Find a summer apartment fast: tips for out-of-town interns
This is a question I had to ask myself and work through because my internship location is in Milwaukee (2 hours from Chicago). I ended up going with university housing, but I thought I should share the other options I considered in finding intern housing:
1. Check (and double-check) with the company.
It is important to first find out if your company has helped facilitate housing for interns in the past and if they don’t have dorms set up, whether they will help defray some of the costs associated with you finding your own place (this is called a “relocation stipend” or “relocation allowance”).
2. Tap into your network of family and friends … and friends of friends.
I didn’t previously know anyone who lives in Milwaukee but after sending out a ton of messages to people, I was able to connect with a few people there. An unexpected way that I found more people in Milwaukee (that I knew) was to use Facebook. I looked up Pages for schools in Milwaukee and found a handful of old classmates who “liked” that page and incidentally go to school there. This helped me find out if they knew of subleases I could take over for the summer.
3. Look for online listings (that have pictures).
There is always Craigslist and other sites that list houses/apartments for rent, but this was actually the least fruitful for me in terms of finding available options because either the owner never replied, it was already taken, or there are fees (beware!).
4. Apply to apartment complexes.
Since online listings weren’t doing it for me, I thought about applying to apartment buildings. These applications were longer and asked for extensive information on the spot, such as proof of income. Apartment buildings were by far the most expensive option because some of them have on-site facilities such as a lounge or fitness area that charges everyone an activity fee. Even though there may be options of having a studio (no rooms/furniture) or a furnished room apartment, these apartment buildings tend to have waiting lists.
5. University, “guest,” or intern housing.
I wanted to know if it’s possible to be a student from another university but live in a local school’s dorms and as it turns out, yes it is. Since many students go back home for the summer, lots of dorms are left unoccupied, so universities fill them up with students from other places to intern. This was definitely the cheapest option for me, with all utilities included (and on-site laundry and free fitness area). Since I am living in the same place as other Milwaukee interns and college students, I feel safe and it’s easy to meet new people. Not to mention I am walking distance from the beach!
Paulina Rico-Juarez is a third-year computer science major, minoring in business administration. On campus, she is involved in the Honors College, Her Campus, LABS and SIG-Android. A Chicago native, Paulina is fluent in Spanish and Chinese and has assisted a bridal designer in Beijing. In her spare time, Paulina loves to Bollywood dance, run an online shop and write her personal blog.