There are many things to consider and think of when looking for international student accommodation, but where do you start? The following tips will help put you on the right track.

  1. Determine Your Budget

After your tuition fees, accommodation is the second biggest expense that you will face while studying abroad. Whether paid for by your bursary, a student loan, or out of your parent’s pocket, it is important to determine exactly what you can afford.

  1. Decide What Matters the Most to You

Make a list of the things that are important to you regarding accommodation, and rank them from most important to least important. Some questions to ask yourself are: Do you want to stay alone or are you willing to share with someone? Are you keen to cook? Do you get homesick easily? Do you get distracted easily? These questions will help you decide what accommodation type suits you best.

If you are unsure of what options are available to you, read our blog about different accommodation options available for international students.

  1. Conduct Thorough Research

Read up about the area and consider things like student life, safety, rent prices, available transportation, traffic and general convenience when conducting your research.

  1. Ask Your International Student Office for Advice

Do not be shy about approaching your university’s International Student Office. You can be sure that they have the answers to your questions as they have helped several other students who have had the same questions as you.

  1. The Early Bird Catches the Worm

You are not the only student looking for accommodation, so decide on the area where you would like to stay and start looking as early as possible. This head start over the crowd will give you the flexibility to shop around, compare different options, and eventually find the right accommodation at the right price.

  1. Don’t Jump at the First Best Option

Give yourself time to look around and compare. It is good to see all the options that are available, compare prices and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different residences before making a decision.

  1. If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Usually Is!

There are many scammers out there trying to make easy money. Be cautious when inquiring about an apartment when something appears to be suspicious, and never make upfront payments to anyone!

  1. Conduct Yourself Well

Dress neatly and always be polite and friendly when you meet or engage with your potential landlord or host family. First impressions go a long way and will set you apart from others. People want to know that their tenant will look after the apartment.

  1. Ask Other Student’s Opinions

There are many forums on the internet where you can start reading about what other students have to say. The best advice you can get is usually from people who have been through a similar experience before.

  1. Expand Your Search

There are many different platforms on which to search for student accommodation. Try searching through different channels such as contacting the campus estate agent, reading through student forums or searching for homestay websites. If you’re already in the country, also look at notice boards and local newspapers.

You can visit our blogs page to find more helpful tips.

About the Writer: Lizan Gray, an adventurer at heart, is originally from South Africa and currently a copywriter in Dubai. She is busy finishing her degree in Business Administration.