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Things to remember when choosing an accommodation

As an international student in a new country, among the many challenges that a student faces; finding proper accommodation ranks pretty high on the list. Check out the different methods.

Mahesh Ramani

Living alone in a foreign land is challenging in many ways; but it also moulds students into free-thinking and strong individuals and helps them face the challenges of a professional career.

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University Accommodation - The First Choice:

As an international student in a new country, among the many challenges that a student faces; finding proper accommodation ranks pretty high on the list. Most mid to large-sized institutions offer on-campus accommodation and usually international students are assured of a place on-campus in their first year of study. Additionally, a number of institutions in the USA have made it mandatory for their first year international students to stay on-campus.

Advantages of Staying in On-Campus Accommodation:

  • Proximity to the classrooms and all university facilities like the library and gymnasium.
  • Time is not wasted on travelling to the university from somewhere far away. 
  • Living in the dormitory/on-campus rooms fosters a sense of friendship and togetherness.
  • In the USA, university accommodation comes with an optional meal plan; so getting food on time is not a problem.
  • In case of medical emergencies, students can contact the on-campus medical support staff/team.

Other Accommodation Options:

Some students feel that living within the university curtails their freedom. In such a scenario students can choose to live in a home-stay, a private student hostel or rent an apartment or an individual house. A home-stay is a good option as this allows the student to stay with a local family and have food along with them. Private student hostels offer students accommodation across budgets from simple dormitory style accommodation to shared and single-rooms. Living in a flat or an independent house along with like-minded friends is a great way to bond and sharing costs on food and rent helps students’ save money.

Pros and Cons of Non-University Accommodation:

  • Students have the luxury of following their passions and interests and not bound by university accommodation rules.
  • Students get to explore the city and country and also learn to become independent; this fosters a spirit of adventure and responsibility.
  • The closer the accommodation is to the city-centre the costlier it is; hence students may have to travel a considerable distance from their residence to the university.
  • Students who do not know how to cook may face problems and end up spending more on food and drink.
  • Immediate access to medical care in case of a medical emergency is doubtful.

Finding Inexpensive Accommodation Abroad:

  • Browse the internet - From international student chat groups to Facebook pages - the information available is useful and helps students make a wise choice.
  • Websites like Studenthousing and Studentpad serve as a complete resource portal with reviews, pricing and booking facilities.
  • Connect with international students on Facebook and Twitter to know about local accommodation options
  • Check student bulletin boards for notifications on students looking for room-mates; websites like EasyRoommate are very useful. 

Points to Note:

  • Ensure that the accommodation is in a safe locality.
  • Inform your institution, friends and faculty members your address of residence.
  • Share your contact number with your local friends and your family.
  • Keep in regular touch with your family email; Facebook and Skype have made this very easy.
  • If you are leasing an apartment ensure that you read through the terms and conditions carefully.
  • Get clarity from your landlord / accommodation manager on charges for utilities like water, electricity, telephone, internet and gas / heating etc.
  • Get a bill or receipt for all payments made.
Living alone in a foreign land is challenging in many ways; but it also moulds students into free-thinking and strong individuals and helps them face the challenges of a professional career. Choose your accommodation option with care, a ‘home away from home’ will help you focus on your studies. 
 
Image Credit: www.southampton.ac.uk 

Are you looking for accommodation options abroad?

Nupur Verma Nupur Verma,
Study abroad expert.
Our experts can assist you in finding the right accommodation based on the country you have chosen. Request a call from us now! Or call 1800 103 2581 / 1800 103 9634 (toll-free) today!