The number of students leaving their home and country to study is rising every year. It is not an easy decision to make. To live away from parents, stepping out of the comfort zone to a completely new environment. Studying abroad is more of a trend now followed by people from all backgrounds. A major concern that arises while moving is accommodation. Broadly 2 common options are there on-campus accommodation or private accommodation shared with other students. A common issue faced by a student living in Leeds is the high cost of the rent. There is a third option available to some students is staying with relatives. The option of student accommodation remains a popular choice.
Benefits of student accommodation are multiple and some of them are stated below-
- Nearness to campus- usually the student accommodation is short distanced from the university, or in many cases inside the campus. This helps in saving any extra commuting charges. As a student every cost matter because everything cannot be covered from the part-time gigs allowed in many countries. A nearby accommodation also gives time to focus on academics and other projects. Commuting more than an hour a day to reach college or even work affects the overall productivity. This can be effectively removed by looking for shared apartments near campus. Many websites are working to help connect students with accommodation owners.
- Diverse culture- Best way to learn about a culture is by living with them. Student accommodation allows interacting with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. It is not about extraversion, even introverts form really good friends with people from a different ethnicity. One gets to know about the food, fashion, customs, family rituals, etc from their roommates. One also feels more connected to their roots as they don’t want to disappear in this global village setup.
- Creating networks- As a student creating networks is very important. These networks need not be friends. Simply having people one can rely on at emergency hours. Having a good network of people from different courses will add to your resourcefulness. Resourceful people immediately know whom to contact when. They are excellent managers. Building relationships and networks are an important part of growing up.
- Stay updated- while residing in a shared en-suite or dual occupancy studio with student inmates, one tends to stay updated. Updated about what is happening around the campus and of other major updates. People tend to chit chat a lot while staying together. Most of the information is gossip and youngsters tend to enjoy this gossip thoroughly. Adjusting to a new space is overwhelming at the start but with people having the same anxiety this process eases up.
- Help in errands- running errands becomes easy when shared. People tend to share responsibilities like cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc. Even at the time one person is not well others tend to take care. Medical expenses are high in many developed countries. So, falling sick is a difficult time while studying abroad. With roommates who can look after you can be a real blessing. One can rarely afford a housekeeping service so all the chores are shared among the housemates.
- Socializing- in the case of Studio or en-suite type of studio apartments the hangouts are more viable. Instead of going out, students prefer takeaways or delivery options. Socializing is important and when one stays near campus this allows them to mix up more. An approachable and spacious helps to execute impromptu plans. College is about meeting new people and building a social circle.
- Excellent investment opportunity- A student accommodation also serves as an excellent investment in real estate. They fill up quickly and remain accommodated till the end of the degree courses. Students pay rent on time and usually upkeep the house well. Real estate is a good business and with student accommodation which can even be Private Halls of residences, this is a good investment. Real estate has seen tremendous growth since the lockdown. So, it is a lucrative sector to park any extra savings. Maintenance is needed timely but it is a one-time investment.
- Develops small businesses- Around the student accommodations, there are cafes, laundry services, grocery stores, etc. So, they give a flouring opportunity to local businesses. Many cloud kitchens and home chefs serve reasonably healthy food to students benefiting the health of students and give them a chance to earn. Students follow a budgeted pattern to track their expenses. These small businesses help in keeping the expenditure on the lower end.
Deciding student accommodation is an important decision. Many factors need to be considered while going ahead with an option. Firstly, students should make their filters and priorities and sort the options accordingly. A good locality must be chosen as safety in a new country away from home is prime. Distance and availability of public transport services as another filter to consider while looking for a lodging facility. The terms and conditions of payment must be made clear with the broker or the landlord. Students must not indulge in illegal activities under influence of anyone. Personal growth and getting a good score should be their ultimate aim and focus.
Living in student accommodation is difficult in a foreign land managing everything on its own. There will be homesick days and troublesome moments. All the tough moments will make you vulnerable but putting a brave face won’t disappoint in the end. One can concentrate better on studies as the atmosphere allows for more concentration in student accommodation. One can pull all-nighters and early mornings without disturbing anyone. Living independently is a dream for many and the student accommodation builds a foundation for it. One generates so many leads and references by living in such a setup. Some places have strict rules and policies. Being an outsider, it is important to abide by them and respecting the culture of other people. There are countless learnings one can get from studying and staying abroad. One needs to be there to experience this amazing world.