Valencia is home to a large number of international students, as well as plenty of Spaniards who travel to the east coast for both the quality of education (there are loads of top universities in Valencia) and, of course, the superb lifestyle. Rooms are generally not all that expensive (the cost of living is very manageable here) but they can go pretty quickly, so you need to be fast out the blocks to get a good one!
Probably the most important thing is to begin early, and not leave your search until your flight lands just outside the city. The reason isn’t that there won’t be any rooms available, but that you’ll be directly competing with thousands of other students, most of whom will have exactly the same apartment requirements as you do! Rooms come and go quickly in Valencia (quite unlike the ponderous pace of the bureaucracy) once autumn arrives, so getting in early should give you an advantage.
This really comes down to your own personal preference, and budget. Let’s tackle budget first. A nice, furnished studio apartment could easily set you back €800-1000 euros per month for rent alone. It would be cool, no doubt, but is that kind of investment really worth it on a student budget?
If you went for a 3-4 bedroom apartment and found as many other students to share it with, your rent will plummet. Probably €300-400 per month (and then bills, maybe €50 extra) for a decent apartment, maybe €500 for a really nice one. You’ll be living with other people, and usually that is one of the best things about exchange - you aren’t alone, but have your own space if you need it.
The last option is to be in a sharing house or apartment, but not take on the entire apartment yourself. Instead, simply find a room in an existing, furnished place which already has the other beds filled. You can get somewhere from as little as €200, though €300-350 is probably average. Compared to most of Europe, this is extremely cheap. This is usually the preferred option, though if you and a few friends from home want to move in together, you’ll need to source a full apartment and take care of all the details yourselves.
Online. Generally, finding a single room is the simplest, easiest way to get cheap accommodation in Valencia, and there are countless services set up to help you manage it easily - the Housing Anywhere Valencia search is just one of them. You can tailor your search by price, location and dates, and contact the landlord (or organizing tenant) directly to make things happen quickly.
Your best bet is to go online and look for either entire properties or single rooms (habitaciones) being advertised.
Facebook. We run a Facebook group which is dedicated to helping all students (or interns) in Valencia connect with others and discuss rooms, and hopefully make long lasting [room]mates in the process! Simply join the Housing Anywhere Valencia Facebook Group and start posting.
The trouble with arranging rooms online can be twofold. On the one hand, some websites and adverts are designed by scam artists whose objective is to swindle you out of money. Unless you’re using a secure site like Housing Anywhere, you should never pay for a room without seeing it and receiving a contract.
Conversely, a landlord may not want to grant you a room without meeting you in person. Especially if it’s a shared house, it’s important that you will get on with your new housemates.
In both cases, you can’t actually secure a room without physically being in Valencia. For this reason, it might be smart to arrange temporary accommodation for the first 1-2 weeks. Whether it’s in a hostel, couchsurfing or staying in an AirBnB, you’ll have a roof over your head and an internet connection to help you find (and secure!) an apartment.