International applicants

Utilities and bills

There are additional costs you should consider when choosing and budgeting for your accommodation.

These costs include electricity and gas, telephone, internet, TV, insurance and Council Tax bills.

Gas and electricity

If you are in University accommodation, the cost of heat and electricity will be included in your rent.

If you rent privately your electricity and gas can be supplied by a number of different companies. There is usually an existing agreement with a provider when you move in.

Check with the landlord who the provider is and whether you can change supplier - you can often save money if you change.


Mobile telephones


A fixed monthly cost to include phone calls, texts and internet access. Contracts usually last between 12-24 months.


Pre-pay for phone calls and texts by buying credit. There is no contract so it can be a better option if you will be in the UK for less than a year.

Price comparison websites, or phone shops on the high street, can help you find the best deal.

Home telephone (landline)

If you are in University accommodation, you will have a pay-as-you-go landline telephone in your bedroom.

If you rent privately you may wish to install a landline. Check with your landlord if there is already a landline installed and who is the service provider.


There is internet access in most University accommodation, included in the rent. You can also access wireless internet at all University campuses.

Internet access at the University of Edinburgh

If you rent privately you will normally need to set up internet access. The cost is not normally included in the rent.

There are a number of internet providers in the UK. Check comparison websites to find the best option for you.

Internet contracts normally have a minimum duration. student broadband deals

Digital or satellite TV

If you watch television in the UK, you must have a digital TV. There are around 50 free channels which you can access from a digital television.

Other services are available which allow you to watch more channels. You pay a monthly fee and normally agree to 12 month contract.

Check with your landlord or letting agency to make sure there are no restrictions if you want to install this type of service.

TV licence

You need to be covered by a TV licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer. This also applies to students who live in University accommodation.

You do not need a TV licence if you do not watch or record live television, but you still need to let TV Licensing know.

For up-to-date cost information and details on the many ways you can pay, please visit the TV Licensing website.

Contents insurance

It is important to insurance for your home to protect your belongings in case of theft or damage. If you have expensive equipment, such as a laptop or tablet it is especially important.

Endsleigh is an insurance company that specialises in student insurance. Check comparison websites to find the best deal for you.

Council Tax

Full time students do not normally pay Council Tax.

Council Tax is a charge which pays for local services such as rubbish collection, street cleaning, police and schools.

Find out more about Council Tax on our New Students website.