If you choose to study in the UK, choosing where you will stay throughout the duration of your course is a big factor. There are a range of different accommodation options for students all tailored to individual requirements to ensure you get the very best out of your time in the UK. The most common types of accommodation for international students are either homestay or residential housing. For most international students, coming to study in the UK can be a little daunting, read our short guide on the most popular options to help you with your decision.
Homestay Student Accommodation
One of the most rewarding experiences can be a homestay with a local family, living with a host family allows you to experience what life is like in the UK. It offers an authentic experience of UK family life and you will find that it could be one of the most rewarding parts of any international experience. Homestay usually consists of a single room, breakfast and dinner with some locations offering full board (all meals included) at the weekends. Occasionally students share a twin room, usually with someone they know, which helps to keep the costs down.
There are many reasons that homestays are a great solution for international students, including the price, the culture and the language skills you will develop. As you will be staying in a family home, homestays tend to be the most affordable option, you pay for the cost of the room and board which generally includes meals, laundry facilities and occasionally some light cleaning services. You may also be provided with a guaranteed number of meals a day, which will save you money and give you more freedom to spend money on fun excursions and souvenirs to really make the most of your time whilst you study in the UK.
One of the best ways to learn a new language is to be fully immersed in the culture. If you have chosen to study an English language course, living in an English home will help you develop your speaking skills and your general communication skills. You will be able to converse in English with your host family, allowing you to improve your language skills and test out what you are studying in your course. Choosing homestay will also give you ample opportunity to practice your English language skills in different environments and situations. Watching television or listening to the radio will help you learn a more informal style of English language will could help you in everyday situations whilst you are living in the UK.
Homestay programs provide students with a more authentic cultural experience. In most cases you will spend evenings and free time with your host family, having mealtimes and social time with them, and experiencing daily life in the UK. Living with host families will provide you with more opportunities to experience local cuisine, as well as local events and places that most tourists and other visitors to the UK may be unaware of. Additionally host families can serve as a personal tour guide and give you tips on how to get the most out of your experience in the UK.
Residential Student Accommodation
Another type of accommodation we offer to international students is residential housing. This type of student accommodation is less frequently chosen by our students as most residential housing is only available during the summer, throughout term time these houses/flats are used by university students and are not readily available for students studying a short English course. Residential accommodation is available more frequently in larger cities and university towns due to the higher level of students. Also residential housing usually only includes the room and does not include and of your meals, this accommodation is seen as more expensive as your budget must include a bigger allocation for groceries.
Residential accommodation varies in size and all of their facilities differ depending on price. Halls of residence are typically large buildings, sometimes divided into flats where you will either a single room or you can share with another student in a twin room. The room itself will be basic but can easily be personalised, if your room does not have an ensuite bathroom, you will have to share a communal bathroom with other students. Generally basic furniture will also be provided such as a bed, desk and chair and the rest you will have to supply yourself.
Although you should indeed take the opportunity to travel and make lots of friends, achieving your academic goals should always be your first priority. You may be expected to do work from home to help you develop your English skills further, so it is important that you have your own comfortable work space.
If you should have any further questions specific to your personal situation, feel free to contact us directly. We should be able to provide you with individual advice.