How to choose your MBA accommodation
When you have finally chosen which MBA programme will be the right one for you, perhaps the next most difficult decision is choosing where to live. There are so many different options to choose from— University affiliated halls, privately rented accommodation, moving into an already established house share or perhaps living with your family who are already based in the area.
Let us look at some of the options and the benefits:
1. Halls of residence
For many people, moving into postgraduate halls of residence is the right option. These are normally within walking distance of campus, include most bills and for many international students who have not lived in London before, it makes an ideal first base to settle into the unfamiliar city.
Aditi Verma, Full-time MBA (2017) lived in iQ Student Accommodation. She says, ‘I felt a sense of security when the University recommended certain halls of residence. The accommodation was well kept and very close to the campus. I also felt that the true University experience could only be derived from these as they suggested independent living whilst being surrounded by your classmates and other peers. There is no better way to form bonds than by spending time with each other within defined territories. Forming bonds is an educational experience in itself and can lead to creating lifelong friendships and expansive networks.’
Most postgraduate halls of residence are single occupancy only, but the University of London has couples and family housing available at International Hall. These halls are available for City students to apply.
2. Shared house
Perhaps you don’t want halls of residence but do still want to live with other people then the rental of a room within a shared house of other students or tenants might be the right option. City University have enlisted the services of the University of London Housing Services (ULHS) who run a private housing service for many students in London.
The ULHS can offer advice to students on how to find accommodation, which areas to consider, what the options are, pricing and more. They have produced a London Student Housing Guide which has a vast amount information on how to search and secure housing.
City University have some excellent resources and guides for people who are considering a place to live in the private sector.
Justin Ross, Full-time MBA (2018) opted to find his own accommodation a 20-minute walk to the Bunhill Row Campus. He says, ‘I opted for a private flat for the choices it opened up. London is a vast and amazing city, and selecting a private home offered the opportunity to become familiar with a neighbourhood of my choosing instead of being limited to student housing locations. This allowed me to get more out of my time in London, as I could go outside of the student bubble and really experience all that's on offer. I had the freedom to plan my dates of arrival and departure and set the terms of my living situation, and it was a fun challenge to learn the logistics of renting a flat, managing several agents, setting up services, and shopping for household items in a culture that's different to my own. I also value my privacy and space, and I enjoy living alone and being independent. My flat provided a sanctuary and escape where I could focus on my studies if I so chose, or I could entertain and host visiting friends and family. While I lived alone, those who opted for private accommodations with flatmates spoke highly of their experiences as well; it was a great way to meet people outside of our studies and broaden our social circles.’
You don’t have to live in London to study on the Full-time MBA. Over the past few years, people have commuted in by train from cities such as Cambridge, Brighton and Royal Tunbridge Wells. Those students mentioned that this travel allowed extra time for studying. However, keep in mind this might mean occasional early starts as some classes may start at 9am. This can be an expensive option as train travel in the UK is quite pricey, but regardless of whether you are regularly commuting or not, we recommend one of the first things you should do when you start the programme is to apply for a student railcard as the discounts offered are significant and it allows you to explore out of term time.
Whether you move into University affiliated accommodation within walking distance of campus or privately rent a house a little further afield with your family and commute in, the MBA Recruitment and Admissions team would be happy to give you informal advice to help you decide which is the right option for you.