As the Anglo American University has none of its own residence, it is always a problem for foreign students to find a room.
Patrick, a 21-year-old AAU student from Germany, is still searching for a room one month into the semester. “I’ve been looking for a place for the last two months. It’s really hard to find something nice and affordable. There are too many people looking for accommodations in Prague now.”
For him it would be good if AAU could offer its own dormitories. And the links the Student Services Center sent, “you can find them simply by googling” said Patrick. Finding a room via an agency is maybe easier but some difficulties still remain.
A Finnish AAU student got her apartment through an agency. She found it immediately but she was charged with a 300€ agency fee after she agreed to take it. More than one month after staying in her flat, she still does not have the final contract and has never meet her landlord.
Finding an agency
Erasmus in Prague is the agency who generally appears first when you are searching on the web. This agency has some advantages. You can have your contract both in English and Czech and you can rent a flat for a short-term (from 6 months).
“We don’t just give the keys and then close the door. If there’s any problem, we try to solve it as soon as possible,” said Jakub Sedlàk, the agency’s owner. Erasmus in Prague also collaborates with universities to organize parties and tries to help foreign students as they can.
On www.erasmusinprague.com you can find explanations about living in Prague, events in the city and job offers.
More help for AAU students
This year AAU is trying to help students by providing some addresses, hoping that student will not have to face as many problems as they had to in the past. The two big providers with whom the Student Service Center works this year are Domyno Rezidence (www.domyno.cz) and ApartmanStudent (www.apartmanstudent.com).
“Students now have more success in finding an adequate place to live in a minimal amount of time,” said Jana Krasenska, responsible for student housing. For the moment there are only very good experiences according to the SSC. These two residences are “the first step, a good start for the first semester or the first year of studies”, explained Krasenska.
What are the advantages of going to the Domyno Rezidence ?
First would be price, which is the most important for students. “Prague is not as cheap as some students might think,” said Krasenska. If you want to rent an apartment in the center you cannot afford it at a reasonable price (around CZK10000 per month). At Domyno, even if it is in Prague 4 (Novodvorská 1061/10, Lhotka) the rent is CZK6000 per month for a completely furnished room in a renovated building.
Students also benefit from different services like a restaurant, bar, shops, wellness center, sports center and a post office. Also, they provide students housing confirmation, which is required for their visas. This is extremely important because foreign students (living outside of Europe) always have visa problems. The difficulty that remained was the short-term housing, but if you go to one of these two residences you can rent on a month-to-month basis.
What about an AAU residence?
“This topic has many discussions,” explained Krasenska. It is easier for them to cooperate with providers. “For the moment, AAU’s priority is to have a new building, with more space and new classes.”
Another fact is that AAU would need more students to have its own dormitory to be sure that the investment will worth it. The first advice that the SSC gives is to “Start on time: if you immediately enter in contact with providers, you won’t face any problem,” says Irena Valesova, admission specialist.
You also can also try to find an apartment through the website www.myflatshare.com. “I like this website, it’s simple, you get a rent easily and you can either find a roommate or you can offer a room or apartment,” states Krasenska. She concludes by saying, “We are working on it, but it takes some time. We are talking to new providers to have more capacities.“