September is coming up and soon many of our fellow students will be embarking on their experiences abroad. These are exciting times, discovering new places and experiencing new things – what a time to be alive! But as most of you must have discovered by now, it does not come without any responsibilities. Moving abroad requires some serious research, organisation, and planning in advance! Finding accommodation abroad is one of the prime challenges, as all countries have their own ways and it is important that you look them up because you could end up on a waiting list for the whole year. Here are some tips giving you an idea what you should do to facilitate the process of finding accommodation abroad.
You should start looking for your accommodation as soon as you get the confirmation that you are going abroad. For some, it won’t be as urgent, but it is good that you get informed on what the student housing situation is as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask your new employer or your host universities – they will know where to redirect you. A good website to start off with your search for student accommodation around the world is HousingAnywhere.com.
Seek out for older students who have already done their year abroad. If you ask the department of your university which is responsible for student exchanges, they should also be able to give you the contact details of some students who are willing to help out with finding accommodation abroad. They will most probably show up at the exchange events or meetings, so make sure you attend those – they are very important for you to gather information about your future experience.
Sometimes an efficient way of finding accommodation abroad is by asking your friends and family, maybe they happen to know someone who knows someone? This is often how you will get the best deals and find the hidden gems of your destination city, and knowing the landlord will come handy a lot more than you think.
Some universities offer residence halls, and living with others can be part of your experience abroad. Every student, who used to live in dorms, will always say that it was the best time – being 24/7 with your friends and building incredible relationships which you can keep for the rest of your life. Of course, it comes with some disadvantages too. It is true that sometimes you can lack privacy but a lot of people recommend that you choose a student hall during your first years, and then move out to be able to concentrate on university, which will get much harder with time.
Students are the easiest targets for scammers and they are everywhere! Make sure you always look up prices in your destination and compare them to the cost of the flat you are interested in. It is also a good idea to look up the reviews of the website you are planning to use, for example on Trustpilot.
Hopefully, this will give you a good head start on finding your accommodation abroad. Remember, the earlier you start, the better! But mostly enjoy the experience of finding a perfect flat and getting ready for your experience abroad. You can also find more tips in the Erasmus Student Guide.