Do You Know Your Accommodation Options?
Now that you have been accepted in a university, it is time to look for a new place to call home.
A big part of your study abroad experience will be influenced by where you will live during your studies. But do you know what your options are? Below are the different types of accommodation you can choose from:
The most popular type of accommodation is available on university campuses, and is known as dorms. Choosing to live in a dorm will help you save on travel expenses and in most cases you will quite likely share a room, hence making a friend from the get go. Although there are some schools that can offer you a dorm all to yourself, the majority of dorms require that you share it with another student. This option is usually offered to first year students, and the annual cost ranges between $8000 to $10,000 and can cover both accommodation and meal plan. In the UK, the cost is calculated weekly, ranging from £50 to £80 per week. In Canada, the cost of an on-campus dormitory ranges from $3000 to $7500 per academic year.
This typically means that you will be staying with a host family. A homestay can add to your learning experience in a big way, as you learn about the way of life of a typical family of the country you're studying in. This option is suitable for those who are worried of being homesick. Although it certainly won't get rid of your homesickness, living with a family will give you that homey feeling. You will have your own room, as well as meals provided for you, and most importantly you will not be alone. The prices for homestay vary depending on the location, but another aspect to keep in mind is that if the home is far from your campus, then you will have to consider the travel expenses as well.
Getting an off-campus apartment might be the most financially appealing option for students, if you can manage to find other students that you can share it with. Sharing an apartment with say four students, will mean that rent will be split four ways. Some universities provide information about the neighbourhood, but you will have to do most of the work yourself, check local newspapers for apartment ads, or you can ask the students for information. In the UK, off-campus housing starts from £35 pounds a week. In the US, the prices depend on the location, but they can range between $7000 to $12,000 for nine months. In Canada, a shared off-campus accommodation costs between $250 to $700.
An Inn or Hotel
This is a nice option for those who enjoy living in a hotel and having someone clean your room for you. You can find inns and hotels that are relatively close to campus, or even on campus. The University of South Carolina for example, has a boutique inn on campus that offers free wi-fi and complimentary breakfast. Many schools also provide information regarding nearby hotels and inns. And as you may not be surprised to know, prices are ever changing. So if you are interested in this option, it is best to ask for more information and pricing from the university.