Spain is a major hub for international students and offers tonnes of great student housing options as well. Unfortunately, whether because of ignorance, inexperience, or lack of preparation, a lot of young students make simple mistakes that could end up turning their experience into a complete nightmare. Let’s take a look at some of the mistakes you should avoid at all costs when searching for student accommodation in Spain.
Starting Your Search Too Late
While some programmes will offer accommodation to students, others, like direct enrolment programmes for instance, will completely leave you to your own devices. So, it will be up to you to find the best accommodation depending on your needs and budget.
Since Spain is such a hot spot for students from all over, it’s essential that you start you search early. Finding accommodation can take as long as two months in some cases before you can finalise an agreement, so don’t take this step lightly.
Waiting Until You Get There to Learn the Language
A lot of people decide to study in Spain with the intention of learning Spanish. Getting housing when you don’t know the language will be just another hurdle and might complicate things even further. With all the options at your disposition today, there is no excuse not to at least learn the basics before you leave.
Using the Same Search Options as You Do Back Home
Things are different in every country, and assuming that you’ll be able to find the best housing options on Gumtree like you do back home is a huge mistake. Try to search from local resources and providers if possible. If you’re looking for upscale student accommodation in Madrid, you could use a high end service like Collegiate and have the chance of staying in this student accommodation for instance. Some services will go the extra mile and verify every one of their listings personally and check the premises for you, so they’ll be able to answer any questions you may have.
Overlooking the Flatmate Situation
Another aspect you have to consider is flatmate arrangements if you decide to go for this option. There are tonnes of details you’ll have to figure out before you make your decision. Are you fine with staying with other international students or would you prefer to stay with people from back home? Or maybe you’d rather stay with locals?
However, you don’t necessarily have to stay with flatmates. While staying alone in a strange land may look daunting at first, just having a good local network can be enough. On the other hand, flatmates can help you get out of your comfort zone and help you get around. Whatever you do, try to get to know the people you’ll be staying with beforehand. You could set up a Skype session from home or meet for coffee if you’re already there to get to know them better.
Studying in Spain can be an enriching experience and a great way to immerse yourself in a completely new culture. Just make sure that you steer clear from these mistakes and do your homework before you make the jump.