Top of our priority list when studying abroad is finding the perfect language school. A place where we’ll make friends from around the world and get a quality education. The search for somewhere to stay is often a secondary consideration but we believe is vitally important to making your stay a happy one. Here are some of our tops tips for finding the accommodation that suits you best.
- Decide what your priorities are for your study abroad experience.
Depending on whether your main aim is to make new friends from around the world or whether your focus is on improving your language skills and knowledge of the local culture, different accommodation options may be more appropriate. Student residences offer lots of scope for mixing with other international students. Conversely in a homestay you may be the only student but you will benefit from increased exposure to the target language and local culture.
- Determine your budget.
If you are studying abroad on a shoestring, either a homestay or a student hall may be the best option. If you can stretch your budget a little further you could opt for a shared student flat or perhaps a studio. Unsurprisingly hotels come top of the list in terms of expense but they do offer that added level of luxury and service.
- Consider the level of independence and privacy you require.
If both of these are highly important to you, a studio flat is definitely the best option. Studios always include an ensuite bathroom and their own kitchen and you will be free to come and go as you please. Some student residences and all homestays require students to return home before a certain time in the evening and most facilities will be either shared with other students or the host family. However, both these options do offer a higher level of support and interaction with either host families or fellow students, and in the case of the student residences, a ready-made set of friends for exploring the city together or simply socialising.
- Think about your preferred location for the accommodation.
Do you prefer to be right in the heart of your new host city or in a quiet neighbourhood? Student residences and most hotel options tend to be located in busy central districts with access to shops, bars and restaurants within a few minutes walk of the accommodation. Our homestays are usually located outside the central districts but within easy reach of the school. Whilst these neighbourhoods are generally quieter there will still be a good range of shops and parks close by, and you’ll benefit from a greater sense of local community. Shared student flats can usually be found in most city locations and therefore maybe ideal for students who prefer a quieter neighbourhood but still want to be completely independent.
When it comes to choosing accommodation, it’s definitely not a case of one size fits all. It’s depends on what your requirements are. All LSI schools have experienced accommodation officers that can advise you of the options in their locations and match them to your requirements. We also provide a lot of information on our website, detailing all the different options. Our aim is to help you find your perfect ‘Home away from Home’ during your study abroad programme.