You must have secured housing before you arrive!
Important questions to ask:
- How much is rent? When is it due?
- Is there a security deposit and what are the rules?
- Is there a kitchen, BBQ grill or microwave for cooking?
- Are hot plates allowed?
- What is included in your rent? Internet? Sheets? Towels?
- How far is housing from your employer, grocery store, bank?
- How many students will share your room?
- Ask for pictures of your housing.
- ALWAYS GET A RECEIPT FOR MONEY PAID
- NEVER SEND MONEY BEFORE YOU ARRIVE IN THE USA
You will be sharing housing with students from all over the world. This is a great chance to learn about other cultures!
Let your landlord know your arrival date and time so that you can get checked in easily. Not all landlords live where you are staying and they may not be expecting you if you arrive late at night.
Ask your employer or future coworkers for suggestions. Many employers either provide housing, are happy to help you arrange housing, or have recommendations.
Many students have found housing on Craigslist.org, a popular website for housing and other services with local pages. Craigslist recommends that you follow the following tips to avoid would-be scammers:
- Deal locally with folks you can meet in person.
- Never wire funds via Western Union, Moneygram, or other wire service – anyone who asks you to do so is likely a scammer.
- Craigslist is not involved in any transaction, and does not handle payments, provide escrow, buyer protection or seller certification.
- Never give out financial information (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
- Do not rent housing sight-unseen – that amazing rental may not exist.
- Do not submit to credit or background checks until you have met the landlord/agent in person.
If you have any problems with your housing accommodation, please contact your sponsor immediately.
The U.S. State Department J1 Visa Emergency Hotline may also be reached 24-hours at (866)283-9090.