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How do I find my student accommodation abroad?

Choosing your student accommodation is one of the most important decisions you can make when starting at university. Making the right choice can be highly challenging. This is even more true when you are an international student, facing potential language and cultural barriers, living many miles away from the place you plan to study.


How do international students find student accommodation in Liverpool

Liverpool Student accommodation generally needs to be secured reasonably early so that you are all set before the term starts. Competition for places, particularly in campus housing, can be fierce as there is a limited supply. Some universities will prioritise international students for halls of residence as it is harder for them to search for private accommodation or find potential flatmates.


Initial searches can be done online. Most universities will have some form of housing advice service and may even run their own accommodation. There are also student-specific organisations that can provide support. You should also talk to other students and read reviews in online blogs and forums.


Location

Obviously, the closer to campus you are, the more convenient it is likely to be, but this has to be balanced with costs and the quality of the accommodation. Whether you live on campus, in a nearby city, or further away, you also need to think about transportation. Make a list of your particular needs and concerns so you can compare them to the available properties. There is likely to be a large difference between an inner-city university and a more remote campus.


Costs

Your budget is obviously going to be a key factor in the kind of accommodation that is available to you. You need to factor in not just rent but utility bills (are they included?) as well as insurance and potentially council tax to the local authority (only if in private housing shared with non-students). Many students in the UK will not keep a car whilst at university and rely on public transport, but if you want your own vehicle, it may cost extra to secure a parking space.


Many properties will require an upfront deposit as well as your regular rent, and some private landlords may ask for a guarantor. This is someone who can pay your rent if you fall behind for whatever reason. Some landlords may also have very specific rules regarding how and when you pay, so ensure you know the rules and any potential consequences for breaking them.


Property

You are also going to need to make a list of the things you want from the property itself. Size of the rooms, whether you have an ensuite bathroom, kitchen and catering provision, what sort of communal areas are available and if there are opportunities for social events. These are just some of the questions you may want to consider. You also need to think about your safety in the building, including CCTV and security guards. If your accommodation is run by the university or an official student landlord, these may be provided.


Immigration Checks

Before you can move in, any landlord will have to check that you have the right to reside in the UK. This may include you presenting your student visa or providing evidence of your immigration status through the EU settlement scheme or points-based system. In some cases, this can be done through the Home Office's online checking service, in others, you may need to provide physical documents to your prospective lawyer.


Contracts

The contract is the legally-binding confirmation that you are entitled to live in the property. It sets out both your rights and responsibilities, as well as the accommodation providers. If you are sharing the property, your house or flatmates will likely be signing an identical contract, and you may be jointly liable for damage to the property, unpaid rent and similar. You should always read a contract very carefully before signing and ensure that it covers all your requirements.


What types of accommodation are available for international students?

Once you have decided where you are going to study, there are a range of factors to consider when choosing appropriate accommodation. Your decision is going to be based on your budget, proximity to your institution, availability of services and amenities, transport links, location of other students and the general character and atmosphere of the area. You are also going to have to pick between private accommodation or university-run housing. Another important factor to consider is the length of your lease. Will it run all year, or is it term time only, and you will need to move out during the holidays?


Campus Halls of Residence

In some ways, on-campus housing is the simplest kind. You live right next to the lecture theatres, libraries and other university buildings that are going to be essential to your studies. There is also likely to be some form of food provision (whether in restaurants or in shops) and recreational facilities, from sports' centres to the Student Union bar.


A university that is collected around one central campus will include everything you could possibly need within a relatively small area and will be able to provide security to protect that area. Even more spread out universities can still offer a lot, though the exact facilities and services available will vary between institutions. You still need to check things like room size, number of residents and location/transport links to nearby towns or cities.


Private Student Accommodation

Rather than on campus, you may prefer to live in a private house or flat. This will generally be located in a nearby town or city, putting you within easy distance of a variety of shops, pubs, bars, restaurants and various amenities. You may have a wider choice of local facilities if living in an urban area, and you can still experience many of the benefits of student living as many students congregate in the same neighbourhoods. Indeed, a house share often proves the most economical choice, where you rent a building with other students. Each of you will have your own room, but there will be common areas such as the kitchen, bathroom and living room.


If searching for private student accommodation in Liverpool, you need to ensure you only approach reputable landlords. House and flat shares will also only work if you have people you feel comfortable living with and trust. There is a wide range of quality available in private student accommodation, and if you cannot view it in person, it can be difficult to assess it properly. Make sure you read any contract carefully before signing. Private accommodation may also cost more.


Home Stays

This is when you take up residence in the home of a local family. It gives you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in your host country's culture and may provide a particularly comfortable, homely environment.


Things to check in a homestay include the amount of space available and whether your room will be fully furnished. Are there adequate facilities for studying, for example (from a desk to internet access)? Is the kitchen fully equipped? Do you have to bring your own bed linen and towels? Consider any extra or unexpected costs that may arise.


How many international students are there in Liverpool?

Liverpool is a highly sought-after location with international students, and it has been steadily growing in popularity. Whilst most UK universities averaging a 13% rise in their international students in recent years, Liverpool is at an impressive 19%. That has led to its overall international cohort growing to 11,000 international students.


For context, Liverpool's five universities have about 51,000 students between them. That covers the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. It means that the overall proportion of international students stands at 20%. Around 54% of them are from China (Chinese students make up close to 26% of international students at other universities), making them the largest group of international students in the city.


Reasons for this include the diversity of the courses being offered. STEM subjects (science technology, engineering and maths) are particularly popular, but there is also plenty for the arts and humanities fans. This sits alongside the attraction of the city itself, with its long history and vibrant culture. Here you can learn about everything from the Titanic to Second World War U-boats.


This is, after all, the city that The Beatles called home, and they are just one of its famous musical acts. Football fans will appreciate that there are two topflight teams, Liverpool F.C. and Everton. Museums, galleries and shops are plentiful during the day, and clubs and bars lead to thriving nightlife.


Students in Liverpool are also not confined to the city, which has excellent transport links. Trains can quickly and easily carry you all around the UK. The other closest big city is probably Manchester, which is less than an hour away, but you could also make a trip to the capital, London, or journey up to Scotland to see Glasgow. As Liverpool has an international airport, it is also relatively easy for international students to travel there for their studies and then to travel home again afterwards.


Now you know how popular Liverpool is with international students, and you understand some of the processes involved in choosing your student accommodation abroad, why not consider a TJT property? We offer some of the best value student flats in Liverpool city centre, all specially designed to meet the needs of students. You can live in a comfortable, secure environment right at the heart of this great metropolis, within easy distance of the city's main universities and its vibrant city centre. Our stylish, modern buildings contain all the services and amenities you could need.



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