Depending on the particular study abroad program you have selected, housing while abroad will be determined by El Camino College. Participants will either be in modest apartments, student dorms, homestays, or tourist class hotels. Below are some guidelines, rules, and FAQ's regarding student accommodations.
We hope you will be happy with your housing. Please remember that it takes time, flexibility and patience to adjust to a new environment in a new country. Please keep in mind the following rules in order to make your stay in an apartment or home-stay pleasurable.
- Please do not play music too loud.
- Should you come in late at night, try not to disturb others.
- Please do not waste electricity; it becomes very expensive in certain countries. Turn off the lights when you are not in your room and do not forget to turn them off when you are out.
- Please clean up the bathrooms after use. Note: showers may not be as powerful as they are at home (in America). The availability of hot water is often limited, therefore you should be courteous to your roommates. Plumbing in certain countries is also not as efficient, so please remove hair from the plug after you've had a shower as it may cause damage, and you will have to pay for repairs to the plumbing.
- Homestays: In most homes you will not have use of a kitchen, however, should your family grant you this privilege please ask permission before you actually use the facilities.
- Always tidy up after yourself.
- Please meet your friends outside your accommodations. IN ALL HOUSING, SLEEPOVER GUESTS ARE FOR NO REASON ALLOWED TO STAY.
- Those of you who are living in a home-stay it is unlikely that you will have the use of a Washing Machine. Ask the house "mother" for instructions.
- Make sure to leave the apartment clean and tidy when you leave! If the apartment is left dirty, cleaning expenses will be deducted from your deposit in the States.
- Please do not stick anything to the walls (posters, photos, etc).
- If your family invites you to dinner, please make sure you inform them if you are following any special diet. Note: There are diverse definitions of "vegetarian".
Q: What is the overall size of the apartment?
- The bedroom will be large enough to fit two twin size beds, a wardrobe, and a desk. The bedrooms vary in size and it is not possible to determine the exact size of your bedroom before departure.
- The kitchen is large enough for cooking. Some kitchens may also contain a washing machine and a dining table.
- Each bathroom will have a shower or tub, a sink, and toilet. It is the very basic of what you will need.
*Not all programs will offer apartments.
Q: What color is the décor?
- The color of the apartments vary. Most apartments are decorated in neutral colors.
Q: What kinds of appliances will be in the kitchen?
- Appliances vary from apartment to apartment. In general, there is a cook top, oven, and refrigerator. Please not that while one apartment may have a microwave, the next may not. We cannot guarantee any specific appliances.
Q: Do blankets, pillows, sheets, a bath towel, etc. come with the room?
- Bedding such as sheets, one pillow, and one blanket are provided. Bath towels may not be provided. You may purchase additional blankets, pillows, or bath towels locally once you have seen your apartment or you may bring them with you.
Q: Are toiletries provided?
- Toilet paper, soap, and other toiletries are not provided. You will need to either bring these with you or purchase them locally. It is recommended that you purchase these items once abroad.
Q: What kind of electricity is there in the apartment? Will I need adapters? Can I use my hairdryer?
- Appliances in Europe typically require 220 volts. Electrical adapters and voltage converters will be necessary for appliances brought from the United States. Please note that appliances tend to operate more slowly when using an adapter. If traveling outside of Europe please check with the program leader for information on electrical appliances.
Q: Is there an iron and ironing board?
- Some apartments have an iron and/or an ironing board. We cannot guarantee that your apartment will be equipped with these items.
Q: How far is my apartment from the school, laundry mat, center of town, grocery store, etc?
- All apartments are within 30 minutes walking distance or public transportation from the school. You will be given more information about the location of the nearest laundry mat and grocery store once you arrive.
Q: I don't like the apartment that has been assigned to me - can I change to the apartment where my friend is staying or can I change to another apartment?
- In some circumstances you may change to another apartment. Before you are permitted to do so, you must speak with the On-Sight Program Coordinator to discuss why you'd like to change to a different apartment. He or she will help you further in this regard.
- PLEASE NOTE: a time limit may be imposed for when changes are permitted. Apartment space is very limited in the city.
Q: My roommate(s) have a bigger or more preferable bedroom than I do. I feel this isn't fair, what can be done?
- Not all bedrooms are the same size. If the people were already in the apartment before you arrived, there is nothing that can be done. If, however, you are all from the same group, make arrangements with your roommates to split the time living in the larger or preferable bedroom.
- PLEASE NOTE: all arrangements must be approved by the program leader.
Q: Is there a TV in my apartment? Does it have the popular cable/satellite channels?
- Not all apartments have television sets. For those apartments that do have television sets, it is likely that there is no cable/satellite connection.
Q: Is there a telephone?
Q: I have lost the key to my apartment. What should I do?
- Please contact the On-Sight Program Coordinator immediately after you realize that your key is lost. Please also let your roommates know that you have lost your key because they will be receiving a new set of keys. A fee may be charged for the replacement of the lock and keys.
Q: May I get a pet?
- No. Under no circumstances are you to ever get a pet.]\
Q: Will there be an elevator if my apartment is on an upper level of the building?
- In some apartment buildings there is an elevator, in others, you may have to climb stairs. If you have a physical disability that prevents you from climbing stairs, please let us know so that we can make arrangements for you to be on the first floor.
Q: With how many people will I share my room?
- There will be a maximum of two people per bedroom.
Q: How many roommates in total will there be in my accomodations?
- The number of roommates can vary between 4-6 people.
Q: What if I do not like my roommate?
- If you do not like your roommate or are having roommate problems, please contact your On-Sight Program Coordinator. Before approaching the On-Sight Program Coordinator be sure that you have thoroughly thought about what it is that you do not like about your roommate. Sometimes open and honest communication can solve all of your roommate problems.
Q: What if I want to change my roommate?
- If you wish to change your roommate, this means you will have to move. Please contact the On-Sight Program Coordinator. Before approaching the On-Sight Program Coordinator be sure that a) you have all your reasons for wanting this change in mind, and b) have already attempted to resolve the situation directly with your roommate.
Q: My roommate smokes, drinks, stays up late, or does other things that I do not like. What can I do about this?
- The primary thing that you can do to help solve some of your roommate problems is an open discussion between all the parties involved to reach an agreement on what the problems are and how they should be addressed. It is important to remember that you must first work on the issues with your roommates before calling in the On-Sight Program Coordinator to help.
Q: I want to share the room with my boyfriend/girlfriend. Why didn't you place us together when we requested each other on the reservation form?
- Due to college regulations only same sex roommates can be placed together.
Q: Will all of my roommates be the same sex?
- Yes. College regulations stipulate that we place participants in housing in which only same sex roommates are living.
Q: Since we are all from the same college group, can we change roommates whenever we want?
- You may not change roommates whenever you like. We have a list of which students have been assigned to specific apartments. Should there be any damage to the apartment, we know which students to contact. Also, in the event that there is an emergency and you need to be found quickly, the On-Sight Program Coordinator will go to your housing first. If you need to change your housing, please contact the On-Sight Program Coordinator before making any moves.
- You are not allowed to receive visitors at your housing location. Please meet them elsewhere.
- You are expected to be considerate and quiet if you come in late.
- Notice should be given beforehand if you expect to go away for a weekend.
- Be considerate of other members of the apartment.
- Any damage done by students to their rooms is the full responsibility of the student.