What is it that you need to consider when you’re looking for a home, far away from home? It depends on the preferences and priorities of a person. You might think the distance to the city as the most important thing, while your best friend considers that having a supermarket around the corner is the deal-breaker. As a student who has been living here in Uppsala for more than half a year, and about to move to a third place, I knew a lot better now in regards to looking for a place to live in, called home (because space is never enough). For myself eight months ago, here are what you would know:
Take a picture of the room/house before you move in
Remember this, when you first arrive at your room, before you place any of your stuff, take a picture of it. Especially details on the wall, furniture (if you rent a furnished room) or things that you find unusual. It is for your personal documentation, just in case you might need it in the future. Oh, you can also share it with your family back home and they will be amazed at the 14-square-meter that you call home.
Corridor life is not for you
Different than Agnieszka, who enjoys the corridor life, you feel weird walking on that long hallway just to get to your room or the kitchen. The linear space that it has, does not feel like home. You feel more comfortable in a place that, oh well, have a form like home. Despite this, you would still want to try the corridor life because it is a fun experience. How else would you live together with another ten international students, but in a student corridor?
Reserve for an inspection before you move out
Whether it is from the university housing or a friend, it is always better to ask for clean inspection in advance before you move out so you can clean or settle some things before you really move out; either out of the house or out of Sweden. You would not want to have a debt, either in the form of money or karma. The cleaning list, which you get when you first move in will guide you.
Turns out, there are many ways to get a room
Chances are you would not be able to get the other ways, but through the university’s housing office, since you don’t have a person number nor that you know anyone in Uppsala yet. The other ways include other websites where you can queue for housing and mutual friends. If you really want to rent the whole house, you better get yourself registered in Rikshem or Bostad Uppsala because depending on your luck, you may get the house in a matter of months or years. It is a reasonable choice for people who are planning to study here for two years or more. Another useful website is Studentboet where you can place ads or look for a room to rent. No person number? Inga problem! You can join numerous Facebook groups dedicated for students who are renting/looking for a place to live (sometimes it goes together in a group who sell secondhand furniture or bike like this). It is definitely something you can do while you are still in Indonesia preparing for your departure to Sweden – do it! Justine’s experience and tips in getting her accommodation in Linköping are something you can learn from.
Get familiar with the terms
Sharing room? Apartment-first hand? Second hand? Double room apartment?? Yes, you would not know about all of these but don’t worry, Studentboet has a survival guide to housing. There are many types of student housing and lending/renting contract terms that you do not know about, in which you will as time goes by and you stumble upon them and you kind of have to understand those new terms. What a life!
Another thing to consider is household insurance. Some tenant includes this in the contract, while others may not. Consult with your tenant about it. I had registered for this insurance which also covers personal health, for SEK 88 per month so you would not need to worry about the rainy days. Now enjoy the student life in Sweden 🙂