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Living in shared student accommodation: ready for your big adventure?

Are you thinking about living in student housing? Freedom, independence, spontaneous outings: you already know you will love it! However, before rushing into things, you still need to weigh up the pros and the cons. To help you do this, here is our 7-point checklist for student housing novices.

Do you like independence?

Independence is something we all dream of, but have you tried it out yet? Because sometimes being self-sufficient is less fun than you might imagine.

Do you have a sufficient budget for rent?

Depending on whether you choose shared student accommodation or a beautiful apartment, you will be looking at a cost of between 200 and 800 euros per month. The average Belgian student pays a monthly rent of 368 euros. And to stop you forgetting all about it, set up a standing order to pay the rent.

Have you written a list of all the extra costs?

What do energy, water, internet, your mobile, your rental deposit that is placed in a blocked account and insurance all have in common? They are all costs that you need to include in your student accommodation budget.

Are your parents prepared to help you out?

Living in student accommodation costs money! Fortunately, 88%* of the Belgian parents are there to help finance their child's accommodation.

Will your life in shared accommodation involve sharing costs, too?

Are you going to rent an accommodation together? Get organized, and reduce certain costs like internet or food by sharing them. A joint account will help you to manage these common expenses.

Are you prepared to work in order to up your budget?

You have calculated and calculated again, but it is no use: your budget for accommodation falls short. This is an excellent reason to dip into your savings, or even better: to take on a student job – if you have the time and the will!

Especially remember to:

  • read your rental agreement and your check-in inventory carefully before signing them.
  • if necessary, transfer the energy and water meters to your name.
  • get insurance for your student accommodation, and contents insurance too, if you want it.
  • potentially go and register as a citizen in the commune where your accommodation is located.

*Survey conducted by InSites Consulting, on behalf of ING Belgium, 2013.

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