The accommodation can be cheap or expensive, for the Romanians income, it is expensive. It varies between 200 (minimum) and 600 GBP (I won’t talk about more than 600 GBP because the subject is the student life not holiday). If your budget do not allow you more, you can find something for 200 GBP – a house with bedrooms – rent together with a few colleagues. It’s true that in the first year when you come here, you don’t have many friends, but you can find places in this type of houses. The inconvenience is that you don’t know the others, if they are troublemakers, or if they like cleaning their place; in this type of house there is only one bathroom for 3-4 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms for 5-6 bedrooms. The problem is that girls need the bathroom more than the boys (some girls more than other girls) and it is difficult to live both girls and boys in the same house, the bathroom need cleaning and not all the guys are used to clean the bathroom. But if you can find some nice guys who are ok and you can communicate with them it is an advantage regarding homework or courses, you can borrow them and help each other. You can cook and eat together, you can drink a beer socializing ( I don’t drink alcohol but I like talking, socializing), you can share the internet – the price is 20 GBP/ month, so maximum 5 GBP/ month for each person if you share with your colleagues, is ok.
Living alone means a lot of money taking into account that at the beginning of the school you have only the money taken from your parents. You can rent a studio (you have everything: living, bedroom, a corner for studying at a desk) or one bedroom flat (it has 2 rooms) .
Here, the houses for students do not look very well comparing with the rent prices.
I found something ok, an apartment, recently renovated, not a luxury, but I have everything I need and I am satisfied with it, I have nice neighbors who agreed the idea of sharing the internet (so I pay only 10 GBP/ month). I’ve realized another important thing, we, Romanians build big houses with many rooms, well equipped kitchens, bathrooms; but a two room apartment is enough for one person, and the food is important for us and we want big spaces for cooking. For the real estate agencies and the building developers this means money and profit. The same thing happens with the clothes, we have big dressings, but we use only a few clothes, the most comfortable; here I realized that one little wardrobe and two drawers are more than sufficient.
These rent prices do not include the Internet, but they include in some cases the utilities: water, gas, electricity. If they are not included in price, you pay around 50 – 100 GBP/month, depending on season, and the size of the apartment. The electricity price is the same as in Romania, the water and the gas is more expensive, but if you share with someone else you pay less and is cheaper.
If we talk about London, the rent is 50% higher, as in Romania where rent is higher in Bucharest than the other cities.
If you want to rent something, firstly visit an website, the best are: www.rightmove.co.uk/ property-to-rent.html, www.primelocation.com/to-rent, for Cardiff, or www.southwalesstudentpad.co.uk/Accommodation for campus. You should choose something, then you go to real estate agencies, see their offer, don’t try to make any search, you have to know what you want, because what you find on website today is possible not to find the next day. It’s better to talk at the agency, to tell them what you want, how many rooms, share or not, how long, the area you prefer, the maximum distance from the train station, and the budget. And they will show you what they have. Don’t try in an other way, because it is a waste of time. I did it and finally this was the best way of finding something. What I found on site were not available.
But for young students the best choice is living in a campus. They don’t need money for transport, they can share everything and they are together with their colleagues.
You can live in a dorm. The dorms are of different categories: ones have 1 room (bigger or smaller) + bathroom, and the kitchen is on the hall, share it with 6-8 persons; or room without bathroom, you share the kitchen and bathroom with 4-16 persons (obviously there are more showers and toilets). For the dorms, the utilities are included in the rent price, and the rent varies between 150-450 GBP/ month – depending on conditions).
In UK the market research show that students should live in dorms in their first year, they have everything they need and they can socialize being together, the problem of utilities is excluded, they are in their first year and they need to accommodate with new things. I agree with this. For University of South Wales you can use for accommodation the following site: www.accomodation.southwales.ac.uk/students-studying-at-treforest.
And do not forget, for any information regarding study, accommodation, transport, etc, you can find support at www.education-abroad.ro