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A guide to finding accommodation in London for International students

The United Kingdom is home to some of the most esteemed universities globally, attracting numerous international students to its educational institutions each year. The UK, especially London, offers diverse academic programs and cutting-edge research – seamlessly blending education, lifestyle and culture.

Guide to Accommodation in London for International Students

Over the years, London’s universities have nurtured many successful leaders across various domains, spanning politics, business, science and arts. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, education in the UK has maintained its popularity. By the year ending March 2023, approximately 477,931 study visas were issued to main applicants under sponsorship – marking a substantial 22% growth from the period ending March 2022 and an impressive 108% increase from 2019 (pre-pandemic).

This guide delves into the best London universities and provides insights into ideal accommodation options close to these universities, current average rental rates, transportation links and cultural attractions for local and international students.

Accommodation and rental rates

The cost of student accommodation in London can vary depending on the location, type of property and the number of bedrooms. To provide students with insights into the London real estate market, here’s a comprehensive table showcasing the rental averages across various zones:

Monthly Average Rental 2023

Note: It is important to note that these are just average prices and actual rent may vary. It’s best to research and compare prices before committing to anything.

1. University College London (UCL), Zone 1: Situated in Bloomsbury, most UCL students prefer to find accommodation in areas with easy accessibility like Camden and Euston. Camden hosts music venues and unique markets, while Euston hosts multiple dining and shopping outlets. UCL’s proximity to the Piccadilly and Northern lines provides students easy access to London’s iconic landmarks, such as The British Museum and Camden Market.

2. Imperial College London, Zone 1: With its location in South Kensington, SW7, Imperial College students prefer housing options in Kensington, Chelsea and Fulham areas. These neighbourhoods offer multiple housing options, from stately apartments to trendy townhouses. Imperial College is near District and Circle lines, making exploring iconic landmarks like the Royal Albert Hall and Natural History Museum easy.

3. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Zone 1: Located in Westminster, most LSE students choose to reside in Holborn, Covent Garden and Soho. These neighbourhoods offer various housing options and are surrounded by multiple academic and leisure pursuits. Travel from LSE is seamless via the Piccadilly and Central lines, making reaching attractions like the West End Theatre and Buckingham Palace easy.

4. King’s College London, Zones 1 and 2: King’s College London students in Central London can find housing in Waterloo, London Bridge and Borough. Well-connected by public transport, the college campus is close to these neighbourhoods via the Jubilee and Northern lines. Students can also dive deep into London’s diverse culture by exploring the nearby Tate Modern and Southbank Centre.

5. The University of London, Zones 2, 3, and 4: The University of London is a group of colleges that include the nearby Royal Holloway and Goldsmiths’ campuses. Students prefer easily accessible accommodation in Greenwich, New Cross and Stratford. Greenwich Observatory and Westfield Stratford City are a stone’s throw away when stepping out.

6. The Queen Mary University of London, Zones 2 and 3:
Queen Mary University students can find housing in Mile End and Whitechapel, East London. These neighbourhoods are ideal for commuters and students, with the Central and District lines connecting them to the city and beyond. There’s also cultural attractions like Brick Lane and Victoria Park close by.

7. SOAS University of London, Zone 1: Close to Russell Square, SOAS University attracts arts and humanities enthusiasts. Students here find convenient housing options in Bloomsbury, and the Piccadilly rail line provides easy access to London’s vibrant city centre. Nearby, the British Library and Museum offer additional cultural experiences.

8. Birkbeck, University of London, Zones 1 and 2: Birkbeck University is ideal for part-time students, and they prefer housing in King’s Cross, Angel and Clerkenwell neighbourhoods. Navigating the city is effortless from here with the nearby Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines. When stepping out, the campus is close to the vibrant Exmouth Market and King’s Cross Station.

9. Royal College of Art (RCA), Zones 1 and 2: The Royal College of Art (RCA) is located in Kensington, Battersea, and White City quarters. The majority of RCA students prefer Clapham, Wandsworth and Battersea for accommodation. For the commute, the Northern and District lines provide easy access to the university campus and the rest of London. Every stop along these lines offers potential adventures, from galleries to hidden gems.

10. London Business School, Zones 1 and 2: London Business School (LBS) offers immersive learning beyond the classroom. Students can find housing choices in St. John’s Wood, Maida Vale and Marylebone near Regent’s Park. These areas are preferred for their diverse student communities and easy access to LBS. Students also find easy commute links via nearby Bakerloo, Jubilee and Metropolitan lines.

Other notable institutions:

– Goldsmiths, University of London, Zone 2: Located in New Cross, Goldsmiths students find reasonable housing options in Deptford. Many cultural attractions are nearby, such as the Albany Theatre and vibrant markets. The Overground and Southeastern rail services provide easy connections to the university campus and the rest of London.

Guide to Finding Accommodation in London for International Students

– Royal Holloway, University of London, Zone 6: Royal Holloway University is in Egham, a quaint town near Windsor. Students can live on campus or explore nearby Staines and Windsor for accommodation. For an easy commute, the South Western Railway offers a direct route to Central London for city adventures.

– Courtauld Institute of Art, Zone 1: The Courtauld Institute of Art is located in Somerset House — just east of Waterloo Bridge. Most Courtauld students reside in Covent Garden, Embankment and Temple. Besides, these neighbourhoods are within proximity to various museums, galleries and historic pubs. The District and Circle lines ensure easy commutes, connecting students seamlessly to the Courtauld campus and the city.

Hacks for best deals

Here are some additional tips for finding affordable accommodation in London:

●  Start your search early. The earlier you start looking, the more options you will have and the better deals you will   find
●   Consider shared accommodation. This is a great way to save money and meet new people
●   Be flexible with your move-in date and location. This will give you more options and help you find a better deal
●   Negotiate the rent. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the rent with the landlord. Benham & Reeves can also help you with   this
●   Check inclusions. Make sure you know what is included in the rent, such as utilities, internet and furniture
●   Inspect the property before you move in. Make sure the property is in good condition and that you are happy with it before you sign the lease
●   Read the lease carefully. Make sure you understand all the terms

B&R: Your London accommodation partner in Singapore

Benham & Reeves is a leading London real estate firm with over 65 years of experience. We have been serving our Singapore clientele since 1996 when we first opened our office in the country.

Over the years, B&R Singapore has been a helpful source for students in finding accommodation in London. If you, too, wish to find your ideal home and would like us to negotiate the deal on your behalf, reach out to our property experts today. With multi-lingual support, our Singapore team can arrange meetings and property visits in London for you.

If you are a student planning to study in London, we would be happy to make your move to the city as smooth as possible. You can also view this map of London marking the location of Benham & Reeves offices close to some of the universities mentioned in this article.


About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents. With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 15 international offices.


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