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Matheus

July 27th, 2023

The trials and tribulations of securing private student accommodation in London

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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Matheus

July 27th, 2023

The trials and tribulations of securing private student accommodation in London

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Ask any student moving to London what’s the most challenging part of their university journey, and they’ll most likely say searching for and securing accommodation. London checks all the boxes of the typical real estate market in big cities. Nice and affordable places are hard to find — when you do, you have to act fast to secure a lease. Furthermore, bureaucratic procedures can be overwhelming, especially if you’re an international student. If you’re lucky enough to dodge all of these potential challenges, you’ll also need to grow accustom to new housemates, neighbours, and your new neighbourhood.

If you choose to live in private student accommodation — which was my case — you can usually expect contracts to include your bills. This is particularly helpful if you’re living on a budget, as you can anticipate  approximately how much you’re going to spend each month on housing. With this type of accommodation, you’ll have a range of options to choose from, such as an ensuite one bedroom with shared kitchen and living room spaces. Also, your accommodation may have concierge at reception, who will help you to settle in upon your arrival, answer your questions, recommend local shops, and organise regular social activities with other residents.

One of the benefits of private student accommodation is that this is a nice way to meet others from various universities in London, as private accommodations are commonly intercollegiate. This may be a good way to expand your personal network. Whether going grocery shopping with your flatmates or for a walk with your new neighbours, you’ll find lots of opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. In my case, that’s how I got acquainted with my new neighbourhood. Living between Islington and Camden, I soon realised that every borough has a lot to offer — do explore the place you end up choosing!

However, there are some things to consider. If you don’t know anyone else who’s also moving into the same place as you are, you won’t be able to choose your flatmates and you’ll be placed in a flat with people you don’t know. Personally, I didn’t have any problems with that. It can be an enriching experience, but it’s not uncommon to hear stories about unpleasant flatmates and various issues. Commuting to campus may also be tricky; in contrast, LSE’s student halls are typically closer to or have reasonably easy access to LSE campus.

To summarise, your whole experience when looking for, moving into, and living in private student accommodation will likely be challenging. Renting out a flat or studio for yourself may allow you to avoid these issues (if you have the budget to do so), but you also need to think about how this may limit your university experience as a student. Living in student accommodation — either private or in LSE’s student halls of residence — will definitely push you out of your comfort zone. It’ll create great opportunities for you to meet the most amazing people and have the most memorable experiences. These moments will become the ones you reflect on from your student years and realise they were the best times of your life.

About the author

Matheus

Matheus Almeida is a master’s student, studying Media and Communications (Data and Society) with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Born and raised in the Brazilian state of Bahia. Highly interested in social media infrastructures and data applications. Main hobbies are dancing, partying, and dancing in parties as if nobody is watching.

Posted In: Accommodation

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