Choosing where you’re going to live is one of the biggest decisions when studying abroad. The kinds of student accommodation you choose can really affect your experience and your studies.
There are a few options available to you.
Living in student halls during your first year at university can really help you settle into university life. The great thing about student halls is that you organise it entirely through the university, your bills are inclusive in your rent and you live on campus.
When you first get to university, especially if you’re studying abroad, you can feel quite homesick. Student halls are great for combating that as you’re surrounded by new students who are in the same situation as you. You can even ask to be put with some international students to help you settle in more easily.
However, student halls can be a little cramped, you often have to share facilities, and you have less privacy than with other types of accommodation.
You can choose to rent your own accommodation in the city. This can be a more expensive option if you want to be close to the centre of the city and can mean that you’re further away from your campus. And prices vary from landlord to landlord. However, it does offer you more flexibility in terms of how long your lease is. Most student halls only allow students to live in one place per year. But privately rented accommodation allows you to do shorter or longer contracts for your convenience.
Privately rented accommodation also offers you a more comfortable living environment, more space, and more privacy.
Another option is to do a homestay. This is where you live with a local family. Usually you rent a room and included in the price are all your meals. You don’t have to pay separately for utilities either.
A homestay gives you the opportunity to get fully immersed in your new country. The family you stay with can help you with cultural differences, advice about the city and can even help improve your language skills. It can also help combat homesickness.
However, some students find a homestay a little overwhelming. You can feel awkward at times living in someone else’s house and you do have to live by their rules.
It’s best to do your research on all possibilities before you make a decision on your accommodation.