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How To Find Accommodation As A Brand New International Student – Part 2

You may be wondering what you should do when you have a list of apartments and room owners?

It’s great that you have found an accommodation or possible accommodations, from the tips discussed in Part 1 (this is also me telling you to catch up on part 1, if you missed it).  You may be wondering what you should do when we have a list of apartments and room owners?

Well, don’t worry, the following simple tips will help you out:

The following simple tips will help you out:

1) MAKE CONTACT

This is not the time to be shy or afraid to ask questions. DISCLAIMER- You do not have to be in the U.S before you begin to make contact with the apartment or room owners. That’s why some very smart people invented cell phones and emails. When you contact the owners of the rooms, introduce yourself, ask about more information (e.g., cost, availability, amenities), and ask about the application process.

2) SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT

Once you have decided that the apartment/room fits your needs and your budget, the next step is to schedule an appointment. This is when you pick day(s)/time(s) you would be available to take a look at the apartment/room. It’s easier to do this when you already have a travel date set or know for sure when you would be in the new country. When you are unsure, still pick a most likely date just in case they have tight schedules or busy calendars. You can always cancel or reschedule if things don’t work out as planned.

3) GATHERING DOCUMENTATION

There are several documents needed to complete an application for accommodation. In the US, common requirements that new international students may not have are a credit report, social security number, and a domestic bank statement. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t apply or get a place. In the process of gathering documentation, you ask the apartment/room owners or managers for list of documents they require for an application. This will give you an idea of what you have and can get or what you don’t have and would need a substitute requirement as they allow. Waiting until the last minute to do this, can put more stress on you and/or cost you a place you really like.

4) TEMPORARY ACCOMODATION

There are very slim chances that you would move into an apartment/room the same day you arrive at the new country where you’ll be an international student. I recommend you make plans for temporary accommodation pending when everything is clear for you to move into your room/apartment. Below are some ways to tackle temporary accommodation:

a) Hotels

They are common and readily available but are also the most expensive option. However, if you book them early enough (further away from your check in date), you are more likely to get a good deal.

B) Air BnB

This is one of my favorite choices for accommodation when I travel. I’ve gotten some really amazing deals (e.g., $50/per night for a whole apartment in Ottawa). It may require an account of someone who lives in that country to book the room. Or, if you already have an existing account in your home country, you may be able to book a place without any hassles.

C) Friends/Acquaintances/Other International Students

If you get chills when you enter the houses of strangers, this option or Air BnB may not be your choice and I complete understand. However, I have found knowing people and peer networks to be very helpful especially when you are in a new place and need help settling down. I still help people till date when I can and there are international students/professionals all over that understand how hard it can be to find your footing and are more than willing to help out. Point is reach out, ask questions, see if someone knows someone who can help. If you don’t feel right about it, then don’t proceed and pick a more comfortable option.

 

If these tips are helpful, share with fellow or other new international students. Don’t go yet, tell me your thoughts below. Did you use any of these tips? Are you planning to use any of them?

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