Student flat or hall of residence: which is the best option?
If you have already been assigned your Erasmus destination, one of the first tasks you have to carry out is searching for accommodation. At this point, the first dilemma of every Erasmus student arises: Student flat or hall of residence?
Although there are different accommodation options, the most popular are shared flats and residences. You must analyse both options and evaluate the positive and negative aspects of each. Nonetheless, know that none of these options is necessarily better than the other. It all depends on your preferences and what is available at your Erasmus destination. For example, in Italy, it is most common to stay in a shared flat. Whereas in the Czech Republic, it is much more common for international students to stay in student halls of residence.
Therefore, in this post, we clarify all you need to know about these two accommodation options.
If you are thinking of staying in a shared flat, you should know that one of the main advantages is that nobody sets the rules. Or rather, the rules will be the ones you impose on yourself and agree with the rest of your flatmates.
It is also usually the cheapest option, so if you want to save money, it is probably the best option for you. If you also choose your flatmates well, the atmosphere will be amazing, and you will be like a small family, which will bring you together for the whole of Erasmus.
On the other hand, if you have never lived alone, living in a shared flat will help you become more independent and mature. However, your survival will depend only and exclusively on you and good organization with the other flatmates will also be essential.
Another positive aspect that is sometimes underestimated is the issue of space. In a shared flat, you will have your private room and share common spaces with your flatmates. But of course, it is not the same to share a kitchen with three or four other flatmates as in the case of the residences, where the common spaces are shared with several dozen students.
All this makes this option the most demanded by students in many Erasmus destinations.
Regarding halls of residence, one of the main advantages is that you will have more opportunities and ease to meet new people and make new friends. This is positive, especially if you arrive at your Erasmus destination without knowing anyone.
Although halls of residence are generally more expensive than shared flats, in the halls there is usually a diverse range of services and many prices, so you can adjust it to your budget. You can find everything from shared rooms to single rooms with private bathrooms. You can also apply for a place in one of the public student halls of residence, this option is often available in most destinations. Although this is the cheapest option of all, places are very limited, so you will have to apply well in advance.
Nevertheless, one of the disadvantages of halls of residence tends to be the timetables and rules they impose, such as not being able to invite friends or relatives to visit you. The location of the halls can also be an unfavourable factor. Although there are some located in city centres, in general, they tend to be somewhat distant from the city centre. On the other hand, if you opt for the shared flat, you will always have more options to choose from, and you can stay in the cool areas or neighbourhoods for students.
In general, these would be the main pros and cons of each option. Have you made up your mind about which is the best for you? Student flat or hall of residence? From Erasmus Play, we hope this post helps you in this important decision. And remember, as long as you go with the desire to meet other students and try to enjoy the Erasmus experience to the fullest, whatever your housing option is, your experience will be just as rewarding.