8 May 2014


You have chosen your course, the country, the institution where you will be studying. Now it comes the time to find where you will live. Once again, it is all about setting priorities regarding money an time. Each case is different and you will choose an accommodation regarding your needs, your budget and your lifestyle. Anyways,  I thought it would be useful for you to consider them all and understand the differences in order to make an adequate decision…

Basically you have 3 options with some varieties… Student residences, host families and private accommodation (student houses or flats)… You also can choose if you want to share or enjoy a single room (for which the price varies of course) and in the case of residences and flats, you will have to pay extra money if you ware not willing to share a toilet, a shower or the kitchen. 

The following are the things you should think about before booking a room:

Ø  Location: How long does it take you to get to the city enter, to your school? Is there good access to public transportation? Will have a supermarket in a walking distance?
Ø  Bills: Are bills included in the rent? IF not, what is the actual monthly average price for these ones? (Sometimes it could double the price)
Ø  The place structure and layout: How many toilets there are? Is there furniture included? Does it have a modern or antique arquitecture?
Ø  Rent payment: Is it monthly, trimonthly? Or weekly? Will you have to pay a deposit? What are the terms and conditions?
Ø  The people: How many of them will I be sharing with?, Where are they from? Will they speak my own language? How old are they?
Ø  Rules: Will I be able to bring guests? Will I have a carefew?

My experience:
Personally, I have lived in a native host family and in a student residence and have experienced both, sharing and single room. Each one of these options comes with its pros and cons, as everything in life I guess… For me, it was a matter of priorities according to my age and budget at the moment.

Living in a host family gives you great atmosphere when first facing a new language; you will be forced to practice and therefore, you will improve easily day by day! It will also help you to understand from a close perspective the new culture you are entering to and to be tolerant and respectful about it. Also, you will have people who you can share your day anecdotes with during dinner, someone to take care of you when you are feeling sick or just need to be heard when feeling upset about anything.

Now that I live in Cambridge, Iam living in a student residence without sharing room nor bathroom and kitchen; Amazing experience as well… Different for me, coming from a conservative culture and very family oriented country, it has been the first time living on my own. I am not going to lye, it has not been easy to arrive home to no one, but it has also its bright side: I have gotten to experience that privacy I had never had, the myself time we all need to get to know ourselves better, the independence of looking after myself and the greatness of playing the music as loud as I want until the time I feel like!

Well, when choosing your accommodation, chose what is the most convenient the most for that moment of your life and your interests. I can guarantee that nothing will feel as good as home and most of the cases there will be things you will be complaining about but as I have constantly said, everything you experience when travelling abroad is a learning experience from any point of view and it will just help you grow into a better person.

This is my lovely little second home in England. Quite small but big enough to have fancy guests for breakfast!

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