Since housing in central London is pretty outrageous, living in student housing does come out to be more cost-effective.The process to sign up for LSE accommodation will begin any day now (in February). I have spent the past few days researching the different availabilities and deciding which housing to put on my preference list. I am to pick 3 residential hall/building from the LSE-only accommodation and also 3 more from the University of London intercollegiate halls. Here is the final list: 1. Butlers Wharf (a nifty map via Google) This is a gorgeous neighborhood on the Southbank of the Thames. A yuppy neighborhood renovated in recent years from old run down warehouses. I discovered this area when my friend Yuri took me to dinner at a fabulous restaurant in this neighborhood back in 2006. The building is mostly postgrad, divided into flats and has the cheapest rate of just about £110/wk after factoring electricity. However, it is quite far from the LSE campus (30-45 min travel time). Also, not as convenient of a locale in terms of stores and transportation. But I am a cheapskate, so I put this as my first choice. 2. Lilian Knowles (a nifty map via Google) Another flat-style housing option that is independently run but still consider LSE housing. The building is located in Spitalfield - another lovely area of London that I love! There are great restaurants around, a nice jazz bar just in the neighborhood. This is a all-postgrad flat style building that is supposedly quite nice. The rate is decent at about £150/wk. However, the area is still quite far from LSE (about 30 min travel time). The upside is that the location is much more convenient than Butlers Wharf with many more shops around and good connecting transport. 3. Northumberland (a nifty map via Google) Very centrally located just south of Holborn. Only 5-10 minute walking time from the LSE campus. Rumor has it this will be a mostly postgrad hall this coming year. Just about everything I would need is within walking distance: LSE, Chinatown, Oxford Street and more. Also not far from the Thames so I can still go for nice runs along the bank. The downside is that it's quite pricey at £180/wk.
These halls are your typical college dorm rooms filled mostly with undergrads from various University of London institutions. International Hall is the only one that has flat-style that allows self-catering. I haven't lived in a dorm room since my freshman year of college, and I would really like to not repeat eating cafeteria food again... Not to mention these are all really expensive!