What problems do international students in Europe face with regards to housing, and how do we fix them?
HousErasmus+ was a two-year research project funded under Key Action 3 of the Erasmus+ programme sought to answer that question. The study, led by the European Universities Foundation and Erasmus Student Network, illuminated the housing situation for mobile stdudents in Europe. Over two years students, universities, housing providers and student associations were surveyed to assess their experiences and practices around accommodation. Meanwhile, a series of study visits and regional sessions brought together relevant actors to gather best practices and further analyse local and national trends and systems.
Based on these investigations, eight key problems in the field of international student housing were identified. Taken from the final research, these are outlined below. For a full overview of the results and recommendations, consult the report and policy recommendations booklet.
Students and key stakeholders such as universities have asymmetric perceptions of what a challenge housing presents to student mobility as a whole.
The organisations surveyed agreed that more collaboration between actors is needed to address the housing problem for mobile students.
Students are often culturally and practically unprepared for their mobility period, particularly regarding their housing needs and challenges. Accessible high quality information should be available to students embarking on exchange.
1 in 10 mobile students experienced attempted fraud during their housing search, and quality assurance remains an issue. Students should use secure payment and bookng services where university- or state-provided accommodation is not available.
With accommodation as the key outgoing in a mobile student's budget, this expense can be seen as a driver or social exclusivity in exchange programmes.
There are simply not enough beds in many university cities. Investment in student accommodation is needed to overcome this critical issue.
Legal issues may make it finding accommodation for a mobility period of just a few months more complicated, while housing providers may see such short-term rentals to be less attractive and more problematic.
Many students reported issues with their landlord or housing provider linked to language and culture.
Those students who undertake a mobility period in a work environment rather than a university have less support and face the additional challenge of having no recicing university.
HousingAnywhere is proud to part of the HousErasmus+ project. Based on the research results, we pledged to help 25,000 students find housing abroad by offering our service for free to their universities. We continue to innovate to simplify the search for accommodation abroad, and embrace the recommendation that stakholders must work more closely together. Find out more about the project in its entirety here.