So, you've been accepted at the University of Basel and now need a place to stay for the next couple of months. But where to look for accommodation? On this page, we will give you some useful tips about different accommodations and where you can find them!
Tip: Also check out our universities' website about accommodation! They also share some great tips about which areas in Basel are good to live in ;)
WG rooms (flat shares)
Many Swiss students live in flat shares, or as we call them in German: WGs (Wohngemeinschaft). Each person has their own room; kitchen, bathroom and everything else is shared. That way the rent can be split and everyone in the flat share saves some money. However, most rooms in flat shares come unfurnished*. But luckily, just like you, there are many young locals who also like to travel or do a semester abroad and so, they often sublet their fully furnished rooms during that time. So, it is definitely worth it to have a look at WG rooms! WG rooms can be found on www.wgzimmer.ch or on Unimarkt Basel. As a student, you can also find WG rooms via WoVe. It is an association from the University of Basel that helps students with WG rooms.
If you want to move into a WG room, make sure you sign a contract. There is usually a deposit that needs to be paid (shouldn't exceed 2-3 months' worth of the rent). You might also want to ask about utility fees, what other costs are shared (some WGs buy their weekly groceries all together and cook together) and how the chores are devided. Some WGs are Zweck-WGs, which means they are simply interested in living together for the sake of a cheaper rent but otherwise don't really hang out together (tip: if you read "keine Zwecks-WG" that means the opposite of Zwecks-WG!). Other words you might want to look out for are: befristet (temporary), Untermiete (subletting), möbiliert (furnished) or warm/kalt (utilities included/not included).
Cost: The price of a WG room depends on the size, the location and how big the apartment is in general. The cheapest rooms you can find are around 400 CHF/month and it goes all the way up to >1000 CHF/month. A furnished room will probably cost around 600-800 CHF/month (everything included).
*Where to find cheap furniture: We all know IKEA has relatively affordable furniture and there is one in Pratteln (about 15mins away from Basel). For even cheaper furniture (and other things), we recommend looking into Brockis, which is what we call second hand shops in Switzerland. There are many around Basel that sell all sorts of things! Another option is Facebook marketplace, which is very popular amongst thrifters. There is also a Telegram group where people share (and look for) free things. And sometimes, you even find people put things they don't use anymore outside their homes with a little note that says gratis (free). If you come across gratis stuff, you can just take it home with you! :)
Dormitories are not as common as in other countries, but we do have some in Basel as well! They are very popular among international students. Usually, you have a room and bathroom to yourself and share the kitchen and common room with the people on your floor (about 10-20 people). Dormitories come fully furnished and are a bit cheaper than WG rooms. The university provides a list of dormitories on their website (see link above).
We hope this helps with finding somewhere to live in Basel :)