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Explore Leeds: An International Student City Guide for Leeds

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Hagar Samir

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17 October, 2023

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9 mins read

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Student Housing

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Leeds is located on the banks of the River Aire, right in the heart of the United Kingdom. It is a vibrant city with a rich past, as it went through a significant industrial revolution during the 18th century.

Leeds is currently a city with breathtaking architecture as well as a world-class attraction for shopping enthusiasts, students, and traders! This is why there is a lot of student housing in Leeds. The city is known for its vibrant energy and pleasant atmosphere, which makes it even more attractive and welcoming!

The city has a diverse range of art venues, which include world-class theatres, art exhibitions, galleries, and art centres, making it full of adventure and entertainment. Leeds has a lot of free festivals that you can visit. For example, the Leeds Indie Food Festival is a festival celebrating street food from around the world, and we recommend experiencing it if you are in the city.

What’s interesting about this city is the historical facts: Leeds gave the UK internet; it was home to the first-ever British internet provider. It’s also a major player in the transport and locomotive industries. It is the birthplace of the world’s first steam locomotive and has the oldest running commercial railway in the world!

Because of all these interesting facts and important events that took place in Leeds, we’ve gathered all the information about the city in one place for you to check out! With this guide to Leeds, you’ll learn everything about the city!



housing Leeds


Getting to Know Leeds 

Leeds is known for many things, from famous landmarks and hidden gems to restaurants and food joints. Universities in Leeds are also another reason why many people love to visit and stay in the city. For example, the University of Leeds is one of the most famous universities in the city and the United Kingdom.

The city is also famous for the huge variety of retail spaces, the Leeds Festival, and being the home of Emmerdale. It’s also the home of many successful sports teams, including the Yorkshire Ripper murders. 

Being the birthplace of Marks & Spencer, the city is known for having many people visit for the fashion! The city is filled with talent, as it excels in many different things, such as music, sports, the arts, and politics. In addition, Leeds is the pioneer of X-ray technology and has a large number of bestselling authors!

The city has a population of around 812,000, and it has increased by 8.1% since the 2011 census, which is considered to be one of the highest growth rates, higher than the Yorkshire and the Humber regions! 

As a result, it’s safe to say that Leeds has a diverse population, including all ethnicities. The city has over 169 different nationalities, and people from all over the world get the chance to explore different cultures due to the many different cuisines in Leeds, festivals, and carnivals!

One more important advantage of living in Leeds is the safety the city offers! Leeds is safe and has a lot of privacy, which makes it easier for students to decide to come and stay in the city in the many student housing in Leeds.



Leeds housing


Transportation in Leeds

Getting around Leeds is easy due to the many available transport links that are easily accessible and affordable for everyone’s daily use. Transportation in Leeds makes your commute from your student housing in Leeds to university or anywhere you want a lot easier; we’ve gathered the best transport links for you to check out!


Bus 

Leeds has a very simple bus system that you can easily follow, and you can check the Leeds bus schedule for more details! Using the bus is one of the easiest methods to move around the city. Most people prefer using it, as it’s always available and affordable.


Train 

The railway line that connects Leeds with other UK cities is the East Coast Main Line; it connects through more than 15 stations. Some of these stations are: 

1. Leeds Station

2. Woodlesford

3. Headingley

4. Morley

5. Cross Gates

6. Cottingley

7. Burley Park

8. Horsforth

9. Bramley

10. Garforth


There is also the National Rail website to check out train routes if you are more interested in riding the train!


housing Leeds


Cycling 

You can also cycle to and from university as a way to stay active and eco-friendly while saving money in the process! Many students use this as a way to get some exercise during school days due to the busy schedule they have. It’s an effective way to stay refreshed and energised!


Walking 

Of course, walking is the best way to get your steps in and also stay active! This is another free and eco-friendly way to move around the city of Leeds that most students who live close to their universities opt for.

