Now that you have received your acceptance letter to study abroad, you’re probably ready to pack your bags, right? Well, not so fast. Have you figured out where you are going to live? Before you go, here are a few things you should consider about finding housing abroad.
The first step is to check with your college/university’s study abroad office for available housing abroad options. While the choices may vary depending on your school and where you will be staying, the most common options include hotels, dormitories and homestays. Hotels are typically used as housing abroad for short-term programs. If you choose to stay in a dormitory, you will most likely be paired with one or two more students from the host country or others studying abroad.
In a homestay situation, you will be living with a local family. It may be difficult to adjust to this housing abroad environment, so here are a couple of tips you should keep in mind.
- Remember that the host family may be different from your family. Accept these differences.
- Respect and follow the host family’s rules.
- You’re not considered a guest; help out with work around the house.
However, if housing abroad through your school is no longer an option, do not worry. Other alternatives, such as Goabroad.com, are available. When you enter the site, scroll down the home page until you see a tab on the left side of the screen labeled “Accommodations.” Click on the tab, select the country and type of living arrangement in which you are interested and flip through the results.
But, whether you go through your school or an online service, there are some questions you should ask before picking a housing abroad location.
- What kinds of furnishings are provided?
- Is electricity always available (especially in third world countries)?
- Are laundry facilities available?
- What rules am I expected to follow?
- How much are utilities?
- How long is the rental period?
Lastly, do not wait. Housing abroad may fill up quickly, so start searching today.