Tips for finding cheap place to stay while studying abroad

| 07/07/2017 | 5 Comments

Studying abroad can be expensive if your program does not provide you with a place to stay. It’s also difficult to search for lodgings when you are still in your home country, and particularly if you aren’t yet fluent in your destination’s language. Here are some tips for finding a place to stay and saving money at the same time.

Find a homestay

There are homestay programs all around the world, so you should be able to find one fairly easily just by looking online. This term refers to an arrangement where a local family takes you in and gives you a room in their home. It’s supposed to be aimed at students, so the family will take care to help you with the language and culture of your new town. There’s not much privacy, however, and you will be expected to integrate with the family as much as possible. You may also have to abide by their house rules, which can be restrictive for older students who are used to independence.

Search sharing communities

Sites like Spacer offer the opportunity to share space with those that have extra. If someone has a spare room in their home, a garage which can be converted to a room, or so on, you can learn about it there. You can see all of the details and arrange a viewing before you commit to staying there, and you can easily leave if you are not happy with the arrangement. This can give you a lot more flexibility and freedom. You may not have to enter into a contract, so you would be free to come and go when it suited you. You may also be able to organise a rolling contract which is settled month by month.

Share an apartment

If renting is your only option, then you will want to get an apartment or a small house. Affording these things on your own can be tough, so a good option is to go in with other students to save on costs. If you share a house, or even a room, with others in the same position then it will be a lot easier to afford a nice place. You can ask your course coordinator for contact details if you want to get in touch with other students before the course starts, to try to organise your accommodations. If you can’t find any other students, there may be locals or even international visitors who are staying for a while and would like to go in on a room or apartment with you.

Find student dorms

Student dorms may be organised by your university or learning institution, or they may be organised independently by local landlords. A dorm is specifically oriented towards students, so you will be in good company. These accommodations usually come furnished and you may be sharing with others, especially when it comes to communal areas like kitchens and bathrooms. It’s a good way to immerse yourself in local life, and dorms are usually very affordable. If you like being independent or want to be in a more grown-up environment, then this may not be the choice for you.

Once you have tried out all of these options, you should be able to find something that fits. But if you still can’t, it’s worth getting in touch with your educational organisation to see if they can arrange any help. Try to get this all sorted out before you arrive to begin your studies, as staying in a hotel or hostel can quickly become too expensive.

Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.

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Category: study abroad

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