International student: how to find a place to live

Canada By Janaina Da Costa September 26, 2022

Living abroad is a dream coming true for many students, but it is also a big challenge. In other countries, most international students don’t have the support of family or friends to help them settle down, find a place to live, and, sometimes, find a job.

If this is your case, you don’t have to worry. It might seem overwhelming at the beginning, but starting your life in a new country as an international student doesn’t have to be that difficult. All you need to do is follow the tips we gathered below!

Finding a place to live as an international student: 6 tips

For some international students, finding a place to live abroad won’t be difficult: many schools and universities help exchange students to find a new place, at least for some period. But, even when this is the case, sooner or later you might be facing the challenge to find a place on your own. When this happens, you may follow the tips below:

1 — Take advantage of the official channels

It is very common for organizations that deal with international students to have some sort of service to help them find housing. Whether it’s your exchange agency, your language school, or your university (as mentioned before), they will probably have some resources to help you find a place to live.

They should at least be able to help you with a language in which you can best communicate. Therefore, it is always worth exploring these resources. In the worst-case scenario, there is at least a chance that you will meet someone there who is in the same situation as you.

2 — Find a roommate

Since you will probably need to share the apartment, or even the room, to reduce costs, it makes sense to already find someone to look together and share. It will be two people (or even more) doing the same job. And looking together with someone else can look more reliable for prospective landlords. Try to talk to people from your course, your university, or other international students to find someone!

3 — Look at social media

Staying tuned on Facebook groups is a good idea for those who are looking for housing. On social media, it may be possible to find very specific groups: for example, Brazilian students of Exact Sciences looking for accommodation in Vancouver. In some cases, there are also websites and applications with similar purposes.

4 — Do your homework before traveling

It is essential to inform yourself before arriving in the country. Making your own research, talking to people who already live in the city, and reading what the press and local subreddits say about the accommodation are all tactics that can help those who need to look for housing abroad not to be caught by surprise and to avoid pitfalls.

5 — Be prepared to share

Keep in mind that sharing a residence is a reality for most international students. It’s easier if you accept it right away and focus on what matters: being close to the school or work to save time and money. This can be particularly difficult for those who were already used to living alone in their home country. That is why it is good to prepare yourself.

6 — Have an emergency fund

It is quite possible that your housing abroad will be more expensive than your current housing. Therefore, having an emergency fund to support you through your studies is essential.

Western Union Canada can help you with that. With our app, it is possible to send money to more than 200 countries and territories. This way, you can save money for your trip before traveling and start building your emergency fund to avoid any pitfalls.

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