Housing Help

Moving is stressful, and moving to a new country can be even more stressful. You are often less familiar with where you are going, unsure how much you should pay for housing, how easy it is to get around, and what a good neighborhood to live in is.

You don’t have to go at it alone. We have some tips and resources for you to help you find that perfect place.

Start with people in your network:

  • Join our Slack Community and head over to the #housing channel, or one of the local channels for local connections.
  • Ask for help from people who have been where you’re going. Does your school have an internship program in the same location every year? Talk to the group that went before you. Check with your friends and the rest of your network.
  • Doing an internship or training program? Check with your supervisor or future colleagues. They will most likely have helpful information for you about neighborhoods, how much you can expect to pay, and other amenities in your area.

Stay in short-term housing first:

  • Here are some sites to help you find short-term housing in the US:
    • Hostelworld – Worldwide hostels, hotels and B&B’s (Free App Available)
    • HomeAway – Short term vacation rentals (Free App Available)
    • Airbnb– Vacation rentals, apartment shares and more (Free App Available)
  • It might be more stressful in the short-term not to have housing secured for your whole stay right away, but in the long run it can provide some big savings.
    • You have more flexibility in when your housing starts. If you sign a lease before you leave and your arrival is delayed, you end up paying for something you aren’t using.
    • That good deal you thought you found online? You might find out it wasn’t so good after all.
    • You may make some local connections that have insider knowledge about a place opening up, or the best area and price to look for.
  • The biggest reason to do this is that it might help you avoid getting scammed. We recommend you do not send money, or sign a long-term lease without seeing the property first. The Federal Trade Commission even has a publication on how to avoid scams. Watch out for:
    • Landlords asking you to wire money.
    • Being asked for money before you see the unit or have a contract signed.
    • The landlord says that they are unavailable (usually travelling) and will have someone else arrange getting keys to you.
  • For the same reasons that you should be cautious of landlords, landlords may be cautious of you. They may insist on meeting in person before having you sign a lease, or want to verify that you have an US bank account, or some other information that will be hard for you to confirm before you arrive in the US.