Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Advice for International students – Living

Advice for International students – Living

For first-year students, one of the things that you might worry about (especially when studying abroad) is living. I understand, living in a new place is never easy at first, especially when you need to look for places to live when you don’t even know the area. Also, it’s soon the end of the academic year and some of you might be thinking of moving. In this blog, I am going to share some tips and platforms for renting a house.

• University-owned Student Accommodation

This option is particularly recommended for first year students, especially if you are from outside the UK. One of the advantages of University-owned student accommodation is that the application process is quick and easy, plus the University is also trustworthy, so you don’t have to worry about getting tricked or scammed. The whole application process can be done online or when you are still in your own country, and you can secure a room before you arrive in the UK, making sure that you have a place to stay after arrival. Furthermore, all bills are included in the rent so there’s one less thing to worry about, you can simply enjoy your university life. Check here for more information on University College Birmingham’s student accommodation.

• Private Student Accommodation

There is also a lot of private student accommodation available. I would say this is usually a bit more expensive (depending on room type), and the room could be more luxurious as most of them provide studio or apartment styles in addition to en-suite rooms. You can have a look at My Student Halls to see different options available.

Spare Room

If you are interested in living in a shared apartment or are a bit low on budget but want to stay in a place other than student accommodation, Spare Room could be a good website to look at. You can find a flatshare or flatmate on this website. Usually you will rent a room and shore the other areas, such as the kitchen. Renting a room is often cheaper than renting a whole apartment, but you will also have access to the facilities.

Rightmove, Zoopla and Openrent

I would say these three property websites are similar, so make sure you check different websites before deciding. List everything you need before searching – for example, do you require parking? How many bedroom(s) are you looking for? Furnished or unfurnished?  

Also, compare the price, the area, and ideally arrange more than one viewing at a different time on a day to see. First, does the real apartment look the same as the photos? Second, do you like the neighbourhood? Is the area around ideal for you? Also, remember sometimes area in the morning vs. at night could be different.

See you next week!

Hoi Yan

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