If you are coming to England to study or undertake a work placement or internship, you will need to find somewhere to stay.
There are a number of options, so finding the right one for you may not be as easy as it seems. Everyone has different reasons for coming to England, different budgets, and different requirements. We at Bunkout Homestays hope to assist you in finding the best accommodation for YOU and your needs.
We have therefore provided a brief overview of each of the common accommodation options available in England, along with honest and candid positives and negatives of each option, to help you make the best choice.
Budget: from £135 to £235 per week.
A homestay is traditionally the most popular accommodation option for students visiting UK. A homestay is where you live with a host/host family as if you were a visiting friend or family member. UKis a large city with an excellent transport network, therefore the homestays are usually located in the suburban areas. Hosts are usually very regular people who work a wide variety of jobs in and around central UK.
Staying in a homestay is the most popular option for students and interns visiting UKbecause it has some major advantages over the other accommodation options. Primarily, it provides very good value for money, with the costs being paid in advance and being very transparent. All bills are included and if you select the Half Board option, so is breakfast and dinner. Therefore you have a very good idea of what your weekly ‘living costs’ will be before you arrive in UK. All you have to factor in to your budget is your transportation costs, lunch and any money you want to set aside for socialising. Homestay accommodation is also the best way to practice your English and by speaking with your host, you can get lots of local tips – everything from the best way to travel around UK, to the best places to visit and eat out. Hosts often become good friends with their guests and stay in touch long after their departure.
A private home is very similar to a homestay, but the difference being that is can accommodate more than four students at any one time. A private home should not be used to accommodate students aged under 18.
✓ Great value for money
✓ Bills are included so costs are clear
✓ Great way to improve your English
✓ Live with a local and gain their local knowledge
✓ Support from the host
✗ You are living as a guest so have to follow house rules. Not completely independent
✗ Hosts usually live in suburban areas so you will have to commute.
✗ Hosts are often families so this may not a good choice if you are coming to UK to party
Budget: from £100 to £250 per week.
House shares are increasingly popular with people who are visiting UK and staying ‘long-term’. House shares are a good way to meet people that are a similar age to you and doing something similar e.g. studying in another country. Like homestays, house shares are almost always located in suburban areas which will mean taking public transport to get to school. While you will have to respect the house rules and your housemates, generally the other people staying in the house are young students, so you will have more freedom than in a homestay (although please note that not everyone wants to party on the same night)!
The main disadvantage of house shares is that they are often expensive and without any accrediting body or regulations, the standard can vary greatly. Estate agents often also insist on 2 months’ rent being held as a damage deposit, have large administration fees and require either credit checks or guarantors (family members who promise to pay the rent if you have any issues). Bills for utilities such as gas as electricity and TV licence are rarely included and the extra cost can come as a shock.
✓ Freedom of living with other people doing similar things as you
✓ Can be a great way to make friends
✓ Other people to share the bills with
✓ Housemates may be able to speak your native language
✗ Estate agents require a lot of information (such as credit checks) and deposits
✗ Bills not usually included, can make budgeting difficult
✗ Usually require a long contract of at least 6 months
✗ Living with a lot of people can be as stressful as it is fun