Websites to Find Your Home When Studying Abroad
When planning your future life abroad, it may be useful to go through your university website or contact the international student office to find out if there is student housing available. On-campus accommodation is often affordable, and you are going to live next to your fellow students, which is good for studying as well as the socialization process. If this is an option for you, then don’t wait until the last moment and apply for housing as soon as possible!
In case you are not satisfied with the accommodation provided by the school or if it does not provide any, you can look for housing on your own. It may be intimidating, but do not worry, there are some tips for that as well.
You may find it useful to join Facebook groups where other students of this university are looking for accommodation too. Through social media, you can find roommates and get advice on local websites to find housing. In fact, if you are planning to live in a smaller town, these websites might be much more useful than big online marketplaces.
Then, of course, check the online platforms that are specifically designed for students to find housing. There are plenty of those. You can find studios, shared flats, or anything your heart desires. These platforms mostly publish accommodation that is approved and, in case you need an official document to get a visa, they can provide an accommodation certificate. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some of them changed the cancellation policy to make it easier for students to cancel their stay and get their money back.
Keep in mind that, even though these platforms are often international and offer rental accommodation in many countries, some of them are more focused on North America, others — on Great Britain, or continental Europe. Another useful tip is to google ‘the XXX website + opinions’ to find out real people’s experience with customer service on these platforms before making a decision.
Let’s take a look at the websites to find your accommodation when going abroad to study.
You can find accommodation in Brisbane in Australia and Tokyo in Japan on this international platform. However, if you are going to study in the United States, you should definitely check this one out! There are plenty of American towns listed down on the website and American universities that you can click on and see the available accommodation next to them. There are options to choose ‘shared rooms’, ‘private rooms’, and the entire place.
This platform praises itself for excellent customer service and attention to detail. They also updated the cancellation policy so the students can cancel for free and get a full refund if they are not able to attend the University due to travel or university restrictions. This website offers accommodation in some cities in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, even the United Arab Emirates, nine US states, and several countries in Europe but it is very much focused on the UK and has a variety of options there to choose from.
If you are planning to study in Europe, check Uniplaces. Launched in 2013, the website soon became the most-used platform among international students. As a result, it offers a wide variety of options. The website provides a prepaid accommodation certificate that you can use on your visa application, which proves that you have booked a place to stay. The platform, though, gets a lot of complaints about the lack of customer service and a higher service fee than others.
This is a database to search for furnished apartments on several other platforms. The search engine works with 200+ partners and provides you with the most relevant results. Most of the apartments are in Europe. Even though there are a lot of options to choose from and the platform was featured in a few business outlets from all around the world, some clients complain about the poor customer service.
Roomi operates in many cities around the world but mainly in the USA. It helps students find someone to split the rent, verifying potential roommates through social media and background checks. The platform focuses on transparency, ensures secure in-app messaging with potential roommates, and praises itself for quality customer service.
This German startup is suitable for students, but its primary target is business travelers who need long-stay accommodation for a month or more and for which a hotel doesn’t really cut it. The platform was launched by a pair of startupers who experienced first-hand how underserved business travel is within the apartment rental industry. If you need a place during your exchange program or an internship that is going to last only for a couple of months, this website is worth looking into!
Focused primarily on North America (the USA and Canada), this website has been featured in Forbes and Washington Business Journal, along with reviews by students and interns. The platform was founded by former study abroad students and now works with over 250 campuses providing off- and on-campus housing solutions, as well as technology platforms to language schools, colleges, universities, and organizations.
When students leave for the summer (and other vacations), a large number of university-owned and independently-owned student homes are deserted. Universities employ the platform to fill rooms that might otherwise be empty throughout the academic year and during the summer break. This provides travelers and groups with a cost-effective and convenient lodging choice, as well as the opportunity to experience university life and take advantage of the facilities.
Founded in 2013 by travel industry veterans with the vision to make homestays a popular accommodation choice, this website offers an authentic homestay experience for those who travel not only to study abroad but also to fully experience another culture and make connections with the locals. There is a selection of over 63,000 rooms in over 176 countries, and you can filter by the type of the host.
Study Abroad Apartments provides housing options such as dormitories, shared flats, and entire flats. After spending their semester abroad in 2013, the founders of the website started to work on a solution to help future students easily book safe and reliable housing. There are local representatives in each of SAA's listed cities, so you'll always have someone to talk to both before and after the booking process.