So, you decided that you want to study abroad and are all set to come to the UK to start your degree, but there’s one problem – finding accommodation. With travel restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, you might not have had the same chance as you usually would have to seek out suitable accommodation for the first year of your degree, view it in person, and make your selection. But the good news is that finding the right university accommodation for you from abroad without leaving home isn’t impossible. With the right strategies, you can find university accommodation that will be suitable for you and a great place to live once you finally arrive.
Use a Comparison Site
A university comparison site like University Compare is a great place to start when looking for student accommodation overseas. Uni compare’s accommodation tips will guide you through the process and give you a handy place to compare your different uni accommodation options online. You can browse through the different halls of residence options and compare key features such as price, facilities and more to get a better idea of the options that you have when it comes to where you will be staying.
Attend a Virtual Tour
Universities know that it’s going to be harder for international students to come and view accommodation options this year, so they have come up with different ways for you to get a look. If your chosen university is offering a virtual tour of the accommodation on offer, it’s a good idea to take them up on it since this will give you a much closer look inside the accommodation compared to pictures alone, and you will be able to ask any questions that you might have as they come up.
Visit Accommodation Websites
After comparing options and potentially attending some virtual tours, you will hopefully have a better idea of where you might like to stay. Now’s the time to visit accommodation websites and do some research into what’s on offer. Look at the different room types and sizes if available and check out the length of contracts that they offer. Some university halls will only rent to you for the duration of the term, while others provide year-round contracts that might be more convenient for you if you aren’t planning to fly back home for the summer.
Check Out Student Forums
Student forums like The Student Room can be a really useful source of information for international students who are in the process of choosing accommodation. Sign up to the forum and you will be able to ask any questions that you like and have them answered by the students themselves. Perhaps you want to know details that aren’t in the virtual tour or on the accommodation’s website, such as how far it is to the local supermarket or if there’s a bus stop close by that you can use to get to campus if your halls are located off-campus. Ask as many questions as you like and get involved in the conversation; you might even be able to find some new friends.
Try Social Media
Social media is an excellent resource and many students use it to discuss the accommodation that they are staying in. If you can find Facebook groups for the university halls that you are considering staying at, it’s definitely worth joining so that you can find out even more. The social media groups will not only be able to help you by giving you answers to questions that you might have about the halls, but you’ll also be able to see the type of people who are going to be staying there with you. And, once you find out which flat you are going to be living in for your first year, you might even be able to find your flatmates on social media and build up a friendship with them before you arrive. It’s also a great way to figure out what you need to bring; if you have a flatmate who’s bringing a huge haul of kitchen equipment, this can be good to know so that you and others don’t do the same and you end up with six wooden spoons.
Last but not least, type the names of the accommodation that you are considering staying at Google and see if you can find any reviews. Students may have left Google reviews of the accommodation, for example, which can be really useful when you are trying to find a place to live without being able to see it in person. Look out for any student photos of the halls as this will give you a more realistic idea of what to expect compared to the professional shots.
Choosing university accommodation abroad when your travel is restricted isn’t always easy, but with the right strategies, you can make sure that you make the right choice.