There are many things you need to think about before you decide to study abroad but choosing where to live is definitely one of the more stressful and complicated decisions you must make. It’s likely that you will have to choose your student accommodation without ever having seen the room or even been to the country you’re about to make your new home. While you’re probably going to want to be close to the university, within easy reach of bars and shops, have a good lifestyle and a chance to meet new people and make friends, choosing where to live can still be tricky! This article contains everything you need to know about how to choose the best student room as an international student.
Here at Abodus Student Living, we know how important your room is for your student experience, especially as an international student. Your room will be your harbour, your place to call home in a new, unfamiliar country. So, what should you be looking at in order to choose a room for your lifestyle? The UK market has a large number of student housing options, so we put together a helpful list of things to look out for when making your decision on how to choose the best student room as an international student.
How To Choose Uni Accommodation
Privacy vs living with flatmates
When you start looking at student accommodation options in your chosen student city in the UK, it’s likely that one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is what kind of lifestyle are you hoping to live when you go to university. That will determine how to choose a room of your likes and advantages!
As an international student, one of your priorities will likely be making friends and getting to know your student city! We suggest you choose an en-suite room in a cluster of flats. While you’ll still have a considerable amount of privacy (i.e., your own bedroom and en-suite shower and toilet) to retreat to when you want to reconnect with your family over facetime or study for your exams, your common spaces, like the kitchen and living room, are shared with other students so will make it easy to meet new people. While there are both good and bad parts of having flatmates, it is true that the first friends you make at uni are often your flatmates! Coming to a completely new place it’s important to build a community of friends to enjoy everything that uni life has to offer!
Alternatively, if you already have local friends or you’re simply looking for more privacy to focus on your studies, consider a studio with your own private kitchen/dining/study area. They do tend to be slightly more expensive, but you get extra space and a completely independent student living experience.
Price vs space – strike a balance!
Talking about value for money in how to choose the best student room, a balance between price and space is not always easy to achieve but it can be done! Pay attention to how big (in sq. meters) the room is, the size of the bed, and the weekly price. Comparing different room types based on these features can give you an insight into which room may be best for you. Sometimes, you can even find some great cashback offers and discount deals on the bigger rooms!
While the size of the room may not be the main aspect of your accommodation, feeling comfortable in your private space can contribute a lot towards a good student experience. Keep in mind that the price of the room is determined by many factors, particularly by the city that you’re choosing to study at. Some cities in the UK are much more expensive than others! While the average student rent in the UK is £126.42 per week, according to the National Student Accommodation Survey 2020, you will pay 38% more in the South East than in the North East.
Avoid a headache of bills, choose all-inclusive
Being an international student means that you’re juggling a lot of things: getting used to living in a new country, keeping on top of your studies, making friends, staying healthy… Before you choose your student room you should consider what you can do to make your student life easier! Avoid the hassle and make sure you choose an all-inclusive room.
Here at Abodus, we pride ourselves on ensuring that the only thing our residents have to focus on is having the best time! When you choose your student room, we recommend making sure it comes inclusive of utility bills, high-speed wifi, and contents insurance.
What Is Included? | Choosing Student Accommodation
On the topic of all-inclusive, when you’re choosing your student room, it is also important to check what else you’ll be getting for your money! This is where living at a private student accommodation will give you much better value for money. As an international student, security and reliability are probably some of the main things you’ll be thinking about. Living at student accommodation means you’ll have CCTV on-site and use secure access cards. The wellbeing teams take all the safeguarding measures to look after you, unlike any private house landlord.
Additionally, you’ll have access to common and study rooms which are perfect for spending time with friends and studying for your exams. When the university library gets busy during the exam period, you’ll definitely appreciate having another quiet space to go! Another important thing to look out for when you’re thinking about how to choose the best student room – is an on-site gym. It’s important to stay fit and look after your health while at university and imagine how much money you’ll be saving if gym access is included in your rent.
Finally, if you live at private student accommodation, you’ll have a chance to get involved in events (virtually and in person), take part in giveaways and competitions, and take advantage of some freebies and discounts. For example, here at Abodus, our residents get exclusive access to a VIP discount programme with offers for exercise classes, cruelty-free hair care products, and more. Events can be a great chance to meet new people as an international student, and who doesn’t love a student discount!
Also Read: List of 10 Student Accommodations In Southampton
Location, location, location | How To Choose Uni Accommodation
Last but not least – remember to consider location when choosing student accommodation for you. You can choose the best room, have all the facilities you need, take advantage of events and student discounts… And still, if you have to wake up really early for your 9 am lectures or take long commutes to a university campus, your experience will be spoilt! Especially coming to a new country, you want to make sure you feel comfortable, and make it easier for yourself to get around. You want to make sure you choose a room in a student accommodation that is close to the university, bars, restaurants, and shopping destination to ensure you can take advantage of all that the city you’ll be living in has to offer!
Alternatively, if you’re happy to commute to university and you want to live in a bohemian location which would immerse you more deeply into the local life, you should look out for accommodation that is located a little further out of the city center. If you choose this, make sure you check out the transport links before you book.
Whatever your exact needs are, you’ll be sure to find or choose a room in the huge number of options on offer! Settling in a completely new country can be challenging, but this list will help guide you through the process and help you feel less overwhelmed about deciding on the best student accommodation for you.
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