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There is a wide variety of accommodation options available for Student in UK. The choice will depend largely on whether the college or university has halls of residence, location of college or university and the monthly budget.
When a student applies for a particular college or university, there is a need to indicate that whether the student will require accommodation (unless something is pre-arranged). Generally an international student will be given priority over other students.
An accommodation option includes:
Halls of Residence
Halls are a great way to meet new people. They are large buildings, sometime divided into flats where you will have either a single room or share with another student. The room itself may be basic, and if it does not have an en-suite bathroom, communal ones will be provided. Generally the hall will provide basic furniture such as a bed, desk and chair and the rest you will have to supply.
Most halls of residence have a canteen where food is supplied (at a cost) to students. As an international student the food may be unfamiliar, but a good way to immerse yourself in the culture of the UK. Halls are either single or mixed sex, so if you have a preference for either you will need to make this very clear to your university from the beginning when choosing where to live.
Apart from the rooms, there are also communal areas that could have a bar (it is legal to drink alcohol at 18 in the UK), TV, pool table, etc…
Self Catered Halls
Many international students prefer the self-catered option because it allows them the freedom to cook their own food and on their own schedule. Self-catered halls are very similar to standard halls of residence, but there is also a communal kitchen available to all hall residents. Be warned, though – communal kitchens can become places where only the stout of heart dare to venture!
A home stay arrangement
It is fast gaining popularity among the international students, who are pursuing their education in UK. In a typical homestay arrangement, the student gets enjoy to stay with a British family. He also gets to experience their lifestyle and culture in a first-hand way. The student is usually provided with an individual bedroom. He can also choose one of the two: full board with meals and part board without meals. A student can opt for a furnished or an unfurnished apartment by paying one month’s rental fee and two months bond fee in advance. The fee of the bond is refundable.
The apartment can be shared by two or more students and can also split the costs. All sorts of facilities like laundry, dry-cleaning, iron-board, meals, storage, telephone, sanitation and facilities for sports and recreation are provided to the students by the private hostels.
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 which is not part of the university.
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 the tenancy. Be very careful to 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 further.
A flat or house is generally more expensive than any other option, and you may find it hard to find accommodation that is close to your campus. However many students like 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.