Written by

Sandra Achim (Romania)

I am Sandra Achim from Romania studying MSc in Events Management. I’m currently living in private accommodation based in Bournemouth and I know that renting privately can be a real challenge. You need to choose your roommates and also check property websites to find the best and the cheapest place to live.

The research

I started my search with Gumtree, Unilet (BU’s own letting agency), and Homes Direct (now called Global Homes). I did a lot of research and arranged a few viewings to make sure that I found a place suitable for everyone.

Being an international student, one of my priorities was to find an agency that didn’t charge me unreasonably high fees. After many searches, I chose the Homes Direct agency because there was a Romanian agent who helped me to find the perfect and cheapest home for me and my friends. I chose the area close to Bournemouth Square because it makes my traveling easier. This is also close to my campus and the university buses pick me up and drop me off there.

The next steps

Once the property was chosen, all I had to do was to give them proof that I’m a student, a copy of my ID and the payment in advance to secure the place. I paid one and a half times my monthly rent as a deposit because I didn’t have a UK guarantor.

Then my roommates and I had to arrange how we would pay our bills. We decided that we would split the bills equally. Apart from our rent, we also pay for gas, electricity, and water.

Finding what is right for you

I know living in private accommodation might sound quite complicated when compared to living in a student accommodation, but it isn’t. I absolutely enjoy my experience so far, but more importantly – I learned how to be responsible.

My tip for you – first and foremost – is to be sure you figure out what is important to you regarding where you live and what kind of place you want. Once you know that, explore all your options.

During your studies, you will be creating the best memories, and the most important thing is to find the perfect place for you, a place that you can call your home.

By Sandra Achim, Romania, MSc in Events Management, 2017/18