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It’s very normal to have a myriad of questions while looking for student accommodation in another country. Although it’s tricky, the good news is, finding the ideal home is not rocket science when we are here to guide you.
Firstly, there are various types of accommodation available for you to choose from. Some of these include solo accommodation, shared flats, or university dorms. Do you want to live in the bustling city center or the lush green country? Know where you would be comfortable can get the most out of your experience studying abroad.
Here’s a 9-step guide for you to find your perfect study abroad accommodation.
1. Do your research on the options
Remember that you are responsible for finding the right student accommodation when you are traveling abroad to study and live. But some universities do offer support in these matters, especially concerning on-campus accommodation.
So do your homework and check out all nooks and crannies of the location before you put a pin on 3-4 years of your life. Look at the types of accommodation and decide which fits the best for you.
Check out the cost of living, local hotspots, different neighborhoods, and amenities, etc. The most important thing is to look at the travel arrangements with regards to places you’d need to visit frequently, such as the university campus or cafes.
This research phase can help you set realistic expectations and get a good feel of the locations around your campus of choice. A lot of choices also depend on your study abroad destination.
2. How much space do you take?
Decide on whether you want to have a homestay or get a studio apartment. You could also look for a shared apartment, or hit the good old university dorm room. This will hinge on various factors like your need for space, the amenities you require, or the experience you’re looking forward to.
Homestays are best if you want to stay with a local family and experience their culture and lifestyle. If you’re looking for convenience and privacy, a studio apartment will do you more good. If you want to socialize or live with your friends, a shared apartment is the way to go. Either way, your expectations from the destination city will drive your decision about your student accommodation.
3. Choose the right location!
One of the most important questions to answer iswhich area of the city do you want to live in? This would typically be around the college campus for most people.
The questions to ask yourself are-
- Do you want to live within walking distance of your college or a train/bus ride away from there?
- Do you want to be down a block from a cool café or library that you found?
- Would you be willing to live in a bustling locality with lots of facilities, or the green countryside with the cozy comforts of life?
Whatever you do, you don’t want to end up on the other side of town from where all the cool hangout spots are. Or worse, stuck in a commute that lasts hours. It is often the best practice to decide the locality you want to live in before finalizing the type of study abroad accommodation you want to have.
4. Check your wallet
The next important question is affordability. How much can you afford as a student to spend on accommodation? It is very important to set a budget and then stick to it! As you become familiar with the locality and the cost of living, set realistic expectations around your budget.
Ensure that you read the documentation around apartment descriptions cautiously, and tally it with the amounts you’re willing to spend.
Bear in mind that in some countries, the amenities (WiFI, water, gas, electricity, etc.) are not included in the rental price. You have to pay those over and above the rent. So, double-check your calculations!
5. Better safe than sorry
In addition to factors like affordability, transport connectivity, entertainment, proximity to your university campus, and amenities, do not forget about personal safety. This is especially important for younger students traveling abroad for the first time.
Certain neighborhoods have dedicated 24-hour surveillance and advisories on personal safety available. Most university campus accommodation options list 24-hour surveillance as a perk. Do your research on these details and ratings around safety in your preferred choice of stay. Make your decision about the student accommodation only after verifying the safety protocols of the area.
6. Use your contacts wisely
One great thing about studying abroad is that you won’t be the first person to do so. You can always hit up your friends, seniors, or colleagues living abroad and discuss your housing and student accommodation options with them.
You can get all the insider knowledge about which areas are cheaper or which ones provide more facilities and convenience. Tips to manage your expectations and what to avoid in the city would also be super useful. This can make your house hunt significantly easier.
7. First impressions last
Conducting yourself well when interacting with your warden or landlord, whether virtually or in person, goes a long way. Landlords need to feel comfortable that their property will be taken care of as well. Putting your best foot forward when entering such situations could also lead to better chances for you securing the tenancy. Just one more tip regarding the same – negotiate politely!
8. Look out for scams!
It is natural to find some scammers trying to make a quick buck around the rental property space. Be cautious when inquiring about apartments, and giving out personal information before verifying the details of the landlord or broker. Make sure you do not make any upfront payments without receiving official receipts for the same.
While signing the agreement, read it thoroughly and ask questions if something is not clear. In addition, read up on the legalities of rental contracts before you sign the agreement. Make sure you don’t end up paying any deposit before acquiring all the proper paperwork to back it up. Make an informed decision, and as always, remember that if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
9. Go with the flow
It can be pretty difficult to find something that checks all your boxes and fits your preferences, so you might need to be a bit flexible. If you are unable to find something on the first go, do not give up. There’s someplace out there for everyone in the world. You can always check out websites like Uniplaces, or Amberstudent, or Nestpick for checking out various options. Remember that the early bird gets the worm, as housing options for students tend to get booked up super quickly.
All Set to find your student accommodation?
House hunts can be a source of anxiety or worry for you. But fret not! Do your research, look into the pros and cons for each type of overseas student accommodation, and make an informed decision. It is also important to find the right balance between researching and not waiting for too long.
We hope you are one step closer to your quest for a roof abroad. For any queries, we encourage you to reach out to us or comment down below!