I received an email about two weeks before uni started telling me I had not received a place in halls of residence due to me living too close (about 40 miles away) to the university. It is perfectly reasonable that international students should have first place in halls, but there were plenty of other students on my course who only lived around London (maximum of 15 miles away) who were all in halls. I have no idea how this placement system is assessed, and it was incredibly stressful to have to find private accommodation as we (myself and the other students rejected for halls who I ended up living with) had absolutely no idea how renting private accommodation worked. Although this was very scary and confusing, I am very happy that I never had to stay in halls as they are unbelievably overpriced (around 150 per month more than you would pay for private accommodation) and even smaller than we are led to believe. I cannot imagine sharing a kitchen with 8 others. We had so much more space than we would've in halls and paid MUCH less.