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How To Find The Right Housing As An International Student

By   /  March 24, 2022  /  Comments Off on How To Find The Right Housing As An International Student

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Congratulations on being admitted to the university of your dreams! Considering that your new school is thousands of miles away, there are things you have to settle before getting on the next flight to the United States or another foreign country. First, you need to know where you can stay before you can start attending your classes. 

Leave your worries behind because this guide will help get you through the challenges of being an international student, starting with finding suitable housing.

What Is It Like To Be An International Student?

Being an international student and moving to a foreign country can be overwhelming. It’s like starting a new life, but this time, without family and friends close by. You need to be independent and more mindful of the culture and prevailing beliefs and practices in the country where you’re moving. The cost of living is also a concern because you’re practically on your own. You have to learn to manage your expenses while sticking to your budget.

Furthermore, finding suitable housing is crucial as it’ll be your home for the next four years or so. It should be in a welcoming and inclusive community, where an international student like you will feel accepted. Such a sense of belongingness will help you adjust to a foreign land and enjoy your stay as an international student.

How To Find Suitable Student Housing

  • Search Some Apartments Online 

The most convenient way to start hunting for a suitable apartment is to search online. Check out the websites of legitimate student housing providers, preferably those accredited or approved by nearby universities, such as sunrisevillageapts.com/.

You can look at photos of the apartment layout and available amenities like sports facilities, laundry services, parking, and high-speed internet. Even rental fees and payment schedules are usually indicated on the website. Should you have further questions or concerns, you can readily send them a message. 

  • Consider Your Budget 

Your budget is a primary consideration when looking for the right student housing. Understandably, your budget is limited as you don’t have a source of income, and for the most part, you’re relying on funds to be sent by your family from back home. 

Although you would have preferred a fully furnished apartment with modern amenities, this may be way beyond your budget. So, be realistic when choosing your housing. 

It’s also not uncommon for students, whether international or local, to try to scrimp and save so they don’t have to rack up huge student loans.  

Furthermore, the rent isn’t the only thing you need to take care of as you may need to buy some essential appliances to make student life more convenient and comfortable.  

  • Factor In Other Fees

You might be thinking that the monthly rent is the only thing you need to think about. However, in the US, there are other fees you need to settle, such as the following:

  • Application Fee: The landlord requires an application fee to cover the cost of running a background check on prospective tenants.   
  • Security Deposit: Usually equivalent to one month’s rent, the security deposit will cover the cost of repairs in case you cause any kind of damage to the apartment. But if you caused no damage whatsoever, you’ll get this money back after moving out. 
  • First And Last Month’s Rent: Aside from the security deposit, some landlords require this additional deposit as some sort of guarantee in case you leave without paying rent. But if you don’t owe your landlord rent by the time you move out, you’ll get this money back. 
  • Utility Fee: Although utility fees are typically included in the rent, there are instances where tenants are charged a separate fee for water, energy, gas, and Wi-Fi. It’s best to clarify at the outset if you’re charged these extra costs to avoid any misunderstanding. 
  • HOA Fee: If you’re renting a house or condo, expect to pay a homeowner’s association (HOA) fee. This fee covers the upkeep of communal spaces and services such as garbage pick-up and snow removal.

  • Make Sure It’s Near Your University 

Location is another critical consideration. You need to choose a housing unit that’s located near essential facilities such as the grocery store, healthcare facilities, police station, and community centres. More importantly, it should be relatively near your university. Otherwise, you’ll be spending a lot of time and money commuting to and fro.

A place that’s a short ride away from your college would be ideal. It would be even better if you could just ride a bike or walk to school. That’ll let you increase your savings and even lessen your carbon footprint. 

  • Talk To Residents In The Community 

Talking to long-time residents in the community, where the apartment you plan to stay in is located, can give you valuable information about the safety of the neighbourhood. For instance, you can ask them about the crime rate or if it’s safe to walk in the streets at night. 

Additionally, you can ask these residents what they like and don’t like about the community. Perhaps there are meaningful community activities you can engage in during your free time. Such insights can help you decide if the neighbourhood is a good fit for you. 

  • Check If The Area Is Student-Friendly 

You should also check if the community is student-friendly. As your purpose for staying in the area is to study, it’s imperative that there be no distracting noises in the neighbourhood. 

For instance, the apartment shouldn’t be near a busy street or playground. It should be relatively peaceful and quiet during the daytime when you need to study and even at night when you need restful sleep.

Conclusion 

Searching for the appropriate housing for an international student like you may be challenging since everything is new to you, and you don’t know how things are done in a foreign country. However, with the pointers given above, you’ll make some headway and eventually find housing that suits your liking, needs, and budget. 

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