Florence Robson, Aug 4th 2015, 13:34 Verified Guru
I shared a flat during my year abroad in Madrid and found it to be a fantastic way to get to know native speakers and integrate yourself into a local friendship group (a brilliant way of practicing your target language!).
Halls can also be a fantastic experience, but universities usually put all the international students together within halls, so it can be harder to meet locals (especially as many students tend to go to uni in their local town/city and live at home).
Here are thoughts from Arthur, a student who lived in France last year:
"I thought that by staying in University accommodation I would meet absolutely loads of people and get involved a lot more with uni life as a result. Don’t get me wrong, I do really like the accommodation I am in, and have met lots of really lovely people, it’s just that the jealousy really did kick in on Monday night. My friend Peter is a German who speaks pretty good French, but he is living in a perfectly situated apartment with large rooms, fully equipped kitchen, beautiful views, and two lovely French flatmates. Just THINK how good his French will be in a month, let alone 5! All of this has cost Peter far less than Uni accommodation would have. (It doesn’t worry me a great deal though, it will only make me more keen to get out there and meet more French people.)"
I hope this is helpful!