Soon after you have decided which college you would like to study at in the United States, another big decision starts bothering you: accommodation.
It might be difficult to find fantastic student housing in a new city or in a foreign country. While looking for accommodation ensure the pricing is within your budget while also finding an ideal location. It depends on you whether you want to live with other international students to get acquainted with their local culture or with American students to upskill your language abilities and know the US better. This is a common situation among students in the US as it has over 900,000 international students, and everyone wants a smooth transition.
1. Choose what suits you best
Private apartments and shared dorm rooms in university-run residence halls are two different types of options for students. The type of room that will best suit you depends on the available rooms and, also your budget. Many options are available, whether you want to share a college dorm with other students, rent a private apartment with roommates, or find an independent place on your own. Many international students prefer the social environment of shared housing with the intent to make friends in their new city.
2. Find the best location for you
It depends entirely on you what you prefer, whether you would choose a campus for accommodation or a short walk or bus trip away from college. Living off-campus has several advantages, including having a new neighborhood just outside your door to explore and living close to the center of campus. You will not have to worry about the cost of commuting to campus and back and will have convenient access to all the college study benefits if you opt for university housing. Usually, most students choose on-campus university accommodation for their first year and then, after they become familiar with the place and locality, move into a private apartment or house with friends for the balance of their degree, whichever appeals to them.
Google Maps and Street View are two tools that can help you familiarize yourself with the neighborhood before you book your new hotel in the United States. Find out nearby eateries, useful services, and student favorite spots to decide whether the area meets your needs. To be sure that the region you get attracted to is both student-friendly and perfect safety and security-wise, it is important to conduct an online search. You can ask for advice on this topic from your college as well. Your seniors may help you in this regard. And if you are opting for accommodation that is far from your campus and you are comfortable with traveling, make sure you will have access to public transportation.
3. Choose a price that is within your budget
At a university campus, accommodation costs for students are the biggest expense. So it is crucial to make the correct choice. Whether you decide to spend a little more on a private room with attached facilities or move a little remote from the city center to save money on rent, you should look for options that are easy on your pocket. The cheapest accommodations are usually dormitory-style quarters on campus but while you save on rent, you may lose your privacy. Choosing catered housing would be a wise decision to save money as you will not be eating out usually.
If you need to share a room with other students in order to find a better locality within your budget, do not get worried as it is quite common in the United States.
4. Visualize what would be your ideal accommodation
How much you enjoyed your college years is significantly based on the people you lived with there. When you apply for a dorm, an independent house, or share an apartment with friends, it is a good idea to always think about your preference for a lively, sociable living space. Imagine what kind of accommodation you may want once you graduate from college, then work accordingly. However, do not forget your budget limitations.
Investigate the ambiance and social scene of your potential accommodation online. Student forums are excellent places to get information from more experienced residents. You should also consider if you would prefer to live with American or international students. You should be clear about this during the search and application processes because it’s not ideal to end up in a party house when all you want is a quiet space to study in.
5. Learn about U.S. student accommodation
You will be required to pay a deposit for your new place of residence, often equal to one month’s or six weeks’ worth of rent. If the property is still in the same condition as when you signed your lease, the money will be refunded to you.
When comparing prices, keep in mind that utilities (such as electricity, internet, water, and cable) are typically extra in private housing. This is typically included in the monthly rent in university housing.
In some apartment buildings, there may be extra charges for things like parking, laundry facilities, or concierge services.
You must look for furnished housing, just like international students, or order the furniture and appliances you will need once you get there (unless of course, you want to ship these from home). Verify that your home has utilities like a refrigerator and a washing machine. Some accommodation alternatives even include bedding for international students.
Several apartment buildings and university residence halls offer access to amenities like a pool or gym, saving students the cost of separate memberships.
Know what security features your lodging offers, such as secure door access, security guards, or CCTV in common areas. You will feel more secure as a result, as will your home family.
6. Find your ideal home
If you decide to stay on-campus, you can use the university website to start your search for student housing in the United States. The international student office may offer advice and direction to international students, and also share links to neighborhood rental listings or suggested housing agents.
You can also check Student.com which has thousands of rooms listed in hundreds of towns around the nation and has a team of helpful advisors to assist you at every stage of the procedure.