Housing options while staying abroad

Whether you are an international student, intern, or trainee, staying abroad is a life-changing event which it will surely take a lot of works and effort. Besides considering applications, finances, credits, you should be aware of where you will live. When looking for stay abroad housing, make sure you pay attention to these following key items:

  • Housing options
  • Lease length
  • Location
  • Roommates
  • Safety

Sounds like a lots? Yes, it may seem like a lot to consider, but looking at these factors will help ensure you pick the best housing options for you while living far away from home.

Housing Options

You probably have many housing options if you study or intern in your home country, so will your time abroad. These are the most common housing choices that students and interns choose while staying abroad:

College Dorms

A common choice for many international students is college dormitories, known as dorms or residence halls. Many universities offer students accommodation on-campus (or off-campus with free shutters), often sharing rooms and living spaces. 

This is a popular choice among first year students since this is an effective way to meet new friends. Also, living in dorms means all utilities are provided in the overall cost of rent, and they are close to all of your classes. 

However, if you are a graduate student or you just want more spaces for yourself, you may want to consider other options.

Many colleges and universities offer international students a chance to move into resident halls for the first few days of arrival and decide if they will stay on campus or looking for an alternative choice. However, this is not always a case, so make sure to contact your school or international office to see if they allow to do this.

Room, Apartment, or House

If you don’t want to stay in the dorms, there are many houses and departments near the schools that cater to the needs of people. Many landlords around universities/companies understand the markets and sometimes provide furnished accommodations with individual student rooms. Utilities will not always be included in the rental prices, so it’s really important to check before signing the lease.

 One of the reasons people prefer renting a room in a house or apartment while staying broad is that they can find an option that provides them with as much as or little privacy as desired. You need to ensure that you are using trustable resources while looking for a space to rent. 

Living with a Host Family

Universities or Host Organizations often work with local families to provide accommodation to students and exchange visitors whether short term or long term. Families with a spare room in their house often rent it out to students or exchange visitors. This can be a great option for foreigners, as it can help with homesickness and allows you to fully emerge in the culture. Host families are carefully scanned and checked by the universities and host organizations, so you will totally safe while staying there. Contact your universities and host organizations for recommendations. 

Lease Length

Basically, lease is the contract that allows you to rent your housing. You will have a lease period by semester or academic year if you live in dorm while renting a shared room or apartment will have an annual lease typically. In some cases, landlords can shorten the lease length but still require the commitment for a few months.

It’s important to know the length of your lease since you want to ensure you have somewhere to live while staying abroad but won’t be paying while not living there. It will be definitely a fee for breaking a lease, so find out what that fee is and if it would still apply in case you have to urgently return to your home country. 


When seeking for a space to live, it’s important to consider how easy it is to get to and from campus/company from the place you’re considering staying. You should ask yourself if you can walk or bike, or you will have to take public transportation. Public transportation requires additional time and money, so you should consider this factor if you must take public transportation. In additionally, business around the area is one of the factors you should consider. It should be great if grocery store and public services are nearby; however, in case it’s not, you want to make sure there is access to public transportation to another work around.


Whether you’re sharing a room, apartment or house, it’s significant important that you are prepared yourself to live with other students and may lose some of the privacy you might be used to. Most of the international student office will have a bulletin boards to connect with other students regarding housing. Your colleagues may offer you to be your roommates, so make sure you let them know that you’re looking for one. If you decide to live with roommates that you don’t know, remember to pick from trustworthy sources. It’s not just about privacy, having unknown roommates can lead to some unexpected consequences. 


Don’t forget to check whether the area you’re interested in is safe. Whether you are lounging at home or walking alone, you want to feel secure in your surroundings. If you have no idea about the accommodation locations, you can ask for suggestions from your advisors or supervisors. You can also search for previous student/trainee/intern experience online or simply ask your colleagues for some recommendations.

Now that you have an idea of what to look for and things to keep in mind while looking for a place, it’s important to rely on trusted sources. Or, if you apply for any program with WICC, our consultants will be more than happy to assist you in the conquer for the best place which suits your needs.

Good luck!

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