Studying abroad or far away from your local city offers many benefits. It enables you to learn new languages and cultures. It also allows you to form new relationships, thus, expanding your professional and social networks and establishing your future career. However, it comes with some challenges. And one of these challenges is getting accommodation.
There are two types of accommodations you can consider. They’re on-campus and off-campus accommodations. Although choosing an on-campus accommodation would be the best idea, such options are limited in most cases. This leaves most students with only the choice of an off-campus accommodation. The problem is that not all off-campus accommodation options will suit your educational and personal needs. However, with the right information, you’ll be able to find a suitable place.
Here are important things to consider when looking for an off-campus accommodation:
1. Your Budget
As a student living off-campus, you’ve got some necessary things to deal with. Maybe you’ll have to spend on your bus fare, buy furniture, and pay for other monthly bills like electricity and water. That’s why you need to consider your budget when finding your ideal off-campus rental.
Choosing an accommodation that you can afford will prevent you from facing many financial challenges during your school life. One of the best ways to find a place that meets your budget is to work with accommodation service providers.
There are several accommodation service providers out there. But not all of them can provide quality services. Therefore, you’ll need to search for a reputable and reliable housing agent. For instance, if you decide to study and live in Idaho, you can work with The Landing apartment services or any other similar firm.
Such firms offer accommodations to students with various types of budgets. Moreover, in most cases, they provide housing at discounted prices. So, you’re guaranteed to come across an off-campus accommodation that fits your budget.
2. Distance From School
Living off-campus means commuting to and from school daily. That’s why you need to consider the distance you’ll have to travel from your rental to the college. For convenience, you might want to rent an apartment near your school.
Living nearby allows you to reach school in the least time possible. Besides, it eliminates the hassle that comes with a long-distance commute, like getting tired. You’ll want to attend school feeling ready and energized. Once you get to school, you’ll be able to concentrate in class and perform well.
Therefore, if you want to have a stress-free time while studying, the best deal would be to select a rental close to your college.
3. Security Features
Security is important to everyone, and students are no exception. As a student, you want to feel safe and comfortable.
You’ll see many accommodations in various places. However, not all these places are secure. In some locations, you might encounter thugs along the way. These kinds of people can steal from you or harm you.
Furthermore, thieves can break into your rental and steal valuable items, like laptops, phones, furniture, and other things. But you can avoid this by opting for a home that’s located in a secure area.
A secure place should have security cameras installed. Not only do security cameras discourage people from breaking and entering or stealing, but they can also help identify anyone who enters your place without permission. These could be thieves or any other unauthorized persons.
Apart from the security cameras, you can consider going for a rental with a security alarm system. This kind of system lets you notify the landlord or security officers in case strangers or any other suspicious person intrudes into your place.
Also, you should opt for an off-campus accommodation in an area with police posts. Police posts will give you the assurance that the security within the location is tight. To check if there are police posts around, take the time to walk around before you go ahead and pay for your accommodation fees.
Another security feature to take into consideration is security lights. Sometimes, you might attend classes till late into the evening, or you could get home late after attending to personal matters close by or any other place. Walking alone or with friends at night can be risky too. Hence, it’ll be a good idea to stay at an off-campus accommodation that provides security lights. Not only do security lights hinder suspicious individuals, but they can also give you a sense of safety.
4. Easy Access To Institutions Or Establishments
Apart from attending classes, you’ll need other things to stay comfortable. At some point, you’ll fall sick, so you’ll need medical attention. In order to visit a hospital or a clinic in the vicinity easily, rent an accommodation with a great location.
If you’re the type who seeks spiritual nourishment, you may want to stay at a rental that’s close to your place of worship.
The market is another important establishment to consider when checking out off-campus accommodations. This is a place where you’ll be doing some of your shopping. It could be a supermarket, an open market, or even a convenience store. If you need some supplies, all you have to do is just take a quick stroll to the market. This could even help you save.
5. Parking Availability
Are you driving yourself to and from school with your own car? If the answer is yes, then you must choose an off-campus accommodation with parking. With parking spaces available, you can leave your car at night or any other time when you don’t need it.
It’s also practical to stay at an accommodation that’s accessible to parking areas if you’re going to expect some visitors like your relatives and friends. Some of them may travel by car, so having parking spaces available will be convenient for them. So, before you make payments for your rental, confirm first if the place provides parking spaces or offers easy access to parking areas.
