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Wherever you study, you will need accommodation; in fact, accommodation is almost as important as your academic education. We know that choosing an accommodation is one of the most difficult tasks for a student. The accommodation specialists at Study Overseas Hub can help you make a decision based on your interests and perhaps place you in one. However, if you choose to do everything yourself, here is everything you need to know.
Every country has a similar style of lodging and a management that takes care of the housing requirements of international students. There are a variety of accommodation options for international students, including dormitories, shared or single apartments, or living with local families; the best option is up to you. Students can select the optimal solution depending on their own requirements, finances, and preferences. Now let us examine the many accommodation options for students abroad so you know the differences and have an idea of where you want to be housed.
Wherever you choose to study, you will most likely stay in these types of accommodations.
School dormitory or halls: Most first-year students prefer to live in university-operated residence halls, which offer many advantages. They’re conveniently located so you don’t have to commute to classes, the library, student union organizations, clubs, and activities. However, some college-administered residence halls are not located on campus but in the neighborhood or in the neighboring city. First-year students like university housing because it facilitates social interaction. Living with other students is a great way to make new friends. If you’re moving away from home for the first time, dorms can help you prepare for private rental housing by giving you freedom without the hassle of utility bills or landlords. Moreover, if something goes wrong, you will probably be well supported by the housing management or the institution.
Private dormitory (halls or Hostels): These are residences built specifically for students, often placed close to the university and quite common in urban areas with numerous universities. It may offer more advantages than school halls. The setup is similar to university halls – you have your own room and use shared amenities such as a kitchen or TV room – but it is run by a private enterprise. Studio flats are also possible; however, they are normally more expensive. This is a great alternative if you want to live in a community with other students but with a little more freedom than university dorms. It can also be an excellent opportunity to expand your social circle as you may meet students from other universities. It also has a number of exceptional facilities for residents, such as swimming pools and cafes. If you are considering this option, examine what you will get for your money, including communal spaces, expenses and amenities and also check with your school. They may have a formal arrangement with some private accommodation providers, especially if they do not have sufficient rooms in their own halls.
Rental apartments- (shared and studio): These are the most common and preferred choices among students who value complete freedom and independence. They are often managed by landlords as private rental properties. Depending on your budget or preferences, you may choose to rent a studio or one-bedroom apartment to live in by yourself, or you could share a house or apartment with friends in the area of your choice. You can rent private housing through real estate agents or by contacting the owners directly via websites. Generally, students are responsible for paying utilities and the security deposit. Before agreeing to a contract, be sure to weigh the costs and benefits. Additionally, your institution should have accommodation advisors available to help you if you run into any problems.
Homestays- Homestays are a popular, high-quality, and cost-effective option for international students seeking a short or long-term stay with a family near their school. A homestay is intended to provide students with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture while learning and practicing a new language. It also allows students to share their culture with their families and make new relationships. Schools place international students with suitable host families, and you can also simply find a homestay family on websites such as homestay.com and stll.com. You only need to compare, browse images and local area information, read reviews, and converse with prospective hosts from the comfort of your own home. Once you are satisfied that you have chosen the appropriate host, you can book online and pay upon arrival. Many students and their parents choose this type of international student accommodation because of the healthy environment, home-cooked meals, a sense of security, and the feeling of being at home. In addition, your host family will welcome you and help you with any questions you may have, such as the best way to get to the university, the cheapest place to shop, and so on.
There are so many options available to you that it may appear to be a daunting task. Take a moment and consider what setup is best for you. Is it better to live in a school dormitory, a shared apartment with your own en-suite, or possibly with friends? Perhaps you’d prefer a private studio to concentrate on your studies before escaping to the social spaces for a much-needed break. On the other hand, it’s also crucial to be in a place with adequate access to amenities, recreational and entertainment facilities, as these are all aspects that will impact your quality of life as a student. Below are some more factors to consider before making a decision.
Meal Plans: Meal plans are usually an option for students residing on campus, and a significant number of these students choose to participate. These pre-paid meal plans offer a flexible and cost-effective option to dine at participating cafeterias and restaurants.
Facilities: This is an important factor to consider when choosing accommodation. A place to stay must be fully furnished, have sufficient bathrooms, a kitchen or kitchenette with a refrigerator, microwave, and stove, a laundry room, a sitting area, study rooms, and bicycle parking. On the higher end, look for communal areas such as a common room, gym, or cinema room, which may provide an excellent opportunity to socialize and meet new people.
Utilities: Whether you’re moving into dorms or private housing, you should always double-check what is given and what you must bring. Consider whether utilities, such as basic cooking utensils, study desks, bedding, water supply, laundry facilities, electricity, and internet services, are included in the price or subsidized (in the case of dorms) or whether you must pay extra for them.
Location: The distance between your home and school is another factor to consider. Are university facilities and student essentials like shops and supermarkets nearby? Make sure your housing is located within commuting distance of the university, either by walking, cycling, or public transport. If you rent an apartment that is far from your study center, you will end up spending more money on transportation than is necessary. The remote location also makes it difficult to get to campus on time.
