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Thursday, September 15, 2011

International Student Housing: Considering Your Options

International student housing is and should be one of the primary concerns for students studying abroad. And when it comes to international student housing there are essentially two basic options: On-campus international student housing or living off-campus in an apartment or flat. To help you decide which of these options is best for your particular situation, in this article we will take a closer look at both on campus and off campus living in more detail by pointing out some of the advantages and disadvantages to each of these alternatives.

Off-Campus International Student Housing

Not all students will be eligible for off-campus international student housing. In many study abroad programs students are required to live on campus unless they are pursuing a graduate degree or in instances where the student is married.

However, if you fit into one of these two categories, or if the study abroad program allows for off-campus student housing, your best housing option is probably renting an apartment or flat. Before you do, though, you may want to ask yourselves a few questions to ensure that a) you are eligible and can meet the requirements and b) this is the best living option for you. Ask yourself this when renting an apartment:

· Is there a lease involved? For their security, most apartments now require you to sign a lease before you can move in, and the majority of these leases have terms of either 6 months or one year. If your study abroad program is only for one semester, and you sign a one year lease, you may become financially responsible should you decide to move out before the terms of the lease are up.

· Does the landlord require financial documentation? To ensure you are financially able to make the required monthly payments, many landlords will require some type of financial documentation. This can present a problem for international students, and to qualify you may need to have a United States sponsor to cosign the lease and guarantee the payments.

· Are utilities included? Although formerly many U.S. apartments would include utilities in the price of the rent, few seldom do anymore due to the rising cost of electricity and water. This is an extra expense you will need to consider before making your housing decision.

On-Campus International Student Housing

On-campus international student housing, in residence halls and dormitories, is not only a more affordable option than off-campus student housing, the experience also has many inherent benefits, including:

· Amenities. When living in a dormitory there are many amenities to benefit from, including phone service, high-speed internet access and laundry facilities.

· Campus events. On campus international student housing keeps you close to the action, with on-campus events such as sports, concerts, lectures and more.

· Meals. Included in the cost of most on-campus international student housing is a flexible meal plan—three meals a day with a wide selection of food.

· Close proximity to campus buildings. Not only are students living on campus very close to campus classrooms, they also have easy access to other campus buildings, such as the library, student store, recreational facilities and computer labs.

Most study abroad program experts believe that on-campus international student housing enhances the experience of a foreign education. Living in a residence hall with others gives international students regular opportunities to participate in the total university experience and to make new friends with fellow residents.

2 comments:

Abby Tranter said...

This blog gave me all the vital information I needed before considering any student accommodation. Thank you so much for taking time to write this blog.

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