Finding accommodation is part of the experience abroad, and you will be faced with it, it will be one of your tasks.

Choose your type of accommodation

University accomodation

This solution is not always available. Some universities may not have their own housing solution or it might not be open to international/exchange students. It is the least stressful experience, and still a good solution to live with other students, despite some negative sides you shouldn’t neglect. Usually, there’s a curfew system to avoid excessive noise, sometimes you’re not allowed to have friends over, think about it. It’s not always the cheapest option, so look carefully.

Private room/apartment

The most comfortable solution, but also the most expensive and complicated, especially if you only leave for 1 term. You’ll have to sign a rental contract, and it is rare to find these for only 5-6 months. Even if you plan to stay the whole year, you stay only 10 and not 12. Beware of scams, don’t pay/sign anything before you’ve visited the place in person

Flat sharing

This is the solution we recommend for many reasons. It has more or less the same advantages as the private apartment, it’s less expensive, and it’s easier to sign for 5-6 months because landowners are often more flexible. It is the number one option to fully live the mobility experience. One again though, don’t pay/sign anything before you visit your room and meet your roommates, so you don’t find yourself stuck with people you don’t like in a room you don’t like.

Au pair

Possibly the cheapest solution, something to consider if you have financial difficulties. This means you’ll be involved the host household a bit more, and that it might be difficult to invite friends over too, but some students have picked that option in the past.

Bed & Breakfast

This unusual solution has been chosen by students leaving for England only for 3-4 months. Housing can be so expensive that it’s sometimes cheaper to make an arrangement with a B&B landowner for a monthly price.

How to find your accommodation?


Internet is a very useful tool, but it should only be used to collect addresses. A visit to the accommodation is still essential! ULB is a partner of the Housing Anywhere platform: This site can also allow you to "earn" money by subletting your kot or even your room. We recommend that you post your offers and requests on as many sites as possible to increase your chances of finding a place! The website of your host university may also contain useful information

Local Housing Authority

Check whether your host university has a Housing Office like the one at ULB. They are probably the best people to help you once you are there.

Newspapers, ads

On site, despite the expansion of the Internet, classified ads in newspapers or on campus are still very common.

« TO RENT » signs on doors

The bravest one might be interested to walk around the host town and check if they can see some « TO RENT » boards. It is actually a very good way to see if you already like the neighborhood, and you can even sometimes call the phone number on the spot and visit it immediately and who knows, already sign the contract by the end of the day.

Our tips

  • Check where your campus is located. Some universities are located far away (Barcelona, Madrid, Bologna, Rome are examples);
  • Furnished/unfurnished? For private accommodation, remember to check this important detail. Unfurnished = no bed, which is not very practical;
  • Beware of the deposit/rental guarantee. It is common to have to pay several months' deposit or rental guarantee;
  • Arrive at least 1 week before school starts;
  • Book a room in a youth hostel for the first few days;
  • Do not pay anything in advance /!\;
Updated on February 21, 2022