This is why it’s important to find student housing in Leeds that’s close to your university; it saves both time and money, which is important for those who are exploring the cost of living in Leeds as a student.


International Students in Leeds

If you’re an international student who is planning on studying in Leeds, you’re not alone! There are a huge number of students from all over the world who choose to study in Leeds every year because of the high quality of education and various universities. Here is a quick rundown of international students and where they’re from:


Country

International Students in 2019-2020

  International Students in 2020-2021

United Kingdom

55,275

94,630

China

5,100

9,010

India

880

2,160

Kuwait

380

2,160

Saudi Arabia

360

830

Hong Kong

355

665

Malaysia 

305

830

Nigeria

235

825

Italy

210

435

Spain

210

495



Cost of Living in Leeds

If we’re comparing Leeds to other big cities like London, it’s not really that expensive. Students need an average of £715 to cover the basics, excluding rent. We’ve gathered a list of the important things you’ll have to pay for in Leeds:



Item

Monthly Cost (GBP)

Utilities

£185

Transportation

£75

Groceries 

£185

Meals (Around 50)

£290

Entertainment 

£25

Clothes

£60



Best Places to Live in Leeds for Students 

There are several places and neighbourhoods in Leeds that are suitable for students to live in. Many student housing in Leeds are available in these neighbourhoods that are located in close proximity to your university of choice. The best places to live in Leeds while staying there include Clay Pit Lane, Westfield Road, and Springfield Mount.


Clay Pit Lane 

This neighbourhood is one of the best choices when it comes to places to stay because of the green areas and services everywhere! Getting your student accommodation in Leeds in this area will be an excellent choice due to the close proximity to the University of Leeds.


Westfield Road 

Located in the county of West Yorkshire, the city has a cosy atmosphere and nice weather! You’ll get the pros of living in a small town and a big city at the same time, as the neighbourhood is filled with everything students will need, including grocery stores, restaurants, flower shops, and hospitals.


Student Housing in Leeds

If you’re looking for suitable and convenient student housing in Leeds, Casita has that covered for you! This accommodation marketplace offers a wide range of accommodation options for students according to their needs, budgets, and preferences. They’re all close to Leeds’ universities, making it easier for students to commute. Here are some of the best student housing in Leeds:


Brotherton House

Brotherton House is a student housing in Leeds that provides students with a wide range of en-suite rooms for them to choose from accordingly. All rooms are fully furnished and come with double beds, workspaces (desk and chair), wardrobes, private bathrooms, and large flat-screen TVs. The property is ideally located close to the University of Leeds. In addition, there are several amenities provided, including Wi-Fi, a 24-hour security service, and an in-house housekeeping team.


housing Leeds


Oxley Residence

Oxley Residence is another option that offers a variety of single rooms for students to choose from! These rooms come with a big and comfy bed for a good night’s sleep, a workspace with a desk and chair, and a wardrobe. The property is very close to Leeds Beckett University, and has many features, including high-speed Wi-Fi, bike storage, a common room, and laundry facilities.


iQ Marsden House

Finally, iQ Marsden House provides students with a range of en-suite rooms for them to choose from. All rooms come with comfy beds, study areas fitted with desks and chairs, lots of storage options, as well as private bathrooms. Students also get access to the shared kitchen and dining room. Residents staying at this Leeds student housing are almost five minutes from the University of Leeds. Many amenities are included, like Wi-Fi, onsite laundry facilities, and a 24/7 staff.


Landmarks in Leeds 

Because of how famous Leeds is, people visit the city from all over the world just to see its landmarks and hidden gems. Leeds has a lot to offer, and you can never have a boring day there! Here is a list of the top landmarks and destinations to check out if you’re staying in Leeds!


Leeds City Museum

Leeds City Museum is a museum that has many exhibitions for free; it holds many artefacts that give us information about Leeds and the world’s history. It’s a wonderful place to check out if you’re interested in history and want to know more about Egyptian history or the Greek art of pottery.


