love to travel, to work or to study? Let us answer your questions!
Here is a checklist of points and information you should consider when seeing a house/room for your stay abroad:
It might be hard to find accommodations with contract. A contract would made the agreement legal and you would have some responsibilities covered by law. Well, if you are not presented with a legally binding contract there is not much you can do since it is quite common in some cities. Sometimes you can also see weird contracts which are not legally binding.
Does the room have a window?: It is very illegal to rent rooms without windows, so try to avoid this kind of rooms also for your own mental health. Light is important for you.
Price, what does include?: Get a clear picture of what is included in the price. Normally you have or a all inclusive monthly rent for your room or room+expenses rent. Check if there is also cleaning service for the apartment and if includes only shared spaces or all the house.
House appliances: Consider on the price the number of house appliances you have at your disposal, like dishwasher, which is not common but you can already find some apartments with dish washer. You should also consider other small appliances within the price evaluation (ex: toaster, juice maker etc..) although not vital, they can be useful. Full oven with can also be missing in some apartments, very important to make frozen pizzas 3 times a week.
Location: The location of the apartment also has some influence in its price. Although suburbs are cheaper and city centre more expenses, if there’s a good connection to public transport, it can be an advantage for you. We all know Erasmus is not only studying, however the time you take to get to your university is also important. You don't want to loose two hours per day between home and the university.
Flatmates: Avoid living with persons from your country, this will limit your mobility experience. Nevertheless, keep in touch with them, it is good to have a connection to our country. However, don't loose a good house for this reason. Having native flatmates can be interesting.
Number of flatmates: The bigger the apartment the more noisy it can be, however this should be compensated in the price. Compare the price/flatmates/quality ratio before making a decision. Living alone should not an option.
Number of toilets/showers: Consider the number of toilets and showers in the flat, and how many rooms there are. Run away from bathrooms with two showers inside, this will be killing your privacy in no time.
Walking to your room: If you need to pass through someone else's room to reach to your room, don't even think twice. It is a NO GO.
Fridge: A normal fridge has a capacity for 3-5 people, depending on the size of the fridge and if they cook all together or not. Also consider if you have space for your own stuff when looking at the house.
Internet: Can you live without internet? If the house has internet, perfect. If not there is more information about at the Internet Section.
Phone/Land Line: It can be useful to have a land line, specially to receive calls from your country since land line calls are much cheaper. However this is expendable with skype.
Can I bring a friend: Some landlords are quite strict in letting you bring visitors to your house. Check this before renting a house, specially if you are planning to have many visits during the semester. Free stay of a guest for at least four days is quite a good thing.
Bed size: The size of the bed is not vital, but It is sure nice to have a double bed if you like having someone over from time to time, or just to have more space while you sleep. This is a plus in a bedroom.
Parties and noise: Old houses will eventually be prone to more noisy since the walls are not so insulated. This will be relevant, specially when considering the neighbours, in the moment of throwing a house party/dinner. Good neighbour relations will also allow you more time before someone calls the police.