Study Abroad Accommodation Options
TALK English Schools, and some other ESL language Schools, offers and arranges Homestay, On-Campus and/or Off-Campus Accommodation options each of their centers. Here is what you need to know about each of these options:
Accommodation Options for International Students
Homestay $: In this option you occupy a bedroom in the house and live with a local family.
It is an opportunity to immerse yourself on a daily basis in the culture of the country and live a little more like a local resident of a community, and it also has other advantages such as food, laundry, etc., and a family who is there to support you. The homestay option may be the overall cheapest housing option, as meals are usually included in the cost. Many students find that homestays are an ideal option as host families provide them with the best opportunity to learn about the country they are living in and share new experiences with one’s adopted family abroad.
On or Off-Campus Student Accommodation ($$): This option is very popular with young people seeking to have more independence while they are studying abroad. It is usually offered by the school through a weekly rental and you can opt for shared or single rooms.
The advantages of this type of living is that you share experiences with other students of various nationalities, and that the accommodation is located at or near the school. Single or shared accommodation? A single room in a residence or hostel is more expensive than a shared room. Try sharing a room with a roommate, and in doing so, you can share many of your living expenses. Keep in mind that having a roommate can also provide you with an English conversation partner.
Another advantage is the proximity of your on-campus residence to the school, and in the case of off-campus residences, transportation between the residence and school is often free.
Independent Apartment or Hotel Living $$$:
Living by oneself in a single apartment is usually the most expensive student-housing option offered by schools. However, for those students who wish to live in an apartment but cannot afford it by themselves, sharing the cost with roommates is a good way to greatly reduce living expenses. It is important to remember that with hotel stays, the rates are variable and usually rise in high season.
This type of accommodation affords you ultimate independence. It can make economic sense if your course extends for 6 months or more. In these cases, you can rent a 2 or 3 bedroomed apartment to share with other long-term students and share living costs, bringing down your overall cost quite considerably.
To conclude: The cheapest and most efficient form of accommodation is with a host family. This way you can experiment American customs, cuisine and family life, something which is normally not experienced by foreign tourists. You will also have the opportunity to hear natural English without the mistakes which the other students make. Another alternative is university accommodation, where you will be surrounded by other foreign students with lots of opportunity to talk, but perhaps best not to listen too much! If you value your privacy, hotel accommodation is expensive and you must make an effort not to get isolated in your room. Also if choose independent accommodation try to avoid neighborhoods with high immigrant populations, especially if their native tongue is the same as yours!