We recommend that if their university provides on-campus accommodation, new first years should take that at least for the first year till they settle in the American lifestyle and know the neighbourhood good enough.
If you are certain on living off-campus these are the few things you need to do before you begin your search for an apartment:
- Talk to the housing office and current students who are familiar with the locality about which neighbourhoods are safe.
- Decide if you want to cut costs by sharing an apartment with roommates or not.
- Spend a couple of hours walking around the neighbourhood to familiarize yourself with the surrounding area. Note where the grocery stores and restaurants are located since most of your trips will be to the school and to buy food. Also, note the location of bus stops and other modes of public transportation.
- Ask friends and fellow students if they know about a good apartment. Maybe they know someone who is moving out or maybe they are moving. Such apartments are rarely advertised because they are rented very quickly.
- The college may have a bulletin board with apartment listings. It will include listings from landlords as well as students looking for someone to sublet their lease.
- The local newspapers also have apartment listings. Buy a copy of the Sunday newspaper as it will have more apartment listings than the mid-week issue.
- The last resort would be to contact a real estate agent. However, you are better off going through the classified advertisements yourself.
- Post on appropriate social media group about your need for accommodation, usually a student from another course you might not be familiar with might also be searching for a roommate and will offer you a room.
- Apartments near the campus usually cost more. If you have a vehicle for transportation or good public transport connectivity with the university you can choose an apartment which is a little bit far away, but you can save a lot of money.