As a student, one of the most important things to think about before your studies begin is where you’re going to live. The reality of studying abroad is that for many it will be your first time moving away from your family home, or your first time living on your own. Moving away from home and family is hard enough, but moving away from your country can be even more daunting.

For most UK universities, time, money, and attention are dedicated to building student accommodations that will create a sense of belonging and family by those who are calling them home (whether for a short or longer period of time).  

Most students will choose to move into student accommodations (Halls of Residence) in their first year of study, and then move into private accommodation with friends afterwards should their program be longer than 1-year in length.  

Let’s look at the benefits of booking student accommodations for your first year abroad:  


This is by and large the greatest benefit from booking university accommodations. While many Canadian law students are initially hesitant to book into university accommodation, the reality of trying to secure off-campus accommodations is that it can take time and often isn’t possible until you are physically located within the UK and have a UK bank account. This means that you will likely need to make temporary accommodation plans for the first few weeks after you arrive in the UK and begin your housing hunt immediately on arrival. Students can find this stressful and confusing trying to adapt to a new letting (renting) system while also adjusting to a new country and trying to prepare for their law studies.

University accommodations on the other hand can be booked while you’re still in Canada (and usually even before you start the visa process!) You can typically apply to university accommodation once you have received an official offer form your university, however some might require that you firmly accept your offer first. It’s important to look at each university website and apply by any noted deadline! Ask your advisor if you're not sure!


Something that more universities are offering (to international students especially) is a guaranteed room with their student accommodation as long as students accept their university offer and apply to accommodations by the university’s accommodation deadline (this is usually in the spring/early summer but can vary depending on the university).

More importantly for many law students, universities will have separate housing for undergraduate and postgraduate students, but will also take mature students into consideration. Students from Canada are often coming to study on law degrees after having already studied a university degree in Canada and may be worried about sharing university accommodation with younger students coming directly from high school. Most UK universities will take this into consideration and tend to house mature students together so that they can enjoy a more comfortable living experience for their age and study requirements.

Other special accommodation options can include separate gender-specific living, special needs/accessibility options, or dedicated LGBTQIA2+ housing. Special accommodation requests like these are often limited and subject to availability so it’s important to speak to your university as early as possible so that they can accommodate your needs.  

Our student advisors can help you look into the options available at your university. 


When staying in university accommodation, you also won’t have to worry about sorting and paying separately for additional bills (such as electric, internet, heat, tv license etc.) This way you'll know what you are going to be paying right from the start so it is easy to budget and plan accordingly. 

There are also a range of accommodation packages that can include meal plans, shared kitchen spaces, or self-catering spaces in your room. If sharing a kitchen, it’s common to do this with 3-5 other students.  

Another shared space option is a bathroom (with toilet and shower). Most universities will give students the option of having an en suite bathroom (in their room) or a shared bathroom with others. Like a shared kitchen space, this can be with 3-5 others but may vary depending on the university.

It’s common for the student accommodation to have a common area with a TV, sofas, and other items where you can socialize with other students. Cleaning of common areas is also included in the price.

A laundry room is also available (either in the basement or another easily accessible building) so you won’t need to worry about where you can clean your clothes or bed linens. In the shared laundry space, you’ll find both washing machines and tumble dryers that are paid for via a university app or potentially coin operated. This is normally relatively cheap compared to other laundry facilities around the city. And remember, living in the UK you will primarily be walking or using public transit to get around town. Travelling to a laundromat won't be as easy as popping it in the trunk of your car and driving to the nearest spot.

There’s going to be something for every budget and need! Unlike many student housing options in Canada which end up being significantly more expensive that private renting, universities in the UK make an effort to ensure the accommodation options they have for students are reasonable, often even cheaper than private rental alternatives.

If you need help investigating accommodation options at your university or within your budget range, ask your Canada Law from Abroad advisor, they'll be happy to help you!

A note about contract lengths:   The contract lengths for student accommodations are often 2-term contracts to make up the typical year of a student. If your studies go into the summertime (for example, if you’re undertaking a research-based dissertation), you may have the option to find a short-term let to experience private-housing as well. Short-term, furnished lets are quite common in the UK and a great solution when comparing to staying in a more costly hotel or Airbnb.  


University accommodations are a great way to meet people of diverse social and cultural backgrounds.  It also helps you make friends easily and they are usually people outside of your own program.

Especially as a Canadian student on a law programme in the UK, you will likely be spending a lot of time with peers from your programme/field either through your studies or through your extracurricular activity (law societies, pro bono activities etc). Furthermore, you'll likely have lots of other Canadians with you as well. While this can absolutely be a comfort and a great networking and bonding experience, many students also want to ensure they get the full study abroad experience. Living in student accommodation gives you the perfect opportunity to build friendships and a community with students studying on many other subjects and from every background. This gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to networking with peers and embracing this once-in-a-lifetime international opportunity.

There are often mixers and social events being held for students staying in the halls as well! This can range from movie nights, trips to town/excursions to other parts of the UK, themed parties, sports tournaments, game nights and more! The universities want their students to feel at home while staying in residence and will go above and occasionally beyond expectations to make students feel safe, comfortable and right at home.


Most university accommodations are within easy access to the main university buildings. This makes getting to class easy! The distance can vary depending on the university however walking, biking, or even accommodation-dedicated busses are common.  

It's important to remember to apply to the correct campus when looking at student accommodation if your university is made up of several campuses. If you’re unsure about this – speak to a student advisor!  


CCTV and security are utilized to maintain a safe environment throughout campus, but particularly within the common areas of the residences. Late night study sessions at the library can be completed without worrying – there’s enough to worry about as a student already! Most campuses even have walk-safe programmes where you can have a team of volunteers accompany you back to your accommodation late at night if you will feel safer that way. 


If you want to explore your university accommodations options, or the options that may be available at your chosen university, speak to a Canada Law from Abroad advisor today! 

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