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Safe, comfortable, and convenient residence is one of the primary considerations among international students, particularly those in their first year of living abroad. There’s a great variety of options and factors to consider in international student accommodation, including budget and personal preference.
This should come up early in the planning stage, as your student accommodation is where you will be studying, relaxing, meeting or hosting friends sometimes, and generally living in your host country.
University accommodation - These are dormitories and student residences provided by the institution, and typically offer the advantage of easy access to campus and its facilities, a high level of security, and living among fellow students. You usually apply for this accommodation around the time that you receive admission confirmation. The common downside is the living conditions might not be most ideal, and the spots are limited and on a first come, first served basis.
Yes, campus accommodation is rare or not offered in a number of countries. In France, it’s reserved for government scholars, while in Germany and Holland the concept of university-run housing is virtually nonexistent. In this case, private accommodation is normally offered albeit at a higher cost.
Private accommodation - These are apartments and privately owned and run dorms where students stay on their own or share rent with others looking for a place to stay. Many online platforms connect students with these providers.
Homestays - Staying with a local family is a popular option for international students in certain countries, such as Canada, Australia, and the United States. This way they get immersed in the local culture, speak the local language more often, and have a unique experience with the host family. It’s also often affordable. The cons include not having a lot of privacy and the likelihood of not getting along with the host. Your university may have programs matching students to suitable families.
Temporary accommodation - Some schools offer temporary student accommodation, such that you have time on arrival to look around and decide on what permanent arrangement you will go for. There are also hostels available in the new country for you to stay in; while they are convenient, they can be quite expensive.