Saturday, August 27, 2011

Student Housing: Sharing a Flat vs. Staying with a Host Family

Are you soon planning to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity to study abroad? Have you considered your student housing options, or more specifically, have you considered whether you’d prefer to share a flat with other students or perhaps stay with a host family? This can be a complicated decision, as each of these options has advantages and disadvantages to consider. To help you weigh these two student housing options, below we will take a closer look at each of them in a bit more detail, and provide you with some of the information you’ll need to make an informed decision based on your preferences.

Student Housing Options: Sharing a Flat

Studying abroad can be one of the most memorable experiences in a student’s life. Not only will you gain a new perspective on that country’s academia, but you’ll also have the unique opportunity to meet new people and learn their culture.

If you’re like most students, you probably enjoy being surrounded by people your age who possess similar views to your own. You also take pleasure in having a degree of independence from your parents and the university. These feelings are only natural, and definitely among the benefits of sharing a flat with other students. Of course your studies are important, but so too are the people, events and experiences outside of the school setting that will collectively help shape your life.

However, if you do decide to opt for the independence and enjoyment that comes from a sharing flat, you will want to make absolutely certain that the roommate(s) you choose to cohabitate with are at least somewhat compatible to you. Nothing is worse than spending an entire semester or longer with a person or people you’re constantly at odds with or who irritate you, so spend some extra time getting to know your potential roommates before you make any snap or rash decisions to take this step.

There are of course other factors to consider before deciding to share a flat. Some of these include:

Expenses. Sharing a flat can be very expensive, especially as compared to staying with a host family (which is usually free). You’ll also need to consider the income of your roommates so you don’t get stuck paying for more than your fair share of the household expenses.

Lease. Sharing a flat will usually involve signing a lease, so it’s important that you and each of your roommates are in agreement with the lease’s terms.

Other Guests. Are you all in agreement to the idea of one or more roommates having the occasional overnight guest? This may sound like a strange question, but you’d be surprised by how many tensions can arise from situations just like this. That is why it is so important to have a frank discussion about questions such as these, and come to a unified agreement in advance.

Student Housing Options: Staying with a Host Family

9- are essentially resident landlords who often have children who are similar in age to you, the student. This student housing option also has several benefits, along with a few disadvantages. The benefits include:

Cost. Host families usually allow students to stay with them at no cost, and this usually includes meals—a very attractive benefit for many students

Culture and Language.Living with residents of the host country affords you the opportunity to learn the traditions and customs of that region, and perhaps even acquire some new language skills.

No Commitment. When you sign a lease, as would normally be required when sharing a flat, you are committed to that agreement for the entire term. However, if you decide to stay with a host family there is no commitment, so if things aren’t working out you are always free to leave.

Of course there are also some disadvantages to this type of living arrangement, including, perhaps, some limitations on your freedom. As a guest of a host family you will be expected to abide by the rules they’ve established, which in some cases could include a curfew along with other house rules.

So what will you decide? Essentially the decision is a matter of preference, one that, in the end comes down to what’s most important to you. Granted, when sharing a flat you’ll almost certainly have more freedom, but this freedom will come with a fairly hefty price tag, and there’s no guarantee that you and your roommates will be compatible. On the other hand, if you decide to stay with a host family, you’ll probably have a bit less freedom, but your accommodations and meals will be free, and you’ll have many opportunities for cultural enhancement. It can be an agonizing decision, but whatever you decide you can rest assured that the advantages for each of these options almost always outweigh the drawbacks.

1 comment:

Smith said...

Excellent and helpful post… I am so glad to left comment on this. This has been a so interesting ..I appreciate your effort..

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