Gothenburg is a popular place to study. It is home to some of the most prestigious institutions, and thus it is no surprise that there is a large influx of students every year. This however creates a bottle-neck scenario for students who are seeking accommodation in the city and many have to make pain-staking and desperate efforts to find a place to stay while studying in Gothenburg.
Thankfully, as a fee-paying student in Chalmers University, the situation was entirely different for me. Chalmers guarantees international fee paying students with accommodation, which means that all the hassle and stress involved in competing to find a room with hundreds of other students, is kept at bay from you. It is a policy that I appreciate a lot; for someone like me coming from a different continent, it is even more difficult to understand the scheme of things, the procedure, the paper work, and the methods to search for student accommodation in Sweden in a short span of time.
When I got admitted, I got a mail from Chalmers identifying the two main housing agencies, SGS Student Bostäder and Chalmers Student Bostäder. I was given an online account to search for accommodation via SGS, and Chalmers Student Bostäder contacted me themselves later in the summer. The procedure for SGS, was simple and convenient. According to my budget and preference of location, I could look up all available apartments and then make a choice. At first I was setback a little after looking at the rent, which I thought was outrageously high; it was 10 times the room rent during my Bachelors in Pakistan. But soon the reality dawned on me; the prices were in-line with Swedish standards and it was unreasonable of me to compare living expenses of two cities that are drastically different in lifestyle, culture and standard of living. Moreover, the housing agency was reliable so I did not have to sweat over the fear of being conned or being left stranded in middle of nowhere.
Honestly, it was tough to opt in which area of the city I wanted to live in. Despite all the search engines and truck loads of information online, it is difficult to perceive the convenience of commuting to Chalmers everyday if you do not know how the traffic and public transport system works in Gothenburg. I chose the first student house that appeared to be geographically nearest to Chalmers. The name of the building was Ostkupan and as I realised later it was a good choice. My rent included all the utilities like electricity, internet and laundry, so I did not have to spend extra time and money to take care for these services. It is the same in all other student houses as well, I believe. Each corridor in that building had four rooms, a kitchen and two toilets. Initially I had serious concerns over how the things would shapeup about maintenance and cleaning of the common spaces. But luckily, I enjoyed great understanding with my corridor mates; we devised a cleaning schedule from day one, which all of us followed closely and that was the key to keeping things nice and smooth between the four of us. The student house itself was a very social and interactive place with a sauna, a pub, billiard room, tv room and a gym on the ground floor. I got to meet many fellow students from Chalmers there and enjoyed every moment of my stay.
To sumup, it has been smooth sailing for me when it comes to finding accommodation in Sweden. I sincerely hope it is the same for most of the students arriving this fall. In case you bump into a few hurdles during your search, just fight your way thorough it because Chalmers is worth the trouble!