Studying abroad is an amazing experience and one of the crucial parts of this experience is definitely finding the right accommodation. After all, it will be your home for the next 1-2 years so it makes sense to take some time and explore all the accommodation options available for international students carefully and find the best accommodation possible. Finding accommodation is one of the first things that pop up in our minds when we think of studying abroad. It can be quite confusing and overwhelming to find accommodation in a foreign country. But don’t worry, because this comprehensive guide on finding student accommodation abroad will make everything clear!
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Overview of Student Accommodation Abroad
One of the most important aspects of studying abroad is living and there are a variety of accommodation options available to international students. Your final decision regarding the student accommodation abroad will be based on a number of factors that we will discuss further. Whatever your budget, there will be an option for you, whether it be university housing or private sector housing.
As an international student, you may be living on your own for the first time, or perhaps travelling abroad for the first time. It could also be your first time managing expenses and dealing with any part of lodging. It is therefore necessary to understand that this is a major decision and should not be taken in a hurry. Afterall, this will be the place where you will live, eat, sleep, study, relax and quite often where your social life will be based. So make sure you choose the best space for yourself.
Wondering how do international students find accommodation? Let us explore that in the next section.
Types Of Student Accommodation Abroad
Finding student accommodation abroad is the most important step after you've been accepted to your preferred university abroad. Along with securing your visa, making sure you're prepared for your arrival at a university abroad is crucial.
Here are the various accommodation options you can choose from:
Halls of Residence
On campus accommodation includes staying in halls of residence or college dormitories. This is the most popular accommodation option among international students as it is closest to the university and it encourages students to socialise together more often, and get involved with campus activities and groups. There are many universities providing accommodation for overseas students on campus, sometimes in shared rooms or living spaces that include restrooms and kitchens. Many residence halls have single gender floors since bathrooms are sometimes shared by an entire floor.
On-campus housing is highly sought after, thus getting a spot can be challenging.
Renting a Room/Apartment/House
This is another popular option among international students. Many houses and apartments near the universities cater to students' needs. Landlords in the vicinity of schools are aware of their market and thus, there are many landlords providing accommodation for overseas students in the vicinity of the university. Utility costs are often not included in rental fees, so double-check before signing a lease. One of the advantages of renting an apartment or a room is that students can get privacy.
Many times, a group of students rent a whole apartment or a house and split the rent among themselves.
When renting an off-campus room or apartment, make sure to select a reputable organisation that checks its rentals.
Homestays can be organised through universities or through companies that specialise in this type of accommodation. A homestay family will give you a place to stay in as well as access to their common areas. It can provide overseas students with a home as well as a family to get to know and learn from during their studies. It may also be a less expensive choice depending on where you are studying.
Learning about the local area and its culture from individuals who live there is one of the major advantages of a homestay. It increases the chances of meeting locals rather than just other students. You might also benefit from the additional language practice with your host family.
Your university will help you in finding student accommodation abroad. Apart from that, you can join a few social media groups that post about student accommodation available abroad. You can also check out various online websites.
Tips On Finding Student Accommodation Abroad
Here are some of the points that you must keep in mind before you select your accommodation:
One of the most important and most obvious tips would definitely be sorting out the rent. Make sure you check out all the accommodation options available and choose the one which has a reasonable rent. Rent also varies depending on the city and area you decide to live in. You also need to keep in mind that rent will be a major part of your monthly expense, so you need to decide how much of your monthly budget you want to devote to rent. Set a budget and choose the best option in that price range.
Location is another important aspect that you need to consider when looking for accommodation options. While choosing apartments, ensure to check for neighbourhood safety. There is no point in risking your safety to save money. Ideally, choose a location that is close to your university so that you can avoid spending time and money on the commute.
Understanding the Lease/Contract
Make sure you understand a lease or contract before signing it. Fake accommodation firms attempting to con you should be avoided. Also, see if utilities, cable, and Wi-Fi are included in your rent, as these can drastically increase your living expenses. Before signing the contract, try to visit the location. Such requests will be fulfilled, and you will be given a viewing slip for your assigned unit. You will be asked to pay a security deposit in addition to your first month's rent. The security deposit is normally one month's rent and is returned at the end of your lease.
Sharing The Apartment
You must decide well in advance if you would be interested in sharing your apartment or room with someone else or not and then choose your accommodation options accordingly. For example, if you are okay living with 4 more people, you can rent the whole apartment and split the monthly rent among yourselves. Most international students do this because this is one of the cheapest ways to manage your rent.
Apart from the points mentioned above, there are a few more points which should be considered before you finalise your accommodation. These can be included in a basic accommodation checklist. The checklist is given below:
- Is the house furnished and has everything you need? Is the furniture of an acceptable standard or do you need to provide your own?
- Is there a proper desk for you to work or study and is there enough space for your laptop or computer?
- Is the kitchen equipped with cooking utensils?
- Are bed sheets provided? Is there any laundry service available?
- Are there any additional costs for certain utilities?
- Are you given phone & internet access? Do you have to sort this out yourself? How much will it cost?
Make sure you choose your accommodation wisely after considering all the points mentioned above. Sometimes, the housing may not meet all your expectations, but make sure that it meets your basic needs. Afterall, you are going to be spending a significant amount of time in that space.
Get in touch with Yocket Counsellors today to help you with your entire study abroad journey!