An independent cottage with that dream skylight, or a dorm situation with a host of social activities on campus? When you’re off to college in a new country, an important decision you’re going to have to make is where you’re going to be living.
As one of the top destinations for Indian students overseas, the European Union (EU) has several alternatives, which are suited to ensure a happy student life.
If you’re planning to head there, it’s best to do your housing research before you arrive in your host city. Here’s a look at the options you have:
Some people like their alone time; others like a healthy number of people around them – if you’re among the latter, definitely consider accommodation offered by universities in the EU. There are limited options for such accommodation though, so make sure you check with your university for availability, though!
The ones that do, offer smart, simple rooms with basic furnishing – a bed, wardrobe and table – and generally with communal bathrooms, a common area and canteens. Some even offer WiFi!
Many universities give you the option to live in residential apartments instead of dorms, which offer shared kitchen space for cooking.
Although it varies by city and university, university accommodation could cost you anywhere between €150 to €600 a month.
Here’s a handy source of information on university accommodation, or check out your university’s website to help with this decision! National organisations in various countries, such as DAAD, Campus France, Study in Holland, and others are also great sources of information for the same.
Probably not as pocket-friendly, but private housing options have their own perks- flexible hours, the facility to cook your own food, and as much personal space as you’d want. Not to mention, the option of choosing your own furnishing and locality!
It’s a good idea to take the university’s help or join student groups on social media while picking your flat. You can also check out this website or this one for information. Be careful with your information sources, there’s always the danger of being scammed, or ending up with the short end of the stick. Your best bet is to get help from your university before making decisions.
Critical to note: private accommodation can be hard on the pocket. The cost for a small studio ranges from €250 to €800 a month, and even this varies with the square footage and location. Your university, or credible national websites, can help you find options that you’re comfortable with.
Once you’ve picked your house, don’t forget to read that contract through before signing.
Also, make sure your landlord and you fully understand each other, and the terms of the lease. If in doubt, you should ask someone proficient in your respective languages to translate, so there are no communication gaps.
If you find that private accommodation is a bit too steep for you to afford by yourself, you can pick a flatmate and share the cost, too.
Student groups on social media and this website can help you find people with a common interest in finding private accommodation.
It’s best to get to know a person through correspondence/meeting before opting to move in with them and to make the living situation more comfortable, you may want to set a few ground rules and learn to respect one another’s space.
A real dose of local culture, a family setup, an opportunity to build community, and tackle some of today’s societal challenges – all in one. This may sound too good to be true, but it’s possible with intergenerational living.
The idea is simple – elderly people in the city or town you’re headed to for higher studies, let out a room in their homes that you can live in on a rental basis.
It’s easier on the pocket and reduces some of the pangs of homesickness you’re likely to feel. All that is needed is a written agreement (much like a rental agreement) between the landlord and tenant before you move in.
All in all, there are many housing options available for an international student in the EU. It just takes a bit of research to find the perfect fit!
If you’re looking to study in the EU, it’s important to cover all your bases before you land there. To make sure you don’t miss any step looking for housing options, check out this handy checklist of information.
COVID update: With the current COVID-19 pandemic episode, international movements are highly disrupted. Applicants are requested to be in touch with the consular section of the relevant EU country to check the likeliness of their future travel plans.