Big Ben at night captured in 2008
1 bedroom in zone 1 on average cost about £300 pw and believe me it can go as high as the eye can reach the horizon (Maybe even more! Pfftt). Not to mention for those of us who do not have guarantors have to break our piggy bank to fork out on 6 months deposits. I'd go mental. My sister used to spend most of her time finding a 2 bedroom apartment for 3 months she couldn't find any until today. So in the end she settled for a flat share with a local.
When I first arrived in London to do my Master degree it was 4 years ago. I was under a scholarship of £550 permonth and my hall of residence cost me £500 permonth just for a tiny ensuite room. It wasn't until the COLA increased a few months after that I was able to breathe and eat properly. And happily, my dad stop growing white hair.
Compare to my old apartment room back home, a hamster couldn't even have a partner in that same room.
Dad said "don't compare between 2 countries, learn to take things as it is and you'll will love it".
But that's the thing though, this case is only applicable to London. Outside London, it's like a whole different world all together. My friend in Holloway got a huge double bed room with enough space to fit 20 extra people in it. And the rent was 2 times lower. I blamed her for not hosting a raya event every year.
Love my housemates 2009
Ahhh...but in my case, what's not to love about London. The city, the events, the opportunity to obtain anything, the knowledges, the night life, the diversity and ohhhh the SHOPPING! The city I've lived in that has defined me to date. The city that has changed me in every possible way.
The city that teaches me to love my religion and my creator even more today. The city with no boundaries. I could go on forever. When I arrived here I'm merely naive, meet new friends, had fun, found love, graduated, traveled, learn a lot, met a handsome man who is my husband today and with anticipation is waiting for my first new born baby boy!!. Alhamdulillah. My mom is over the moon on becoming a Grandmama. I just couldn't understand.
I learn more here than I've learn anywhere in the world that I've traveled and lived in.
So here's a few tips on finding an accommodation for those who decided to join in the wagon.
1. Nag your future university accommodation helpdesk. Tell them your budget and all the details you're looking for. They are a great help! The official Uni accom may cost a fortune but they have dozens of affiliates under their roof that they can suggest you with that cost less than £700.
2. If you have a guarantor that's brilliant, otherwise be ready to cry a river and parted with 6 months deposits.
3. There's vast amount of websites to find accom like Gumtree, Findaproperty, Zoopla etc. But beware of scams! Don't believe something that is too good to be true. Someone who says they are out of town and trying to find somebody to take care of their apartment hence a payment through western union. Rent are cheaper it you deal directly with landlord rather than an agent.
4. Share a flat with the locals instead and meet new friends. Websites are the like in No. 3.
5. International students accommodation are everywhere around London like Londonmet, studenthousing, unitestudent etc. Try contacting them.
Final thing, if you have unlimited amount of funding, then forget about this post and go get yourself a nice apartment in the heart of London.
For us, once you've found a home for your next few years, you'll get over the hardship pretty easily and learn to love this city.