Housing must be a matter of concern for foreign students.
Especially for those who plan to rent an apartment on their own, there must be all kinds of worries.
We asked foreign students currently studying in Hiroshima how they found an apartment, advices in choosing one, and how they feel about the one that they chose.
We interviewed two students who entered a university in Hiroshima directly from their countries.
I stayed at a hotel for about a week. I went looking for an apartment during that period.
I had absolutely no idea how to access information on apartments so I went to the university cooperative to look for some.
Only for 2 months.
Because I was in a hurry to find a place to live and I only had about a week to decide… But I wasn't satisfied because it was an old building, on the first floor, and was facing a main street. And my parents were worried about its security when they came to visit.
Advance reservations for apartments at the university cooperative began in November, but I went a little later, since I thought there was no need for a hurry, but I was surprised to find out that there were no more good apartments left by that time.
So I had to go to a real estate agency myself.
I told the people at the real estate agency that I didn't want to live in an apartment with a pub on the 1st floor, but they recommended one so strongly that it was hard to say no.
Security! Since we're women… Front doors which lock automatically and a room on the 2nd floor or higher were points that we could not compromise to. And easy access to the university was another point.
I wanted to live near the university because I thought that I would feel safer with many other students living nearby.
But unfortunately, my apartment is quite far from where I work part-time since there are very few places around the university where we can find a job…
Yes, I agree, too. And since it's hard to ride a bicycle on rainy days, I wanted to live somewhere within 10 minutes to the university on foot. An apartment with low initial costs was also an important point.
When you rent an apartment in Japan, it costs a lot for key money, security deposit, and realtor's fee…
Many friends from university happened to be living in the same apartment so it feels safe in case of an emergency!
And I like it because it's an all-electric apartment (an apartment with everything from kitchen stoves and hot-water supply to air conditioning operating with electricity). I used gas in my last apartment, but I think electricity is cheaper. Although I've heard that the cost of gas varies depending on the area where you live.
※ In Hiroshima, there are two types of gases (city gas and propane gas) depending on the region and the fees differ between the two.
I like my apartment because it only takes 10 minutes from my apartment door to my classroom!
Only 5 minutes for me!
I also find the separate wash-basin very useful when I do my face and I like my apartment because the toilet and bathroom are separate. And I also feel safe because the landlord lives nearby. They even share with me some rice from time to time.
Ms. A studying hard
in the relaxed atmosphere
of her apartment
It can be noisy sometimes because there are many students.
There are lots of insects. But I guess that can't be helped since I live in the country… I also find it inconvenient that my kitchen and shoe cupboard are small.
You should go and see as many rooms as possible when you're hunting for an apartment!
For that, you should go and consult many different real estate agencies.
If you feel worried on your own, it may be a good idea to ask a friend to come with you.
Some real estate agencies recommended rooms quite strongly, so if you have any conditions in mind in deciding on a room, you should tell them clearly.
Ms. B's lovely apartment
coordinated in pink
Thank you for sharing us your views.
Both of them told us that they weren't sure how to hunt for an apartment at first, and they both advised that you should go and see as many rooms as possible before deciding on one.
It also seems important to have a clear criterion or condition in mind such as the distance from your apartment to your school before you go hunting for an apartment.
The Hiroshima Support Center for International Students can become a cosigner if you need one in renting an apartment.
There is also an online apartment-hunting service where you can search by location of school.