There are a variety of options when it comes to Accommodations for International Students, and also a number of considerations and checkpoints you should run through before making your choice – which is also bound to be partially based on personal preference. As well as advice and assistance from your university, specific organizations exist in most countries whose purpose is to advise and take the burden off the whole process. They also often have connections with various housing organizations and may be able to find you somewhere should you be having difficulty. Also, be sure to check student notice boards (online and offline), and local newspapers also often advertise rooms, Facebook/Craigslist Local Pages for Apartments/Rooms apartments, and houses for rent.
Whatever your budget, and whether it be university housing or something in the private sector, there will be an option for you. In some cases, your visa application will require proof that you have accommodation already organized with your university. In this case, your university may take responsibility for your accommodation, confirming you will have accommodation with the relevant immigration authorities. As a first-year international student, some universities guarantee first-year international students accommodation. However, you will still need to meet strict deadlines for confirming and paying a deposit to secure your place.
Living on campus
Staying in halls of residence on campus can be a great way to get the most out of your university experience. Aside from the convenience of being near to teaching rooms, it encourages students to socialize together more often and get involved with campus activities and groups. Halls of residence can often come with meal plans as part of the cost. You may be entitled to breakfast and dinner, or even every meal, as part of the fee you pay for your room. There are also social benefits – you’ll be living amongst many other students, both local and from other countries. Many halls of residence organize social events to bring everyone together regularly, as well as the more casual interactions that come from cooking in a communal kitchen, hanging out in a shared leisure space, or simply bumping into people on your way in and out. It’s important to note that campus accommodation can often have you living in a dorm room with other students, as well as students who have their own room but may share bathroom and kitchen facilities.
Some universities don’t have one particular campus, so their student accommodation is spread across a town or city. Alternatively, an external company specializing in university accommodation may run options for multiple universities in a city. In these cases, you could find yourself living off-campus but still in bespoke student accommodation. In such countries, private accommodation will normally be readily available, although sometimes at a higher cost. The social scene where you live will not be quite the same as in student halls, but you’ll often find clusters of student housing, so it’s still possible to feel you’re living in a student community. This arrangement is often similar to halls of residence on campus, but not connected to campus. It will be located in a suitable area for students, with amenities and easy access to universities.
Renting for international students
Privately renting can present issues for international students, especially when trying to organize accommodation from outside the country. A lack of understanding of a country’s legal process for renting, and not being present to view properties, can make it difficult to organize in your first year of study.
Some university towns and cities have the opportunity for homestays. These can be organized through a university or through companies that specialize in this type of accommodation. A homestay family provides you with a bedroom to stay in as well as the use of the communal areas of their house. It can give international students not only home during their time studying, but a family to get to know and learn from. Depending on where you are studying, it can be a cheaper option too. One of the big benefits of a homestay is learning about the local area and its customs from the people who live there. It widens the opportunity for meeting locals and not just other students. You may also benefit from the extra language practice you’d gain with your host family.
UniLodge is one of the purpose-built student accommodations for a long time. Unilodge properties are renowned for quality, innovation, efficiency, and excellent student living. They partner with educational institutions to manage properties located either on campus or in close proximity to universities, colleges, and other educational institutions.
Urbanest is one of the largest providers of student accommodation. They possess vast experience in designing, building, and running accommodation, especially for students. They find great locations suitable to students’ lifestyles, considering the proximity to transport links, universities, and social centers. They design and build living spaces and manage them in a way that promotes and supports your lifestyle.
Some Pre-Examine Decisions
- Does the housing have all the furnishings that you need? Are they of an acceptable standard? Or do you need to provide your own?
- Is there a desk you to work at and enough space for your computer?
- Is the kitchen equipped with cooking utensils?
- Are bedsheets and linen provided? Are there laundry facilities?
- Are there additional costs for certain services?
- Are you given phone and internet access? Do you have to sort this out yourself? How much will it cost?
To collect more relevant information according to your selection of culture, language, known people, known areas, and country of the institute, visit the following Worldwide Accommodations for International Students Websites and properties.
- Hostel World
- Vancouer Home Stays
- University Rooms
- Xenia Students
- Amber Students
- The Home Like
- Spot a Home
- Uni Places
- Housing Anywhere
- Study Abroad Apartments
It is important to be aware of potential rental scams aimed at international students. Your chosen university should be able to assist with recommending businesses or landlords who could help you find a suitable property and any legal matters that may arise such as confirming your identity. Before signing a rental agreement, ensure the business or landlord is credible and that the property you are renting is in a good area of town for students. This is usually easy to find out, as students often live in the same areas of a town or city. As for landlords, make sure they are reputable and remember to negotiate before you move in, as it’s easier and they are likely to listen to any requests you may have of the property. If you’re arranging to rent somewhere abroad, it’s best if you can wait until you get there before signing any contracts or placing a deposit.