and must be paid separately from rent.  Places to search for private accommodation include:

  • Your institution’s accommodation or international office
  • Your university or college’s accommodation website
  • Advertisements around campus
  • Local estate agents (always ask for advice from your university’s accommodation or welfare office before signing any contracts)


A third option to consider is a homestay. In this scheme, students will live in accommodation along with the owner and his/her family. Students are expected to share common spaces, such as bathrooms, with the family. The student is also expected to fit into the lifestyle of the family. Some or all meals may be provided, depending on the scheme you pick. Homestays are a popular option for students under the age of 18. Finding a programme is usually done through the university you are planning on studying at, so check their accommodation website for more information. 

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