Navigating accommodation options in London: A Master’s student perspective

Written by Ashima Khanna, MSc Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology

Embarking on a postgraduate degree in London is an exciting and life-changing experience. As one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, Imperial College London attracts students from all backgrounds, fostering a diverse and intellectually stimulating environment. However, amidst the thrill of pursuing higher education, one important aspect that demands attention is securing suitable accommodation in the bustling metropolis of London. In this blog post, we’ll explore the challenges, options, and tips for finding accommodation as a master’s student in London. 

London is known for its competitive and fast-paced housing market, and finding affordable accommodation can be a daunting task. As a Master’s student, it’s essential to plan ahead and begin your search early to increase your chances of finding suitable housing within your budget. There are many accommodation options available from which we need to select the best for us.  

Private Rented Accommodation: 

London’s private rental market offers numerous options. Areas such as South Kensington, Chelsea, Hammersmith, and Fulham are popular choices due to their proximity to Imperial College. Websites like Zoopla, Rightmove, and SpareRoom are valuable resources for finding private rentals, and they allow you to filter your search based on your preferences, including budget, location, and property type. There are a lot more affordable options in Wembley but it just adds a bit of travel time and cost. 

Flat shares and house shares: 

Another viable option for Master’s students is sharing accommodation with fellow students. Flatshares and house shares not only offer the opportunity to split rental costs but also provide a chance to build new friendships and establish a support network. Websites like SpareRoom and EasyRoommate specialise in connecting individuals seeking flatmates, making it easier to find compatible housemates and affordable housing solutions.  

Budgeting and financial considerations: 

When it comes to budgeting for accommodation in London, it’s important to carefully consider your financial situation. Besides the monthly rent, remember to account for additional costs such as utilities, council tax, internet, and transportation. Planning your finances in advance will help you maintain a comfortable living standard while pursuing your studies. Some accommodation options have additional charges for TV connection and gas which should also be considered. 

Seeking assistance: 

Imperial College London’s Student Hub and Accommodation Service are valuable resources that can provide guidance and support throughout your housing search. They can offer advice on available options, tenancy agreements, and any legal concerns you may have. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them for assistance or clarification on any accommodation-related matters. Imperial also helps by offering a Private Housing Masterclass.

Finding suitable accommodation in London as a Master’s student at Imperial College can be challenging but not insurmountable. By starting your search early, considering on-campus options, exploring private rentals, and utilising online platforms to connect with potential flatmates, you can navigate the labyrinth of London’s housing market and secure a comfortable and convenient place to call home during your studies. Remember to plan your budget wisely and seek assistance when needed. With careful planning and a proactive approach, you’ll be able to focus on your studies and enjoy the vibrant city of London to the fullest. Good luck on your journey! 

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