by Jon Sender | Back to Guide
Arranging housing can vary on a case-by-case basis. Your university abroad may or may not give you a choice of living arrangements, although because you’re essentially apartment shopping in a country from far away, it might be easier to take what’s offered and not ask questions. University housing might be cheaper abroad, since we’re used to paying so much for it in America, but that’s not a guarantee. If you’re used to living off campus, then you’ve already evaded paying higher prices and might not see a huge savings.
If you have the option to live with a host family, take it and don’t look back. I wasn’t able to do so myself, but I talked to friends who were and every one of them said they had an incredible time. Whether or not you’re currently learning the country’s language, this will offer a socially immersive, and furthermore local experience you can’t beat.
If your university isn’t providing housing for you, then looking on Airbnb is a valid option. This allows you to choose where you live, although closer to campus will probably be better. I have a friend who did this, and his arrangement turned out great. Just be sure to read the reviews.
For those of you who want a truly immersive experience, attaining that starts with picking the right type of living arrangement. When you arrive and begin your semester, you’ll realize just how much that will effect the people you meet, what language you spend more time speaking, who your closest friends become, etc. Again, if you want to live with natives, call the university’s American office and make sure they know about that and have a note on your file. Personally, I followed up with the request twice as my trip approached, because it was that important to me.
On the flip side, if you’re just going for the ride and want to meet all sorts of international students, living in university housing as provided is your best bet and will be more conducive to the type of experience you’re looking for.