The Quarantine Guide to… Attempting to House-Hunt as an International Student

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So, you’re an international student moving to Southampton for uni. (Well… does being American really count as ‘international?’ The American student we interviewed for this piece thought so!) Based entirely off of one obnoxious American’s experience, welcome to the international student’s guide to house-hunting during quarantine.

For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that you have a stupid amount of money, an even stupider amount of requirements for your perfect student house, and six ’emotional support cats’ that won’t complicate your search at all. Oh, and you’re insisting on moving to Winchester ‘for the aesthetic.’ Ready to find your perfect apartment? (Because of course you’re looking for an apartment. The ‘no shared housing’ box on Rightmove is firmly ticked). 

Step One: Spend hours on a Rightmove search that gets badly out of hand

After 48 straight hours on Rightmove, you have it: a list of 100 perfect dream homes, carefully filtered by postcode and aesthetic. You can imagine yourself in every single one of these, so you send off a cheerful inquiry to request a viewing for each one. Sure, you’ll need to view online, from another country, in a completely inconvenient time zone, but that shouldn’t be a problem! 

Step Two: Get rejected from every single apartment on your list.

That’s right — not one apartment. Not two. Not even the first dozen. Every. Single. One. And don’t expect to be rejected for the same reason twice. They don’t allow pets. Your name reminds them of their ex-girlfriend. They don’t allow international renters. You have to be in the country to view. You’d have to move in this afternoon. It doesn’t matter how much money you offer them; they can sense how annoying you are through an email. None of them will take you. 

Step Three: Go back to the drawing board

After being rejected from every apartment on your list, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. To find some new options, consider lowering your minimum price per month and expanding your maximum price. $4000 a month to live in a flat the size of a postage stamp sounds manageable. Never mind the fact that there’s no running water and it’s 50 miles outside of town. Or maybe the attic apartment that’s crawling with rats and black mould will take you! $60 a month sounds like a steal, right? 

Step Four: Get rejected from all of those apartments too and accept that you will live with your parents for the rest of your life. 

After being rejected from all your backup apartments, it’s time to really admit defeat. Apparently the $60 attic apartment also doesn’t allow pets. (They seem fine with all the rats in the listing photos though!) Having exhausted all options and accepted that no apartment in all of England will take you and your stupid amount of cats, it’s time to admit that your apartment search is over. You will be living in America with your parents until you’re dead or you turn 40 — whichever is worse.

More articles in The Quarantine Guide To
  1. The Quarantine Guide to… Attempting to House-Hunt as an International Student
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  6. The Quarantine Guide to… Being Your Own Best Friend
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  9. The Quarantine Guide to… Hot and Sweaty Birthdays for Loners
  10. The Quarantine Guide to… Terrible, Awful, Very Bad Haircuts
  11. The Quarantine Guide to… Living With Devil Children
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