How to Find the Best and Most Affordable Accommodation for Students
6 Ways you can find an Affordable Accommodation as a College Student
Every new college student knows that the struggle is real- finding affordable student accommodation. It´s important that is not only cheap but also in a safe area and consists of more than 5m2 are almost impossible these days. Hence, I decided to gather some useful information that will hopefully help you in your search for the perfect flat or dorm room.
First and foremost, start looking for accommodation as soon as possible. The later you start looking, the more likely it is that it gets more expensive to find a decent room.
1) Student residences on campus
Your safest bet might be looking at what kind of accommodation your college offers. It might be a bit pricey but it’s the easiest way of finding a nice room within walking distance to your classes. Since most of the time colleges have their own dorms on campus it will be a no-brainer to choose this option. So, if money is not an issue and you can’t be bothered to look at other options, I’d say go for it.
Benefits of staying on-site are definitely that you know in advance what to expect, what’s included (Wi-fi, TV, laundry?) and which services and bills you have to pay for additionally.
Option number 2 is looking for a flat to share with other students. It’s a great way to make new friends also, especially if you are moving to another city (or country) and you don’t know anyone yet. Another bonus- you get to split the rent.
There’s a couple of websites that are specifically designed to find a suitable flatmate. If you are moving to England, you should check out spareroom.co.uk or take a look at the adverts on gumtree. Also, keep in mind when looking at potential flats to make sure to schedule a viewing of the property. You don’t want to sign a lease if you didn´t see how the flat actually looks like.
Maybe check out your college’s bulletin board as well because students who are graduating or recently graduated might be looking to rent out their old apartments to freshman.
3) AuPair or Homeshare
An option that might be of interest to you if you like children or wouldn’t mind helping an elderly person with their household chores could be being an Aupair or taking part in a homeshare programme.
As an Aupair, you get free accommodation and meals and even some pocket money in exchange for about 20 hours of childcare. Homeshare is essentially an exchange of services. In order to live with a householder rent free, you have to help out with some light household chores, run errands or sometimes just be around for conversations.
4) Look for your own flat
Of course, you could also rent your own apartment, depending on your financial means, it might be nice to look into having your own place. Same principles as option number 2 apply- search the web, talk to former students, check facebook groups- you might be able to find a comfy flat all to yourself.
5) Short-term solutions
If you are either late to the party, desperate or scared of not being able to find an apartment in time, I suggest couch surfing or staying at a hostel during the first few days. You may find that other students are looking for someone to share a room with.
6) “Hotel Mum & Dad”
Another option that you might want to consider is staying at home. I know, I know. You have just finished high school and you really want to explore the student way of life and want to enjoy your independence. But hey, if it saves you valuable money that you can spend on more important things like traveling and going out, why not?
Plus, you probably won’t have to live off Ramen noodles like many of your fellow peeps. And if you ask nicely, “Hotel Mum & Dad” might even offer a free laundry and housekeeping service.
Whichever option you end up choosing, make sure it is the one that suits you best. For example, if you would rather live in a quiet environment, then being an AuPair might not be the perfect fit for you. Either way, you are about to start a new exciting adventure that is college and even though for some people the idea of living on their own for the first time, may seem scary, you will definitely rise to the occasion and grow with the challenges (such as doing your own laundry).
Do you guys have any tips on what’s the best way of finding great student accommodation? If so, then please share them with us in the comments section below. Help out your fellow students 🙂
Santina is currently residing in the UK after having spent the last few years traveling the world. She loves to read (anything she can get her hands on) and writes short stories. When she's not traveling, she enjoys going to concerts and attending comic conventions.