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Most ASU study abroad programs provide housing, but in some cases (i.e. Exchange programs, independent study/research/internship abroad programs, etc.) students are responsible for finding their own accommodations. The resources on this page are designed to help ASU students (and other international travelers) identify and select safe housing abroad.
Living in safe housing means that your mental and physical well-being are protected and you are in an environment in which you can stay healthy. When you leave your accommodation, you are confident your belongings are secure, you can explore your neighborhood without fear, and you have access to clean water and healthy foods on a daily basis.
Safe housing minimizes risks, allows you to feel comfortable, and can help you thrive in an unfamiliar environment. Safe housing allows you to focus on learning while abroad without the stress of an unstable housing situation.
Country and community context
Housing styles and standards differ across the world and researching your chosen country and/or community is the first step to understanding the local housing context. What is realistic for where you are going? What are common or standard housing features in your host location? How will this be different than what you are used to in the U.S.? How will these differences affect the type of housing you choose?
You may need to adjust your expectations in order to adapt to the local context. What are your current priorities for housing? Are those realistic for where you are going? If not, how will you adjust? What preferences are you willing to compromise on? Keep in mind that you will rarely find housing that fulfills your entire wish-list.
The difference between being uncomfortable and unsafe
You may be stepping outside of your comfort zone by living with a host family, other international students, or completely alone for the first time. Feeling uncomfortable in any new experience is normal, but there is a difference between feeling uncomfortable and being unsafe. Everyone has a different tolerance for new experiences, but if at any point you feel your housing situation compromises your health and safety, you should immediately reach out to your primary contact for your international experience and consider alternative options.
When securing housing through shared economy websites like Airbnb, VRBO/HomeAway or couchsurfing.com, it is not always possible to have confidence that you and your belongings will be secure and that you will be living in a safe and healthy environment. Although rare, there have been incidents of violent crime associated with the use of properties rented through sites like this. The fact that you may be in an unfamiliar city and culture can put you at even greater risk.
Because of the risks associated with booking housing through this kind of service, the ASU Study Abroad Office does not use services like Airbnb to arrange housing for any ASU study abroad program participants. If you determine that using this or other similar commercial or social websites is your most viable option to find lodging while abroad, you should proceed with the highest caution for your safety and security.
When searching such sites for temporary lodging options, please follow these recommended guidelines*:
During Your Stay
After Your Stay
*Special thanks to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for their partnership in developing these guidelines.