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Student Accommodation & Housing Abroad Tips


As you plan your international education, it’s important to consider what type of housing you’ll be most comfortable living in.

There are a number of opportunities for students. You can stay with a host family, in a hostel, apartment, student halls, residential colleges, or private rental property.

Remember, your choice of home can have a serious impact on your education, health and overall well-being. While there can be a multitude of options, getting the right one can make your study experience a fulfilling and enjoyable one.

Many students choose to live at the university or college (often referred to as ‘on campus’) or live with a local family when they first arrive. This allows you to become familiar with your new city and instantly have a network of people to support you.

Living with your friends in a rental property outside of the campus can be one of the most cost-saving options but this option does mean you will be living closely with other people. Here are some tips to help your new household run smoothly.

1. Communication

Open communication is important when living with others. Many people choose to set up a notepad in an easy to see space (such as the refrigerator) or create a whatsapp group to help share messages.

This is a great way to keep each other informed of things that impact everyone living together.

2. House rules

Everyone has different living habits. Establishing some clear house rules in the beginning can help you avoid difficult or awkward situations later on. Here are some common house rules.

  • Cleaning up after cooking
  • Refilling the toilet roll after it finishes
  • Ensure you flush the toilet after each use
  • Consult your housemate before bringing any friends over
  • Consult your housemate before borrowing any items
  • Billing -  Who is in charge and how is the bill split
  • Quiet period as each one of us has different sleeping hours
  • Rules of using communal spaces (what should be left there, volume, etc)
  • Refrigerator - Ensure each one gets a shelf or space

3. Roster

  • What are the shared household chores
  • Who will do what
  • When are each of the chores scheduled

4. Get together day

Home is a place of sanctuary. The key to harmonious living is perhaps to have a bonding day. A few hours in a week spent doing things together. It can be over a meal, going out to do something fun, do groceries together, or just chilling out.

5. Compromise

Learning to compromise is still the biggest key to living harmoniously. Sometimes rather than thinking what has been done, think about how to resolve it instead. Saying is easy, doing is hard, that I know. I have been there done that to know that it can be tough. Good luck and enjoy the experience!

Here is more information on accommodation in IDP’s five study countries:

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