If you are an exchange student in the Socrates/Erasmus program you will probably receive assistance with accommodation arrangements from the host academic institution. Be sure to confirm this with your contact person before traveling to Spain.
If you are a free mover, i.e. a person applying on an individual basis, or if you need to arrange your own accommodation for any other reason, you should keep a few things in mind:
There is no national system which handles requests for student accommodation but there is a Students Service at the University of Huelva called SACU (Servicio de Atención a la Comunidad Universitaria) that fulfills this function, though it is not required to guarantee you accommodation, and may not in fact be able to help you.
The availability of accommodation varies considerably from place to place. Usually, there is plenty of accommodation available in periphery. Unfortunately, the situation is more difficult in city center, especially near La Merced, and other student neighbors. Often, the number of students exceeds the number of quality rooms, so better to manage your accommodation before leaving to Huelva, at the university they have on offer and waiting times are long. However, there are alternatives.
In addition to contacting your university or school, you can also try contacting student housing providers directly. Huelva Housing is a student service agency that provides long term and short term accommodation.
To sign a lease for student accommodation, you must be able to prove that you are already studying or that you have been admitted to an academic institution. When you want to move out you must give at least one month’s written notice. Other rules may also apply.
Depending on availability, you can choose to live by yourself or in a shared student flat where you will have your own room but share a bathroom/toilet. Flats can be furnished or unfurnished.
You can also rent a flat in the private market. Though usually more expensive, it is a viable option for some students. It is not uncommon for students to share a bigger flat with several rooms. You may also be able to rent a single room privately. Other sources of information are local newspapers and message boards at your university.
Many students prefer to live in a student dormitory. This can be an enjoyable experience as it gives students from around the world an opportunity to get to know each other and make friends. But it can also be demanding. Students living in the same corridor may have very different cultural backgrounds, different habits and ideas about how to do things.
How much do I have to pay?
Below are some examples of the average monthly rate for student accommodation (Prices in EURO). Please note:
The situation with accommodation for students can be problematic at the beginning of the academic year, sometimes very much so. There are simply not enough rooms and flats to go round and all the students came in the same days.
If you are not guaranteed accommodation as part of your exchange program or through some other agreement, it is vital that you search for your accommodation as soon as possible. Remember that the situation will vary according to where you have to study and where you want to live (La Merced or El Carmen). A good tip is to check for special offers for foreign students here.