Enrolled at University? Now just where to live?
Student housing has, in recent years, become an opportunity for investors and a major source of concern for students. With study abroad opportunities on the rise, accommodation options are becoming ever more difficult for students to find. Universities all over the world are investing time and money in providing information about housing opportunities for their incoming students, but is this enough in reality to help students feel at home?
We know how difficult is to find accommodation, especially for student who has just landed in a new country. Here we provide some tips to help you get settled quickly:
1) Visit websites from governmental organizations dedicated to promoting the country as a study destination. They are often happy to help you and provide you with information about legal issues related to accommodation, housing providers, etc. Watch out for our forthcoming Insights, in which we will look at the main websites you can refer to for student housing information.
2) If you are interested in student housing options provided by your new university (for example on-campus options), remember to apply as soon as possible. Most universities have long waiting lists for student accommodation. Additionally, in some countries restrictions linked to study credits per term will be considered during your application and will narrow your eligibility for university housing.
3) You can always use services provided by national agencies and institutions dedicated to the student accommodation business. Whether real state agents, websites or associations, these will be able to guide you, provide you with advice and in some cases personally assist you until you are comfortable inside your new flat/house/room.
4) Join social media groups to get to know more about the housing options in your destination country and city, to browse through offers from fellow students and to find support from other students.
5) When you find a room or apartment that seems good, try to look at the property in person before accepting it. It is never advisable to sign documents or verbally agree to a property before you are completely sure that you feel comfortable there. Pictures, videos, and rules/conditions of common areas need to be experienced personally before deciding on an offer.This is especially important when considering accommodation provided by private individuals or companies - university accommodation, while often not luxurious, is normally above board in terms of legal and contractual issues.
Finally, have you thought about renting a room from a fellow student? The concept of the sharing economy has been growing enormously over recent years, with companies like Airbnb, DogVacay, Getaround and TaskRabbits increasingly gaining popularity in their respective niches.
For the student-housing niche, websites like Housing Anywhere offer a good solution to match supply and demand for accommodation. The company offers outgoing students the possibility to sublet their rooms when they go on an exchange semester, and at the same time gives incoming students a platform to look for short-stay options. If you are in the exciting position of being about to embark on an international study adventure, you can check more information about Housing Anywhere here.
Wherever you are about to start your study abroad experience, prepare well, and you will be able to concentrate on, and enjoy, what is for many a memorable living and learning experience.
Photo Credit: IMC Berea College
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