Whether domestic or international, one of the most popular concerns for students is accommodation: ‘Where will I live?’
In some cases, students can not rely on being allocated a place in a university’s halls of residence; some countries are simply not campus-cultured, while some universities may prioritise housing for first year students – a problem if you’re postgraduate student.
We spoke to Nadia, a student recruitment officer from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), about how the university helps those seeking accommodation, as well as answering some popular queries
So Nadia, accommodation is handled slightly differently at LSHTM you say?
'Yes. The School offers accommodation places through the University of London in their Intercollegiate Halls of Residence, as well as support for all applicants in finding rooms in private halls or accommodation. A number of students come with partners and/or children and we offer guidance on finding larger accommodation. The School does not have its own Halls of Residence.'
How are students allocated housemates? Additionally, if students need help finding housemates, how does the university help?
'Students are encouraged to find suitable housemates through the flat sharing event at the start of the academic year. There is a 'find a flatmate' facility on the University of London housing services website. This information can be accessed by individuals during the application process.'
If students are not happy with their accommodation, can they change?
'This would depend on the accommodation contract the student enters into. The University of London housing services has a contract checking service which we would advise students to access.'
What is included in the cost of accommodation? How will my room be furnished and what will students need to bring themselves?
'This would depend on the type of accommodation. In halls, energy and internet bills are usually included. In private accommodation, you should check with the landlord but these are usually extra. Most student rooms would have basic furnishings including: bed, desk, drawers and wardrobe. We would advise you to check directly with the Hall Manager in Halls of Residence, or the landlord in private accommodation.'
What kind of security measures are in place across the various accommodations?
'In Halls of Residence there is usually a key or key card system and often a 24 hour portering or warden service. Security varies in private accommodation.'
How are food/cooking arrangements handled in accommodation?
'Some Halls or Residence offer catered accommodation. However most private Halls of Residence are self catered and kitchen facilities are provided. Students are advised to bring cooking utensils or buy utensils upon their arrival in London. Students can ask at the Halls of Residence or the School's Student Advisor where these can be purchased cheaply.'
Can you give a brief overview of the surrounding areas around campus, including those popular among students for off-campus accommodation? Would you class them as urban or otherwise? What is there to do for entertainment in these areas?
'There are many Halls of Residence located in Central London near to the School. Many students choose to live in North London because of the short commuting time but students often live further out as rent is often lower in price outside of Central London. We do have a guide to areas in London on our website. Most of the areas in London are urban. It is a vibrant city with a wide range of entertainment and cultural activities in all areas.
Applicants to the School can read pre-arrival information in more detail.'
'Student accommodation in the UK'