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Where Should I Stay?

Written by Kyler Chua, March 2018

As soon as you have decided on which university's offer you are taking up, you have decided on where you should be staying. There are a few options to go with, but each presents its own ups and downs. My personal recommendation for students is that they should stay on campus for the first year should their budget permits. If not, the student should try to find a few students, preferably friends to come together to share a house or apartment.

One such way is to attend the pro-bono pre-departure seminar that IDP holds every half a year to meet your potential housemate. If all else fails, IDP can try to secure you an accommodation with one of the private student accommodations that we partner with. Currently, as of March 2018, we are partnered with, IGLU, Urbanest, Scape Student Living, and Unilodge.

Here are some of the places that you can consider, along with my view of their pros and cons.



  • Immersing in a new culture
  • Saving cost as meals are generally provided
  • Learning a new language


  • Subjected to house rules
  • Lack of independence
  • The location may be far from the school

Renting An Appartment


  • The cost can be lower if you are staying further away from the city centre and not staying alone.
  • You have more independence
  • The flexibility of who you choose to stay in close proximity to


    • Feeling alienated and less of a community. You may generally hang out with your own housemates than socialising with others as you are further away from where the community is, which is on campus.
    • It is more complex and you have more responsibilities as you are juggling with a variety of things such as maintaining the house, relationship with your housemates, and making sure you do well at school.
    • The cost may spiral out of control if you do not manage it well,

On-campus Accommodation


  • The sense of community as there are usually residential advisors that plan activities to help you get to know one another and most of the social activities happen on campus
  • It is generally more convenient as school is located within walking distance
  • It is less complex as compared to staying off campus
  • There may be the flexibility to decide if you wish to have catered meals or not


  • The contract generally last for a year and you are not allowed to break the bond
  • In most cases, you will be given a single room and you are required to share the toilet and bathroom with other students.
  • Some of the accommodation options can be very pricey

Private Student Accommodation


  • They are usually located either near to the school or close to the heart of the city
  • Most of the accommodations are very accessible
  • There are some that provide free shuttle to school


  • It can be pricey for many students
  • The contracts are generally for a year. A shorter contract may be available but it will be for at least 6 months, but the price will be more expensive
  • Less sense of community as the students can be from different schools

For more indepth explanations and other details, drop by our office or book an appointment with us.

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