How to Find Student Accommodations as an MBA Student

How to Find Student Accommodations as an MBA Student

You may be excited to receive your acceptance letter to an MBA program in the US. Now the real fun begins: planning how you will get there and where you will live while you study. You may first wish to take a close look at your personal bank account and determine how much more you need to save. Housing costs can sometimes be just as daunting as trying to pay for tuition. You can save yourself many headaches by starting to look for student accommodations as soon as possible. Many options start to fill up quickly over the summer, so the sooner you can start applying for different apartments, houses and dorm rooms, the sooner you can secure your place to stay and move on with your other preparations. It might surprise you to learn how many different accommodation options there are around a university, so you will want to know where to start to get the information you really need. There are usually many affordable housing options both on campus and off campus.

  • Student House

    One of the easiest options to consider is a student house. This is where students from the same or nearby universities live together and share the costs of utilities and rent. You can often find student house opportunities if you search for “room to rent” in local listings. Many houses will say if there is a single room available and how much it costs per month. You will need to take into account the cost of utilities, which is often separate from rent in a student house. Another thing you may need to keep in mind is university approval. Some universities require their students to maintain certain standards, even in student housing. This is particularly true of private universities. If you wish to live in a student house, you will want to make sure the house is in compliance with the policies set by the university you are attending.

  • Shared Apartment

    Another option is to rent an apartment and share it with other students. This is similar to a student house in that each of the apartment dwellers pays a share of the rent and utilities, such as water, electricity, gas, renter’s insurance and Wi-Fi. Many universities around the US have student apartment complexes near the campus. The same rule applies as far as following university regulations, you will want to make sure whatever apartment you choose follows the code of conduct or regulations set forth by your university.

  • On-campus Housing

    One of the first places you may want to look for student accommodations is through on-campus housing. This typically consists of shared apartments or dormitories, which most US students simply call dorms. If you choose to live in an apartment, you should have access to a kitchen and dining area, which means you can purchase and prepare your own food. Because the apartment is located on campus, it should also be a short walk to any of your classes. If you live in a dorm, you may be able to choose between a shared dorm room and a private one. Private rooms tend to have higher rent, but it is worth it if you do not wish to share your living space with someone else. Most dorm rooms are used only for sleeping and studying, although the building is likely to have a common area where students may watch TV or participate in other social activities. In dorms, you will not necessarily have access to a large kitchen area for preparing meals, so many students who live in dorms also pay for a meal plan. This allows you to obtain food from various eateries around the campus. Another benefit to staying in on-campus housing is that all of your utilities are usually included with your rent – so you do not have to worry about extra fees.

  • Student Life Department

    Once you learn a little bit about the different accommodations available to you, you can get even more information by contacting the student life department or comparable department of your school. There should be a whole department in the school dedicated exclusively to student services such as finding appropriate housing. You should be able to explore the different housing options available as well as pricing and financing. If you have any questions about student accommodations, you should contact the student life or comparable department of your university. As an international MBA student in the US, you may also be able to get information by going through the international student office. This office is dedicated exclusively to helping international students with everything from visas to conflict resolution. If you are confused about whom to contact about housing, then start with the international student office and go from there.

  • The Process

    It helps to understand the process of getting accommodations in the US. How you do it may depend on if you are planning to live on campus or off campus. You will usually follow the same steps to find housing: Look for a rent listingFind a housing option you likeGo look at the room or apartmentFill out and submit a contractIf you receive a rejection, start overIf your contract is accepted, pay any required feesMove in on your listed date If you are living on campus, you may just need to fill out a contract to rent a dorm room or student apartment. You can get all of the information from the student housing office or international student office. You will also want to confirm that your contract was accepted before you go to the US so you know that you have somewhere to stay. If you choose to live off campus, the process may be a little more complex. Even if you are moving into an apartment with other students, you may need to sign a contract that explains what fees you are responsible for, such as your share of the rent and utilities. No matter where you decide to live, it is important to get a contract in writing. This can help if your landlord or roommates attempt to illegally evict you or cause other troubles. If you end up having an issue with your apartment mates off campus, you may need to resolve it on your own because the apartment is not necessarily under the university’s jurisdiction. You may still be able to discuss possible resolutions to some issues with roommates with the international student office or student life department.

  • Finances

    One of the biggest roadblocks to finding any student accommodation is the cost. Most off-campus housing tends to be cheaper than on-campus housing, but you will also want to take into account the cost of utilities and your commute to school. Will you need to ride a bus or drive your own car? These are all things to consider before you get to school. Depending on your visa and the school, you may be able to work while you are attending classes. This should allow you to earn enough money in your banking account to at least make rent. If you do not think you will be able to work while you are attending school, then you will need to plan well in advance for accommodation costs. Rent changes frequently, and the costs vary on the location and type of dwelling. You will need to research your options thoroughly and begin saving money as soon as possible. While scholarships and grants are an option, these may not be enough to include housing costs. In fact, some scholarships are used exclusively for tuition and nothing else. Grants tend to be more flexible, allowing students to use them to meet their needs provided they also meet the other requirements of receiving the funds. You can find out more about scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options by contacting your school directly.

  • Start Soon

    It can be difficult to know when the best time is to actually sign a housing contract. First of all, you do not need to start your search for housing until you know for sure that you have been accepted by a US school to come and study. Once you have secured your place as an MBA student, you can start researching housing options. Ideally, you should start your research before packing for your stay. The application process can take days or even weeks, depending on where you plan on living. If you go to the US before finding suitable housing, you may need to stay in a hotel room until someone accepts your application – and hotel costs can quickly get expensive. The great thing about attending any university in the US is that there are usually lots of resources for the students. Once you know which university or college you will be attending, you can contact the admissions office, student life department or international student office to learn more about housing options and secure a place to stay before you purchase a flight ticket. For MBA programs in the US and around the globe, start your search with SchoolApply.

Levels Explained

  • Bachelor's

    A bachelor's degree (also called a first degree or undergraduate degree) is attained after receiving a post-secondary (high school) education and generally spans four years. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as bachelor or undergraduate students. A bachelor's degree is usually offered at an institution of higher education, such as a university.

  • Master's

    A master’s degree (or postgraduate or graduate education) involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees. This degree is preceded by a bachelor’s degree and generally takes two years to complete. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as master's, or grad students.

  • Pathway

    Bachelor’s and master’s pathway programs are designed for international students who need additional English language and academic preparation before continuing to a degree program at a university. The purpose of these programs are to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college.