Friday, April 27, 2012

Off Campus Student Housing: Some Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a student planning to study internationally in the near future, at a college or university in a foreign country?  Have you made a decision yet about where you will live during the course of your studies?  The opportunity to study abroad can be the experience of a lifetime, but as you are probably well aware, taking advantage of this type of opportunity involves a lot of planning, including making all the necessary arrangements with regard to accommodations.  This can be difficult to do, especially while living outside the country and you probably have plenty of questions you need answered before you make any final decisions.  If this is the case, the following information may prove very useful.  Here we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions regarding off-campus housing, with a short and (hopefully) helpful answer for each question.

Off Campus Student Housing:  Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions

As an international student there are essentially two general options in terms of where you can live during the course of your studies.  The first is stay on campus, typically in a residence hall or dormitory, but space for on campus housing is usually very limited, and there may be a waiting list of up to one or two years before on campus housing becomes a realistic option for you.  That leaves off campus housing—the subject we will cover below with some frequently asked questions:

I’m interested in locating off campus student housing. What should I do first?

The first—and best—step to take when trying to arrange off campus housing is to contact the university you plan to attend.  Most universities have a student housing office (some even have an office dedicated to international student housing), with employees who are trained in finding housing solutions for international students studying abroad.  By doing this you’ll be able to get contact numbers for the various housing options near the campus, and most universities now have a student housing database that you can search from your own computer.  They may even be able to supply you with all the forms you need (applications, financial assistance forms, etc.), and a list of tenant’s rights and responsibilities.

What are the various types of off campus student housing available?

Depending on the country in which you plan to study, there are many possible off campus student housing options.  If you would like to live alone, becoming the primary leaser or renter, there are apartments, condominiums, houses, duplexes and townhomes.  If cost is an issue, which it is for many students, you could look for a room in a private home.  You could also check the student housing database for “roommate wanted,” advertisements, thus allowing you to split the various housing costs, including rent, utilities and other services.

What if I need furniture?

Many off campus student housing options come pre-furnished, but if this is not the case with the place you have selected, try checking around at garage sales, discount stores and online wholesalers to find what you need.

How will I get to school?

If the house, apartment or condo you select is not near enough to the university to allow you to walk to your classes, check with the student housing or student services office for information on public transportation within the city.  Most university-towns have buses or even shuttles that drop off at various points along the school grounds.

Off campus student housing, whether you decide to live alone or with others, can greatly enhance the study abroad experience.  This option allows for much more freedom and independence—an opportunity to set your own schedule without being bound by some of the rules you’re likely to encounter with most on-campus student housing situations.


sabkon wells said...

hi. it was very nice to read about such a detailed and a coherent blog. thanks for the useful tips.

International Student in US

Logan J. Skew said...

Hey Admin, nice blog..loved it

Off Campus Housing in US

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