What you need to know when choosing your accommodation

One of the most critical decisions you will make before heading off to the UK is the accommodation that you will be staying in. The accommodation will not only be the place that you store things and sleep in every night, but will be your home for however long the duration of your course is, which is why it is vitally important that you speak to your UKEAS counsellor to get the best advice. Listed below is a brief overview of the different types of accommodation on offer to students in the UK.

Private Residence Accommodation

Increasingly, university students are liaising with private companies to live in their residences, especially in urban environments. It has often been found that the facilities offered in private residences are more up to date than those on campus, the services better, and the journey to and from lectures are more or less the same as from a private residence.

                The UK’s biggest provider of private residences is UNITE Plc. More information about UNITE can be found by clicking here.

University Accommodation - Residences

Almost all universities in the UK provide accommodation, however standards can differ across the country, with some containing very modern facilities, while others contain old or run down facilities. Most universities keep postgraduate and undergraduate students separate, and integrate both sexes in a hall of residence, however there are exceptions dotted around the country.

It is crucial that as soon as you make up your mind as to which university you want to go to, that you apply for university accommodation before the deadline. Please note that universities cannot guarantee that you will get a place in their residences, it is only possible if you apply before the deadline. Because there is a huge variety of accommodation for every university, we would strongly recommend you talking to your UKEAS counsellor and finding out the best accommodation for you. This is particularly the case if you intend to study in the UK with your partner or family .

>What can I expect from my university accommodation:

Residences will have a bedroom containing either a single or double bed, a desk with a study light, a wardrobe for clothes and a sundry storage space. Ensuite bathrooms or shared bathrooms with other students are available, and will depend on which one you choose. Certain universities might offer bedding packs that you can buy, however it is expected that you bring your own. All rooms are single; it is very uncommon to find yourself sharing a residence with someone else.

The dining area and the kitchen will be the main areas for socialising as an undergraduate; kitchens will have your usual appliances, such as a fridge, kettle, oven, etc. Undergraduate students will prefer to have meals down at the canteen, which will sometimes be included in the price of the room. However you are entitled to cook your own meals if you would like.

Settling down in university accommodation is a great way to socialise and meet friends, especially at undergraduate level. While it is convenient at postgraduate level, you would need to consider issues such as privacy and noise. To find out more about university accommodation, speak to your UKEAS counsellor to figure out the best choice for you.

Language School - Residences

Residences at language schools have similar characteristics to university accommodation; rooms are very similar in terms of what you get, however you do get the option of opting for a shared room. Whether meals are included or not depends on the school and is a question for your UKEAS counsellor, who can also give you further advice as to what options are best for you.


High School - Residences

If you attend a public boarding school in the UK, you will live in shared rooms or dormitories, until you have reached your last years of school. Members of staff supervise and look after younger students, even throughout their last year. All meals are provided by the school.


Private housing

Private housing is an option for students when university accommodation is full, or they’d like to share with friends. All universities in the UK will have an accommodation office, which you can consult for advice on finding the best companies for private accommodation. Ads in the local papers along with notice or bulletin boards can also aid you in your search. Unfortunately, arranging private accommodation while outside the UK is very difficult, which could mean you visiting the UK first and looking around. There are various websites online detailing the types of private accommodation and their costs, we recommend , which also conveniently displays the distance between the school and the accommodation.

If you are not familiar with the legal obligations, and what the accommodation exactly is and what it includes, then ask a friend from the UK, or the university for assistance.


This option is usually the most popular option amongst students studying in a language school or a pre university course. A family agrees to take the student in for the duration of the course, and will be allocated a single room or shared room on request. All rooms contain a bed, desk, and wardrobe. It is expected that the room will be kept clean and tidy. Whilst some rooms have internet, it is not a guaranteed feature. Meals are broken down into two categories, half board and full board. Half board only consists of breakfast and dinner, while full board consists of all three meals. Be sure to tell your UKEAS counsellor about any allergies or food preferences so that they can find a host family to suit your needs.

It is advised for language school students that you book early during the summer season, as where you are will determine how far away you will have to commute to your daily lectures/lessons.

University students who have to vacate their normal accommodation over the holiday periods can also opt to stay at a host family. An organisation called HOST can help university students find and make arrangements.