Accommodation can be one of the biggest headaches of organizing your year abroad; here I will give a try to give you some tips!
Arriving in a new place
The question we ask ourselves when we arrive in a new city or in a new place is
“And now how do I move around?”
But this only when we are in the condition of being tourists, and the answer is limited to
“ok the line of the metro that brings me from there to here is this, the public transportation stops at this time, etc..”
But when we have to move in a place, spend a few months, or even a whole year, the answer is a little more articulate, and perhaps a complete answer can not be given in my opinion.
After my first Erasmus, which brought me to spend the most beautiful year of my life in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, these are the steps that I feel to advise to follow to anyone who is about to undertake a period of study abroad.
Be an early bird
Start looking for somewhere to live as soon as you have confirmation of where you’ll be studying. Get informed of where is your hosting University and firstly look for accommodations around that area.
Finding a decent place to live abroad is not easy at all, and as far as concerne my personal experience I would had not be able to do it since I contacted a real estate agency for Erasmus students, “Angelo Custode”, where Dagmara helped me in finding an amazing accommodation and she has been there for me during all my stay, I can definitely say that she became my “Polish mother”.
Talk to ex Erasmus students
Seek out for students who have just returned from their time abroad and get their
recommendations – or start chatting to other year-abroad veterans on our Dot-e platform and find out about newly-vacated flats. Another good thing to do is to contact the mentors of your hosting University, they will be ready and happy about helping you! Keep in mind that you are not alone and that there is always a huge flow of students going abroad scared about what will be next and a huge flow of ones that went through the amazing experience of the Erasmus by your side to tell you their experiences and reassure you that it will be just incredible and full of memories that you wont ever forget.
Beware of dodgy deals
You have found your perfect flat online and the landlord wants a deposit? Try to visit it first before handing over any money – remember online photos can be misleading. Look at ads for similar places in the area to gauge a sense of prices and check you’re not being ripped off. Moreover make sure there is a proper contract to sign and read all the small print.
Be adventurous and start your adventure with no prejudices
I would totally recommend to an outgoing student to find out to share an accommodation with students from a country different that the native’s one; a multiethnic atmosphere where to live would be the best option ever, since you can go over your limits and boundaries as far as concerne multiple aspects starting from eating habits.
Do not panic!
Still can’t find somewhere to live? It’s not the end of the world – staying in a cheap hostel or on a friend’s sofa for a few weeks can give you some time to find a decent place, as my friend Pierbasilio did.
The same goes for when your accommodation turns out to be a total disaster.
“If you’re miserable, then move and change!” At least you will have a funny story to tell and advices to give to who will come next.
Anyway guys, now that I am back in Italy I work as a real estate agent for Tecnocasa which is on of the biggest franchising around Europe, so for any doubt or advise feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you!
Here I leave you my e-mail:
Enjoy the article and good luck for your new adventure!
Written by Chiara Zucchetto Giuseppin
Chiara is pure energy and vitality. Her smile is able to take you to a universe where everything seems perfect.
Anyone who has met her says she has changed the way he/she see life, living with her means getting excited at every moment, means enjoying life in it’s purest and simplest way.
The best Erasmus interviewer that exists, the camera loves her … you’ll fall in love soon.