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MSM Unify is a recruitment platform linking international students and recruitment partners with leading universities. MSM Unify helps you find the perfect student accommodation across the globe.

Accommodation

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.

Accommodation

Types of International Student Accommodation

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.

No university housing?

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.

Quick Checklist: Considerations to Make in Choosing Student Accommodation

  • Get help when you need it - Help may come from your university and may include anything from offering a range of choices to advice on living options. School clubs and organizations may also assist you in the process, as they often have connections with different housing options and platforms.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for places for rent - Check student boards, both offline and online. Read the local paper for rooms and apartments for rent. Research on the student housing market in your locality.
  • Keep a student accommodation checklist - Try to answer these questions when looking for a place to live in:
    • Does the housing have acceptable standards in furnishings and conditions?
    • What’s the size of the room or house?
    • Does it have a desk for your laptop?
    • Are bed sheets and pillows provided?
    • Is the kitchen equipped with cooking utensils?
    • Are there laundry facilities in the house or around the area?
    • Is there phone and internet access? How much will it cost you?
    • How much are the monthly costs and what does the amount include?
    • What are items or services that come at additional costs?
    • How far is the accommodation from university grounds?
    • What’s the neighborhood security like?
    • How close is it to areas for recreational activities?