Guest post by Muhammad Ahmad
Getting education abroad can be quite a tedious process considering it is already quite heavy on the pockets. However, with international travel as easily accessible as it is and massive financial support, the process is getting a lot easier and feasible than it ever was. Globally, nearly 4.3 million students enroll in university-level education outside their home country. Nonetheless, they still have to meet many requirements and work to cover all their expenditures when getting through. Most foreign colleges and universities as well as various scholarship programs encourage students to take up part-time jobs which could provide them with some working experience. According to a work report for universities in the UK, international students enrolled in a full-time course can work for up to 20 hours a week but these cannot be added together or pushed forward. In addition to this, the work arrangements can include paid and unpaid work both.
Finding affordable lodging abroad
When students move to another country for their higher education, whether college or university, depending on the specifics of their admission, the college usually provides lodging through hostels. It is known that the college states or cities have affordable boarding or lodging in the vicinity with the relatively large influx of students staying there. Various student hostel listing websites allow people to understand the available options and they pick the one that best suits them based on the distance to their college at the most reasonable price.
There are specific requirements that they have to meet if they rent in some parts of London. In South London, Elephant and Castle along with Brixton are popular with many colleges in the vicinity. Additionally, these places also have a thriving college campus life with affordable take-out food, as well as, nightlife and other entertainment for the students.
Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, the situation was very challenging for people because they were not allowed to leave their homes and apartments as easily as they were in the past. The authorities implemented curfews, lockdowns, and other changes that they had to follow to stay safe through the pandemic. This lead to students spending time indoors and they had to make sure they had well-located dorms. There were some students from different colleges or universities, who even moved abroad.
Rules when finding a renter
While most of the rules around renting places by students revolve around the premise owner, some are primarily for students. Most apartment buildings in schooling complexes are usually for students or people from an institution. Additionally, there are some places with their own rules about students, who allow renting from specific colleges and whether they are even open to renting to foreigners.
With the massive changes taking place, homeowners and landlords were required to get background checks to make sure they were bringing in students they could trust. There are other rules to follow, like making sure they have the correct documents and are legally allowed to live in the UK. There was a 55% drop in the number of students studying abroad in 2020 with the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the numbers are again seen to be going up in the year 2021 as various aspects started getting better due to the conditions relaxing after the pandemic.
Visas have expiration dates and people would not be allowed to keep tenants if their visa expires. There are other changes as well with rules that the landlords and people renting out should know. If some people do not know the rules, they have to educate themselves. If they are housing people without proper travel or stay documents, they could face issues. Building owners have to make sure their tenants provide a detailed background check to cross-check the hidden misdemeanors before allowing them to rent out the place.
There are stringent background checks to verify that the landlords are not dealing with people who have a criminal record. There are multiple apps and third-party platforms that gather this information, so people do not have to worry about it themselves. In London, the rules mandatorily dictate that people have to go through a student background check to make sure they meet the requirements.
Other practices to get affordable rent
Several students pool together and move into an apartment which they subsidize by everyone pitching in. They might handle such a process by renting out the couch and have two people staying in each room. As long as they are not breaking any of the building rules, they should be fine.
Another approach that used to be common in the past was moving in with an older person to assist with their household chores for a lower rent amount. Most people required a certain number of tasks they needed to handle around the house and if the tenants matched those, they are lenient about the rest.
Airbnb is now an option that most people did not even think of in the past and students have started finding some amazing options there. With the pandemic and remote working, students even began considering using Airbnb to move to other locations and study remotely to get the best of traveling and also make most of their education.
Mixing work and stay together
There is a wide range of stores and smaller companies that allow students who are connected to a college or university to work while providing them with a minimum wage and sometimes affordable housing. They have to clock in a specific number of hours a day, week, or month and they would receive a small amount on the side and have their rent sorted out.
Additionally, colleges also had connections with smaller enterprises for part-time jobs so that the students can make some money on the side. Overall, these changes make rent a lot easier to manage.
Similarly, if rent is getting a little expensive in some parts of the country, having a part-time job would be a massive help to allow people to be in the position to afford their rent at least. Colleges have programs where they allow students to get part-time jobs to leverage learning and even gain experience which could benefit them. Some colleges and universities even give their students recommendations so they can gather the experience that they need to get through.