International students have started their journey as they arrived for the January intake. They are looking forward to getting settled in the area and to finding accommodation of their choice. This is an exciting phase for them as they get to experience a new country and culture, as well as adapt to a new environment. While the process of finding accommodation can be a very challenging task, to make the process easier, here are a few tips that can help international students when searching for accommodation.
Ideal student accommodation should include safety, furnishings, comfort, and proximity to necessary amenities.
What kind of accommodations is popular in Canada for international students?
There are various types of accommodation for international students to choose from. From on-campus dormitories to off-campus housing options, international students have a range of options to consider. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it is crucial for international students to weigh the pros and cons.
On-Campus Student Accommodation
The average cost of a dormitory room is around $9,000 – $15,000 CAD per school year. International students can seek assistance from the school’s student support regarding on-campus accommodation.
Prices may vary widely depending on location, but the average cost of homestay accommodation is between $900 – $2,000 CAD per month. Depending on the providers and school services, students will have a chance to get bed linen, towels, and 3 meals a day including school lunch.
Off-Campus Student Accommodation
Off-campus student accommodation options vary depending on the area and which type of accommodation you would like to live in. According to Zumper which provides the rental service, at this point, in the Lower Mainland area of BC including Vancouver, the median rent of a 1-bed apartment is around $2,500 CAD per month, and 2 beds apartment is around $3,500 CAD per month. If you choose the shared accommodations, the monthly cost goes from approximately $800 – $1,500 CAD.
Again, there are a variety of prices depending on the area and your choice of accommodation. When you are looking for a place to live, please contact your school support service, agent, or website to get the most accurate information.
5 tips to be mindful of when finding rental accommodations
When searching for accommodation, dormitories and homestays are usually considered to be the safer choice due to their association with educational institutions. However, for those who are seeking to live off-campus, it is important to be cautious in order to avoid scams.
1: Conduct basic research
It is advisable to conduct thorough basic research to ensure the validity of the listing and the legitimacy of the landlord. Utilizing Google Maps can help verify the address and confirm the location of the unit. Moreover, it is recommended to review the website of the apartment complex to investigate if there are any potential hidden fees associated with the unit. Checking the proximity to public transportation and necessary amenities such as supermarkets can also be helpful.
2: Read reviews of the rental hosts
While hunting for an apartment, students must always read the reviews of rental hosts to gain insight into the quality of their host or landlord. This information is when making an informed decision for international students. Be wary of any landlord who chooses to remain anonymous.
3: Take time to compare prices in the market
Always remember that finding the ideal accommodation takes time. It is recommended to conduct a comparison of various options for a few days before making the final decision. This will include comparing the prices of similar or same accommodations listings on different websites.
Prioritize accommodations that are conveniently located near your college and within your budget. Even if the selected place is slightly farther from your desired area, it is worth noting that Vancouver and its surrounding areas have an excellent public transit system, making it easily accessible.
4: Is the price too good to be true?
You can be the best judge here! If the price of the listing is significantly lower for the amenities provided, then there are chances that something may be wrong. Being alert is the key here. Always be vigilant when checking out the prices. It is a very important factor that must be considered when choosing accommodations.
5: Is your landlord asking for the money in advance?
Be sure to proceed with caution if your landlord is asking for money in advance prior to providing access to the apartment as this may be a sign of a potential scam. Carefully examine the details when committing to a rental agreement, such as the dates, names, etc. to ensure accuracy.
Useful Tools for Searching
There are various online platforms where students can hunt for apartments that fit their budgets. Nonetheless, international students still need to proceed with caution when accessing the following tools.
- Craigslist is a classified advertisement website where students can find various listings and rental accommodations based on their preferred location.
- Facebook Marketplace is a very convenient platform where students can find listings, contact the owner of the listing, and go for a viewing.
- Kijiji is also similar to Craigslist as it provides online classified advertising services, where you can find houses and condos for rent.
- PadMapper is a quick, concise apartment finder. Students can filter by their requirements and can view the end number of listings.
- Rentals.ca is Canada’s premier website for apartment rental searches. You can find apartments, basements, townhouses, or condos for rent here.
By keeping these considerations in mind and being always vigilant in the apartment hunting process, one can protect themselves from rental scams. Share these few tips with your fellow international students’ friends to help them in their process of finding suitable rental accommodation.