Thursday, September 15, 2011

Off Campus Student Housing for International Students: Is It for You?

Are you a college student who is presently considering an opportunity to study abroad, in a foreign country overseas? Have you considered all of your housing options, including on-campus accommodations, staying with a host family and off campus housing? Study abroad programs are a fantastic way to see and experience the world, but in addition to the costs associated with attending a foreign school, students must also make arrangements for their housing—arrangements that can take many different forms. In this article we will discuss some of the housing options for international students, including what you can expect when living on campus, staying with a host family, and taking advantage of an off campus student housing opportunity.

International Student Housing Options: On Campus Accommodations

Students looking for the independence associated with off campus living may be deterred by some of the restrictions related to staying on campus. However living on campus does have certain advantages, including:

· Proximity. While off campus student housing is usually fairly near to the university, on campus accommodations, such as residence halls or dormitories, are located right on school grounds, close to classrooms and other university services.

· Meals. Most on-campus housing options include the price of meals—usually delivered in a cafeteria setting—with your tuition cost. Off campus student housing does not, which can quickly become expensive, especially if your program is to span an entire academic year.

International Student Housing Options: Staying with a Host Family

One of the more popular student housing options, especially among younger students, is to live with a host family. This is by far the most affordable housing option; however, it does have its limitations. Students studying with a host family are subject to that family’s rules, schedule and perhaps even a curfew, which could limit them from fully enjoying the university experience. On the other hand, staying with a host family does provide additional opportunities for cultural enhancement and language acquisition, as host families are very familiar with the region and usually very eager to improve a student’s overall study abroad experience.

International Student Housing Options: Off Campus Student Housing

Off campus student housing, which usually involves staying in a flat or an apartment, either independently or with friends, has several advantages. Students living off campus are free to come and go as they please, and are not subject to any particular schedule, save for their class times. This type of freedom may sound very attractive to some students, especially considering this may be the first time they have experienced this level of independence. However, staying off campus does have its drawbacks, including the price. Off campus student housing is usually the most expensive student housing option, and depending on where the apartment is located, getting to class everyday can become quite inconvenient.

Studying abroad as an international student, despite the type of accommodations you choose, can be a magical and unforgettable experience, but it does require a lot of preparation and careful planning. If money is no object, off campus student housing can be a wonderful way to enjoy this experience, but if saving money is important to you, you may also want to weigh some of the more affordable, albeit a bit more restrictive, options.

1 comment:

jonny manson said...

Well worded, Extremely helpful article
Thanks a lot for posting such great information.

USC Student Housing off Campus

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