One potential worry for a languages student returning from his or her Year Abroad is finding accommodation and housemates for 4th Year. With your 3rd Year spent working and/or studying in far more exotic locations, it is often a problem that is overlooked but there are so many ways around it and it is worth thinking about before jetting off.
Firstly, just because you are a languages student, it doesn’t mean that you will definitely live with other languages students in your final year. Engineers, certain scientists and mathematicians, dentists, medics, as well as people who did a Year in Industry are all still here in 4th Year. If your friends from 1st and 2nd Year aren’t on a Year Abroad but will still be in Bristol in 4th Year then they can help hugely with the house hunting process (provided you trust them of course).
Another option, if you live with other language students, is to look online for properties and arrange a viewing for when you are back in the UK. A lot of places get snapped up in November and December so if you are planning on returning home at some point between your Year Abroad placements, it’s worth factoring in a trip to Bristol to house hunt.
If you are incredibly organised and know who you want to live with in your final year, you can do some viewings and even sign a contract at the end of your 2nd Year. This is especially convenient if you and your housemates are likely to be away for the whole year. It takes so much pressure off you and the landlord as well.
A final option is to “wing it” and back yourself to find a place upon returning to Bristol in September. This is better if it is only one or two of you, as most of the larger houses will have been secured months ago. There are lots of websites like Gumtree on which you can find spare rooms and the Bristol Accommodation Office can also help you.
Everyone has his or her own way of doing it but don’t forget, it has to be done. Leaving it to the last minute can cause a lot of unwanted angst as your embark on your final year.