Benefits: Examine and evaluate the benefits, such as flexible lease lengths, dual occupancy so you can live with your partner, not paying rent until you receive your student loan, enjoying privacy, and no restrictions on bringing guests or returning at certain times. Will you save money by avoiding travel expenses? Can you prepare meals at your leisure without interruption? Will you live mainly with students, which will improve your social environment?
Security: The security of your accommodation is another important consideration that is frequently overlooked in the excitement of starting university. This may not be a problem for students living in school dorms, but you should consider these security measures carefully wherever you will be living. Consider the property’s access and security measures, such as secure door entry alarms and security cameras, as well as whether security personnel or employees will be present to provide you with reassurance. Is the home in a safe neighborhood? Are there vulnerabilities and security gaps, such as structural defects, blind spots, and high-risk easy-access spots? Are the locks working properly? and are the housemates security conscious?
Check the lease terms: It is essential to read the rental agreement in its entirety. No one enjoys reading the fine print in contracts, but this is the document that governs your living conditions. Read the lease agreement (contract) carefully and note the specifics, such as the length of the lease, move-in and move-out dates, included utilities, security deposit fee, early termination fee, and any additional fees that are mentioned. Also, check to see if there is any grace period for you to leave without breaking the contract if you decide that the accommodation isn’t right for you.
Costs: Student housing is the most expensive expense at school. Whether you choose to save money on rent by moving out of the city center, spend a little more on a private room with a private bathroom, or choose the cheapest option, a room in a university dormitory, it is important that you make the right decision. When choosing a place to live, always consider the costs involved, such as the cost of the home, the security deposit, utility bills, and transportation fees. Finding a fantastic way to cut costs and save money is highly beneficial.
Talking to the current tenants: No one knows more about what it’s like to live in a house than its current occupants. Since they have nothing to gain (or lose) by telling you otherwise, they are likely to give an objective and accurate assessment. Asking a simple question such as “What are the best and worst features of this house?” can yield valuable information.
Viewing a property: It is vital to examine the property, especially if it is private accommodation. Therefore, once you have narrowed down your lodging options using the above list, schedule a viewing. When inspecting, make sure to look for critical issues such as security, utilities, dampness, the quality of fittings such as the furnace, and any evidence of pests.
Who you’ll be living with: You will likely be moving in with strangers rather than your friends, so it is important to consider who you will be living with. After you sign the lease, you are bound to each other. This means that you must ensure that you are living with the right people. Among the factors you should consider when choosing housemates are the following: Since you will be managing bills and the property together, you should know whether or not the roommate is responsible, if they place a high value on cleanliness, if they value security, as some may forget to close the door, and how much they party. If so, they might be a bad housemate.
- Start searching early; remember that many students want to live near campus, so competition is tough. Many institutions give pre-departure orientation packages with housing alternatives after acceptance, and you can search your neighborhood online.
- Arrive early; allow enough time to get acquainted with the neighborhood and college facilities, but not so early that you feel isolated, and many campus facilities and amenities may be closed.
- Schools may provide their own housing services, recommend students to a placement agency, or ask students to arrange housing on their own. Determine the practices of your school and take initiative.
- If you need help making a decision, you should contact your university. They can recommend accommodations in the area and answer your questions.
- We recommend that you live near the school, where you can walk or bike. If you must live farther away, you should look for places with reliable public transportation.
- Whatever you decide to do, make sure to find a place to live where you feel safe and comfortable and where you can study and be successful throughout your stay.
- You should always look for homes that come fully furnished.
- Ask current tenants what they think. The current tenants of the property you want to rent can provide you with the best recommendation. If tenants are home during viewings, why not ask them how they have found living in the property? Are problems resolved quickly?
- You have not committed to anything during the viewing stage, and you have every right to ask questions and determine whether the home you are visiting is suitable for you.
- Ask the responsible person questions to help you decide if the property is right for you. The rent payment method, additional costs, prospective bills included or not included in the rent, non-refundable costs, guest admission, etc. Asking pertinent questions will save you from unanticipated financial obligations.
- When considering private dorms, homestays, or rental apartments, always consult online reviews?
- Beware of scammers on websites such as online buy and sell, and never send money before viewing the property in person or meeting the owner in person!
- Be patient. Avoid picking the first apartment you see because there may be better ones you haven’t seen yet. Having multiple housing options increases your chances of finding a good fit.
- Always keep receipts for your monthly rent payment and all other payments for your records.
- Before signing the rental agreement, inspect the property and make sure it has all the listed features.
- If at all possible, put in a request to meet your roommate in advance (especially if you have chosen a shared residence).
- Always Read the rental contract carefully. The rental contract sets your living conditions.
- Researching each accommodation option is crucial. This entails conducting an internet search, attending open days, viewing on-campus housing, talking to housing consultants, and going through rental inspections.
- Have a rough list of things you want and mentally check them off as you explore each choice (location, parking, bedroom size, and so on). Signing the documentation and receiving the keys only to discover a huge issue or extra costs after moving in is the worst.
- Note the pros and cons. Ensure that you are considering both the positive and negative aspects of each option. Try to keep in mind that obtaining the perfect lodging will be nearly impossible and that each option will have flaws.
- A budget is a prudent practice. The budget ensures that you do not pay more than you can afford. It also protects you from unpleasant surprises once you arrive in the city where you will study.