Finding Student Accommodation in Andalucia
For students coming to Andalucia on their study year abroad most people feel that it is a good idea to have a temporary accommodation whilst looking for a more permanent one. There are many hostels and cheap hotels throughout the whole of Andalucia. If you are about to study in a city that you are unfamiliar with then the best setup would be to book into a hostel or hotel for maybe 3-4 night preferably at the very end of August -beginning of September and at the start of the week. This way you can get your bearings and find places and phone numbers and go to the university with the guarantee that they will be open. If you arrive at the weekend the majority of places are shut and this will not help you find a flat. At the end of August 2004, Hotel Las Vegas had a special deal on offer, charging just 20 euros per person per night including breakfast.
Universities in the UK will give students contacts for flats however most are usually just the places that the students from the year abroad stayed at so by the time the following year students receive the details they are old and are often useless as they could already be rented out or they may have changed their telephone number. There are agencies in Spain that specialise in finding accommodation for students like Viajes Solera (Calle La Victoria)and Century 21, (Calle Alonso de Valencia) however they will charge approximately €40 for this service. Agencies like these will have students arriving from every country wanting accommodation for the beginning of September so you have to be quick especially when you go to view flats in groups of twenty.
Spanish universities also have a list of accommodation for Erasmus students however it is nowhere near enough compared to the number of students seeking accommodation. There are also sections in the local newspapers on rented accommodation however these can sometimes be a bit more expensive. As you walk around the city it will be impossible for you to miss the advertisements for accommodation on every lamppost, bus stop or telephone box, these could be from the owner of the flat or could even be from someone looking for someone else to share with.
As when flat hunting for rented accommodation anywhere, you have to have your wits about you. So, when you turn up for a viewing and the owners are a couple of senior citizens dressed in the pyjamas at six in the afternoon, showing you around the flat with the aid of walking sticks, you have to wonder is this is the flat for you - especially when they tell you that they are your neighbours and that loud music is unacceptable but that you could use that old piano in the corner if only it was in tune!
Accommodation in the centre of Malaga (for the year 20014/15) can cost as little as €200-300 sharing with 2-3 other people, if you really shop around. On top of the rental you have to buy Butano gas bottles (around 13 euros each). In a flat with four girls sharing it would last three weeks on average. You may also have to pay for electricity and 'comunidad' (around 50 euros a month) separately. This includes the general maintenance of the building in which you live, the bin men etc.). Living in the town centre anywhere can be noisy and Spain is no different, however one noisy difference from the UK is that instead of the bin men waking you up in the morning and helping you on your way to work they come a little after midnight and keep you awake, although this may not cause that many problems for students.
If repairs need doing in your apartment, do not expect them to be fixed or even to have someone come out and look at them the next day as this just isn't the Spanish way of life.