I would vouch for accommodation questions to be on-topic, as long as they are clearly focused for academic hosting (that is, "Channels for accommodation for 6 months at VU-Amsterdam" is on-topic, "Looking for accommodation in Centralia, Pennsylvania" is not). Also, direct "Does anybody here have a room available from/to? write me at" are completely off-topic.

The focus is to give tools, not solutions to the problem. The tools will stay valid and useful to other readers in the future. The "I have a room, write me" will not.

The reason is that relocation and quick finding of accommodation channels for short term rentals is a complete and necessary part of the academic lifestyle. Very, very often, the universities provide little or no facilities or preferred contacts for such task. Networking, unknown but dedicated services, local traditions, safest channels (e.g. commercial vs. private) on this regard is a necessity we have to endure as much as we have to endure applying for grants.

2 Answers 2


It seems to me that answers to such questions are going to age very badly: the answer I'd give for London today is very different to what it would have been 3 years ago, which would have been different again from ten years ago. That would seem to go against the StackExchange vision, where, as I understand it, the intention is to build a lot of content that ages well, and is not too localised in time or space.

  • you have a point... but technically also grant proposal guidelines don't necessarily age well... Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 17:46
  • @StefanoBorini I agree - and the same principle should apply
    – 410 gone
    Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 17:58

There's a narrow line between "how does a person find short-term housing near such-and-such university" and "does anyone here have a place I can sublet for six months?" If accommodation questions are allowed, both the phrasing and the answers will have to be very sternly moderated.

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