Where to live while studying abroad? This question worries many students, especially those who are going to study in another country.
Everyone dreams of a place that will meet not only all the wishes but also the financial capacity. Fortunately, the wide range of housing for students abroad allows you to find both attractive and affordable options.
In this article, we will tell you about the main types of student housing abroad, the cost of living, and how to find student accommodation.
Studying abroad is exciting, and the right housing will make your college years even more enjoyable and vibrant. Opt for the type of housing that best suits your personality, aspirations, and budget.
On-campus housing, or residences, is a great option for students who want to stay in the center of campus life and socialize a lot. It is also great for students who want to focus on their studies, because classrooms, libraries, research centers, and other university resources are always close at hand.
In the campus dormitory, you will be provided with a shared or single fully furnished room, recreation areas, kitchen, laundry facilities, and everything else you need for comfortable student life. You won’t have to deal with rent, energy bills, all sorts of repairs, and the Internet. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on your classes and leisure time. You may not even have to cook; many universities offer a choice of dormitory accommodation without meals or with three meals a day in the dining room.
The main feature of campus housing is its accessibility. There are several “buts” to keep in mind.
First, not all foreign universities are campus-based. That is primarily the prerogative of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. In Germany, for example, there are only a couple of universities with campuses. And even if a university has a campus, it does not mean you can live on it.
Secondly, living on campus is often reserved for international students in the 1st or, at most, 2nd year. If space is limited, you may be asked to move out of the residence as early as your second year. By this time the student is considered to be ready for a more independent life in a foreign country.
- comfortable and safe housing;
- affordable price;
- no need to deal with household and other issues;
- living with other students and communicating intensively;
- you are in the center of everything that happens at the university.
- possible lack of privacy (especially if you won’t be living in a single room);
- common lounges, kitchens, etc.;
- not allowed to make radical changes to your room and choose your roommates;
- supervision by the campus administration or dormitory director.
It is a popular option with students all over the world, including European countries where many universities do not have campuses as such.
It is the same residences, only their location is not directly connected with the university. That is, the dormitory may be across the street from the university or on the other side of town. Dormitories may be owned directly by the university, or they may have a housing arrangement with your institution.
Off-campus dormitories also offer one- or more student accommodations, shared kitchens, and common rooms.
- more independence compared to living on campus;
- affordable price;
- comfortable, well-appointed housing tailored to students’ needs;
- no need to deal with household chores;
- residence may be in a more attractive area than the university itself.
- common kitchens, common rooms, etc.;
- you cannot choose your roommates;
- the dormitory may be located farther from the university.
Renting a place to live
In the 2nd or 3rd year, many international students move from residence to rented housing. This is a great option for those who want maximum independence, ready for independent adult life with all its advantages and disadvantages.
Renting a home abroad can be quite expensive (especially in the capital) and always entails all sorts of domestic and bureaucratic issues. That’s why many students prefer to rent an apartment together with their friends. It allows you to save money and not to have to deal with any problems that arise alone. In addition, joint rental often allows you to rent a cool apartment or house in a good area.
- independent and independent living;
- you can choose and arrange housing to your liking;
- you can choose your neighbors (when renting together);
- no control from the university.
- high cost;
- you have to deal with all of your housing issues yourself (signing contracts, breakdowns, paying bills, installing the Internet, etc.);
- the university may not be able to meet your safety and living needs;
- rented housing may be a long way from the university.
These types of accommodations are especially popular with international students in short-term and language programs who are coming to a foreign country for a short time and want to learn as much as possible about its traditions, language, and culture. However, some universities, such as Bristol University in England, also offer homestay accommodation for international undergraduate and graduate students.
This refers to accommodation in an apartment or house of a local family that takes in one or more students for a fee. This could be a former student from your university, a young couple, a large family with children, or even retirees. All host families and their living conditions are carefully selected and monitored by the university.
The cost and conditions of guest families vary greatly. One family offers a private, furnished room with a private bathroom, Internet access, and meals, and it costs more. Another family might have more modest facilities, but they would cost less, too.
Accommodation in a guest family is best for students who find it difficult to do without the comfort of home, or for those who want maximum immersion in real life in a new country.
- the home atmosphere and comfort away from home;
- opportunity to master the language and get to know a new culture;
- meeting interesting people from among the locals;
- immersion in the life and traditions of foreigners;
- no need to deal with everyday problems;
- quite high security level and constant checks by the university;
- you can transfer to another type of accommodation or another family if you are not comfortable with the host family.
- living in someone else’s home according to the rules set in it;
- routines, inviting friends, and more will depend on the host family;
- you can not make radical changes in the room provided;
- the host family may request your eviction if they are uncomfortable with you.
How much does student housing abroad cost?
The cost of living abroad depends on the type of housing, city, country, and university when it comes to residence hall accommodations.
The most expensive thing to rent abroad is your apartment. On average, private housing costs twice as much as on-campus housing, even if it is a 1-bedroom apartment. The cost of a guest house is usually close to the cost of living on campus.
If you do not want to live in a dormitory or with someone else’s family, but cannot yet afford a separate apartment, you can always save money by renting with other students. For example, in the United States, where the average cost of renting a separate apartment on your own is about $1,800, you can pay $500 or less when you rent together.
The easiest and fastest way to find student housing abroad is to use special websites for students around the world.
Here are some of them:
- Uniplaces, one of Europe’s first student housing search sites, offers rooms, apartments, and houses in hundreds of cities.
- Study Abroad Apartments, a website that finds dorms, single and double rooms, apartments, and self-catering apartments and houses in 14 popular student housing cities around the world, including New York, Prague, London, Paris, and Rome.
- Nestpick – a huge database of affordable furnished rooms, apartments, and condos around the world for students who don’t want to deal with home improvements.
- Housing Anywhere works with over 130 universities, housing foundations, and private landlords in more than 400 cities around the world. The platform will help you find everything from downtown residences and apartments to large, suburban homes.
- Roomi – on this site, you can find a roommate and housing to rent together. Thanks to numerous filters you can find the ideal option that suits you, even in small things.
- University Rooms is a specialized portal for searching for available rooms in university residences, apartments, and hostels worldwide.
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Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.