What are the alternatives to university accommodation?

AFS Team·13 July 2023·3 min read
What are the alternatives to university accommodation?

If university accommodation isn’t for you, there are plenty of alternatives for you to explore. Here are five that we recommend:

Private rented accommodation

Many students choose to rent private accommodation rather than living in university-managed accommodation. Private rented accommodation can include shared flats or houses, studio apartments, or rooms in a family home. Websites such as Accommodation for Students can be used to search for accommodation, and many universities also have accommodation offices that can help students. To find accommodation in your university city, visit Accommodation for Students.

House shares

Living in a shared house with other students can be a more affordable option than university accommodation. This involves renting a house or flat with other students and sharing the cost of rent and bills. Websites such as Student Housemates can be used to find house shares.

Purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA):

PBSA is a type of student housing that is built specifically for students. These can include studios, en-suite rooms, and shared apartments. PBSA can be more expensive than other types of accommodation, but often come with additional amenities such as gyms, cinemas, and study spaces.


Another alternative to university accommodation is living with a host family. This is a popular choice for international students who want to experience British culture and practise their language skills. Homestays involve living with a local family who provide a room, meals, and support. The University of Bristol is now offering these, for instance.


Some students choose to live at home and commute to university. This can be a good option for students who live close to their university or have access to good transport links. However, you may find that it is harder to integrate and make friends in the first year.

Overall, there are various alternatives to university accommodation. It's important to consider your budget, location, and personal preferences when choosing your accommodation. Many universities have accommodation offices that can provide advice and support in finding suitable accommodation.

For more information on the type of accommodation universities offer, read this blog.