Finding a flatshare in Spain

Best Spanish Schools in Malaga - Image by Fabi-DE wikimedia commonsArranging accommodation in Spain can seem daunting but there is no need to stress. Below we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two choices available: finding your own accommodation or booking it through a school or agent. Key factors to consider are the length of your Spanish course, whether you have any special requests, and of course your budget.

 

Nowadays, the market is changing. If you want to look for a flat yourself, there is a multitude of (usually free) websites where you can create a profile and contact landlords. If you prefer to have accommodation arranged for you, we at Unispain offer accommodation offered directly by the schools themselves. In the case that a particular school doesn’t offer accommodation, we also work with local agencies and landlords to provide housing. Obviously, this costs money and therefore prices are higher than if you go ahead and find your own accommodation.

 

Booking accommodation through a school or an agent

This option is definitely the easiest and most convenient; you don’t have to worry about a thing as everything is arranged for you. Typically, you will be sharing with other foreign students studying at the same school or university. You will not need to worry about calculating costs for rent, bills, etc. as this will already be done for you, and if you encounter any problems with your housing, you have someone to turn to for support.

 

However, this option is usually more expensive. Also, no special requests will be catered to- you will be provided with standard, no-frills accommodation only. If you are intending to study in Spain for just a short period of time then this may indeed be the only way to find accommodation- landlords usually insist on a minimum stay of at least one month.

 

Finding a flat yourself

This alternative tends to work out a lot cheaper, especially if you will stay in Spain for a longer period of time. You can search for flats in many ways (link to article about where to search for rooms), and there are numerous websites dedicated to doing so, my personal favourite being pisocompartido, which is entirely free to use.

Spanish accommodation- image by www.globalpropertyguide.com

 

Another benefit is that you have more control over your living situation. You can pick the exact location- perhaps you want to live as close as possible to the Spanish school at which you will be studying? Or right in the heart of the city? You also have more control over who you live with- this is a good chance to try and live with Spanish people, which will improve your Spanish rapidly. You can also decide whether you require specific appliances or facilities- perhaps a balcony or double bed.

 

Nevertheless, this option also has its downsides. You will need a good grasp of Spanish, or else it could be complicated to arrange viewings and agree on a contract. A fairly good understanding of the city is also needed so that you know the average rent prices and the neighbourhoods in which to live. There is also the danger of being scammed, especially if searching for accommodation from abroad. Never pay for anything online!

 

Recommendations for finding your own accommodation

We advise coming to Spain a few days in advance, staying in a hostel and arranging viewings. This way, you can inspect the flat for yourself (generally a good idea because photos are not always accurate), meet the landlord in person and go over any details. You can also get a feel for the city and work out where you would like to live- within walking distance of the school, for example.

 

Do note that if you are staying in a city with a high proportion of students (university towns like Salamanca and Granada), it might be difficult to find accommodation. Landlords will be accustomed to renting out flats for the whole academic year and therefore will perhaps not be disposed to renting out flats for only a few months. This is where you may need to book through the school or your agent.

 

So there are your two options explained. Generally speaking, if you are staying for a short length of time, booking through your school or agent seems to be a wiser move- less hassle and in some cases the only option. Those staying for longer than a couple of months should look into finding a flat themselves, not only to save money in the long-term but also to really feel like they ‘belong’ to the city.

 

 

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