Where to find international student accommodation
One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make when coming to London to learn English is where you’ll stay. There are lots of different international student accommodation options available for English language students in London, including all of the following:
- staying in a dedicated student residence, where you’ll normally have your own room and bathroom facilities but will share a lounge and kitchen with your fellow students
- living with a local family in their home, called a homestay
- finding a room in a ‘flat share’, where you rent a bedroom in a shared apartment and the other residents may or may not be in London to learn English
- renting an apartment on your own or with your family
- staying in a hotel for the duration of your time in London
While these are the main accommodation options for students of English in London, another important factor to consider is how to go about arranging your accommodation. There are usually two main options for this: either use your London language school’s dedicated accommodation office, or choose to make the arrangements yourself. There are benefits and drawbacks to both these methods.
Use your London language school’s accommodation service
Bloomsbury International, like many other London language schools, offers an accommodation service that can arrange your lodgings for you while you’re studying with us. By using the accommodation service, you can be sure that the place you’ll stay meets certain quality standards. It can also save you a good deal of time and money, as you won’t need to do your own research into accommodation options. Any good international student accommodation service will listen to your requirements and recommend the right choice for you. They may even be able to arrange accommodation in a hotel or apartment.
If you’re an experienced and confident traveller, you might prefer the idea of researching and arranging your own accommodation. This can be exciting, but it’s important to proceed carefully, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the city of London. Firstly, you need to be sure that the accommodation is of a high and safe standard – this could be difficult if you’re trying to arrange a place to stay from your home country. There are very few minimum standards for landlords in the UK, so be particularly careful if you’re looking for an apartment or room to rent privately. Another drawback of arranging your own accommodation is that you may not get the advantages of living closely with other English language students or a local British family – so you may need to make your own opportunities to practise your English skills. Also be aware that if something goes wrong with accommodation you’ve arranged yourself, you may not have the support to put things right that you’d get if you used the school’s accommodation service.