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What Is a Student Hostel?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 23, 2024
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A student hostel is a lodging facility that is designed to eliminate some of the financial burden from adolescents who want to travel. When staying in these facilities, which are also commonly referred to as youth hostels, individuals usually have to share rooms, toilets, and showers. Individuals are often subjected to a number of rules, such as no smoking and no overnight guests. The cost of the accommodation may include amenities such as luggage lockers, access to a kitchen, and free Internet connections.

Younger travelers often have smaller budgets than older, more established individuals. To help eliminate some of the financial burden of traveling, especially abroad, student hostels offer accommodations to these individuals at a substantially lower cost than most other accommodations. Although they are sometimes called student hostels, a person does not generally have to be a student to stay in these facilities.

It is common, however, to find that a student hostel has an age limit, such as 25. Older individuals may be denied accommodation, but even this restriction is not maintained by all hostels. Some facilities open their doors to almost anyone who is not a local resident.

In any case, most of these facilities have certain rules that must be followed. These may include curfews. Those who exceed the curfew may be locked out of the facility until the next day. There may also be rules about noise, profanity, or cohabiting with the opposite sex. Smoking may be prohibited or limited to certain areas, and there may be restrictions on having outside guests.

When a person stays in a student hostel, she generally must share her room with others. If she is a member of a group, the group may be assigned to the same room. In cases where an individual stays in a student hostel or her group is fewer than the number of occupants intended for a room, sharing with strangers is often necessary. Each occupant may be given a locker or storage space for her belongings, and each person may be responsible to for providing her own bed coverings,or it may be necessary to pay extra when requesting to have these items provided by the facility.

Toilets and showering facilities are often in different rooms from the sleeping quarters, and these are also generally shared. While these may seem to be discouraging factors for some individuals, staying in a student hostel tends to offer numerous benefits in addition to the savings on lodging. Many have kitchens or offer meals so that individuals can also save money on food. It is also common to find that they have free Internet access and may even have computers. Some offer mail services so that visitors do not have to seek out a post office as well as transportation to certain points of interest so travelers can experience even greater savings and convenience.

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