It's all very well to go to the UK and study, but where will you stay?
Types of Accommodation
One of the best experiences whilst studying in England is staying with a host family. This gives you the chance to be totally immersed in British culture and interact with locals on a daily basis. Oftentimes, host families will also provide you with meals and assistance with day-to-day things. You become a part of the family. Language students can practise their English. Your hosts also enjoy the opportunity to learn more about you and your culture. Cost per week: £80 - £120.
Hostels and Bedsits
You can often rent rooms in hostels or bedsits which may or may not require you to share rooms and amenities with other people. This is also a great way to make friends from all around the world.
Self-Catering Accommodation, House or Flat Share
It is possible to rent either a room, or a flat/house (together with other housemates) on a weekly or monthly basis. Generally, students get to choose where and who they live with.
University Halls of Residence
Some universities rent out their rooms during the end-of-term holidays.
How to Find Accommodation
Warnborough College has a Student Liaison and Welfare Officer who can help provide suggestions or make arrangements on your behalf.
Agencies normally do not take advance bookings for accommodation. Their accommodation choices are usually available within a period of a month. Good agencies will help you with letting negotiations rather than encouraging you to sign as quickly as possible. Agencies can only charge a fee once you have secured accommodation through them - it is illegal for them to charge a fee to go on their list or to provide addresses of properties. Make sure you check agency fees before getting them to do anything. If there is a problem, see the Student Welfare Officer or contact a professional agency association such as ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents). New Window
You may have friends or coursemates who have lived in the private sector. You can find out through them if the agent or landlord were professional in their dealings with the property.
Newspapers and other publications
These are not generally useful for advance bookings. Loot,(New Window) published daily, is the best newspaper for accommodation. Capital Flatshare (Guardian on Saturdays) and local newspapers are also useful. Note that anyone can advertise their accommodation in a newspaper, whether it is an agent or private landlord. Caution should be exercised and although many people have found very satisfactory accommodation through newspapers, there are also less than happy stories.
This is a fast booming area which helps to give you an idea of what's available before you come to the UK. Again, as with newspapers, anyone can set up a website. You should be cautious with all sites such as not disclosing personal
financial details. Do not pay for registering with them. Check to see if they have a formal address rather than merely a web address? There is unfortunately no real way of knowing whether a site is conscientious or not. If you follow up on an address and intend to visit it, follow through the personal safety procedure. Gumtreeis (New Window)quite an effective website for advertised accommodation, and you can also place wanted ads for free.
Who Should You Live With?
You can choose to stay with relatives, a host family, friends, classmates, or live on your own. Staying alone can be costly but will give you more privacy. Staying with relatives or a host family is nice but you will have to observe their house and other rules out of courtesy. Staying with friends can be enormous fun, especially if you get along well together but you have to think if you are able to share facilities, chores, and the like. Other things to consider are whether or not your friends are in a comparable financial position and if they are responsible tenants.
Sharing a house with others can help reduce costs, but we recommend that group numbers should be kept to five (5) people as the maximum. More than five people, and you may have problems with the Environment Regulations which may require two or more bathrooms, a fire alarm system, etc.
Canterbury Storage (New Window): Secure Self-Storage - somewhere safe to keep your possessions while looking for accommodation and/or during holiday breaks and external placements.