Looking for housing while studying abroad

John Roman, U-Multirank

Sep 29, 2020 13:27(CET)

Looking for housing while studying abroad

Finding student housing while studying abroad can be tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with the city, or if you’re not fluent in the local language. However, once you’ve been accepted to a study programme abroad, it’s best to start looking for living accommodations right away. With many students competing for the same spots, your chances of snagging your favorite housing opportunity will be hard. This article lists some tips you can use when looking for accommodations in your new town.

  1. Ask your institution for help:

The best place to start with your search for living accommodations is with your host institution. Reach out to their international office, or student services where the university has knowledgeable designated employees to help with these kinds of inquiries. Some institutions may have a residential campus with student housing, or a cooperation with local residences to provide student accommodations. Your host institutions staff would know best, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

  1. Ask current students and alumni for help:

Luckily, many students have studied abroad before you and have gone through the process of finding student housing. Since others have walked this path before you, they may have tips on how to find housing. There may be connections with local alumni networks, or international groups and consist of students – as well as alumni – that study abroad. They can certainly share their experiences with you and may even be in the know of current opportunities.

  1. Check online:

This tip may seem a bit obvious, but still: it is important to do your internet research about what is available. You may find websites that offer student housing, or information on how to go about it. If you are unsure, check the websites’ credibility with your institution or other people with experience. Shady websites do exist and may take advantage of you. Look at the National Information Portals that are listed on the country profiles to get to know the country specific situation regarding student housing.

  1. Make a list of your prerequisites:

Make a list of what you expect of potential accommodation. When you have a list, you can do research on whether your wishes are plausible. You can ask yourself questions like:

  • How much do I want to spend?
  • How big should my accommodation be?
  • Do I want flat mates, roommates, or a place to myself?
  • Where should the accommodation be located?
  • Am I willing to make concessions if I cannot find what I’m looking for?
  • If so, what is most and least important to me?

Keep in mind that luxuries like a larger accommodation or privacy will typically be more expensive. A private flat will always cost more than a flat shared with several other people. Also, prices of places closer to the city centre or facilities (e.g. university, public transport) tend to be more expensive. Make sure that you do your research on local average prices before you decide.

  1. Make your space your home:

Once you have found a living accommodation and have moved in, the only thing left to do is to make your space your home. This may be the most important thing on the list, as you will be spending a lot of time in your new home, so it should provide you with everything you need: a place to study, sleep, or hang out with friends. In the case that you do not feel at home, or safe, because of roommates, the landlord or other circumstances, confide in your institution’s support system. There, people can assist you with improving the situation.

Are you a student studying abroad and want to share your story about living accommodations? Email us, at media@umultirank.org, or share with us on social media.



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