Guest Blog: helping Scholars find a temporary home

SabbaticalHomes.comFounded in 2000, has been helping academic travelers find housing all around the world for nearly twenty years. When she decided to create this site, Nadege Conger was expecting her first child. There was a fork in the road. Should she continue on the corporate path or should she stay home to be with her baby? The solution was to stay home and at the same time create a much-needed service from her home office at her own pace. Purpose and flexibility was what she chose. She combined the joy of staying with her baby with the joy of learning how to code and created a very useful service for all academics. As her daughter was taking her first steps, Nadege’s meaningful work led to the birth of

The first seeds for this idea were planted twenty-five years ago. Nadege and her husband, Professor Jay Conger, were invited to the home of a visiting professor who was temporarily living in the home of Harvard professor on leave. She never forgot what a great idea that was. Of course, at the time, there wasn’t any way to facilitate such an arrangement on the Internet. However, when the time came for her own family to consider a strategy to find a home in London for Jay’s work, she just knew what to do. All she had to was to build a great tool.

Nadege is very involved with the day-to-day running of the site, and regularly comes across remarkable stories and people who have found each other using The best aspect of her job is hearing from members about their experience using the site (like this artist and member, featured on our blog). Occasionally she meets up with long-time users. Some are now friends.

Finding affordable temporary housing can be a challenge, especially for young scholars and grad students. enables these young people to find comfortable, safe housing without spending a fortune. Home sharing and exchange also makes traveling more affordable and allows members to meet some interesting people along the way. What makes so special beyond the transactional aspect of the service, are the relationships and often friendships that form all across the world.

Today, the site has hosted over 120,000 listings and is used in 57 countries. You may have heard about at academic conferences or from a friend in the know or a blog, and every day more people discover and register to use the site. Despite its growth, and indeed the boom of the home-sharing industry as a whole, has stayed true to its roots: helping scholars travel for their work, whatever that may be. Users of the site have grown to include artists, writers, and other professionals that work outside the academic sphere, but the initial mission is still what motivates her team who is very proud to continue to offer this service to people across the globe.


4 Replies to “Guest Blog: helping Scholars find a temporary home”

  1. I was made aware of sabbaticalhomes by one of my tenants, a professor from London who rented my flat during his year in Berlin. As someone who used sabbaticalhomes to rent flats and rent out his own home, he highly recommended the site to me. I’ve therefore thought I will give it a try and I’m not regretting my decision. I love my flat in Berlin and enjoy every minute I can spent there, which is why it is important to me to find considered tenants respecting the space and appreciating the historic flair. What I like about the site is that it is quite personal and prospective academic tenants seem to understand you are not just renting a flat you are renting a home. It is very reassuring to get a glimpse of the prospective tenants through email exchange and calls and I’m very please whenever I detect their excitement when staying in my flat. As my previous tenant I would recommend sabbaticalhomes without hesitation. Great idea.

    1. Hi Bernd: thanks so much for your feedback and sharing your story. Can I pass your comments on to the team? I am sure they would love to read about your experience. I totally agree with you about the importance of finding the right renters. I went through the same process when we rented our home in Sunnyvale to spend a year in Konstanz, I wanted somebody who took care of my home. My blog about our experience was published here:

  2. I used this year to find a year-long rental in Paris, and it was the best thing I could have done. I’d tried using the Parisian rental sites but I was pretty much on my own, and at a disadvantage as a foreigner. Plus the fees and the requirements to rent were off putting to say the least. To a person, the folks I contacted (or who contacted me) from SabbaticalHomes worked with me to address my needs, and when the perfect place came available, the owner and I were in constant contact until the details were ironed out. ( It helped a great deal that we shared a language, and a certain sensibility.) So brava and thank you Nadege for making this service possible.

    1. Hi Ellen:
      thank you so much for sharing your experience. Is it okay if I pass this info along to Sabbaticalhomes. I am sure they would really appreciate knowing that you were happy with their service. Thanks!

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