For many language travel students, their study abroad accommodation comes as an afterthought, though it really shouldn’t! Choosing the right type of accommodation can be as important as choosing the right foreign language course so you should start thinking about this early on.
Choosing which accommodation to stay in for the duration of your study abroad program should actually be considered as early on as possible. The reason for this is because different foreign language schools will offer different types of accommodation so there’s no sense in choosing your foreign language school only to then find that they don’t offer the accommodation option you wanted. So here are those options for you…
Homestays are probably the most common type of study abroad accommodation on offer. Many foreign language schools will have a homestay option which basically means you stay with a host family who live nearby to your foreign language school. If you choose this option you will have a private bedroom, though not necessarily a private bathroom (it may be shared with other members of the family). Usually you have the option to choose whether you would like the host family to cook meals for you, and if you do the cost will be a little higher.
There are two main advantages with homestay accommodation. One is the cost, as these are usually very affordable options, and two is the fact that you’re being immersed with a family who will be speaking the language you’re trying to learn. This gives you extra incentive to learn it quickly so you can understand each other better!
Some foreign language schools will offer ‘halls of residence’. This term is usually associated with universities and on-campus accommodation. The university will rent out the facilities to the language school for use by their language travel students when the university’s own students aren’t using them. What this means is that this option would generally only be available during term breaks so may only be offered for a summer study abroad program for example.
Alternatively, some larger foreign language schools which operate all year round may have their own purpose built accommodation which is just for the use of their language travel students. Bear in mind that the quality and set up of this type of study abroad accommodation can vary hugely. You may have a single, private room, or it may be shared with one or more other language travel students.
There are sometimes two options here, depending on the language school. Some language schools own a number of properties or have a contact list for landlords in the local area. You would probably have your own bedroom and share the house or apartment with several other language travel students, giving you the opportunity to make some great friends! The major drawback with this study abroad accommodation option is that it would likely be the most expensive type of accommodation available to you.