One of the most important, and at times daunting, tasks of setting yourself up for exchange is figuring out where you’re gonna lay your head every night. I mentioned accommodation in a previous blog, but I wanted to go a little bit more in detail as to how I found my flat here in Granada and a few different ways you can go about finding your new home – and hopefully this will come in handy for wherever you may be going!
When it comes to flat hunting, the internet is your best friend. I used the FB pages “Pisos en Granada”, “Granada Erasmus” and “Granada Flat Sharing”, and the app “Idealista”, which all had constant posts looking for people to flat with. Also make sure to download Whatsapp and join groups of the same name.
You don’t need to do this months in advance. Granada is so student orientated that you’ll be able to find something the month before you go. Most flats come fully furnished with cutlery etc as well, so no stress about that either. The city is literally waiting for you! (Not to mention Granada is super cheap compared to Auckland – like, half the price).
Careful: There are flats that are run privately and those run by student-targeted agencies – these are usually more expensive! Cheaper flats are not necessarily lower quality – a friend of mine lives in a flat the same size but pays almost half the price (woops). Find out all the info before signing a flat – who is renting it out, what does it offer, the bond etc.
Location wise: It usually seems to be better to be closer to the centre than to the uni. This works in Granada because I only go into uni a few times a week by bus, whereas I’m out pretty much every day for a stroll through town, for tapas, chilling with friends at a bar etc. But once again, it’s totally up to what works for you and your timetable!
And finally, if you’re still not feeling set with what you’ve found, do what I did and book yourself a hostel (I went with the lovely Oasis) and go flat hunting in person when you arrive! This way you also meet some cool and crazy travelers passing through the hostel. Not gonna lie, this felt pretty risky, but I have no regrets. I got to know my flatmates before I moved in, saw the area and felt way more comfortable picking my flat – I would highly recommend researching whether or not this is a viable option for your city BEFORE going.
Other options include host families and uni accommodation, both of which I have heard are great experiences, just a little more expensive. Unfortunately, I can’t say much more, but my main recommendation would be to weigh up all your options carefully – you’ll be here for 6 months/a year after all! That being said, the perfect flat doesn’t exist, and the unknown of it is all part of the adventure. So plan as much as you can, but be ready to embrace the parts that scare you too! Happy flat hunting!