Accommodation may be hard to find and many students will try to get the best spots. This article lists some tips you could use when looking for accommodation in your new town.
- Ask your institution for help:
The best place to start your quest for accommodation is at student services or the international office of your host institution. The people that work there have experience with this kind of questions and they know the city. There may be a student residence or campus belonging to the institution, or there may be an organization that they cooperate with to provide for student housing. The staff knows it all and can give you the information you need.
- Ask alumni or other students for help:
Luckily, you are not the first student to study abroad. There are others that walked this path before you and they may have tips on how to find a house. There may be connections with local alumni networks, but it would be easiest to contact ESAA (Erasmus student and alumni association) or the local ESN (Erasmus student network). These organisations consist of students (and alumni) that study across Europe. They can definitely share experiences and may give you the golden tip, as students of the local ESN are usually still living in your future city.
- Browse the internet:
This tip may seem a bit obvious, but still: it is important to do your internet research about what is available. You may find websites that offer student housing, or information on how to go about it. If you are unsure, check the websites’ credibility with your institution or other people with experience. Shady websites do exist and may take advantage of you. Look at the National Information Portals that are listed on the country profiles to get to know the country specific situation regarding student housing.
- Decide your prerequisites:
Make a list of what you expect of potential accommodation. When you have a list, you can do research on whether your wishes are plausible. You can ask yourself questions like:
- How much do I want to spend?
- How big should my accommodation be?
- Do I want flat mates, roommates or a place to myself?
- Where should the accommodation be located?
- Am I willing to make concessions if I cannot find what I’m looking for?
- If so, what is most and least important to me?
Clearly you have to pay for large accommodation and for privacy. A private flat will always cost more than a flat shared with several others. Also, prices of places closer to the city centre or facilities (university, public transport) tend to be more expensive. Make sure that you do your research on local average prices standards.
- Make your house your home
Once you have found accommodation and have moved in, the only thing left to do is to make your house your home. This may be the most important thing on the list, for you will be spending a lot of time in your house, so it should provide you with everything you need: a place to study, to sleep, or to hang out with friends. In the case that you do not feel at home, or safe, because of roommates, the landlord or other circumstances, confide in your institution’s support system. There, people can assist you with improving the situation.
Are you a student in Europe and do you want to share your story about accommodation? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org