March 31, 2014

How to Find Affordable Housing as an Intern

You scored an internship for the summer at your dream company. Go you! Except that dream company is in New York and you aren't. How do you find somewhere to stay on a budget (usually an unpaid kind of budget) in a major city where you don't currently live. I spent one summer interning in New York and another in Los Angeles despite going to school in Philadelphia, so I've definitely learned from experience how to find relatively affordable short term accommodations. So, today I'm sharing some resources and advice to help make the search easier for you.

Dorm Room 1
By Laurengonzo (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Local Universities
This is my number one recommendation for anyone who needs short term intern housing for a summer term. Why? Well, university housing is generally safe, clean and maintained; you will likely have roommates and be surrounded by other students and interns so you'll have an easier time making friends; and it is often more affordable than non-campus alternatives. For instance, NYU summer housing has rates starting at $181 per week which is incredible in a city where the average rent is $3000. Many major universities offer housing while their dorms aren't full for summer students and students completing local internships. In most cases, you will need a form from your employer or your internship advisor confirming that you do in fact have a local internship for the summer.

Here are a few options to get you started:
Vanderbilt in Nashville
Drexel in Philadelphia
NYU in New York
American U in DC
UCLA in Los Angeles
University of Illinois in Chicago

International House
International House is a network of housing options worldwide that gives students of different backgrounds the opportunity to live together. They offer affordable options to live while making new friends from all over the globe. For example, rates in New York City start at $910 per month.  Most houses also provide social gathering and opportunities to explore the city as well as in-house dining options
For a list of International Houses worldwide visit this site.

Google
It may sound obvious but it's still worth mentioning. Google the name of the city you'll be working in along with either "short-term housing," "temporary housing," or "intern housing" and see what you can find.

Non-Profits
In some cases you may be able to find temporary housing through a non-profit organization. These are often religious organizations that provide housing to students and other young people to help make the city more accessible. They often tend to be single-gender. If you can ignore that though, you can find some fantastic options for a good price. Many of these places offer cleaning service, private rooms, on-site dining, and other amenities like a music room. Two good examples are The Markle Evangeline in New York and The 92nd Street Y Residence, also in New York.

Sublets
A sublet is when the person whose name is on the lease for an apartment rents it out to another person, usually temporarily. Sublets can be found, most easily, on Craigslist. However, you should be careful and listen to your instincts if you choose to go this route because there can be scams or other unsafe situations. It is also harder to guarantee that your apartment will be safe or clean when you are renting from a far. That being said, I know plenty of people who have found intern housing this way and had a very positive experience. Just be alert and be careful if you decide to give it a try.





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