International applicants

Finding accommodation

There are varied types of accommodation available in Edinburgh.

Finding out how accommodation may differ to what your are used to will help you prepare for life in Edinburgh.

Before you travel to the UK

It can be difficult to find long-term accommodation before you arrive in the UK. You should arrange temporary accommodation so that you have somewhere to stay when you first arrive in Edinburgh.

You can find useful information about temporary accommodation in Edinburgh from Accommodation Services and Visit Scotland.

University accommodation

The University of Edinburgh has different types of accommodation available, from catered flats to self-catered residences.

Most University accommodation is purpose built. This means that the buildings are relatively new and are designed and equipped for students.

You apply for University accommodation online.

Private accommodation

In Edinburgh, most people live in flats (apartments). Edinburgh is an old city and many people live in old buildings which have been modernised.

Renting private housing - New students

Shared accommodation

Most students share accommodation. It is usually the cheapest way to rent privately. You will normally have your own bedroom and shared bathroom, kitchen and living spaces. The cost of the rent depends on the size of the property, how many people are sharing, and the location.

Studio / one-bedroom flat

A studio apartment has one room which contains the living, sleeping and kitchen areas. A one bedroom flat will often have more space than a studio.

Living alone is generally more expensive than sharing accommodation.


Lodging is when you rent a room in the owner's house and you will normally share the bathroom, kitchen and living areas. It is also known as a homestay. This option means you live with a local person, or local people. You can look for lodgings on the Studentpad website.

Family accommodation

University accommodation for couples and families is limited, and it can be difficult to find long-term private accommodation from outside of the UK. It is advised that you come to Edinburgh to find suitable accommodation before you relocate your family.

Useful private accommodation links


Do not, under any circumstances, send money to anyone for accommodation prior to viewing the property, verifying that the person is the actual landlord or a representative of the landlord (such as letting agent) and seeing the tenancy agreement.

You should be very suspicious of anyone asking you to send money via a payment service like Western Union, Bidpay or Money Gram.


There are lots other things to consider you are looking for accommodation, including legal issues, costs and comfort.

Read these guides on:

Choosing accommodation

Utilities and bills