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Questions to ask yourself when looking for off-campus accommodation

Written by ESC Admin on 12 Aug 2020 Posted in Blog

Study in Europe

Universities will in most cases set aside on-campus housing for foreign students in order to alleviate the burden of having to do so from another country or when they visit. Here are just a few key questions to ask yourself as you head through the process of planning off-campus housing, to make sure you understand everything and stay safe:

Decide where to stay / how to...

Most students look forward to staying with other students, but it may vary whether they choose to stay with foreign fellow students (from their own country or from another world) or students at home. There are advantages and disadvantages for both: you already have much in common with other foreign students, particularly if from the same country; with domestic students, You become more inclined to communicate with people who were originally from that country and immerse yourself more in that society.

Begin your quest here...

It is helpful to create communication with one or two persons in particular as your principal connection with the university. You will also be approached by the Housing department which will have more details. Most institutions would provide a searchable directory on their off-campus hosting website, of vendors and tenants who they have accredited or operated of.

Security & Keep Safe

When you come across a site concerned with renting (students) land, ask yourself whether it seems to be a legal enterprise or organization. Looks like the web is well managed, or is it just for show? Are there testimonials which you can check from happy students? Look at the vocabulary used by an agent / landlord, and address it.Are they merely reporting payments or are they telling you to make a deposit as soon as possible? Are they too aggressive, or even threatening? Never wire money to someone you haven't met or spoken to.

When you want a place to rest...

Don't just depend on a property summary in text. That is a common law that should be upheld by any legal agent / landlord. Ideally you can still see the property in person when it's off-campus, although you should offer some leeway when it comes to housing on campus.

Switch forward...

Take a notice and record the meter readings for the gas, electricity and water before going in to the utility providers and then the same again as you drive out. It's also helpful to take a time-stamped snapshot as well, because you have more proof of what they were / are. Upon moving home, take an inventory and note any known defects or property damage now so the landlord / agent is aware of them. Do so by email so that a copy of this correspondence is available.

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