Which is Better: On-Campus or Off-Campus Accommodation Abroad?

There are many advantages of off-campus and on-campus living when you are studying abroad. Find out how to make a choice between the two. Also, consider alternative accommodation options like homestays with a local family.

Studying abroad can open countless opportunities for students. If you have been living in a small town or quaint city all of your life, studying abroad can become your ticket to gain personal and professional skills, and meet new people. But before you can experience all of these things, you need to decide where you're going to stay first. This is an important decision to make that can affect your ability to study and rest as a student.

There are many advantages of off-campus and on-campus living when you are studying abroad. However, for you to enjoy these facilities, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each of these options to determine which among these best fit your needs and budget. Choosing a specific accommodation without thinking carefully can result in stress, making it hard for you to study and excel in your class.

Find out how to make a choice between the two. Also, consider alternative accommodation options like homestays with a local family.

When you are heading out to study abroad, you have to make a choice about where to stay. In most of the popular countries for Indian students to study in – such as the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, etc. - both on-campus and off-campus accommodation options are available. The choice between the two types of accommodation is vital because your boarding is going to be one of the most expensive aspects of your foreign education. When you make the wrong choice without adequate research, it can make a big dent in your resources and cost you lakhs of rupees.

If you don't have a scholarship yet, learn more about the best scholarship programs to study abroad.

Indian students who are going abroad to study on a scholarship, student loan or external funding will want to look for the cheapest accommodation available which is clean, safe and hygienic at the same time. Both on-campus and off-campus accommodation options have their corresponding sets of advantages and disadvantages. Here is a look at the features of both types.

Off-Campus Accommodation

Off-campus rented flats, flatshares and other off-campus places to stay will limit the social life that you can enjoy on campus. On the flip side, choosing student accommodation in Swansea and other places abroad will give you privacy, which may suit some students. You can now stay in off-campus accommodation alone or choose a bigger room so you can have one roommate. Living with only one or two people can be very beneficial as this can mean lesser stress and more time for studying. Having only one roommate will also make it very easy for you to arrange your schedule and set rules.

When you are staying off-campus, you also have the independence that staying on campus will not always give you. You will be responsible for your own safety and well-being, and this will help you in developing your judgement and life skills. When you choose to stay off-campus, you will be responsible for your own chores as you are expected to clean your own space, prepare your meals, and buy your groceries. Regularly doing all of these tasks will surely prepare you for adulthood and teach you other important life skills such as budgeting, time management, and home maintenance.

On the flip side, staying in off-campus accommodation will mean that you will have to spend money travelling to and from the university, regularly. The further your lodgings are from the university, the more time and money you will be spending each day. But in comparison to on-campus lodgings, it is possible to find lodgings outside the university at far lower tariffs than staying on-campus. This could offset the costs of transportation, but not always. There is a judgement call that you have to make when you pick off-campus accommodation over on-campus lodgings.

On-Campus Accommodation

When you live on campus, you live in proximity to other students. Usually, foreign universities have a cross-cultural student population, and you can enjoy a vibrant social life if you are living near or with other students. Living in on-campus accommodation can be an excellent way for you to meet other peers, and get out of your comfort zone. Choosing this kind of accommodation will surely boost your self-confidence, and hone your intrapersonal skills.

You can also focus all of your energies on your studies and recreational activities since the university will typically take care of all your needs. Most of the facilities that you would need as a student will be available on campus. You will not have to spend time and money travelling to your classes each day. In addition, you will also have easy access to cafeterias, libraries, computer labs, and other facilities.

As mentioned earlier, for the same facilities, on-campus boarding generally tends to be costlier. Since all of the amenities are already provided, expect that you will have to pay more every month. In on-campus accommodation, your meals will be provided to you, and your space will be cleaned by professionals. However, this may not always be the case because some on-campus accommodations offer discounts and promos, especially for freshmen. Also, when you are living on campus you can rest assured that you are safe from being ripped off by landlords. In other words, you can be sure that you get at least what you pay for on campus.

How to Select Your Accommodation Off-Campus

There is a checklist of things you should consider when choosing your accommodation. The first thing to think about is, whether you can afford the accommodation you are looking at. Also find out from your landlord if there is a bond to be paid (as is the case in some countries like Australia and New Zealand). This bond counts as a security deposit, and it can be a hefty lump sum that you have to make sure you will be able to offer upfront before you take the property.

Also think about the furnishings of the property. Is it furnished enough or do you have to make purchases? Does this offset any savings that you have made in contrast to other, more furnished but more expensive lodgings?

Find out if food and facilities like electricity and water are part of the rent. Are there any hidden costs, such as for connections of power, phone, gas, etc? Also think about the distance of the lodgings from the university, and if there is adequate and timely transportation available nearby.

When you have found a place that satisfies you based on the above conditions, you usually will not need to look any further. If the place is not yet affordable, you can think about working part-time to supplement the rent and earn some allowance money for leisure as well.

You can also consider alternative accommodation options such as homestays (with a local family) which can eliminate feelings of homesickness and also lead to cultural exchange. Be flexible when you are on the lookout for accommodation and you will be happier with the results of your search.

Don't forget to read our complete study abroad guide to plan your overseas education.

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Author: K Mohan12 May 2016 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

While getting a seat for higher education in other countries may be easy, but not the right accommodation. There are many modalities to chose the correct accommodation. Normally the student would be new to the University and to the country and without knowing any person there, taking a risk of sharing on campus staying would be tricky and not everyone would be pleased with it. And going for off the campus accommodation would be challenging as getting a staying place for new student in a strange country is difficult. Though the friends may help on humanitarian grounds, but getting a right accommodation is a uphill task. So what I suggest that before taking admission in to any foreign college, it is better to arrange for accommodation of sharing place with a known family in that area. This can be ascertained through already accustomed students of that area.

Author: Anauj12 May 2016 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

Part of going abroad for higher studies is also experience that you gain – not just from formal education, but also through challenges life abroad throws at you. Staying with a family can have its own set of problems, as students will have to live by rules set by the ‘known family'. This I feel will curtail freedom and personal growth. Students living with known families will always have a sense of always being under scrutiny.
Someone old enough to go abroad for higher studies is old enough to live independently - I will not suggest living with known people. Though hostel accommodation is ideal, not all countries, and universities offer it. The next best option is rented accommodation. Students from India can rent an apartment and live together. Many Indian students do that – they share apartments, with girls and boys living under one roof.

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