Finding accommodations abroad seems like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be so stressful. Here’s some tips and tricks to help you find your home away from home!
Research your destination beforehand to see what forms of travel and lodging are normally available in that location.
Finding a place to stay in a city can be hard, but knowing what you are looking for will make the entire process much easier. When I went to Poland, I knew that I was looking for an apartment, which made my whole experience simpler. I was not looking for dorms or hostels at all, because my program was long-term and an apartment was more cost effective. I did, however, have the opportunity to stay in hostels while I was abroad. If you travel extensively while you’re abroad, staying in several different places can help you build unique, memorable experiences.
Focus on your experience, not your housing situation.
The place you stay will be a short-term home, but that doesn’t mean you should agonize over finding the fanciest, coziest accommodations. As long as you feel safe and comfortable there, you’ll be fine. You will not be there very long , so don’t focus on paying for a sky rise apartment if that means you can’t afford to take advantage of opportunities to experience your host country. The whole point of studying abroad is to get out and explore, not mope about your dorm. Make the most of your time by getting to know your host city, the locals, and the culture and customs of the country. By evaluating how your different accommodation options will affect your study away experience, you can spend your time more effectively!
Airbnb vs Hostels
When I went abroad, I lived in both a hostel and an Airbnb in Krakow. Both experiences provided different contexts that were helpful to anyone looking to travel cheap. Hostels are not the best long-term option for me, even though they often have a very cheap daily rate. I lived in a hostel with random people for a month and it was hard to constantly adjust to the changing cast of guests. However, it really opened me to new cultures from around the world. Hostels are typically best when it comes to short-term stays, because they are inexpensive and often centrally located. Staying in an Airbnb was a very different experience, because I was completely alone in a city but had more personal space. I valued this because I was able to separate myself from everything and enjoy my space, unlike my time in the hostel. This also forced me to be self- reliant and led me to find more personal and professional time abroad.
No matter where you stay, living in a new place for any period of time may feel uncomfortable at first, but in the end, it will help you grow and learn more than you ever thought you could about yourself and the world around you.
By Ryan Kline, an OGO Peer Advisor