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As an international student, Barcelona is the ideal place for you to have the typical student life experience. Barcelona is known for its exciting nightlife and is home to many international students, whether for undergraduate or postgraduate studies. Because of its attractive culture and people, students who graduate with a Bachelor’s degree, usually return to continue their studies at a more advanced level. 

Since Barcelona is such a popular destination for international students, it is important to find accommodation before officially moving. This city offers some amazing housing options for students, both affordable and easy to find. Therefore, this article will guide you through the types of student housing available and their average cost. 

Student Housing Types in Barcelona 

Your dream of studying in Barcelona is slowly coming true, but now you need to deal with the living arrangements. As daunting as it sounds, it is an easy task for international students who intend to study abroad in Barcelona. 

The numerous accommodation options help you toward making the right decision without spending too much money. However, there are some factors that you should consider before deciding on the housing type that suits you best. 

We have taken the time to simplify the searching process for you by listing the housing options and a brief description of each of them. We hope you make the right choice for yourself and take full advantage of the student experience in Barcelona. 

Here are a few of the most popular housing types for students in Barcelona:

Shared Flats 

The method of renting rooms together with other students in Barcelona is one of the most popular housing options. It is one of the easiest ways to find a cozy living place and it is an affordable solution. Shared apartments are a good option for choosing the number of roommates you want to live with. Typically, rented rooms are shared between 2-4 students, a few of which may be native Spanish speakers. 

Compared to dorms and other student residences, sharing a private apartment will grant you privacy and the freedom to be more comfortable in your own space. Normally, the rooms are already fully decorated, however you are generally allowed to make changes per your taste. 

Sharing a flat with roommates will also benefit your social life, by making friends and having someone to take to a party or drinks, thus expanding your social circle. 

Helpful information: Finding shared flats options is easy since you can find exactly what you are looking for, through online platforms and websites.

Apartments

This option is best for young scholars who call themselves “lone wolves”. It is not a very economical choice, however, it is a very comfortable one. Students who are more prone to live by themselves, usually need to find one-bedroom apartments or studios. 

Renting a flat alone is usually a suitable option for students who are in their final year of studies or have returned for a postgraduate degree. This is because they have previously adapted to the rules and the ambiance of the student life in Barcelona, thus they no longer need help to get around or worry about life as a foreigner in a new country. 

The advantages of living alone are obvious: you have a lot of privacy, freedom of inviting whoever you need over, and you do not have to worry about unwanted guests or parties. Besides, you can also arrange chores according to your schedule. 

However, as mentioned above, the expenses may be unreasonable, not to mention the documents needed to prove you have enough monetary means to support yourself. 

Halls of Residence (Dorms) 

Living in halls of residence is an economic option as well. You might think that in comparison to this, renting an apartment with roommates is a more obvious choice, however, there are many advantages to halls of residence as well.

The benefits of living in halls of residence include: 

  • Safety. Aside from the affordability, many other beneficial factors may convince you to live in a student residence. Safety should be one of your main concerns when choosing accommodation since you are moving to a whole different country by yourself. Therefore residence halls are a wise choice because of their 24-hour surveillance. 
  • Cleaning/Laundry Services. Secondly, if you loathe doing chores, residence halls are perfect for you. The majority of student residences offer cleaning and laundry services, therefore you have one less thing to worry about. 
  • Food Courts. Another great advantage that halls of residence offer are food courts for students, which is helpful to help you focus on your studies. Plus, the food is super healthy and you can forget about eating junk or fast food. Besides, you will save a lot of time by having your meals cooked for you. 

Accommodation With Families 

Barcelona is known for its enchanting cultural heritage, and you can learn a lot from the people and streets you walk in. International students have the opportunity to finish their studies and learn about a new culture while living with local families. 

This accommodation option is beneficial for both the students and the host families, because of the learning possibilities that cultural differences present. On one hand, students improve their Spanish language skills in the most advantageous environment, and on the other, the host families learn a new culture every time they welcome students from all parts of the world.

Benefits such as having your food ready, clean space, and clean clothes are part of this experience as well (although it’s respectful when you contribute to the house duties). A piece of advice when going to live with host families is to get them a thank you gift from your home country to show your appreciation and make a good first impression. 

Youth Hostels 

Although it may not happen to you, it is always smart to have a backup plan upon arrival in Barcelona. You should do your research before, on hotels or alternative living options, in case your accommodation plans fall through. In case you have decided to search for rooms after arriving in Barcelona, you can stay in a ‘youth hostel’ until you get settled in.

Hostels give you the option of getting a private room or if you feel comfortable, you can also share with other travelers. Although it sounds challenging, it can help you save tons of money and make new friends or network if that’s more your cup of tea. 

Finally, the hostels are the best options for overnight or a few nights’ stay, especially because of the close transportation and the comfort they usually offer guests. In terms of safety, hostels in Barcelona make sure you are surrounded by 24-hour security, CCTVs in all common areas, including safes, lockers in rooms, or at the reception desk. 

Student Housing Cost in Barcelona 

The majority of students who study abroad are looking for affordable living options along with a comfortable place close to their university premises. However, not everyone can have such good luck, therefore they try to find the second-best option. Students who arrive earlier than supposed to are usually the ones who secure the best accommodation option. 

If you are worried about finding an affordable apartment or another living alternative, we are here to help. Below you can find the types of student accommodation and their cost.

Student Housing TypesAverage Cost 
Shared Flats€350 – €600 per month
Apartments for Rent €900 – €1300 per month
Student Residence (Dorms)€500 – €1500 per month 
Host Families€20 – €40 per night
Youth Hostels€25 – €150 per night

Worth-mentioning is the fact that you will most likely not spend a lot of time at home. Because of Barcelona’s dynamic city energy, you will want to go outside and explore the city anytime you get a chance. Therefore, it is a smarter choice if you do not spend a lot of money on monthly rent, and instead save it for the other living and leisure expenses along the way. 

Students who enjoy biking can use the city’s bike-sharing program ‘Bicing’, which allows you to rent a bike for less than €50 for a year. If biking is not to your liking, taking the metro is an alternative affordable way to move around the city of Barcelona. 

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