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How to find accommodation in Bologna and not die trying


When you find out that you've got an Erasmus placement, almost immediately you go through two phases:

  1. Euphoria: YOU'RE GOING ON AN ERASMUS YEAR ABROAD!

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  2. Anxiety: Oh my god, I should get looking for accommodation... I'm going to get scammed... I'm probably going to end up on the street, etc.

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    But don't panic, because there's lots of things that can help, and this article is one of them.

    Down below are some options and recommendations that will help you find the Erasmus lodgings you've been longing for:

    1. The first option (which many of you will have already done) is search online on sites such as Erasmusu, Facebook, blogs, forums, etc. This is a always a good option, so long as we take precautions.

    • There are lots of people who upload fake listings. They ask you for a deposit and then they disappear.

    • If you get in touch with the landlord regarding accommodation you've found online which you like, there are ways of obtaining a "guarantee" should it turn out to be a fake listing. Ask the landlord for all the information via e-mail: proof, features of the house, the contract etc. This way, if something were to happen, you would be able to legally prove that this person had promised something which they did not fulfil (as the e-mails serve as proof).

      2. Another option is to come to Bologna in June or July, having looked at some accommodation and go to see them in person, to assure yourself that they do 100% "exist". Or, go to the Camplus Agency, which helps students find accommodation, or the Bussola Bologna agency which acts as an intermediary between landlords and students.

    3. You can also contact people that have already done a year abroad in Bologna, for example, through the Erasmus Bologna 2017/2018 Facebook group or on an Erasmus forum for the current academic year and write to people to see if there is any available accommodation and if you can contact the landlord.

    4. There are E. R. G. O halls of residence, but don't rely on these as they're only for Italians; they only accommodate foreign students on a short term basis (for holidays etc).

    Basically, these are the options which seem most useful to me. It's important to not put all your faith into the first flat you see, and to check, as far as possible, that you're not being scammed.

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    How to spot a scam:

    • They quickly ask for money without providing detailed information.

    • They reply quickly to those who express an interest, but slowly when they are asked for information about the house, or for more photos, etc.

    • The photos do not show much of the house, or you notice the photos don't match up.

    The final option is to arrive in September without accommodation. (Though it doesn't seem like it, lots of people do this. ) I have to say this can be risky, since it all depends on what you're able to find in a short space of time and it can also be quite overwhelming. However, it doesn't have to end badly (though you will have to knuckle down).

    At the end of the day, an Erasmus year is an adventure. What better way to get out of your comfort zone?; )

    But don't be discouraged. Sure, finding accommodation is tricky, but you'll do it! Look after your new home, it's where you're going to spend the best year of your life!

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    PS: Coming up... "private accommodation vs. halls of residence"


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