Congratulations on admissions and welcome to Sweden! Now it’s a whole new journey for you to start a brilliant life in Sweden. And the first step is always finding accommodation.
In the past 2 years of my study in Sweden, I have lived in a corridor in my first year and moved to a shared apartment in the second year. If you ask me, which one is better? Actually, I cannot give you a specific answer. Each has its own benefits and disadvantages. Below I will share my experience living in a corridor and living in a shared apartment for your own reference.
1. The room, the common area and the privacy
While living in my corridor, I had my own ensuite room with a private toilet and bathroom. I shared the common area of kitchen and dining room with 4 other international students. However, with the shared apartment that I’m currently living in, I shared a big bedroom with a friend and a big living room, kitchen and bathroom with another friend and our Swedish landlady.
That means I had more privacy when living in the corridor. However, that also does not mean living in a shared apartment would take away your privacy. I, my two housemates and my landlady have always tried to compromise with each other regarding our privacy. Thus, I believe whether you live in a corridor or a shared apartment, one of the most important things is to respect the privacy of your corridor mates and your housemates.
2. The culture, the fun and the responsibilities
Whether living in a corridor or a shared apartment, I can assure you that it’s always fun living with friends and fellow students. When living in a corridor, I have learned new cultures and traditions from my corridor mates from Mongolia, China, Turkey and the USA. We often had Fika or after-dinner talks with each other or shared fun while cleaning our corridor for our university’s cleaning competition. Those are unforgettable memories of my student life in Sweden.
What is even more special about my experience living in a shared apartment is that I’m living with a Swedish landlady – one of the sweetest Swedish I have ever met. Though she has not always stayed with us due to her work commitment in Stockholm, it was always fun whenever she comes back to Lund. We take turn cook both Vietnamese and Swedish food, then share dinner. My housemates and I have learned a great deal of Swedish culture and traditions from her.
And even though you either live in a corridor or a shared apartment, you would always share cleaning responsibilities with corridor mates or housemates.
3. The price and the contract
And here comes one of the most important things: the price. Renting price may differ between cities and cities, and size of the accommodations and their facilities.
I paid an average of 4300SEK/month for my corridor room, including electricity, water, and internet bills. Actually, I signed a contract directly with Lund Accommodation. The initial contract was from 19th August to 15th June, and then I extended it to the end of June. Also, the rent was calculated based on the number of days of the months. So if you live in a corridor room, you may see some months have higher rent than others.
Meanwhile, for my shared apartment, I paid 4000SEK/month, and the bills are already included as well. I signed a contract directly with my landlady, and the contract is for 12 months of apartment renting.
4. Some tips on finding student’s accommodation in Sweden
Tip 1: How to find a corridor room?
Contact your universities: Each university has its own scheme to support international students’ accommodation. For instance, Lund University offers a housing guarantee for international students to live in the university accommodations.
Tip 2: How to find a shared apartment?
Reach out to Facebook group and friends: I found my apartment through a Facebook group for student housing in Lund. We posted in the group that we were looking for a place to live for the next academic year, and our landlady has reached out to us. However, you should also be aware of Facebook scam. Having a visit to the accommodation or if you are not in Sweden, having a friend come and check the accommodation for you would help a lot.
Tip 3: Payment for housing
You should have a bank account to be able to pay for your rent. Some landlords may prefer cash, so you should check with your landlord when signing the contract. Check Brooke’s latest blog on opening a bank account here.
Folks in Sweden, if you have any tips or experience in housing hunting, please do share with us in the comment section. And to prospective students, if having any doubt, feel free to share your questions with us too.
Good luck, and remember to check out our Website page Accommodation and Budget for more tips.