Finding student accommodation in Canada can be intimidating. But it can also be exciting — this will be your home for the coming months and years, so the decision is an important one. If you are an international student, the first place to start looking for accommodation is the international students’ office or website of the college or university you are attending. There are many different types of student accommodation in Canada, and your options may depend on your location, institution, and budget. Here are some common types of student accommodation.
· Student Residence – Dormitories & Townhouses
If you are an international student, the first place to start looking for accommodation is the international students’ office or website of the college or university you are attending. Some schools provide student residence on-campus or nearby the campus. Dormitories are usually larger buildings housing many students, while townhouses are detached, housing usually three to six students.
Dormitories have common areas for entertainment, cooking, and exercise, as well as shared bathrooms and shower facilities. These dormitories sleep one or more person per room, and are managed directly by the school. Dormitories are often a suggested housing choice for first-year college and university students.
Townhouses usually contain three to six bedrooms with single occupancy rooms (no roommates) and a main floor containing kitchen and living room area. This style of accommodation is usually reserved for second – fourth-year university students and graduate students.
In both cases, these styles of accommodation may include a nearby cafeteria or food court where you can eat daily, or are situated in close proximity to eating establishments on or off-campus. Both options might include utilities such as heat, hot water, and internet, or offer them at a reduced fee.
If you’re looking for an off-campus shared apartment, your search may be easier after your arrival in Canada. That way, you will be able to visit the apartment in person, see the neighborhood and proximity to your school, as well as meet the people or person with whom you will be sharing the apartment. Off-campus shared apartments provide students with a single room, in a living space with one or more other roommates. Like townhomes (above) they most often contain a single occupancy bedroom or living space and have a shared kitchen, bathroom, dining, and living room area. Many apartments are managed by individual landlords who will want to meet their tenant in person. You may be asked to sign a lease when renting a shared apartment — leases are normally six months to one year in length. You may also be asked to pay rent, utilities (electricity, water), and internet or cable television plus a deposit equal to one month’s rent.
It is still a good idea to start looking for a place and meeting potential roommates before you arrive in Canada. You can look for a shared apartment in the online classified ads of big newspapers, on popular advertising sites such as Craigslist and Kijiji, or even websites such as Airbnb.
Subletting is very common in many Canadian cities and towns — this is when a tenant rents out a room in their apartment to another person. In addition to listings websites, many universities and colleges have housing groups on Facebook where you can meet other students looking for roommates or sub letters. In this way, you may not have to commit to a lease and you could confirm your accommodation before you arrive.
· not all schools in Canada can assist in finding you off-campus housing
· Beware of scams on some websites such.as Craigslist and never send money before seeing the apartment or meeting the owner face-to-face!
Living with a host family can provide you with a sense of home and security as you start your new life in Canada. Host families normally provide a private, single-occupancy room, and serve one – three meals per day and internet access.
A host family can also answer questions about the city, introduce you to Canadian culture and customs and share mealtimes with you. Shared accommodation may be an option, and also room-only options (without meals) may be possible.
Students living in homestay accommodation should expect to travel 30 – 50 minutes by bus or train in order to reach the school. This is a normal commute time in Canada.
There are many secure ways to find a temporary furnished apartment rental before your arrival in Canada by using websites such as Airbnb, Craigslist, House Trip or Wimdu. These apartments are normally furnished, private rentals. Be sure to read the reviews of each rental and check the feedback from other guests who have previously stayed there.
Renting an unfurnished apartment is also possible, but difficult to navigate for first-time international students to Canada.
BASIC RIGHTS AND DUTIES
Every province has its own legislation covering tenant rights. Familiarize yourself with this for your destination province – particularly as an international student. You should receive the treatment and conditions you deserve as a tenant, and you should be confident that your landlord is fulfilling their responsibilities. Taxes are generally covered in your rent. Utilities – gas, electricity, and water – may or may not be included (although water is usually included). Whatever you decide to do, be sure to find an accommodation where you feel comfortable and safe and where you will be able to study and be successful during your time in Canada.
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