Congratulations! You’ve completed your lower level of education, and you’re now ready to pursue higher-level education at an international campus.
Studying abroad or in a city far away from your home can be a life-changing opportunity. It exposes you to new cultures, enhances your global networks, and enables you to learn new languages. All these increase the chances of getting employed in the long run.
When you decide to enrol for a course in a distant college, higher chances are that you can’t commute from home. For that reason, you’ve got two options in terms of accommodation. The first one is to live inside the school. This option is typically referred to as on-campus housing.
If you want to avoid any hassles and extra expenses, on-campus could be the best option. It’s advantageous because you won’t be required to buy furniture, you can minimise the stress of commuting to class, and you’ll always be safe.
Besides the many benefits of living on-campus, only a few students get opportunities to get accommodation inside the school. While some are left with no choice but to settle outside.
If you decide to live off-campus, here are some practical and effective survival tips to help you get by:
Take Time To Search For An Apartment
Most students wait until the last minute to start finding an apartment. You won’t get the housing of your choice if you follow that process.
Off-campus housing facilities are always in high demand. You may want to start searching for an apartment early on, ideally, several weeks or months before you report to school. Seeing that, finding an apartment when you attend school will likely inconvenience you. As a result, you might not start attending classes on time.
Sometimes finding off-campus accommodation isn’t always easy, especially for any student joining the campus for the first time. But you need to note that this challenge doesn’t affect new students only. The old students also go through a similar problem. The good news is that any student can utilise housing accommodation services to streamline the process of accommodation search.
Several off-campus housing service providers, such as Sunrise Village, can provide you with several options.
Find An Apartment In A Secure Location
As a student living off-campus, you’ll likely want to own a few items like furniture, television, and other belongings. Besides, you might want to have learning gadgets like laptops and phones. Consequently, having more possessions in your apartment makes you more prone to theft.
One of the best ways to boost the security of your belongings is to find an apartment in a secure location. The place you decide to live in should have enhanced security measures. For instance, it’d be good to find an apartment with commercial grade cameras to help identify any intruder who gets into your house without your knowledge.
In addition, try to find a house with security alarm systems. This will enable you to alert security officers if thieves break into your house.
Aside from that, make sure the road you’re using has enough street lights. This helps in assuring your safety, especially when walking at night. Furthermore, it would also be good to ensure there’s a police post within the location.
Get Renters Insurance
Finding an apartment in a secure location is one of the best ways to protect your belongings against theft or loss. However, sometimes these criminal elements can manage to break into your home and steal everything.
Similarly, natural calamities like floods and fire can destroy your items. Since you’ll be forced to replace those lost items immediately it will incredibly affect your finances. For that reason, you may want to get yourself a renter’s insurance to cover your valuable items in such cases mentioned earlier.
You won’t spend any money replacing the stolen or damaged items with an insurance cover. It’ll be the insurance company’s responsibility to compensate you for your loss.
Select An Apartment Near The College
Sometimes commuting to and from school can be challenging. This is especially true if you decide to rent an apartment far away from school.
Living far away from the campus means traveling long distances. So, before you even reach school, you’re already tired. Due to extreme travel exhaustion, your academic performance and class concentration may be partly affected.
But by living near the school, you’ll likely enhance your focus and improve your grades. With less travel time you can get to class or home with less fatigue.
Organise Your Finances
Students living off-campus have to handle more expenses than those living inside the school. Basically, they have to pay monthly rent, buy food items, pay for water and electricity, and deal with other extra costs. In short, off-campus students live like any other ordinary tenant out there. Hence, the need for you to organise your finances.
By organising your finances, you’re assured that you’ll be able to settle all your bills on time. Also, there will be no chance of being locked out of your house by the landlord. Moreover, you’ll also have peace of mind that you have purchased all the necessary items for your education.
There are various funding options you can consider for your off-campus living. The best one could be to utilise your savings. However, if you’re worried that your savings might not sustain you for an extended period, you can consider other options. The common ones include applying for student loans and finding financial aid from friends and relatives.
Build A Comprehensive Budget For Your Finances
You might think that the money you have on hand may sustain you for several months. However, if you’re not careful in handling your finances wisely, that money can only support you for a week. For that reason, it’s advisable to have a detailed budget allotment for your finances.
A budget estimates income and expenditure over a specified future period. It enables you to know how you’ll raise and utilise money.
Having a budget helps you to control your spending and track your expenses. As a result, you’ll save more money to sustain yourself for a more extended period.
