Guidance for international students living off-campus

International guide

Many of our international students choose to live off-campus. They often live with relatives or friends as a way of saving money and having a supportive environment whist studying in the UK. Both of these are important but there are other things you should also take into account when considering just how far away from the University it is appropriate to live.


The cost of travelling in the UK can be very high. If you come from a country where travel is relatively cheap, you may find travelling long distances to the University is far more expensive than you expected.


The UK’s road and rail networks can be congested, especially at peak travelling times in the morning and evening. If you plan to travel to and from the University by road or rail this could make for a very long and tiring day.

Impact on your studies

It is our aim to help you achieve the very best possible result from your time with us but travelling long distances to the University could make this more difficult if you:

  • Arrive late for classes – if this happens regularly, you risk falling behind.
  • Miss classes altogether – if this happens too often, we would be obliged to refer you to the visa authorities because you would be in breach of the terms of your visa.
  • Reduce your access to the libraries – this would limit the time you have for important research and private study.
  • Restrict your availability to meet your tutors – receiving feedback on your work or help and advice, when required, is key to achieving your best.

Our Recommendation

For all of these reasons we would expect that if you do decide to live off-campus, you should live within approximately 40 miles (65 km) of the University, or 60 minutes travelling time, door-to-door.

This map shows the approximate area within which we believe you should live.

A map showing areas within 40 miles of the University of Northampton

Find Out More

UKCISA (The UK Council for international Student Affairs) website has a very informative section advising international students who are looking for housing.

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