Finding the right place to stay with the right kind of people is crucial to your overseas education. Even though it’s challenging to find the right accommodation for a university thousands of miles away, it’s not impossible as our experts are here to help you. There are mainly four options for international students:
Most of the international students prefer homestay because it makes life very easy. In a homestay, you will be set up with a family or a single host parent and will be given a room, either private or share with another student. It is a great way to explore the local language, lifestyle, and food but the only downside is the lack of freedom and privacy that an apartment can supply.
- Student Dorms
Living in student dormitories is the most affordable option for international students which will also help you meet other students. You will get a truly immersive experience by meeting a lot of first-year students looking to make friends. The only downside of staying in a local dormitory is that it can be very messy, loud and a bustling place to live. So if you are not social, it is better to avoid staying in local dormitories.
If you are looking for freedom, flexibility, and independence, living in an independent apartment can be a good option. Sharing a flat with a stranger or strangers can come with lots of ups and downs, so be sure that you ask yourself a few questions before making the decision.
Even though hotels cannot be a long term plan while studying abroad, you can always stay in one until you find another place. The services will vary from hotel to hotel, and the availability will be subject to changes according to seasons.
How to find the right accommodation?
Finding the right place to stay is essential to your wellbeing and student happiness. There are many things to consider and think of before looking for international student accommodation, here are some of the crucial factors you should consider:
The first important factor to consider before picking your abroad accommodation is the location. The best way to do this is to map out the area surrounding your university and all the prospective neighborhoods. The factors like transportation cost and budget should also be considered before choosing the place. You can always use Google Street View to know about the locality and the areas surrounding your property.
You need to determine your budget before starting your search for a place. Make sure you stick to your budget and prepare, a budget considering your tuition fees, travel costs and other expenses.
#3 Types of Housing
We have already discussed the different options you have for your abroad accommodation. Make sure that you know what you are looking for and that it is within your budget. The two main choices you have are:
If this is your first time away from home, the university managed accommodation would be the best. But like every other option, it comes with a few pros and cons:
- You can save a lot of time and money as most of the university managed accommodations would be very close to the university.
- You can build your friend circle as you will be living with students from all around the world.
You can be more involved in university activities.
- Unlike private accommodation, you don’t have to worry about electricity, water, and other maintenance related bills
- You won’t get to choose who you live with as the university decides your room.
- You might have to share a common bathroom.
- The rooms may be small and less furnished.
Here are some of the pros and cons of living in private accommodation:
- Freedom and Flexibility.
- You can opt for bigger rooms with better furnishing.
- More options.
- More expensive than university accommodation.
- More freedom comes with more responsibility as you might have to deal with the landlords and keep track of your bills.
- You could miss out on certain on-campus activities.
- Travel expenses.
It is essential to do your research to understand the market trends and the tax laws of the country. The tax laws are different for each country, and it is essential to know your expenses before choosing a place. You can use networking sites to access groups, forums, and communities that discuss rental options in the city. In most cases, the universities usually have an approved list of landlords which can help you find reliable agents. Make sure you look at advertisements for similar places to gauge a sense of price and check you’re not being ripped off.
It’s always important to live in an area where you feel secure, so make sure you know about the security services in the area you have picked. You should take your time to know all the safety measures taken including security services and 24-hour surveillance.
#6 Conduct yourself well
First impressions go a long way when it comes to meeting your landlords. MAke sure you dress neatly and always be polite and friendly with the landlords. The landlords will be much more comfortable if they feel like the tenants are going to take care of their property.
#7 Start planning early
The early bird catches the worm. You are not the only student who is looking for accommodation, so make sure you start your search as soon as you have shortlisted your university. This headstart will give you enough time to compare properties and understand the market better.
#8 Look out for scammers.
When it comes to renting properties, there are many scammers out there trying to make money. Be cautious when inquiring about apartments and make sure that you don’t make any upfront payments. Also, be very careful while signing the agreement and make sure you read the contract thoroughly before making a decision.
#9 Expand your search
There are plenty of platforms on which you can search for student accommodation. Some of the useful sites are:
- Student Accommodation One
- Student Mundial
- Roommate Locator
- Just Landed
Now that we have discussed the essential factors to consider while choosing your accommodation, let’s talk about the options you have in some of the major countries:
The most popular student cities in the US are Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, and Chicago. Just like most of the other countries, the USA also has the options of on-campus and off-campus accommodations. The average rent for apartments can start from 600 USD and go up to 3000 USD. Another critical point to note is that renting outside the campus is less expensive than on-campus accommodations. The average room and board cost up to 9,800 USD for public universities and 11,100 for private universities.
The most popular student cities in the UK are London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow, and Coventry. The different types of student accommodations available are:
University Halls of Residence
Private Halls of Residence
The average rent in the UK is about 535 pounds per month, but the students in London might have to pay more. The average rent in London for student accommodation is about 640 pounds per month. The university halls cost about 135 to 210 pounds per week whereas the private accommodation cost about 160 to 280 pounds per week.
Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Quebec are the popular student cities in Canada. You have a lot of options when it comes to student accommodation in Canada. Some of those are:
- Off-campus accommodation/Apartments
The average cost for hostels is around $10 per night whereas the average price for YMCA/YWCA is around $24-$45 per night. The average rent for shared accommodations is around $250 to $750 per month. However, private accommodations can be a little expensive, at around $400 to $1500 per month.
The best student cities in Germany are Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart, Hamburg, and Aachen. Some of the accommodation options are Student halls, private apartments, and flatshare. Flatshare is one of the popular ways to accommodate in Germany as about 30% of international students apply for it. On average, the student pay around 298 EUR per month for accommodation. However, housing in large cities like Munich, Hamburg or Frankfurt can be more expensive.
The most popular student cities in Australia are Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, and Adelaide. International students in Australia have several accommodation options such as homestay, hostels, rental property, on-campus housing, residential colleges, and apartments. The Australian government specifies AU$20,290 as the minimum amount to cover your living costs for a year. The average rent can be anything around AU$140 per week.
Some of the popular student cities in New Zealand are Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch, and New Plymouth. The accommodation options you have in New Zealand is the same as the other countries as you have both on-campus and off-campus options. The average rent in New Zealand can be anything around $800 to $900 per month. Also, please be aware that some of the institutions in New Zealand are more rurally located than others, and thus may have limited options.
The most popular student cities in Sweden are Stockholm, Lund, Uppsala, Gothenburg, and Umea. Unlike other countries, student accommodation in Sweden is managed by organizations separate from the university. Renting is not easy in Sweden, and you will probably need to sub-let an apartment or look for shared apartments. The average rent for dormitories is around SEK 4000 per semester whereas it ranges from SEK 2,500 to SEK 4,500 for flats.