What You Need to Know About Accommodation Abroad


Get ready to study abroad!

As an international student going to study in the UK, applying for accommodation while you’re at university can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry – we’ll help you prepare for your student journey in every way we can! Here are the key things you need to know.  

How Do I Apply for Student Accommodation?

To start with, you’ll need to visit the university website and fill in an application form and may also need to pay a deposit. Most universities guarantee accommodation for first-year students as long as you meet the application and deposit fee deadlines. Remember to confirm your first and second-choice universities when applying for accommodation in the UK.

What Are the Application Deadlines and Fees?

Each university has its own accommodation deadline, so make sure you check this on the university website in good time, to secure your chosen accommodation, you’ll need to pay a deposit. The website will also have details of the types of accommodation available, how to apply and the associated costs and fees.

What Types of Accommodation Are There?

UK universities offer several types of accommodation:

Halls of Residence

These are owned by the university and are usually reserved for first-year students. You’ll share communal facilities like the kitchen and bathroom but typically have your own bedroom. At NCUK we recommend living in Halls for your first year as you’ll have better access to support if you need it and can be sure you’re living in a safe and secure environment.

Private Halls of Residence

These are similar to Halls of Residence but not owned by the university. They’re usually part of a chain of purpose-built student accommodation and often provide services for more than one university – so you might find yourself living with students from another institution.

Shared Houses or Flats

Some students prefer to privately rent a house or flat when they go to university, either by themselves or with a group of friends. This is a great option if you want a little more independence, but it means you’ll be responsible for managing all your own bills and rent payments. Your university will usually have a list of trusted landlords, so make sure you ask for this before starting your search.

student accommodation

What Should I Consider When Looking for Student Accommodation?

There are several things to bear in mind when you’re searching for somewhere to live. Here are some of the most important:

  • Is it a shared bathroom or en-suite?
  • Is it self-catering or catered?
  • Will I be sharing a room?
  • Is it alcohol-free?
  • Is it single-sex?
  • What are the locations and costs like?
  • How secure is it?
  • Are there any age requirements?
  • Are there any health-related requirements?
  • Is it a dedicated student flat?

What about when I move in?

Depending on the type of accommodation you choose, you may need to buy a few additional home comforts when you move in. Here are some of the things you might want to bring:

  • Your own bedding
  • Your own towels
  • Your own posters & pictures
  • A laundry basket
  • Your own desk lamp

When it’s time to move in, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the local area in case you need to buy one or two additional items.

student reading

How else can you help?

These tips will help you get ready to make the most out of your university experience. But if you need any extra help, support or information, simply contact the NCUK team directly.