Congratulations! You’ve been accepted at an international university! Now that the first step is done, it is time to focus on other needs for your study life abroad, such as deciding where you are going to live as an international student.
You may be thinking now, “What? More mind-boggling questions and research”?
We hear you. Finding the best student accommodations in your own city is quite challenging already, more so when looking for a place to stay in another country. But we can help!
Should you live on or off campus?
This is important since it will determine a whole lot of other factors, such as how much you’ll be spending for board and lodging, how near you’ll be to your university, and who you will be living with.
If you decide to stay on campus, then getting to your classes will certainly be easier and you can be more involved in daily school life. Most universities provide student rooms in on-campus dormitories or student halls so you should check with your school. Some even prioritize first-year international students to ensure a smoother transition into their new life. Meals and shared facilities are usually provided. However, you may have to share a room and not get too much privacy.
On the other hand, if you opt to live off campus, there are a variety of rental properties you can choose from. These can be rooms, apartments, and houses. There are accommodation specialists who provide listings of student-focused housing options, so you can check their offerings. For example, if you’re set to study in the United States, College Rentals has a selection of apartments in cities all across the country.
Off-campus properties provide you with more living arrangement options and you get to have more independence. On the other hand, you may have to spend more time commuting and taking care of other daily responsibilities such as cooking and cleaning.
How much is your budget?
Generally, living off the campus costs more since you have to spend for meals and utilities. But there are student accommodation providers who can offer affordable living arrangements. For example, there are homestays, families who offer rooms in their own homes to international students for a monthly fee. Sometimes, meals are already included. There are also shared apartments where you live with other students and split the bill for rent and utilities.
It may be tempting to find a place with all the most modern facilities and more amenities. But make sure you can actually afford it.
What living arrangements do you prefer?
Are you someone who doesn’t mind sharing a room and bathroom? Will you be easily bothered if there is a lot of noise and activity at any hour of the day?
Do you need Wi-Fi, laundry service, and cooking facilities?
Determine what amenities you need and what living arrangements are ideal for you. But be prepared to make certain sacrifices in order to stick to your budget.
For instance, you may have to live with a roommate in fully serviced student apartments since you can’t afford the price of a single occupancy room. But if it means you have unlimited Wi-Fi 24/7, access to a gym and swimming pool, and free use of game and study rooms, sacrificing a bit of privacy might be worth it.
However, if you must prioritize having your own room, then you might have to forego the most modern amenities and opt for a more basic but comfortable apartment.
What lifestyle are you expecting/hoping/aiming for?
Are you set on just focusing on your studies and student life? Then staying in a student residence on campus is the ideal option.
Do you want to explore and get to know the local culture and people more? Try looking for a place near the heart of the action so you can experience the daily life of the locals from a more personal perspective.
Will you be looking for a part-time job? Off-campus accommodation may provide you with more varied employment options since you’ll have better access to businesses in the locality.
Do you want to make as many friends as possible? Then living in shared housing is the way to go.
You get the idea.
Which one should I choose?
So, should you opt for student accommodation Brisbane apartments, halls of residence London rooms, or student apartments in Tallahassee, Florida? Whichever lodging option you choose, make sure it is a place that can positively affect your whole experience as an international student.
There are plenty of reviews, guides, and listing sites you can use to help with your research. Your university will also most likely provide services and resources to help you with your search. Use whatever reliable information you can to make the best decision on choosing student accommodation abroad.