How to find the right accommodation while studying abroad?
Let’s be honest, finding student accommodation in your own city can be tough, not to mention a completely unfamiliar city that you are yet to actually step foot in. With various rules and regulations that you’ll need to wrap your head around, it’s undoubtedly daunting.
Choosing a mode of accommodation is one of the most crucial decisions a student has to take while preparing for studying at a university abroad. There are several options available for accommodations during the course of study – student residences, homestays or rented apartments. Based on your preferences and your budget you can choose one of the options.
Following are some of the stay options that you can explore:
Homestay - staying with a local family, which usually includes meals and laundry room, as well as a furnished shared or single room, with private or shared bathroom – this option is suitable for younger students as well as adults who want to practice the language or want to learn the lifestyle of that country
Residence -staying at a school’s residence or residences for the general public, which usually will not include meals or laundry room, but students will have to buy their own food and pay for their laundry services – this option is suitable for 18+ students looking for a more independent kind of stay, where they will meet people from all ages and cultures; these are mostly located close to schools
Apartments/flats - renting an apartment/flat, which may be for a whole family, or for one single student; they can be from bachelors to 2-3 rooms with the facilities of a regular apartment/flat: sleeping area/bedrooms, kitchen, full-bathroom, common areas. Meals are not included nor cleaning services. These can be close or far from schools- this option is suitable for students 18+.
Hostels - the most affordable option for students looking for a totally international and independent experience. Hostels kinds vary as well as prices and types of rooms: shared, single, with or without private bathrooms, with or without kitchen on the floors- this option is suitable for students 18+ and it is best if they have their hosteling international discount card*- meals are not included
Every city is different, and some may have housing shortages making a roof over your head a little bit more challenging, but international students can always find a way. Some of the ways to find the right place for you is below:
Check with the international/study abroad department
International student advisers are, as a rule, quite nice and helpful. Give them a call, or send an email asking what percentage of their students live on campus, and live off-campus. They should be more than willing to help you find a dormitory (if that’s what you would like), or recommend nearby neighborhoods that are popular with students.
Join Facebook groups where other Indian students might look for housing
The incoming class, as well as international students, will have probably have active Facebook groups where people search for roommates, compare rental prices, and share links to local apartment listings.
Use any existing network in your study abroad country
If you are lucky enough to have some connections already in the city you’re going to study, ask them if they know anyone who is renting, or if they could reach out to their social network on your behalf. If this works out, you have the benefit of renting from the friend-of-a-friend and might get a good rate and generally friendlier experience since you’re not such a stranger.