One of the attractive pulls to using a placement program for finding your internship is the fact accommodation is more often than not included in the price. Similar to all inclusive vacations, it's often nice to have one price tag that includes everything. Unfortunately, also similar to all inclusive vacations sometimes this price tag is severely inflated for what you are actually getting.
This can mean that the accommodation that is included is not what you were expecting or not exactly convenient for your internship. This is the benefit of finding your own place. While you have to put in a bit more effort, you also are getting exactly what you want. And to help with this daunting task we've not only compiled a list of sites that locals use to find roommates and accommodation, we have created a list of tips and tricks we think will help narrow down the search.
- Figure out your price range. While this may seem obvious, going in known exactly how much you are will to spend on your housing before you start looking will greatly narrow your options.
- Consider alternative methods. Places such as Airbnb and hostels often offer discounts for users who book beds for weeks or months at a time. Check to see if this option is in your price range.
- Plan a "buffer" accommodation for when you get there. This means you have an address to go once you're off the plane and you have an address you can give a taxi or bus driver. We call it a buffer accommodation because it is often nice to search for your accommodation once you are in the city. This way you can meet flatmates, see the apartment, get a feel for the neighborhood and know how far you are from your internship without the stress of doing it online.
- Don't be afraid to ask your internship if they know of anyone who is looking for a roommate. They are locals and know that you are coming to a new city and are wanting you to have the best experience possible.
- Research the different neighborhoods in the city. Every city has neighborhoods that are great for one thing or another. Apart from your internship, your apartment is the place you will be spending most of your time so you want to make sure you like your neighborhood. A simple good search of "Best (insert city name) neighborhoods" will bring you to hundreds of blogs and websites that will give you their input. Do a bit of research so you know where to narrow your apartment search.