This month is all about accommodation! We know that figuring out your living situation can be overwhelming, especially if you’re moving from outside London. We’ve compiled information about some common types of accommodation. We will also share our own experiences and answer some frequently asked questions.
KCL student accommodation:
King’s provides many different residence options to students. Some house a mix of postgraduate and undergraduate students while others are for postgraduate students only. The closest accommodation to Denmark Hill Campus is Champion Hill. It’s about a 10 min walk so if you like rolling out of bed and into lecture this is the one for you! There is also Julian Markham in Elephant and Castle and an accommodation in Vauxhall that’s new for this year. Cost varies depending on the accommodation and room type. Overall King’s accommodation is convenient and a great way to meet other KCL students.
Private student accommodation:
Living in student halls does not have to be through KCL however, there are many other private student accommodation options. These may not be as close to campus, and you won’t necessarily be living with only King’s students, however this option can be a lot cheaper. There are options all over london and range from single rooms with shared facilities to studio flats. If you attend class less than three days a week I would highly recommend living out of central london, you don’t mind the long commute, it’s a lot cheaper!. There are a few student halls comparison websites that you can take a look at to find the best kind of accomodation for you, such as Accommodation for Students and My Student Halls. These will compare different student accommodation options based on location, price and type of room you are interested in.
Private accommodation can take many forms such as living alone, with a partner or with flatmates. If you’re interested in living with flatmates you can live with friends, team up with other people looking for a place or find an empty room in a house/flat. It can be helpful to think about your priorities and filter your search accordingly. KCL flatmate finder, is a facebook group exclusively for King’s students looking for flats and those with rooms to offer. Spareroom, Gumtree and Rightmove are also popular websites to find a flat or room. Overall finding private accommodation can be a challenge, but also very rewarding.
When I first arrived in London, I was lucky enough to stay with my aunt in Islington, until I found private accommodation. My priorities were location, cost and number of flatmates. I knew I wanted to be no more than 30 mins away from Denmark Hill Campus by public transportation. My maximum budget was £600/month and Ideally no more than 3 flatmates. So I looked for flatshares in Camberwell and the surrounding areas including, Brixton, Peckham, Dulwich and Vauxhall. I mostly used KCL flatmate finder and Spareroom for flat hunting, I would recommend getting the spareroom app since flats can get rented very quickly. I went to what felt like hundreds of viewings (probably closer to 15-20) before I found my current room in a flat in north Clapham. It meets all my criteria and I get along with all my flatmates. Although flat hunting can feel stressful at times, there’s so many rooms available in London. I think persistence and acting quickly on something you like are the keys to success!
I moved from Bournemouth to London for my undergraduate degree and shared a flat in Central London with a close friend of mine. I was lucky enough to be handed a great flatmate that year and a very short commute to uni (15 min walk!). However, I was paying a lot of money for very little space (as expected!). So the following year with the same flatmate, and two more we moved to Acton Town, and although it was a longer commute to university (around 45 mins) I actually didn’t mind it, since I was paying a lot less and I only went in to uni 4 days a week. This year while at KCL, I live near Ealing Broadway, which is a long (1 and half hour) commute. Fortunately, doing MSc Neuroscience means I only have class 3 days a week and from April onwards I will start my project and will have to attend even less frequently, so this situation suits me well.
Frequently Asked questions
Q: Hey I was wondering where Master students usually find accomodation? In a student center? Privately? Flat shares? It be nice to be close to where others in the courses are
Aisha: In Mental Health studies our cohort is about 100 people, that have a variety of living arrangements. These include all the options we highlighted above as well as living at home, and commuting. It can be useful to make a Facebook group for your specific course or post in the IOPPN Postrgraduate Class of 2018 group to connect with potential classmates and find out their plans.
Q: Does anyone know the situation with kitchen accessories in the residence halls? Will I need to go buy my own cooking supplies or is there a student sharing system with pots/pans/plates already there?
Shabani: KCL Student halls don’t provide most kitchenware so you will need to bring/buy most of it yourself such as cooking utensils and pans, plates, cups, glasses and cutlery, tea towels, washing-up liquid. You will have to arrange a sharing with your flatmates, independently. There are many places to buy cheap kitchen accessories in England such as ASDA, Argos or Amazon, all of which do home delivery so you don’t have to carry back those heavy bags yourself! For more information see the KCL page on What and what not to bring.
Q: I prefer to stay in the dormitories of KCL. Could you recommend a suitable and affordable hall which is near the Denmark Hill Campus? Does Champion Hill offer laundry facilities and Free Internet?
Aisha: Yes Champion hill is very close to campus about a 10 min walk away. There’s also 2 new residences opening in Vauxhall for 2018 which is about 20 mins by bus. check out the website for more info. There’s also a contact us page so you can email specific residences if you want more detailed information
Q: I was just wondering with regards to living situations, where the best areas are to live as a student? In terms of safety, sociability, closeness to campus etc
Shabani: The IoPPN is based at Denmark Hill and there is the KCL student accommodation, “Champion Hill Residence” nearby in Camberwell. Living in KCL student accommodation will be both close to campus and provide a social environment.
Alternatively, there are many private student accommodation options close to Denmark Hill that you can choose from. These are usually safe and you will be living with other students as well.
You can consider also renting private accommodation with a group of people that you trust. This is what I did and personally loved it since I did not want to be living with people I didn’t know. It is much cheaper if you live further out in London and commute in (consider this if you are attending university less than 3 days a week).