Select Page

The content below is based on an article published by Alexa Gahan, USA Today, August 4, 2015, and updated on Dec. 28, 2019, as we have additional information for this post – addressing 8 major factors that you should take into consideration before moving off-campus.  They include:

  1. Location
    Think about what the benefits are for the off-campus location that you are moving to.   Do you need a car or a bus or any other means to get to your school?  How much your cost is for transportation and time?
  2. Rent and utilities
    They will become your responsibilities and you have to make sure that you will take care of them monthly.  Make sure your bank account is sufficient for the purpose or you will have to face some monetary penalty from your bank.
  3. When to apply
    “The earlier, the better,” USA Today’s article suggests.   However, you don’t have to rush to make a decision if you don’t feel comfortable with moving. You always can negotiate with your school if it asks you to leave by a certain day.
  4. What type of housing is best for you
    Just remember that apartments, townhouses, and houses have some similarities and differences in functions.  It depends on what you need and what you want.  Apartments may have more amenities than those of townhouses and single houses, but they usually have more regulations and rules that you have to abide by.
  5. Roommates
    Keep in mind that your roommate(s) may not be your best friend(s) or most compatible with you.  However, a good roommate is always a plus to your soul if you could share your space with another person.  Only 1% of the students we have served in the past encountered problems with their roommates.  The unpleasant situation of dealing with a roommate with hostile attitudes can have an impact on your emotional health and academic performance.
  6. When is a good time to move
    The author mentioned: “A good tip is to move in a few days before the school year starts so you can get situated and comfortable with there you are living.”   That advice applies to most American students.  For new international students, we suggest that you arrive at least a week before your school starts to allow yourself plenty of time to adjust to a new environment and to find resources at your disposal.
  7. Leases & landlords
    Leases could be complicated and challenging for new international students.  Have someone who has had more social experience take a look at your lease before signing.  As an international student, you may look around and compare which landlord has a better reputation.
  8. Legal issues
    We add this point on top of the seven from USA Today. Think about this question – who (including your friends, school, or government officials)  will help you when you have trouble with your landlord?    This point is widely ignored by most college students who seldom realize that something can go wrong between them and their landlords. In fact, there is a slim chance that you have to ask for help if your unreasonable and greedy landlord will not return the rental deposits due to some minor damage to his property.  What’s worse is that you are not so sure if you are the one to be blamed for the damage.  According to our record, this scenario really happened before to international students from China.