It is the responsibility of the student to organise accommodation, in consultation with the accommodation services at the host University. Students should be aware that partner universities cannot guarantee accommodation to all exchange students, students must apply by the deadline and follow the instructions of the host university accommodation office.
Meal plans are sometimes offered, particularly in USA and Canadian universities. This option enables the student to purchase a meal plan at the start of their semester abroad allowing them to eat at on-campus restaurants while abroad.
Below are some points to consider when looking for accommodation:
- What types of accommodation options are available?
- What is the cost of each option?
- What is the procedure to book accommodation?
- What is the deadline to submit the application?
- What deposit is required and when must it be paid?
- Is bed linen supplied?
- Are utility bills included in the rent?
- From what date will the room be available?
- Is there a system to obtain access to the room if I late at night or at weekend?
- What is the procedure for repayment of deposit?
Host University Accommodation
Students are advised to apply for university accommodation, as it can be difficult to find private accommodation for a period of one semester. Students should also be aware that in European countries, a lot of private accommodation would come unfurnished.
All host institutions should have an accommodation office, which either accepts university residential applications or provides support to students to find private accommodation.
University accommodation is usually allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is advisable to apply as soon as the application process opens.
To apply for accommodation, there usually is a box to tick on the host university’s application form, or there may be a separate accommodation form to be submitted with the host university’s application.
Special requests concerning accommodation should be communicated to the host university. While the host university will do their best to accommodate special requests, students should be aware that host universities have limited control over room allocation. Students should also inform the host university of a medical condition where relevant.
Students should be aware that the standard of accommodation varies in each country and university. Many of the US/Canadian universities use dorm facilites sharing a bathroom and main living room. Meal plans are also very popular and in some universities can be compulsory, this facility allows you to purchase a meal plan at the start of the semester that suits you and enables you to eat at most of the restaurants and canteens on-campus. Sometimes this option works out better for students in that you get a healthy meal every day and don't have to worry about cooking in the evenings or doing a grocery shot etc.
It is standard procedure for university residences to request a deposit in order to secure the room booking. Students should ensure that they understand what is required re payment of rent, bills, deposits, etc. For instance, in university residential accommodation, students are expected to pay rent from the first to the last day of every month, even if the room is unoccupied for part of the month.
ATTN: Students should arrive at their accommodation when advised. University offices and accommodation offices are normally closed during the weekend and on public/bank holidays so it is best to arrive during office hours on a weekday, a few days before the beginning of the semester and on time to attend the orientation programme. Students should notify the host university of their arrival date and of any changes.
Students travelling late at night or at the weekend should make prior arrangements with the accommodation office. If this is not possible, students should plan to book into a youth hostel overnight.
When moving in, any issues or problems should be reported immediately to the office responsible. Bed linen is usually not supplied. Kitchens can be poorly equipped in some cases.
The normal procedure, where university residential accommodation is not available, is to obtain a list of property owners from the International office of the host university or to follow-up on advertisements placed at the university by students wishing to share accommodation or by property owners wishing to let accommodation. Please note that many property owners prefer to rent out the property for the full academic year. It is best to arrange accommodation prior to the mobility period - some students assume that it will be easier to find somewhere to live after arrival in their new city; this is a risky strategy and can leave students stuck in hostels for weeks.
Students are advised to use caution and common sense when reserving private accommodation and signing contracts. Please be aware that alot of the private accomodaiton comes unfurnished so be prepared to spend the first day or so buying furniture and kitchen utensils.
Deposits are a serious matter in most countries and any damage to the room will be deducted from the deposit refund. Most countries require students to sign a lease which usually expires at the end of a month. This means that, if the premises are vacated before the agreed term, students are still liable for the rent for the remaining period.
The University of Limerick is a partner of HousingAnywhere, the international student-to-student housing platform. Students can use this platform to rent accommodation abroad or let out accommodation in their home University city. This international housing platform can be found at www.HousingAnywhere.com.
HousingAnywhere has over 125 partner universities worldwide, with accommodation in over 500 cities in the world. UL students undertaking an Erasmus or exchange programme can find and book a student room on www.HousingAnywhere.com. Access to the platform is completely free. An administrative fee will be charged when making a booking as part of HousingAnywhere’s secure booking system.
UL students can also rent out their room to an incoming exchange student, hence avoiding paying double rent while abroad and ensuring that the room is available upon their return. HousingAnywhere is free of charge when registering using the UL e-mail address. Before advertising a room via the platform, students must seek permission from their landlord.