Japan accommodation
It can be tough to know where to look for housing as an international student. Source: Jason Bloor

With Japan becoming increasingly popular as a study abroad destination, local internet firm NestRest has launched a property search engine to help international students find the perfect accommodation.

Navigating a new city as a foreigner can be tough, especially in a homogeneous country like Japan where 99 percent of the population converse in the national language. Understanding these difficulties, NestRest’s platform StudenDorm is multilingual, translating into English, Chinese, Korean or Japanese and is totally free for all international students in Japan to use.

In a release to announce the launch, the firm acknowledged that the size of Japan’s international student population has soared past 260,000 people. Of the total, it said 75 percent live in private accommodation. It’s safe to say, therefore, that many of these students are likely to need help.

Currently listing around 3,000 rentals, the site has the potential to really make the often-dreaded house search a much easier process for international students in Japan.

StudenDorm provides price comparisons, details exactly what does and doesn’t come with the accommodation such as furniture or meals, and how far away it is from your chosen university or college and from the nearest train station.

The site also offers a breakdown of your different accommodation options such as single-sex or mixed dormitories, apartments with students only or with others, catered and non-catered options and so on.

According to a report by classified advertising experts Aim Group, StudenDorm is even able to act as a guarantor for foreign students.

However, if you use it, watch out for extra charges once you’ve signed your housing contract. Sometimes you could be charged an agent commission fee so be sure to check exactly how much you will have to shell out before signing anything.

Aim Group also said NestRest already operates another student-focused property site called GakuRoom, which was launched in the Japanese language in 2011 and caters to domestic students.

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