One of the first things to consider when moving to Sweden as a student is finding a place to live in. The options you’ll have available might depend on the city, but these three are most likely. The right option depends on your preferences, budget and at the end what you’re able to get, as in many cities in Sweden finding housing isn’t easy. Many universities have a queuing system, so register as early as you can. My first shared apartment here in Umeå was just for one year so I’ve had to move and know it can be stressful. I’ve mostly lived in shared apartments for the past few years, though back in Finland I had my own place at one point. I’ve never actually lived in a corridor room, but have visited several, so I wanted to gather here my observations regarding the different options.
Two rules apply when looking for housing:
The rule no. 1 is to start early.
Rule no. 2 is not to give up. When I’ve been looking for housing I have emailed as many landlords as possible, then waited for responses, emailed some more. It sometimes takes a few tries.
+Can be fun
+A good way to meet people and make friends
+Usually the cheapest alternative
+Often includes electricity and internet so no extra costs
+Usually located near the university
-You probably don’t know in advance who you’re going to live with
-The kitchen is usually shared, though this might be fun too
-People might have different standards in terms of cleaning
+Can be fun depending on the roommates
+More affordable than studio flats
+Usually furnished so you don’t need to bring or buy furniture
-People might have different daily routines, some like to stay up late, while some wake up early
-You’ll most likely have to share the kitchen and bathroom
+You can do whatever you want whenever you want (almost)
+You make the rules
-You probably pay for water, electricity, etc.
-You’ll most likely live further away from the university
-No as sociable form of living as the other options
-Can be difficult to find
-You might have to get your own furniture
As for most of us, studying is a temporary stage in our lives and where we live during that time might not matter too much. At least I’ve just been grateful for always been able to find accommodation fairly easily. It’s also been interesting, yet not always easy, to share an apartment with people from different countries and cultures and has given me many stories to tell. 😀
You can also see my post from last year with more details on how to find housing in Umeå.