Different Routes to Find Housing


Finding accommodation as an international student is not easy every time, but if you’re patient it always tends to work out. Mohamed Abdelnasser and Adelric Wong are both international students studying at the University of Gothenburg. Today the two of them have housing situations that they are happy with, but they took different ways in order to arrange their lodgings.

Mohamed Abdelnasser and Adelric Wong
Photo: Joacim Schmidt

Mohamed Abdelnasser, who is from Egypt, is in Gothenburg attaining a master’s degree in public health at the Sahlgrenska Academy. He has been living here for about two years and will be staying until September when he is moving to Uppsala. Before arriving Mohamed searched and applied for various accommodations through Boplats, which is an online housing marketplace for the Gothenburg region.
“I was applying for private, second-hand housing.”

Eventually, Mohamed was contacted by a man in Gothenburg who was looking to sublet a room in his apartment. Having read about housing scams, where tenants are encouraged to pay a deposit without there actually being a room or a flat up for rent, Mohamed wanted to make sure that everything was in order. After a video call with the landlord he asked a friend living in Skövde, which is located a couple of hours from Gothenburg, to visit the room and have a look.
“Everything checked out and when I arrived in mid-August 2017 I met my landlord, we signed the contract and I’m still living there.”

The apartment in which Mohamed rents a room has two stories, and he shares the second one with another student who is also renting a room there. The landlord lives on the first floor but the second floor has its own kitchen and a separate bathroom.
“It’s located in Guldheden which is really close to the Sahlgrenska Academy so it’s been very convenient.”

I didn’t get an apartment so I just booked an Airbnb

When Adelric Wong travelled to Gothenburg from Singapore about a year ago in order to earn a bachelor’s degree in software engineering and management he hadn’t yet managed to arrange any permanent accommodation.
“Before I came I applied through Boplats, SGS Student Housing and a lot of other options but I didn’t get an apartment so I just booked an Airbnb and stayed there for three weeks.”

Adelric would be forced to repeat this procedure two times, spending a total of nine weeks in three different Airbnb apartments.
“I had to spend some of my funds but at least I wasn’t homeless.”

During this time he kept busy constantly searching for someplace more long-term to stay. Eventually he found a room to rent in a flat where he lived until he recently moved into his own student apartment; one among many repurposed shipping containers converted into flats.
“I’m glad I finally got a student apartment that’s just opposite my campus on Lindholmen. Ten of my classmates live there as well so it’s like a little community for us.”

Shorten Your Queuing Time

Mohamed advices incoming international students to start searching for accommodation as early as possible, preferably directly after they get their admission results.
“They should also be flexible when selecting a neighbourhood as the public transportation here is very good and it’s easy get around town.”

There are also ways to speed up the queuing time for a student apartment.
“If you join a student union you will get additional queue days added to your account at SGS,” explains Adelric.