You can prepare your off-campus budget by yourself. However, if you don’t have enough time or skills, you can consider hiring financial experts to guide you and help you with a proper budget allocation list.
Select Roommates Wisely
Living alone is perhaps one of the most effective approaches to enhancing your privacy. However, sometimes you may decide to save a few coins by living with a few other roommates.
When you live in the same house with other students, you’ll likely minimise the financial burden on your shoulders. You’ll share rental fees and other bills, allowing you to reduce spending.
While that’s the case, you shouldn’t live with any student you meet on the streets. Some might not be compatible with you. You might experience some problems when you select the wrong roommates.
Furthermore, you should choose a roommate who’ll enable you to achieve your educational goals quickly. As much as possible, avoid any roommate who will influence you to waste your time with unnecessary things instead of focusing on education.
Rent An Apartment With An Internet Connection
Internet connectivity is essential to your campus learning process. It enables you to get access to online learning materials and tutorials. It can also help you research, especially when given an assignment by your teachers.
Most colleges provide internet connectivity to their students. You can utilise it when in the school compound. However, sometimes you may want to read or do assignments while relaxing in your apartment. That’s why you need to choose housing accommodation with internet connectivity. It’ll help simplify your learning process, thus enhancing your grades.
Aside from that, you may want to connect via video calls with family members and friends back at home. That might not be possible without internet connectivity. So, before you pay and move into an apartment, determine whether it has a reliable internet connection.
Learn To Cook A Few Meals
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to cook some meals, this is now the right time. Off-campus life allows you to cook for yourself.
In most cases, on-campus students don’t cook for themselves because the school provides a meal plan for them.
On the other hand, as an off-campus student, you must plan your meals. Therefore, you must learn how to cook from your mother or enrol in short courses in a catering school.
Identify Where To Get Medication
Nobody wants to get sick, but getting ill is inevitable. When you start feeling unwell, you may need to take some medication.
Stocking a few painkillers in your apartment can help you deal with some pains. However, that might not provide a permanent solution to your illness. The best idea would be to seek medical attention from a hospital doctor.
When you move to your new apartment, find time to walk around the area to familiarise yourself with the establishments and amenities near you. Try to locate a hospital and pharmacy near you as you do so. This will enable you to seek medication with ease any time you fall sick.
Find Health Insurance Cover
Most hospitals charge for their medical services, and you’ll be required to pay for any health services you seek from a hospital.
However, there might come a time when you won’t have enough money on hand to pay for your medical bills. As a result, you won’t be able to go for a doctor’s consultation and get medication. This situation may incredibly affect your school performance due to absences incurred. To prevent this from happening, it would be best to acquire health insurance to ensure you get proper medication when you get sick.
There are several medical insurance companies out there with favourable payments, and you just need to make sure to choose the most suitable one.
Shop For Grocery In Bulk
Time and money form integral parts of student resources. However, you must manage them well. One of the best ways to save time and money is shopping for grocery items in bulk.
When you shop in bulk, you reduce the number of times you go to the market. This allows you to save time. You can utilise the saved time to study, form discussion groups, or complete class assignments.
At the same time, shopping in bulk enables you to save money. Bulk items always have lower price tags than buying single items.
Benefits Of Living Off-Campus
There are several benefits of living off-campus. These include the following:
- Allows You To Gain Some Life Experiences
Some students prefer living on-campus to avoid some responsibilities. They don’t know that this strategy could affect their lives in the future as they’ll graduate without any life experience.
Off-campus life pushes you to be an independent and better person. It gives you many responsibilities like signing contracts, budgeting for your finances, developing relationships with different people, etc. As a result, you’ll gain more life experience and be less likely to have difficulty coping with the challenges outside campus life after graduation.
- Enhances Your Freedom
If you’re looking to have your freedom as a student, then off-campus could be the best deal. On-campus life obliges you to follow all the rules and regulations set by the institution. Consequently, you’ll get punished when you break such rules.
Likewise, you’ll get penalised for breaking school rules as an off-campus student. However, after school hours, you’ll have more freedom than on-campus students.
- Keeps You Safe From Contaminations
On-campus students are more prone to contamination than off-campus students. This is because they share most items, including sinks and toilets. And if you are not careful, you can develop such illnesses.
Off-campus living eliminates the need to share items. For that reason, you will barely get contaminated with germs, bacteria, and viruses from other people.
Living off-campus can be a hard decision considering the responsibilities you’ve to carry on your shoulders. Besides, this option can seem expensive to many students. But with the survival tips explained in this article, hopefully, it can guide you to have a smooth off-campus life.