You’ve been accepted to your study abroad program and are filling your free time being excited and planning your trip abroad. This moment is what you’ve dreamed of and waited for while filling out the seemingly endless paperwork of the application process and now you get to make a few decisions that will impact the type of experience your life abroad becomes. To insure you’re as informed about your housing options here are our quick pros and cons of housing options abroad:
Pros: High level of immersion. You’ll really get to experience local life living in a home-stay. Additionally, you’ll learn your new home’s language that much more quickly due to using it at home every day.
Cons: Privacy can be an issue. As you’re living under someone else’s roof you may find it difficult to get some alone time with your friends or significant other and maintaining the level of independence you’re used to may be challenging.
Study Abroad/Dormitory Apartments
Pros: You’ll get to live with a group of people going through the same experiences you are and, as such, have the chance to make some lifelong friends. Also this form of housing is something you’re familiar with and you’ll be able to enjoy of same level of independence you did back in the US.
Cons: It’s going to be that much harder to meet and befriend locals when you’re clustered with your study abroad counter parts.
Pros: The structure of your housing is completely up to you. You can find an apartment with local students and truly immerse yourself or live with a friend who’s relocating to the city as well.
Cons: This process can be hard to figure out, especially when landlords and housing contracts may not be in English. Along with this, housing is not guaranteed if you go it alone in a highly populated city, finding housing anywhere near the area you want may be extremely expensive or next to impossible.
If your program doesn’t offer your first choice in housing don’t feel like your time abroad can’t be what you want it to be. Your experiences are what you make of them and while your housing can and will affect your experiences; it’s not the defining factor of your time abroad.