Moving to a new country as an international student can be daunting at times, especially when you have to decide where to stay for the remainder of the year.
Staying in university halls in my first year helped me recover from the culture shock and meet new people. I understand that, whilst this experience may not replicate current COVID situations, it can definitely make the transition easier in terms of making friends and easing into student life.
In my second year, I moved to a house in Withington with 6 of my friends which was very memorable – so I hope to share some tips!
Start early but don’t worry, you have time!
Most people start looking for houses around this time of year, so if you’ve not already started, it’s not too late! It’s great to start early as it gives you and your friends more options to survey and decide for the following year. Groups of 4-6 are most common but student houses can go up to 10 or more! It’s normal to be indecisive, especially when everybody wants different things. As well as this, there is a wide price spectrum which makes it easier to narrow down your options.
Factors impacting your house selection
A few things my flatmates and I considered while viewing houses were:
• Walking distance from Wilmslow Road or a bus stop.
• If it’s an open plan kitchen/living room then make sure it’s not too cramped.
• No signs of dampness on walls or humid air due to lack of ventilation.
• Windows aren’t broken and ensure they lock.
One piece of advice I wish I was given during my house search was making sure there was a CCTV security system, burglar alarms and secure external locks. This is an important factor to consider as student homes are susceptible to crimes.
House or flat?
Many of my international friends lived in flats closer to university, mostly in town or in Rusholme. I’d say the experience would be equally enjoyable, however, living in a house gave me the true British experience. There are various flat options available around town and Fallowfield, but houses tend to be cheaper so it’s entirely up to the experience you’re looking for!
I hope this made your house hunting a little easier!