London is a city with a lot to offer students. One survey ranked London as best student city in the world. You’ll find two of our universities in the world’s top 15. Wherever you live while studying in the capital, you’re never more than a stone’s throw away from a culture and heritage that has been famous the world over for centuries. In short, studying in London could be the best decision you ever make.
Choosing where to live as a student in London
Finding the right place to live requires time and effort. This is an enormous city with housing to cater for every taste and budget. But it’s also a city with pitfalls to understand and avoid. This article outlines what to look for when choosing private accommodation in the capital, along with questions to ask yourself to make sure you find the right place to live.
London’s 33 universities are scattered right across the city, meaning that student accommodation isn’t neatly centred in one neighbourhood. If you want to live in halls of residence, these will likely be reasonably close to your uni. Otherwise, private student accommodation can be found everywhere. Choosing where to live comes down to weighing up cost versus proximity to the things you want to be close to. For most students, this means their university, but some people are happy to travel longer to and from uni in exchange for living in a particular area. Ask yourself:
- Is your priority living close to the university, or living in a particular part of the city?
- Do you want to live in halls of residence, or are you going to look for private accommodation?
- Are rents in the area you’re looking to live in disproportionately expensive compared to other areas? And if so, does this affect your decision?
A giant web of public transport keeps London connected. The best student accommodation will have easy transport links to your university: Ideally a short journey with few transfers, on a route that doesn’t get too crowded at rush hour. Maybe a route that’s walkable on particularly nice days, as well. While a cramped journey might not seem so bad once in a while, try to imagine having to do it every day throughout term time. Living far away from where you study means you’ll be more restricted with journey options and will have fewer alternatives. Ask yourself:
- How long do you want to travel each day to and from university?
- How much will you be spending on transport each week?
- Do you want to take public transport, or would you rather walk or cycle?
Living in London is expensive, there’s no denying it. Landlords know that housing is in very high demand, so rents are always creeping up. For most students, the cost is the deciding factor for their accommodation. You have to evaluate whether you can realistically afford to pay rent in the areas you want to live in. For undergraduate students with limited income, house shares are a popular option. You and a few other students each have a bedroom in a house and share the kitchen, bathroom, and living room.
For students with more money to spend, thousands of private rentals are available to meet every budget. It’s up to you to decide how much you can afford to pay, and where you’ll live as a result. Ask yourself:
- How much can you realistically spend on rent per month?
- What type of accommodation does this open up to you?
- Are you happy house sharing, or would you rather a private rental?
In a city with as many housing options as London, knowing where to start looking can be very overwhelming. We recommend seeking advice from people who’ve been in your position in the past. Speak to friends, visit online forums, talk to the accommodation office at your university: Each can offer information to refine your selection process, and point you in the direction of the right accommodation. The Student Accommodation threads on the Student Room forum is an excellent example. Here you’ll find hundreds of students - past, present, and future - sharing advice and helping each other out. Ask yourself:
- Whose opinion do you trust when it comes to finding housing in London?
- Do they have advice on where to look? What to look out for? How much should you expect to pay?
- Do they have advice on what to avoid?
If you’re looking for private rental in the heart of London, something with easy transport links to the whole city, then we’d like to recommend Dolphin Square. Our apartments are well-suited to young people looking for a place of their own, or perhaps to share with a friend. Our world-class, professionally-maintained apartments tick all of the boxes above. And what’s more, you’ll have access to facilities to enhance your student experience. Our spa, our on-site gym, and the Dolphin Square Bar & Grill are the panacea for a weary student who needs to relax and refuel.
Our historic block of private flats has been an iconic presence in London since the 1930s. We’ve played host to politicians, including former prime ministers, comedians, writers, athletes, and many others. And now, we’re proud to call ourselves ‘home’ for established professionals, families, and young people carving out their new lives in London.
Living in London
As we said earlier, studying in London could be the best decision you ever make. Culture, tolerance, and excitement are the lifeblood of this city, and it’s been a key player on the world stage for centuries. The experience you have here - the people you meet, the connections you make - will pave the way for an exciting and accomplished future. Making sure you have somewhere comfortable, relaxing, and inviting to live a vital consideration. Wherever you decide to base yourself, make sure you invest the time and effort required to ensure it fits your needs.
And we’ll always look forward to showing you just how good an apartment at Dolphin Square could be.