Halls, digs, residences…in Manchester you will probably hear many terms used to describe student accommodation. Call it what you will but living in student accommodation is generally recognised as one of the best experiences to be had as a student.
Not only do you meet like minded people and have the opportunity to forge life- long friendships, but student residences can also make you more culturally aware and independent. For many students it is their first time living away from their families and adapting to all the responsibilities that living away from home brings can be a shock! However, it can also be incredibly rewarding, learning to cook is a hurdle most new students have to overcome, and if you can already cook, you’ll no doubt be popular!
Choosing the right accommodation as an International student can be daunting, if you are visiting Manchester for the first time it can be difficult even knowing where to start. Luckily most colleges and universities have dedicated accommodation departments which can help you find both college owned accommodation and recommend private landlords. The Accommodation and Welfare department at New College Manchester have also pre-approved student housing and will ensure you feel happy and safe in your new home. Remember it is very important to only rent from private landlords who have been reviewed and approved by your college or university.
Living with a host family can offer a home from home experience and can act as the ultimate English immersion course for English language students. While you may not have the chance to live with people from your own country, you will benefit from a representative view of British norms and culture by living with a welcoming family. You will also have the opportunity to practice your new found English Skills outside of the academic environment with your host family. Your ‘temporary’ family are also likely to prepare an evening meal for you and live within reasonable travelling distance to your college.
Student halls usually comprise of flats containing between 3-8 en suite bedrooms and a large shared kitchen/living area. It may also be possible to live in cheaper accommodation and share a communal bathroom. Student halls can be very multicultural and you can expect to meet fellow students from all over the world, making students halls a great place to bond with new friends who are in the same position as you.
Halls are also safe and secure places to live, often with 24 hour security and wardens on site. Additional benefits can also be included in your rent such as broadband and utility bills, taking the worry out of extra living costs. You will usually be responsible for your own cleaning duties whilst living in halls and unless the halls are catered you will be required to purchase and prepare your own food. A major advantage of living in student halls is that the location is often central and close to your college, local amenities and entertainment venues.
Manchester is a vibrant city and many students enjoy the freedom of living so close to the shops, bars, cinemas and local transport networks.
For students whose stay will be short but sweet, hotels can offer comfortable accommodation with the benefit of being centrally located. Hotel stay may also suit short course students who are visiting with their families and may not be eligible for student accommodation with their college. Manchester has a wide choice of hotels and your college will be able to recommend some within easy walking distance.
The prospect of finding somewhere to live during your time in the UK can be stressful, but the university or college you will be enrolling at will fully understand your needs and will endeavour to find the accommodation that best suits you. Living with a British family or in student accommodation can be a fantastic experience and one that will stay with you for years to come!
Image Credit: Opal Students