So you've decided to study abroad. You now need somewhere to stay. This will be your home for the next few years, where you will live, eat, sleep and quite often where your social life will be founded. So take some time to research and explore before making your decision. Overview Accommodation is bound to be one of the first " > Country dropdown
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International student accommodation

International student accomodationSo you've decided to study abroad. You now need somewhere to stay. This will be your home for the next few years, where you will live, eat, sleep and quite often where your social life will be founded. So take some time to research and explore before making your decision.

Accommodation is bound to be one of the first things that comes to mind when you consider study abroad and your final decision will be based on a number of factors. There are a variety of options when it comes to international student accommodation, 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. Whatever your budget, and whether it be university housing or something in the private sector, there will be an option for you.

As an international student, this may be the first time you've lived on your own, or perhaps even your first time abroad. It may also be the first time you have had to manage costs and deal with any aspect of accommodation. It is, therefore, important to realise at the outset that this is a major decision. Your student accommodation will be a place you relax, study, and probably most importantly, meet friends, natives and fellow travellers.
Planning, support and advice

The general rule to bear in mind is that you are responsible for finding your own accommodation, but it is common for your institute to offer help or support, especially when it comes to university accommodation. This support may range from them going as far as actually finding a place for you (should you want to leave this to their judgement), to offering a range of options, to simply advising you the best practise to follow.

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 organizations and may be able to find you somewhere should you be having difficulty. (See international study guides for more information on these specific international student accommodation associations). Also be sure to check student notice boards, (especially for house sharing) and local newspapers also often advertise rooms, apartments and houses for rent.

Depending on your preference, and also how well you plan ahead and research the student housing market in your chosen destination, you could end up in anything from a newly refurbished house, to a rundown student haunt.
Types of student accommodation

Depending on where you decide to study, your choices of student accommodation may be quite varied and provide very different experiences. You will also find that in some countries, finding somewhere to stay will be as easy as falling off a log, whilst in others you will have to plan far in advance and often spend more than you may have envisaged.
University housing - Campus accommodation/ Halls of Residence

Campus accommodation is university run accommodation, and usually within the confines of the university. There are numerous advantages to this, and as such, this is more often than not the first port of call and the most beneficial choice. You will be close, if not living in the university grounds, so travel is not a concern. Safety is also often taken care off, especially in the UK for example, where there are usually staff or security, day and night, patrolling the housing.

In term of your social life, this is as good a place as any. You will find yourself immersed in the cultures of other international students who have made the same decision as yourself, and also the natives who often stay in Halls for the social aspect of university life. Many Halls of Residence regularly organise social events to spur this on.
There may be some downsides to staying in Halls, but it is often worth making some sacrifices. Kitchens and social areas will be shared. Bathrooms may be en suite, but will quite often also be shared. The quality of the accommodation and amenities may also vary. So be sure to check this out before committing.
No university housing?

Some countries, especially in Central and Western Europe have no campus accommodation at all. Germany and Holland have next to none, whilst in France it is reserved only for recipients of government distributed scholarships.

In such countries, private accommodation will normally be readily available, although sometimes at a heavier cost. The social scene where you live will of course not be the same as in Halls, but will be compensated for in the city life where students are part of every day life and activities, and discounts will are readily available.

Another option, especially in the USA, Canada and Australia, is the option to stay with a native family. Home-stays as they are referred to, can be a great experience, especially for a quieter more reserved type who will not feel comfortable with the buzzing campus life. Your university will often help out, matching your interests with the family to make for the most enjoyable stay. Prices here will include all your meals, and offer the opportunity to learn the language and be part of the every day life and culture that you may otherwise miss out on.

Some countries and institutes will arrange temporary accommodation for you before you leave, allowing you time on arrival to look around and make an informed decision on which type of student accommodation you will opt for.

There are certain factors you must be sure to consider both before deciding on your student accommodation, and also at the end of your stay. The following checklist will help you make the right decision and make for a great adventure in a foreign country.


* Does the housing have all the furnishings that you need? Are they of an acceptable standard? Or do you need to provide your own amenities? Consider the following:
o Is there a desk you to work at and enough space for your computer?
o Is the kitchen equipped with cooking utensils?
o Are bed sheets and linen provided?-Are there laundry facilities?


* Are there additional costs for certain services? Such as laundry?
* Are you given a phone line? Do you have to sort this out yourself? How much will it cost? Do you have a designated internet line?

On completing your tenancy you will most likely encounter another issue - retrieving you deposit. Landlords or institutes will often be extremely fussy in ensuring your apartments is left as you found it, and at the slightest opportunity, will keep some. or all of your deposit.

Make sure that everything on your inventory is there. If not, see if you can replace it yourself, or you will most likely be charged more than it would otherwise cost. Consider the following:

* Is everything clean? Including carpets, curtains, walls.
* Is there any damage?
* Basically, you should try to ensure that as you leave, the apartment looks as if you would expect when you first arrive