Accommodation-hunting: What? Where? How much?

I’m always amazed by how fast time goes. My first semester in Freiburg is almost over and of course this means that exams are around the corner. But that’s not the only issue that’s pending. In my case, the end of the semester also signals that it is high time I started looking for a place to live or I will end up being shelterless. I’ve been lucky enough to get a room in Vauban dormitory for this semester but unfortunately I can’t stay here longer. And since Freiburg is a student city, housing is definitely an issue here so it can take months to find an ideal place to dwell. So what housing options are there for students? How to make house-hunting experience exciting and not frustrating? Read more to find out!

If you are a student in Freiburg, there are basically 2 main options for housing: you can either live at a student dorm or you can rent a flat. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages so let’s consider all the pluses and minuses to see what kind of housing suits you best.

As I’m currently living in a dorm, let me share my thoughts about such housing. First and foremost, if you’re short on money, living in a student dorm is definitely a good choice. You will have to pay around 280 euros a month for a room in a WG or you can also choose to live in a single apartment in student dorms, but those are a little bit more expensive, prices vary around 320 euros. Another plus of living in a dorm is that all your neighbours are students and you can make friends really quickly. Also, if you party, chances are not that high that somebody will argue because of noise (unless you’re REALLY loud 🙂 ) One more plus of living around students is that there are always different events and tutorials organised for young people so you won’t be troubled about how to spend your free time. What is more, when living in a dorm there are less responsibilities than living in an off-campus apartment. For example, you don’t have to take care of monthly bills, cooking meals for yourself, and having a large space to clean. You will only have to pay your phone bills since all other expenses are included in the monthly rent.

At the same time there are some pitfalls of living in a student dormitory. Being parent-free is found to be a great experience, but it can also be too much for some students. As there are always parties, you might get a bit overwhelmed and neglect your studies, which can lead to some not really pleasant consequences. Or, if you concentrate on learning, party noise can distract you.
Another tricky thing is that you don’t get to choose your neighbours, so you don’t know who you are going to live with until you move in. I don’t think that’s a big issue, but if you do want to live with your friends, renting an apartment together is what you are looking for. What is a real problem is actually getting a place at a student dorm here in Freiburg. Unfortunately, not everybody gets a room since there are way fewer places than people who want to live in student dorms. But if you do get a place there, you will gain so many unforgettable experiences of student life.

So another option is renting a flat. You can live on your own or you can rent an apartment with your friends, depends on your choices and preferences. As far as advantages are considered, you have more privacy, more choices, more opportunities, but at the same time there are more expenses as well. Yes, you do get to choose where to live: a studio apartment, a full-sized apartment, or even a house and you choose what people to live with. Unfortunately, you will have to spend more money if you rent an apartment. Monthly fees are usually higher, you’re lucky if you find something for 320 euros a month. Also, you most probably will have to pay a fee to the agency since here most of the apartments aren’t rented directly from the owners. And that’s also a lot of money. Another drawback of renting an apartment is that your landlord can be not the best person in the world. You might have to handle the problem if something is broken in your apartment and the landlord won’t help you.

If you are looking for an apartment in Freiburg or surroundings, be sure to check on such web-sites as zypresse, wg-gesucht, or immoscout. Also, pay attention to ads in the university because there are always different offers there. Another chance to find a place to live is via Studentenwerk web-site, here you can find different offers as well.

But you do need a roof to live under, don’t you? So in both cases, whether you live in a dorm or in a private apartment, you will encounter issues. But since you have chosen to live away from your parents, that means that you have entered an adult life so you will have to solve your problems on your own. So stay positive and good luck with finding accommodation!

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