Is Leeds a Good Place to Live for International Students?

Students out in Leeds

Leeds is more than a vibrant, cosmopolitan city; it's a renowned educational hub with a top-ranked, globally recognised university at its heart.

With an affordable cost of living, living in Leeds is a great choice for students looking for a good study/life balance.

The University of Leeds is part of the Russell Group, a group of 24 research-intensive universities. With 90% of its research rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (Research Excellence Framework 2021), studying at Leeds means you are always in a strong academic environment, with prestigious credentials.

  • 82nd in the world (QS World University Rankings 2025)
  • 31st most international university according to Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024.

Cost of living in Leeds as a student

Is Leeds a good place to live? For international students, the affordability of a city can make all the difference when they are deciding where to study. Thankfully, living in Leeds is more affordable than living in other UK cities. Accommodation, transportation, and fun things to do are all less expensive than London, Edinburgh or Manchester, making it easier for you to manage your money without compromising your lifestyle. For example, according to the website Numbeo renting a one-bedroom apartment in Leeds city centre will cost you around £930 per month, 56% less than the same type of property in London. Eating out is cheaper too, with an average mid-range meal costing £60 in Leeds, as opposed to £80 in the capital (accurate at the time of writing).

Eating out

Leeds has something for everyone when it comes to eating out. With a diverse population and vibrant food scene, there are so many places to eat in Leeds. You will find food from around the world, at accessible prices to suit any budget. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs to choose from as well as lots of food festivals and street food markets, providing perfect opportunities for students to explore new tastes and cultures without leaving the city.

A rich and diverse community

International students love living in Leeds. And it’s clear why. With a multicultural population, global cultural links and rich history there is an air of creativity and openness everywhere you go. Leeds is well known for its vibrant culture, including festivals, museums, live music, and theatre productions. Upon successful progression from your International Study Centre programme, studying at the University of Leeds opens the doors to a whole new social life through clubs and societies built around students’ interests. When you study in Leeds you are part of a broad international community, with a strong sense of belonging and connection to new people and cultures, as well as life back home. 

Sport and fitness in Leeds

Staying fit and playing sport is an integral part of life for lots of students. In Leeds, there are a range of activities for anyone to try, no matter your level. In the city, you can find state-of-the-art sporting facilities, including gyms, swimming pools, and sports clubs. 

Transport in Leeds

Getting around Leeds is easy with public transport. The city has an extensive network of buses and trains, connecting university campuses and student accommodations with the city centre and other areas. This network makes it convenient for students to explore the city and its surroundings without the need for a car.

Healthcare services

The healthcare system in the UK is called the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS is easy to access, high-quality and available to all residents in the UK. A doctor in the UK might also be called a ‘GP’ (General Practitioner). To access NHS doctor appointments, you must register with a GP Practice.

International students in Leeds can also get health services on campus and be referred to one of the many hospitals and clinics throughout the city. Mental health support and student counselling services can help you adjust to university life and manage any stress that may arise during your studies.

Explore the nightlife in Leeds

Leeds is famous for its nightlife and for the buzz of a city that loves music, dancing, socialising and having fun. There are plenty of options for every type of student, from cosy pubs to big dance clubs. Nightlife in Leeds is known for being diverse and fun. There are lots of places to eat in Leeds that stay open late too.

Study at Leeds International Study Centre to begin your education in the UK 

International students can start their journey by enrolling at Leeds International Study Centre for progression to the University of Leeds

Leeds International Study Centre pathway programmes are designed to help you with the necessary English language and academic skills to thrive in UK university life. 

The International Foundation Year programme provides essential support for students starting their studies in the UK. The successful completion of the programme allows you to progress to the first year of your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds.

The International Year One programme enables students to complete their pathway programme and undergraduate degree in three years, when they successfully meet the progression requirements. Delivered at Leeds International Study Centre, it is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree. This programme focuses on boosting your English language and academic skills for progression to the second year of your undergraduate degree. 

What kind of student accommodation is there in Leeds?

When you study at Leeds International Study Centre you will have the option to live right in the heart of the city, and close to the campus at Brotherton House. With fabulous facilities including a concierge wellness and spa area, study rooms, bike storage, Wi-Fi and so much more, Brotherton House is an excellent place to start studying, mix with fellow students and get a feel for life in the city. All rooms are en-suite (a bedroom with attached bathroom) and there are plenty of single and shared apartments available.

Learn more about the entry requirements, fees and visa information for your chosen pathway programme at the Leeds International Study Centre  for progression to the University of Leeds.


Is Leeds safe for international students?

Leeds is a student-friendly city with a diverse and friendly population. The University of Leeds supports a large population of international students with services dedicated to helping them adjust and feel secure.

Is Leeds an expensive place to live for students?

What is the cost of living in Leeds? Leeds is an affordable city for students, especially when compared to other major UK cities like London or Manchester. The cost of living in Leeds is not high, which helps students manage their budgets more comfortably. Housing, in particular, is reasonably priced, with various options available ranging from university halls to private rentals. Additionally, food, transportation, and leisure activities also tend to be lower than in many other parts of the UK.

Is Leeds a friendly city?

People in Leeds are known for being friendly and welcoming. It’s an easy city to integrate into and make friends, making your journey as an international student easier and more enjoyable from the start.