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It’s back to school time. Or rather for many, it's time to start at a new school, college or university. Finding the right place to live can be challenging at this time of year. Student homestay options are available and often a great way to settle into a new place where everything, including the people, is new and unfamiliar.
Broadly speaking, the biggest change any freshman makes as they start college is the amount of autonomy they have compared to the term previous in secondary or high school. Lecturers are a lot more hands-off than school teachers and for many students this is also their first experience of living independently from their parents.
Before you even get to worry about how to do your own laundry or pay your bills, you need to find a place to live, undoubtedly one of the biggest headaches in any student’s life.
While some universities offer accommodation to all first-year students, many are left to fend for themselves in terms of student housing arrangements. Erasmus students too are often in an unfamiliar city trying to navigate rental bureaucracy in a foreign language. A student homestay can be a great way to circumvent some of this hassle and simplify all of these changes that are happening at once.
On Homestay.com, our online messaging system is simple and easy to use and allows you to ask prospective hosts as many questions as you need before confirming your booking. That way you can make sure the student homestay you choose is right for you and you needs. Some questions you may have would be around your host's hours of work, any additional costs or storage for any bigger items you may have such as a bike or musical instrument, and whether meals can be provided at an additional cost.
Secondly, one of the biggest shocks for students when they rent private accommodation is the unpredictable expense bills can have: you may be able to budget for regular expenses such as rent and transportation costs but electricity and fuel bills can sometimes be an unpleasant shock. The prices quoted by our homestay hosts are inclusive of all bills, and a light breakfast to start you off on your day. So no nasty shocks in the mail at the end of the month!
Many of our student homestays also offer special weekly or monthly rates to accommodate long stays. If hosts offer a discounted rate, you'll see a small green tag beside the price per night on their listing. Hover over it to see their reduced rates.
On top of this, if you’re moving to any unfamiliar region or city, staying in a student homestay can be a great way to find your feet. As you’re living with a local they’ll be on hand to give you any advice you may need while you’re settling in. Whether it’s simple things like using the washing machine or catching the bus, or more practical assistance such as how to set up a bank account or where to look for a part-time job, they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.
After a few months at college or university, you’ll be far more at home and familiar with your regular expenses and schedule and it will all be second nature to you but the initial move to a new town and start of the semester can be a challenging time. A student homestay can be an ideal solution for a few months, the first year or longer.
Wherever you choose to live during your first term of college or university, best of luck and make sure you make the most of it- before you know it the years will fly by and you’ll be moving on again!
By Mary Plunkett – in Guests