Study Abroad: Here is how you can find housing near top foreign universities - Hindustan Times
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Study Abroad: How to find housing near top foreign universities with AmberStudent

By, New Delhi
Oct 16, 2023 03:57 PM IST

In an exclusive interview, Saurabh Goel, CEO and Co-Founder, Amberstudent.com, shares tips about housing hunt, the most & least expensive cities and much more.

Housing, often, is the biggest headache of Indian students who enrol in foreign universities for higher studies. Budget is a big issue, the technicalities of lease agreements are baffling and there is a crunch to find good accommodation near the university.

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Pune, Amberstudent.com, a company focussed on student accommodation around the world, has so far sold 1 million housing to students and in 2022 alone served 40,000 students.(Shutterstock)
Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Pune, Amberstudent.com, a company focussed on student accommodation around the world, has so far sold 1 million housing to students and in 2022 alone served 40,000 students.(Shutterstock)

Now, finding accommodation online on reliable platforms is a good option. Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Pune, Amberstudent.com, a company focussed on student accommodation around the world, has so far sold 1 million housing to students and in 2022 alone served 40,000 students.

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In an exclusive interview, Saurabh Goel, CEO and Co-Founder, of Amberstudent.com, shares tips about the housing hunt, the most & least expensive cities, and the importance of reading the fine print of housing lease agreement

How does one book housing with AmberStudent.com?

There are two options: students can either book through our recently launched Amber app or on our website. The platform streamlines the task of locating and reserving extended accommodations for students, by taking care of broker negotiations, non-standardised paperwork, and intricate details.

How early should one apply to find good accommodation?

To secure good accommodation, students should start their search as soon as they have chosen their university. In the UK, the ideal time to begin the accommodation hunt is between January and April, as property prices tend to be more favourable during this period.

For countries like the UK, USA and Australia, it is recommended to start looking at least 6 to 8 months before the intended move-in date. This early planning is essential, especially in regions like the UK, USA, and Australia, which often experience shortages in student housing. Booking well in advance will ensure access to a wider range of more affordable options.

What category of accommodation do you have?

Accommodation options include private & shared rooms, ensuites, non-ensuites, studios, premium apartments & more. These diverse room categories can accommodate a wide range of preferences, budgets, and lifestyles.

Usually, how long is the lease? What happens if a student drops out of the course before the lease expires? Any penalty?

The length of the lease for students in Purpose-Built Student Accommodations (PBSAs) can vary, and it typically leans towards longer-term leases.

These leases are legally binding contracts, and students are expected to comply with the payment policies outlined in the tenancy contract. If a student needs to discontinue their course or leave the accommodation before the lease term concludes, there may be financial obligations associated with as per property’s booking policy.

The specific penalties and conditions can vary depending on the property and region, so it's crucial for students to thoroughly review their lease agreements, and understand the cancellation policies and any potential financial consequences before signing.

What is, on average, the room rental for accommodation, for example, near LSE, Harvard, New York University, Stanford?

The average room rental for accommodations near prestigious institutions like the London School of Economics (LSE), Harvard, New York University, and Stanford can vary significantly based on the type of housing, location, and amenities offered.

On average, in New York, for instance, overall prices typically range from $995 and $1700 per month (includes most of the utilities). At LSE, you can expect to pay around $1500 per month, while Harvard accommodations may range from $1200 to $1500 per month.

What is the difference in room rental in accommodation near the university and accommodation far from the university?

The difference in room rental costs between accommodations near the university and those farther away can be substantial. For instance, accommodations in close proximity to the university, such as New York University, may range from $1450 to $1700 per month, while those farther away could be in the range of $995 to $1200 per month.

This variance is primarily due to the convenience and proximity to campus. However, it's important to note that accommodations farther from the university often offer ancillary services like shuttle transportation, which helps bridge the distance and ensures easy access to campus for students, making them a viable and cost-effective option for many.

Which is the most expensive international city for accommodation for Indian students? Name the more affordable university cities.

Among the international cities commonly chosen by Indian students, New York stands out as the most expensive for accommodation due to its high cost of living. Also, in these cities, the housing options are often limited, contributing to the higher costs associated with finding suitable accommodations.

On the other hand, cities in Texas (USA) are generally more affordable in terms of accommodation. In the UK, London ranks among the expensive options for Indian students, while Sunderland is considered one of the more affordable university cities.

Amber Student’s tips on how to pick accommodation as an international student. What to keep in mind when deciding accommodation?

First, students should take advantage of resources like images and live tours to get a better understanding of the property they are considering. Understanding the booking terms such as payment flexibility, deposits, or cancellation policies, is crucial.

Secondly, booking through reputable agencies can provide peace of mind and access to reliable options. Thirdly, location plays a significant role; students should prioritise accommodation near their university to save commuting time.

Booking early is advisable to secure the best options. Additionally, it's important to research and comply with the specific requirements of the country you plan to study in. Lastly, students should carefully understand the costs covered and those that aren’t covered to avoid unexpected expenses.

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