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  • Writer's pictureGrace Dunioh

Why Students Should Stop Living in UK Hostels and University Campuses.

The UK has always been one of the favourite destinations for acquiring world-class education. Students from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and other parts of the world join thousands of home students every year to attend prestigious colleges and universities. Whether you are a home student or an international student, living in the UK is not exactly cheap especially student accommodation costs.

If you have just gained admission to study in the UK, you should indicate during your registration process that you require accommodation, do not assume that you will automatically be given accommodation. If you are an international student, you will likely be given housing priority, even though places fill up quickly and demand often exceed supply. However, your accommodation options will depend on which city you are located in and your monthly budget.

The most common accommodation options for students are:

1. University Dorms (hall of residence): These are typical hostels provided by your school, equipped with a canteen, library, sports center, bar and common room. The approximate cost for this type of accommodation is £400 - £600 per month, inclusive of bills.

2. Private Dorms (self-catered halls): These are also halls of residence but are not owned by the school, they also have more personalised spaces. The approximate cost of private dorms is £320 - £530 per month, exclusive of bills.

3. Shared flat or apartment: When searching for these, your goal should be finding one that matches your budget, is decently furnished and is close to your campus. The approximate rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in London is £1,730, in Edinburgh, it’s £770. Prices vary from city to city.

Visit and spare room to find private dorms and shared flats in the UK.

4. Stay with a Host Family as an Aupair: Becoming an Aupair is like having your own temporarily adopted family, you live in their home, they provide you with a room, three square meals and weekly pocket money of £90 - £150 in exchange for your help with childcare. There is no approximate cost of rent as you live off the host family.

If you are moving to the UK or already in the UK and are worried about figuring out your finances, then you should sign up with Aupair Match UK to become an Aupair and enjoy a good quality of life in the UK.

If you are a home student, i.e British student, you could be eligible for financial support for your education and accommodation through Student Loans from GOV.UK

If you decide to utilize Student Loans:

There are two main types of loans you can get access to; tuition fee loans and maintenance loans.

Tuition fee loans: New full-time students in England can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £9,250 for courses taught at publicly-funded institutions. The amount you get doesn’t depend on your household income. The loan is paid directly to your university or college in three instalments, one per term. Based on a three-year course, you are likely to have a debt of £27,750.

Maintenance loans: Maintenance loans are available to help with living costs, such as food, rent and books. The amount you can borrow depends on where you live or study, as well as your household income. The maximum loan available per academic year is £11,354 for students living away from home in London, and £8,700 for those living away from home outside of London. Maintenance loans are paid into your bank account at the start of the term.

However, you start repaying your student loan once you graduate and start earning over a certain amount. The size of your monthly repayments will depend on how much you earn, not what you owe. You will be charged interest on the loan from the day you take it out, the terms and conditions of your student loan can change as time goes by.

If you decide to take on a part-time job while you study:

You should put into consideration the cost of your accommodation, bills (gas, electricity, water, wifi) food, housekeeping, clothes, books, leisure, sports and even travel. Do the mathematics and subtract the cost of rent, bills and tax from your income, if this is your option, we strongly advise you to partner with a housemate or two or more to share living expenses.

If you decide to become an Aupair by staying with a host family:

Even though you live rent and bill free, you should bear in mind the following:

  1. Adapting to a family’s lifestyle and rules can be challenging.

  2. You earn whatever pocket money you agree to receive. (For those who want to work long hours despite studying, this is not an option).

  3. Host Family comes first, they give you a sense of belonging but may rob you of your sense of independence.

In conclusion, accommodation in the UK is the first and biggest challenge you will have to tackle as a student in the UK because it is possibly the largest expense you will incur after paying your tuition. You also need to remember the cost of food, transportation, entertainment and other miscellaneous expenses and factor it all into your living expenses. Seeking an alternative to living in hostels and other expensive student accommodation to reduce expenditure and increase saving is logical.

As a student, becoming an aupair is one way to live affordably in the UK; free of rent, bills and tax plus you get to save money, experience cultural exchange and enjoy being an adopted member of a British family while getting a world-class education.

I hope you had a good read-through and if not enjoyed it or at least found it useful.

If you are interested in knowing more about being an Aupair, or Aupair job vacancies in the UK, or you are already an Aupair and have good advice to give other Aupairs, you are warmly invited to join our community.

Just as well, if you are a parent who would like to host an Aupair, or find out about Aupairs available in your local community, or just get some moral support from other families, please join our community:

Telegram: Aupair Match UK

Instagram and Twitter: @AupairMatchUK

Facebook Group: Aupair Match UK

WhatsApp Chat: +447721975242

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