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Most international students coming to study at a UK institution are entitled to at least one year’s accommodation in an institution-owned property. Around 30 per cent ofinternational students studying at further education colleges live in accommodation owned by the college. 

If you are a higher education student coming to the UK for the first time, accommodation provided by your college or university is probably the most suitable choice, which is why it is taken up by more than half of the international students on degree courses in the UK. Your institution will try to match your needs with the options available.

There are various options available for living in the UK. Most universities have rooms in their halls of residence where international students can rent a room. However, if you accept a room in a university’s residence hall, you would be required to sign a binding arrangement to remain in hall for the full academic year. One can also take private accommodation. This could be with either a British family or sharing a flat with other students. All UK universities have an accommodation office, which help students with their accommodation issues.

Halls of residence

The most common form of accommodation for higher education students is in halls of residence, located on campus or a short distance away, which are usually owned by the institution. You will live in a study-bedroom, either by yourself or with another student, on a corridor of around eight to 10 rooms. You may have to share a bathroom, though many institutions do have en-suite rooms, particularly for postgraduate and mature students. Halls of residence are often the cheapest available option.

Some halls provide two meals a day, and others provide shared kitchens in which students can cater for themselves. Self-catering halls tend to be cheaper, but you may prefer to pay extra to have meals cooked for you - mealtimes can be a good opportunity to meet other students. Most halls of residence have laundry facilities as well as cleaning staff who change bed sheets and empty bins. Generally the cost of utilities, such as water and electricity are included in the rental cost. Spare rooms can sometimes be booked in advance for parents or friends who are visiting

Social life in halls

Living in student halls of residence is a great way to meet new people and make lasting friendships. Each hall usually has an elected student body which has a say in the running of the hall and which organizes a lively social programme. Many halls have their own bar, café, television lounge, music rooms and sports facilities.

As these are run by universities, halls offer a very caring environment. They are often supervised by university staff and have people on hand to help students settle in, including staff and senior students. Security is often provided 24 hours a day. The rules can, however, be restricting for some.

University and college houses

Some institutions may have purchased houses or flats that have been adapted for small groups of students, couples or families. There are also some schemes whereby private landlords allow their houses to be managed and let by universities.

The cost of your breakfast and evening meal may be included in the rent you pay where meals are included. On such expanse, you can expect to pay anywhere from £300 to £380 per month. Bathroom facilities may be shared but an increasing number of universities and colleges now offer en-suite rooms, where you have your own private bathroom, at a slightly higher rent. For students with families, a number ofuniversities and colleges offer two- or three-bedroom family units at a cost of £450 to £550 per month.

Privately owned accommodation 

Renting privately owned accommodation can also be a great idea for many international students. It gives you greater choice and flexibility than accommodation provided by your institution, but may not guarantee the standard of quality that institution accommodation can. There are a number of different types of privately owned accommodation such as house or flat share or home-stay.

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