You should find housing well in advance of your arrival in the U.S. In many cases, your host organization may have recommendations for short- or long-term housing near your workplace. If you are beginning the search on your own, utilize the resources below. Most importantly, don’t arrive in the U.S. without any pre-arranged housing.
For the first few nights in the U.S. you may need short-term housing. Hostels, affordable motels, or universities and colleges are good options. Make reservations ahead of time to make sure you have a bed when you arrive.
Here Are Some Suggestions For Finding Housing:
- Ask around at your Host Organization
- Check the classified section of local newspapers, either online or in print
- Real Estate Agents
- Sublet (rent an apartment from someone who is already renting it)
- www.craigslist.org: There is no cost to place an ad on Craigslist, so it is common to find affordable housing here, both for single rooms and apartments.
- www.apartmentlist.com: This website allows you to search by neighborhood, and has lots of options for filtering your search. You can also log in with your Facebook account to access special features.
- www.apartments.com: This website lists apartments for rent by state and city. To expand your search to surrounding areas, you can add a radius search. You can also sign up for apartment listings to be emailed to you, and they even have an iPhone application.
- www.roommates.com: This service, and others like it, lists apartments where people are looking for roommates. A service like this can help you not only find an apartment, but someone to help pay the rent. In this situation it is very likely you’ll share an apartment with an American and this will add to the cultural aspect of your experience. Be aware that roommate services like this will generally charge a fee and can take longer.
When looking for an apartment, know how much you can afford to pay for housing and think about your additional living and entertainment expenses. Consider whether or not the housing is furnished, includes utilities, and whether it is close to work or is close to public transportation, as these factors can all affect your monthly costs. Be smart with your budget so that you have enough money left for food and other necessities after you pay your rent. Also, make sure you have enough money to pay the first month’s rent and security deposit when you arrive in the U.S.
Questions To Consider
- What is the lease length?
- Are utilities included?
- Is furniture provided?
- Is it within walking distance of my job?
- Is it near public transportation?
- How accessible are stores, banks, entertainment, etc.?
- What's the average rent for a place this size in the neighborhood?
- How soon can I move in?
- How much do I have to pay before I move in (security deposit, first month's rent, etc.)?
- Does it have laundry facilities?
- Is the neighborhood safe?
||Utilities (generally includes heat, electricity, and water)
||Utilities are not included
||Building with an elevator
||An apartment building whose apartments are owned by the building's tenants
||Includes some appliances
If you’re going to New York City, consider the de Hirsch Residence at the 92nd Street Y. It’s an international community of students, interns, and young professionals. What better place to call home during your program?