A recent survey by The Telegraph and The Student Room found that about 72% of students believe that their accommodation has an influence on their success at university.
So your choice of accommodation is one of the key decisions you will make, and you need to do your research to ensure that you get the right accommodation.
Below are 3 helpful hints to assist in your quest to secure the right accommodation for you.
1. Where to look for your accommodation?
Your first decision will be whether or not you want to stay in Halls for your initial time in the UK.
Unless you already know the area in which you are going to be living in the UK then staying in Halls for the first year is a good option.
Halls are designed specifically for students and all of the support services will be close at hand. In addition you will be amongst the community of students with everyone sharing the same experience of leaving home for the first time.
There are three different sorts of accommodation that you can consider:
Most universities will have an ‘Accommodation’ section on their website where you can view all of the accommodation they offer. University Halls are usually on, or very close to, the University Campus.
These are like the University Halls but are owned and run by a private company. Some may offer a slightly higher quality of accommodation and tend to be more expensive than University Halls.
Often these are also listed on the university website, but you can also find them on other websites such as MyStudentHalls
You can book your accommodation online before you arrive in the UK but, if you prefer to view the properties before you commit then you will have to undertake your search after you arrive in the UK.
This obviously means that you will need to book into a Hotel for the first week or so of your time in the UK and deal with all the arrangements once you are here.
2. What is included in your rent?
It is critical that you understand exactly what is covered by your rental payments.
If you choose to live in Halls then your rental payments will normally cover all of your bills such as electricity, internet, water etc.
If you do decide to go with a private landlord then it is important that you understand what is covered by your rental payments and what is not. You do not want any nasty surprises after you have moved in and committed to a tenancy agreement.
Rent is normally paid monthly in advance and you will have to set up an agreed payment method e.g. a monthly standing order. There will also be a deposit you will have to pay before moving in.
Normally the Estate Agency will require you to provide a bank statement to prove that you have sufficient funds to pay the rent for the next 3-6 months.
If you have only just arrived in the UK this can be a problem as you will need to open a UK Bank Account and have deposited sufficient funds.
A good solution to this problem is to open your account before you leave your home country. This can be done through online services such as the Aspire Account which is exclusively for international students.
3. Making your student house a home?
So you have made your choice, dealt with all the paperwork, and you are moving into your new crib soon!
As exciting as it sounds, the chances that the new place will have all the comforts you currently enjoy at home are very low. So, you will need to buy a few things to make your student house feel more like home. Some examples would be a comfy mattress topper, a colourful desk lamp, and pot plants or fresh flowers.
Another innovative option that exists for students coming to the UK is Click2Campus, a company that delivers packs containing basic home comforts, such as bed linen and cutlery, to your room / home even before you get there.
All of us at UniZest wish you the very best with finding your perfect accommodation and we are sure you are going to have an exciting and rewarding time in the UK at your chosen University.