Discover Studying Abroad

#SmartStudent: 4 tips for finding great housing as an international student

Our #SmartStudent series brings you simple tips that help you ease into life as an international student and be a responsible resident of your host country.
BY Cherryy Chauhan |   14-01-2019


Hunting for the right accommodation can be one of the most challenging experiences while moving abroad. Accommodations close to the university have sky-high rents, and ones with affordable rent, slice into your savings in the form of hefty transportation costs. Not only that but often the whole system of renting a flat is completely foreign to the one you might have grown up with. How do you figure contracts, bills, flatmates etc? All said, picking the right place to live in is one of the challenges of studying abroad. It teaches you the twin qualities of practicality and independence.

So here are BrainGain Magazine’s 4 tips on finding a great place to stay when you study abroad:
  1. Bid on university housing:
    On-campus lodging is the safest and securest possible housing for an inexperienced student. While universities abroad have vast and extensive campus boarding facilities, they usually get snapped up pretty quick owing to the massive number of both local and international students applying for them. Be an early-bird and file for on-campus accommodation as soon as you receive an acceptance from the university. Most universities, you’ll be glad to note, do give preference to international students.

  2. Smart surfing the internet:
    Thanks to the internet, you don’t need to be physically present in the city to find housing. Connect with the alumni and the current student body on various portals to understand the average costs of living in your city of choice. Then, join social media communities about housing in the city. You can also visit websites like, Study Abroad Apartments, Gumtree, and CampusCribz to find lodging near the university campus. However, make sure you know exactly what it says on the contract – whether the rent is all-inclusive of utility bills or not, and whether you’re going to get back the deposit, etc. Ask for pictures as well, if you’re booking online.

  3. Sharing is saving while housing:
    Despite the on-campus housing, many universities recommend students to find accommodation off-campus. This could include shared apartments, dormitories, private housings and homestays, all of which go easy on the pocket due to sharing of the overall rent with a roommate(s). It can also be a great bonding experience. Don’t forget to take into account the accessibility of public transportation from your place of lodging in case you have to commute to university.

  4. Dodge the dodgy deals:
    Searching for affordable and safe housing can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. But don’t let the haste and aggravation of house-hunting get the best of you. For example, stick to paying only small deposits and not the entire payment until you have visited the lodging space. Also, be aware of the running rent in the region to avoid the risk of being overcharged. Don’t jump the gun and pay any initial deposits without getting the broker to sign an official contract.
Relates Stories:
#SmartStudent: 5 tips on dating when you're studying abroad
#SmartStudent: How to be funny when you're studying abroad
#SmartStudent: 5 tips on drinking safely when you're abroad
#SmartStudent: 5 tips on driving safely when you're studying abroad
#SmartStudent: How to live in a foreign city


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