Residential Colleges

Living on or near campus in a residential college is a popular accommodation choice for international students. If you are looking an easy option for when you first arrive in the UK this is definitely the way to go.

What are Residential Colleges?

At a residential college you’ll generally receive all your meals, as well as a weekly room clean. You’ll get a fully furnished bedroom, plus access to Wi-fi, library facilities and tutors.

Residential colleges generally have a strong emphasis on community participation, and will offer communal study and recreational spaces, as well as sporting events and social activities.

All colleges operate slightly differently; some specifically cater for international students, others offer gender segregation, some might be alcohol free, some are secular and others align with different faiths, whilst others will feel like party central.

In general, all colleges are able to cater for a range of dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, halal, kosher etc. Smaller colleges are reputed to have better catering, so keep that in mind if you are a fussy eater.

Most Residential Colleges offer:

  • Bedroom furnished with a bed, mattress, wardrobe, study desk and chair.
  • All utilities connected including internet.
  • All meals catered.
  • Full access to college tutorials and the intercollegiate academic program.
  • Communal laundry facilities.
  • Air-conditioning and heating.
  • 24 hour security and support staff on-site.
  • Social and study activities.
  • Study areas.
  • Sports facilities & teams.

Positives of living in a Residential College

  • Convenience. Everything is setup for you to move in.
  • Great community feel – become a part of your college.
  • Access to tutors and other study programs.
  • Great for meeting other students.
  • Lots of social and sporting events.

Other considerations

  • A more expensive accommodation option
  • Can be restrictive in regards to curfews, visitors and house rules
  • Sharing a bathroom can be frustrating.


Depending on the apartment the cost will vary. You can expect to pay between $200 and $750 a week, including most utilities.

Useful points for finding the right accommodation for you:

Facilities & house rules vary with premises so make sure you read all the details when you are looking for your new home. Make sure you read all the FAQs on the options that you are researching.

  • What are the bond & lease conditions?
  • What are the house rules – visitors, curfews etc?
  • Locality – is it an area that you wish to live?
  • Is the residential college open only during the academic year?