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On-campus accommodation or student flats? — Practical tips on accommodation in the UK

As the start of the school year gets closer and closer in September, it is time to put the issue of accommodation on the agenda for all those who are going to study in the UK.

After all, going abroad, the quality of housing will directly affect the future of life and study. Unlike domestic dormitories, which are non-selective, you will need to apply for a school dormitory or book off-campus student flats and privately rented accommodation before you arrive in the UK.

Today, we will take you to understand and compare the difference between on-campus and off-campus dormitories to help you make the right choice for you. Let’s have a look~

The three main types of accommodation available to international students in the UK are on-campus halls of residence, off-campus student flats and rented accommodation.

On-campus Student Accommodation

There are two types of dormitories: Catered and Self-Catered, which provide breakfast and dinner, and Self-Catered, which is generally divided into three types: Studio (with its own bathroom and kitchen), En-Suite (with its own bathroom and kitchen) and Standard (with a shared bathroom and kitchen).

The environment of UK university dormitories is relatively quiet. British university dormitories are usually en-suite and studio rooms, the rent is relatively cheap, the school will usually arrange for students from different countries to live together, you can apply for more than one preferred dormitory after getting the offer.

The school dormitory adopts the mode of “deposit + rent”, and the deposit is basically refundable. The deposit is basically refundable, but you will have to pay for any damages, and the price varies depending on the length of the contract, the old or new dormitory, the type of dormitory, and the location of the dormitory. Overall though, it’s cheaper than a host family and more expensive than renting your own room.

Pros:
High level of safety

Inexpensive.

Close to the school, which makes it easier for students to get in touch with each other

Improve speaking skills by living with students from other countries

Disadvantages:
Facilities may be old

Random allocation, not guaranteed to get the type of accommodation you want

Need to get used to the different living habits of your flatmates

TIPS.
1. Apply for a dormitory as early as possible. If you apply late, you will have fewer choices. If you want to live on the same floor as your friends or in the same twin room, you can indicate this when you apply, and if you are lucky, you may be able to get a room together.

2. Usually, when applying for a dormitory, you can choose your roommate’s preferences, such as gender, routine, nationality, etc. It is recommended to fill in the information truthfully. The final result may not be exactly what the applicant wants, but at least it won’t deviate too much.

Off-campus Student Accommodation

Off-campus student residences are usually built and managed by commercial student housing companies. These halls of residence are scattered around the university, not too far from the campus. Although they are run by private companies, you don’t just have to pay to live there. You must be a student first, and some companies also require that you are a student of a specific school in order to apply, so that you can be sure of the safety of the hostel environment.

Compared to school dormitories, there are more options for student flats. Student flats are generally newer, well-equipped, well-decorated and usually have a 24×7 professional management team. Some student flats also have gyms, cinema rooms and other recreational facilities.

Due to the tightness of the general university dormitory rooms, coupled with the increasing number of international students, many students, due to various reasons, submit their applications late, it is difficult to apply for their favourite dormitory, then you may choose to live in a purpose-built student flat.

Advantages:
Excellent location

Complete hardware facilities, modern management style

Electricity, water and gas are all included

Disadvantages:
Prices can be relatively expensive

Fewer rooms compared to off-campus rentals

TIPS:

Make sure you book your room early for both on-campus and off-campus accommodation! Usually rooms are available in February/March, but the time varies from school to school, for example, York University is randomly allocated in July, so some dorms are farther away from the main campus. Book early so that you have more space to choose your preferred room type.

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