How to Find Someplace to Live When You Study Abroad

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How to Find Someplace to Live When You Study Abroad

Are you thinking about studying abroad but are worried that you might end up homeless? Relax! For students who plan on studying abroad, study abroad housing has always been their top concern. Depending on the university, international student housing systems can vary. Some universities only have dormitories on campus, while others may have them both on and off campus.

Every city is different as well, and some may have housing shortages making a roof over your head a little bit more challenging, but international students can always find a way. We’ve outlined five tips on study abroad housing and how to find a place to live when you’re abroad as an international student.

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1. Check with the international/study abroad department

Making the most of school resources when trying to find a place to live. International student advisers are, as a rule, quite nice and helpful. Give them a call, or send an email asking about their study abroad housing options, and what percentage of their students live on campus, and live off-campus. They should be more than willing to help you find a dormitory (if you want to meet other students) or recommend popular international student housing around you.

2. Join Facebook groups where other students might look for housing

Facebook groups are another great resource for finding study abroad housing. International students and incoming students will probably have active Facebook groups where they search for roommates, compare rental prices, and share local apartment listings. Join one of those to get information on international student housing in your study abroad country and find a place to live.

Particularly if you plan to live off-campus, you should look into Facebook groups for study abroad housing. People who have apartments to rent usually post their listings on Facebook groups, which is a great way to find a suitable apartment.

3. Use any existing network in your study abroad country

When looking for study abroad housing, take advantage of your network. If you are lucky enough to have some connections already in the city you’re going to study, ask them if they know anyone who is renting, or if they could reach out to their social network on your behalf.

Students are most concerned about safety when they are trying to find a place to live abroad. People also worry about fraud when they search for international student housing online. If the network works out, you can benefit from renting from a friend-of-a-friend and avoid fraud. You might also get a good rate and a generally friendlier experience since you’re not such a stranger.

4. Consider living with a host family

Choosing a study abroad homestay is a popular study abroad housing option for international students. A host family can offer an amazing opportunity to learn the language, and get immersed in local culture and delicious homemade food. It won't work for most families if you're looking for a wild partying experience, but if you're studying abroad to immerse yourself, then a host family is ideal.

Your university may be able to connect you with local study abroad homestay programs, or might be able to refer you to local language schools that could set up an arrangement. Be sure to let them know your expectations about study abroad housing in advance – perhaps you’re uncomfortable in a staunchly religious household, or would hate living in the suburbs. Ask lots of questions and go with your gut to find the right host family.

5. Stay at a hostel and find an apartment when you get there

While searching for study abroad housing, it is always best to visit the neighborhood in person rather than online. Although this strategy will lead to some extra pressure on your arrival to the city, you could arrive early, do a bit of neighborhood sightseeing, and interview potential landlords to find a place to live abroad.

When you study in a country where you don't know the language, this strategy can still be applied by finding a friend who knows the language. It will help you get the most accurate and instant information regarding international student housing.

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