Accommodation options and where to live during your studies
Figuring out where to live during your studies is probably one of the most important things while beginning your new studies. You should start looking for it as soon as you get an acceptance letter. In some cases it might be good to stay a few nights in a hostel, for example, and look for an apartment on the spot. However, usually it is recommended to look for an apartment already before you travel to your new hometown.
Remember that you should not only look at the price of the apartment but also evaluate how much money will go to other expenses such as internet, gas, electricity, water and heating.
When looking for an apartment, the typical options are usually getting it from the university, from a student housing foundation or from the open market. Google, and sometimes the university as well, are your new best friends when searching for a place to stay during your studies.
Let’s evaluate the most common ways for finding accommodation while studying abroad:
Living in a single room in a shared flat
Living in your own room with a bunch of other students in the same apartment might be one of the most common ways to live. You will have the company of others whenever you want, yet still the privacy of your own room.
Living in a shared room
Especially in North America it is quite common to share your room with another student. Sharing the room is one of the cheapest options to arrange your living. You might be getting a new best friend with whom you can share all your joys and sorrows. However, living in the same room with a serious bookworm while all you want to do is party like there is no tomorrow – well that might not be an ideal situation.
Living in your own apartment
Typically a studio apartment, your own apartment, will be your castle during your studies. This is a typical way to arrange your living especially in Northern Europe where the young people move out from their parents’ house at an early age. You will have your own absolute privacy, but it might be quite lonely also sometimes…
It’s not always even that expensive: for example, in smaller Finnish cities you might get a proper studio with a private sauna from one of many available student housing foundations. The rent may be as low as 400 euros, including all the costs!
Living with a host family
Although its’ more common during the exchange studies during high school, living with a host family might be an interesting option for you. You will probably lack some privacy, but you will experience the local culture in the most authentic perspective. Living with a host family might also ease the homesickness you might face.
Living at home
Typical in Southern Europe, for example, some students continue living with their parents until graduation. Don’t be surprised if your new local friends are still living with their parents – and sometimes even grandparents! Especially with the economical situation being what it is, young people tend to live at home longer and longer these days for financial reasons.
Living in a sorority or a fraternity
You must have seen some of those crazy Hollywood movies by now about students who spend a wild and exciting life in a fraternity or in a sorority. While the truth may not be that extravagant, there are some very interesting things going on in a sorority or fraternity house. You will find friends for life and bond with similar-minded students. You pay for full board and a lovely house to stay in. What’s there not to like?