Student Accommodation: When And How to Book
Studying abroad and need to arrange student housing? Follow these 5 steps to land the perfect accommodation in your new city.
Preparing to study abroad comes with its fair share of stress, not least of which is finding the right student accommodation. Hunting for the perfect place to stay is a challenge at the best of times, but when you’re faced with the added complexities of an unfamiliar city, it can feel downright daunting. Luckily, we’ve put together a few tips to help make sure that the process of booking your accommodation abroad is as easy and pain-free as possible.
- Be prepared
Looking for accommodation in a new city is tricky, especially when you’ve never been there before. You have no idea which neighborhoods are affordable, student-friendly and safe; all things that will have a huge impact on your experience in your new home. But a little research can go a long way toward easing your mind and helping you have a better understanding of what housing options are available to you. Make sure you spend some time reading up on city guides, blogs, student resources and TripAdvisor. Investigate all your accommodation options, including whether your university offers on-campus accommodation, accommodation advice or discounted housing options. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s also worth researching alternative housing options too. By being well-informed you can avoid having to deal with nasty surprises down the line and make sure that your transition into your new city is as smooth as possible.
- Early bird catches the worm
The rule of thumb when it comes to finding student housing is that you should begin as soon as possible. Once you’ve decided on your school and have been accepted to your program, it should be the very next box on your checklist. Remember that the nicest and most affordable options will be the first to go, so don’t procrastinate. Luckily in today’s world, there is no need to visit your new city to find the perfect accommodation. With plenty of helpful online platforms that are aimed at helping international students find their perfect home, you can search and secure your new room before you leave. At the same time, be cautious as there are many people out there who are trying to scam international students who are unfamiliar with the place and its processes. Remember that if somewhere looks too good to be true, it usually is. Stick to using reliable accommodation websites or information from your university or another trusted resource; that way, you can be sure that the listings are legitimate to avoid any sticky situations.
- Determine your housing budget
Before starting on your search it’s important to know how much you’re willing and able to spend on student accommodation each month, as this will have the biggest impact on the direction you take with your housing search. When budgeting for your new home, don’t forget to include expenses such as utilities, transportation, school books, daily essentials and entertainment.
If you are moving abroad for studies and need assistance with finding a place to settle in, then our friends at Housing Anywhere can be of great help too.
- Patience and perseverance are key
Whether you’re looking for private accommodation or student dorms, landing the perfect place to live is often a slow and sometimes frustrating process. Remember not to put all your eggs in one basket, as confirming accommodation can sometimes take a few weeks and if the deal eventually falls through you could be left empty-handed. Instead, line up as many possibilities as possible, so that you’re able to choose the best option when the time comes. Try not to become disheartened at the process, something great is sure to come along so just keep at it!
- Know what you want and what you’re going to get
When it comes to student housing, everyone’s priorities will be slightly different. Do you want to live on campus so that you can avoid transportation costs? Is living within walking distance important to you. If you’re very social, perhaps living near a buzzing part of town is high on your list? Spend some time figuring out what the most important factors are for you, as this will help you to narrow down your search. It also means that you will be ready to ask the right questions when negotiating with a prospective landlord. Don’t forget to cover your bases too, so you’re not hit with any bad surprises when you move in. Make sure to ask whether the utility bills are included, whether a deposit is required and if there are any rules or restrictions related to the property.
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