Host universities are obliged to provide in-coming exchange students with advice on available housing options, and many arrange accommodation on the student’s behalf; however, it is your responsibility to secure accommodation for the duration of your exchange.

Depending on the host university, students may be able to choose from:

  • On-campus
  • Off-campus
  • Share house/apartment
  • Home stay

The type of accommodation available will vary depending on the location and infrastructure of the host university. Many European partner universities don’t have a single campus, so accommodation is located throughout the city and students must commute to class. Most North American partners offer accommodation on campus very close to lecture halls.

Thoroughly research all of your accommodation options. Spaces may be limited in the housing options near your host university, so it is advised to secure a place as soon as possible.

A few things to consider:

Types of available accommodation

Research all the options available. Consider the location and proximity to your classes, cost, and the amenities and furnishings provided. Budget for purchasing your own food if it is self-catered, and investigate who you will be living with (international or local students) if accommodation is shared.

Know your rights and responsibilities

There may be rules and regulations at your accommodation, like a curfew or no alcohol allowed even if you are of legal age.  Consider if you are happy with such requirements and only choose accommodation where you are willing to abide by the rules.

Read the lease thoroughly before signing it, and understand your rights and obligations before committing to your acommodation.  Bear in mind that sometimes housing deposits are non-refundable, so you may lose this deposit if you decide to change acommodation or withdraw from the exchange program before getting overseas.

When to arrange accommodation

Depending on the type of accommodation available, you may be able to arrange accommodation before you arrive in your host country. If your host university is arranging the accommodation for you:

  • Confirm you have a place well before the beginning of semester
  • Confirm the move-in date
  • Confirm whether you need to bring linen (sheets, towels etc) or whether this is included in the accommodation fee

If you are arranging accommodation through a local rental agency, be cautious about paying a large down-payment without first confirming that they are a legitimate company.

Temporary accommodation

If you arrive before your accommodation becomes available you should book a hostel or other temporary accommodation so you have somewhere to stay once you arrive in the country. If you will be searching for your own accommodation after arrival give yourself at least 2 weeks in temporary accommodation to allow plenty of time to a find permanent place.

Where to get more information

Read through the accommodation website of your host university, and any information they provide to you. If you are going to find your own accommodation check out the local real estate websites to get an idea about the prices, locations, types of accommodation, and requirements for renters.

The student testimonials on UQ Abroad’s website are a great resource to get advice from students who have been to your host university before. You can find these testimonials on the right side of host university website, and also under Student Experiences from the UQ Abroad homepage.

Contact UQ Abroad if you run into issues with your host university or their accommodation office and would like assistance. Be flexible with the type of accommodation you are willing to live in, and remember exchange is only a short period of time. Part of the exchange experience is living in a new and different type of accommodation!


Accommodation on Exchange from UQ Abroad on Vimeo.

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