Hi, I’m Maoxun! I’m an international postgraduate student studying Music Education at the University of York.
When I started in January 2021, there was a housing shortage both on and off-campus. Despite this, the university managed to provide me with accommodation in Constantine. However, my lectures were on Campus West which I believed was too far from Constantine College. In the end I decided to find accommodation outside the campus which I thought would suit me better.
In this blog I’m going to share my off-campus accommodation experiences and provide top tips on how to find the right place for you.
How to find off-campus accommodation
On the internet, there are many websites like UniAcco with information about off-campus accommodation for international students in York. You can use these sites to see which off-campus student accommodation is available. Once you’ve found your favourite place you can make a reservation from its corresponding official website.
In my opinion, Foss is the best located student accommodation in York. It’s perfectly located between the city centre and Campus West where the Department of Music is. I can walk to either within 15 minutes. I can also get to Morrisons (one of the biggest supermarkets in York) in 10 minutes and there’s a park named Hull Road Park nearby. It’s convenient to shop in the city centre, go to class, buy groceries and stroll in the park.
Foss Studios only provide studio rooms with different sizes and prices. They don’t require a deposit and accept Bank of China cards.
Foss Studios shares the gym with Samuel Tuke Apartment and Percy’s Place, and it has a common room where you can meet friends.
When I arrived I had heavy bags and was exhausted after a 20 hour journey. However after seeing the church next door under the blue sky, and heard birds chirping, my exhaustion and drowsiness washed away. At that moment I felt my teenage dream had simply come true. I was in the UK with the nature!
I also loved the local cat called Felix who often came to visit. She is very friendly to everyone there and I often saw her on my way to and from class. She would come through the side gate and walk around and between my legs. Every time I saw her, I spent time with her at the yard.
Staying far from home is hard but there are things you can do to make you feel at home. I for example, put some paintings on the wall and decorations in my room that reminded me of home. I also surrounded myself with lots of friends. We cooked and had meals together and often went into the city together. Those experiences actually reduced my loneliness and gave a lot of warmth to me.
Advantages and disadvantages of off-campus accommodation
In my opinion these are the advantages and disadvantages of living off-campus:
-More housing options
-Closer to the city and large supermarkets
-You can choose roommates and arrange living facilities
-Price may be higher
-Further from the university
When renting off-campus accommodation, you need to pay attention to the information given by the accommodation providers or landlords. Look especially at the terms of the contract to protect your legitimate rights and interests. Whether it’s on campus or off-campus accommodation, housing is limited in York. If you have a favourite room, you must apply as soon as possible. If you have any questions when looking for accommodation, you can contact the accommodation service.