Abbey House and Museum

The Abbey House and Museum is also free and is located in Aire Valley in Leeds. It’s another attractive landmark that tourists look forward to visiting anytime they’re in the city. The museum has the remains of an ancient chapterhouse, along with a roofless church, a narrow choir, and a ruined tower. The remains are currently being used to educate people about life during the Victorian era, in addition to several workshops there.


Owl Trails

Owl Trails is the final place on our list and is also free and interesting! If you love activities, this one is for you! It involves searching the Owl Trails in the city. These owls are the unofficial animal of Leeds, and they appear on the coat of arms and are scattered around the old buildings of the city!


Events in Leeds 

As a popular city in the UK, several events and festivals take place all year round! You’ll always be lucky to find something interesting, from history and culture to art, music, entertainment, and everything else! We’ve gathered some of the best events that are happening in Leeds down below:



housing Leeds


Brew-Dunell Beer Festival

At the beginning of the year, in January, the Brew-Dunell Beer Festival takes place! The festival takes place at The Brudenell Social Club, which is a pub and a music venue that is one of the most famous places in Leeds. People visit this festival from all over and enjoy beers, crafts, and ales.


Food and Drink Festival 

In June, the Food and Drink Festival gives people something to look forward to! People visit from everywhere to try different foods and drinks from cuisines from all over the world, which exposes people to new cultures!


Leeds West Indian Carnival 

After the Food and Drink Festival takes place, the Leeds West Indian Carnival begins in August. It’s one of the biggest West Indian carnivals in Europe! The event has been happening since 1967 at the August Bank Holiday Leeds.


Leeds Light Night

Once October begins, the Leeds Light Night begins! It’s an event that happens in autumn, in which various events take place at the same time, creating a lot of light and colours.


Best Universities in Leeds 

Not only does the city have the best events and festivals, but it also has the best universities! All of Leeds’ universities are highly ranked, and students, both local and international, want to join them! These are the best universities in Leeds:


University of Leeds

  • Our options for student accommodation in Leeds are either a short walk or a ride away from campus using various public transport systems. 

  • There are several bus stops close to campus so that you’re never late to class, and you can save time and money.

  • The Abbey House Museum is a short ride from campus.


Leeds Beckett University

  • There are a lot of Leeds student accommodation options that are within walking distance from campus, making it easier for students.

  • There’s a bus stop right next to campus, as well as several others surrounding it, in case you don’t have time to walk.

  • Leeds City Museum is a five-minute walk from campus.


housing Leeds



Leeds Trinity University

  • A 30-40-minute ride by public transport will take you from your student housing in Leeds to Leeds Trinity University.

  • The Brownberrie Lane Trinity University is right next to the campus.

  • A short drive from campus will take you to the City Park Mirror Pool and Fountain, where you can enjoy a day out in the sun. 


The University of Law - Leeds

  • Book a Leeds student housing with us, and it’ll take you just a short ride by public transport to get to the University of Law - Leeds.

  • The university is surrounded by transport links as well as restaurants, food joints, and coffee shops.

  • Make sure you stop by the Kirkstall Abbey, which is just a short ride away from campus.



Leeds is one of the best cities in the UK and the world. The city has a welcoming environment and a cosy atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome and at home. It’s also extremely safe, which is always important, especially for international students staying alone. So, if you’re considering staying in Leeds, we hope this guide helps you find what you’re looking for. Good luck!


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Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Leeds a good city for international students?

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Leeds has a welcoming environment that makes everyone, including international students, feel at home. The city also has a diverse community, so students will never feel alone or alienated.

Is Leeds cheap for students?

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Leeds is an affordable city compared to other cities in the United Kingdom. On average, as a student, you can estimate your cost of living will be around £805 - £1280 per month.

Where do most students live in Leeds?

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Students are welcome to stay anywhere in Leeds, but it has been proven that Hyde Park, Headingley, Burley, Woodhouse, and the City Centre are the top places for students to stay in.