6. Size Of The Accommodation
Apartments and houses come in different sizes, so not all of them can meet your personal needs. Several factors can help you determine which property size will be ideal for you. One of these factors is the number of your belongings. Belongings include a sofa, a washing machine, and other appliances. If you’ve got a lot of items to put in your place, you might want to rent one with a large space.
A large accommodation is right for you too if you want to have a study room that’s separate from the sitting room or the kitchen.
The number of occupants is another factor in settling on the perfect accommodation size. Do you want to live alone or with your roommates? If you want to live alone, you can rent a small house or a condo. However, if you want to live with your friends, you should choose a bigger apartment. The idea here is to choose a size that adequately accommodates all your needs.
7. Public Transport
If you don’t plan to drive, you’ll want to consider the availability of public transport. Some important questions you can ask yourself when planning where to stay:
- Are certain types of public transport available?
- What’s the condition of the road? Do people in the region utilize roads or rails?
Answering these questions will allow you to make informed decisions on your off-campus accommodation.
There could be limited forms of public transport in a particular region, such as buses and taxis only. If you can get to school by taking the bus, then look for a place that’s close to the bus station.
It’ll also be a good idea to check the departure and arrival times of the types of public transport. Knowing the schedules of buses or trains will help you reach school or home on time. So, an off-campus accommodation that’s accessible to public transport too will be a great choice.
8. Internet Connectivity
The dawn of modern technologies and the internet have impacted all areas of our lives. Most especially the education sector.
Today, students can connect with lecturers and study online as long as they have an internet connection. That’s why you need to consider internet connectivity when browsing off-campus accommodations.
Your lecturers will probably require you to do assignments and other projects and submit them online. Therefore, it’s crucial to live at an apartment or a house with internet connectivity.
Internet connectivity can also enable you to do extensive research. You’ll get to gain new knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter. With all this, you’ll get to improve your school performance.
Internet connectivity can even let you do your shopping from the comfort of your home. So, rather than taking some time to go to the market, you can order products online and have them delivered to your place. You can simply shop any time.
Moreover, by shopping online, you get to save time and use it to review for exams, do assignments or projects, and perform other school-related tasks. And with more time invested in your schoolwork, you’re able to meet deadlines.
Another benefit of internet connectivity is staying in touch with your family members back at home. Rather than making plans to travel back home every weekend to see your loved ones or having your family members come and visit you, you can just utilize the internet to connect with them. This will also help you avoid travel expenses.
Note too that you must select an apartment or a house with a reliable internet service provider. Sometimes, it isn’t easy to understand the reliability of a particular internet service provider until you work with them. However, before availing of their services, you can have an idea of their reliability by reading online reviews.
Reading online reviews involves browsing through their official websites to see what other internet users say about them. This is important because most internet users are honest and will always give helpful insights. You can’t go wrong with making your decision based on others’ testimonials.
9. Condition Of The Place
Sometimes, an apartment or a house, whether new or old, can have some defects. These could be a leaking sink, an unfunctional bathroom, unpainted or faded walls, and others. Unpainted walls, for instance, can attract insects, like bed bugs and mosquitoes. That’s why you need to find a place that’s in good condition.
Choosing a poorly kept home will attract a lot of costs. This occurs especially when you decide to renovate it. Even when the landlord decides to renovate the space during your stay, it may take too long to revamp it.
Renovating a house or an apartment while you’re already living in it can interfere with your privacy. This is because workers will be working on the place. You might get distracted during your studies. You’ll also have to deal with the hassle of storing your belongings elsewhere or rearranging your stuff to give way to renovations. To save yourself from the headache, choose an accommodation in tip-top shape.
10. Water Supply
Water is an important part of our everyday lives. You need to drink water, which helps transport nutrients and oxygen to cells. It even helps you avoid constipation.
You also need water for cooking, washing utensils, and doing the laundry. With such a major role that water plays in our lives, you need to ensure that the off-campus accommodation you’ll be staying at provides an adequate water supply.
Additionally, you should ensure that the available water supply is free from contamination and other harmful elements, so you can protect yourself from health problems caused by unsafe water, such as diarrhea and skin rashes.
Living off campus can make your school life memorable. It gives you more freedom, flexibility, and privacy. However, you must see to it that you stay at an off-campus accommodation that’s suitable. To find the right accommodation, consider all these significant factors. You can even make the search easier by consulting a reliable housing accommodation service provider who will be more than happy to find the best place for you.