As a single student you live in the university accommodation. In shaa Allah I’m hoping to post some pictures in the near future (one of the brothers has taken them, and they just need uploading).

Most of the rooms are now in new buildings, which means that they are of a decent standard. Rooms in the old buildings can be a bit of a nightmare but they are slowly being phased out.

The rooms are shared accommodation, with 2-4 brothers in a room. In some rooms, each person has a kind of partition which gives a bit of privacy. However, this is not always the case, and many of the new rooms are open plan. Students often rearrange their furniture to give them some privacy. There is enough room for a bed, small table, and a wardrobe, but not much else – although some students get creative with their room layout to make more space!

The university stipend of 840 riyals per month (approx £150, $225) is enough to live on. Students who are currently enrolled in Saudi high school, or those who will have to go to the high school because they don’t have GCSE/High School qualification, only get half that amount for the duration of the Arabic language course and during their high school study until they enter the degree course.

If you like your western comforts and eating out, you would probably need to work in your home country in the summer, to supplement your university salary. The good thing is that it doesn’t take much – just £1000 extra per year would make a huge difference to your lifestyle. Having said that, many students manage with just the university money, especially since there is a nice boost of 3000+ riyals (approx £450) when you come back from the summer break, because they continue paying your stipend even when you are away.

In terms of daily life, I already mentioned about the university day here. Most single students spend their afternoons in the Masjid An-Nabawi, where there are several daily study circles by senior scholars, as well as many Qur’aan teachers. These classes can be just as beneficial as the university study itself. Free buses take students from Asr until after ‘Ishaa.

Study in the Arabic language course is not all that intensive, so there is a great opportunity to finish memorisation of the Qur’aan, as well as improving Arabic skills by attending some of the classes outside of the university. Study in the degree course depends very much upon which faculty you are enrolled in, but there is still time for external study.

The university organises occasional ‘Umrah trips, but most students go themselves in small groups, by taxi or by public transport. Makkah is just over 400km from Madinah (around 250 miles). A bus takes about 5-6 hours, whereas a taxi (if you are brave enough to handle the driving 🙂 ) takes around 3-4 hours.

Now take a look at information for married students.