How to find student housing in another country

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If you are going abroad to study, for a few weeks or months, you will need to resolve some practical issues. One such practical issue is related to finding student housing: how to find accommodation for international students if you are not currently in the country ? To help you with this, we will share some tips on how to find accommodation while you study abroad.

Through your university

Wherever you go to study abroad, it is likely that the university you are attending will be able to help you with your relocation. Many universities have offices for international students or offices for visiting students who are ready to help you with any questions you have, including paperwork, help with language problems and finding accommodation. They may have a list of trusted private accommodations in the area, or a bulletin board where staff and students can post if they have a room to rent.

Some universities even have their own dorms or other on-campus housing options that you can rent for a semester, usually for little money. The advantage of visiting your university is that people who know the area can recommend good places and reasonable costs. Distance to campus can also often be controlled.

The downside is that university-provided housing can be geared towards safety and less interesting areas of the city. If you want a more adventurous place in a busy area, then you should consider renting privately.

Through personal contacts

When you move to a new country, often you don’t know many people there and therefore you won’t have a social network to help you. But before you hit the road, ask your friends and use social media to see if there are friends of friends living in or near the area you’re traveling to.

If you can find someone who lives there and has a couch that you can sleep on for a few days, it could be a more casual introduction to the city and an opportunity to meet someone new. Ideally, you should have a place to stay for a week or two, and then when you arrive, you can start looking for a home. Finding accommodation is much easier when you’re already in the area – you can call agents, arrange a viewing, and take a friend with you if you have language problems.

Online search options

If you are looking for an apartment for short term rentals ranging from a few weeks to a few months, you can visit websites such as Uniplaces, housing anywhereor even Airbnb. Short-term apartments are often advertised, and you may see photos and descriptions of the premises even if you cannot visit them in advance. Of course, until you arrive at the place, it is difficult to say whether you will like the apartment, whether you will like the area, how good the transport interchange is.

For this reason, if you are going to use the website to search for accommodation, it is recommended that you first rent the accommodation for just a few weeks. If you find that you really like the accommodation, you can try to extend your stay or choose to stay nearby. But if you don’t like this place, you know that you need to be there for a while and you can look elsewhere in the city.

Newspapers and advertisements

Finally, if you already speak the local language, be sure to check the newspapers and magazine ads. Depending on the country you are moving to, you may find even more accommodations advertised offline rather than online. It can be tricky, but if it works, you can often save significant money by avoiding property fees or inflated private housing prices.

If you go this route, make sure you check your local rental laws and that you are aware of your tenant rights. If in doubt, ask for a written contract that you can show to someone at your new university. They should be able to tell you if the terms of the lease look reasonable.