Welcome to Boston, the Beantown, the Hub, the Athens of America, the Walking City! Lets say you have booked your flight and time flies by and you’re standing at the airport line. Long tedious 20 hr flight and you’re at Boston Logan. Welcome to Boston! Just a small issue, you don’t know where you’re going to stay? All of a sudden you feel Boston isn’t as welcoming as you may have thought.Everyone would fear such a situation and hence its our instinct that we start to secure a roof even before coming to Boston.
There is nothing wrong with this approach but this insecurity might lead you to take quick but regretful decisions. You realize that living in India was such a bliss and devoid of this paranoia.
Here’s My Take:
Until and unless you’re taking on-campus housing, finding an accommodation in an alien city can be a nightmare and indeed a stressful experience. Finalizing a good apartment is essential both for your mental peace and academic excellence. Below mentioned are a few pointers to read before taking a step ahead :-
First and foremost consult your seniors before making the call. Decisions in the US can not be changed that easily so please understand that fact, insights from a senior will help you make a better decision about most of the things.
Appearances can be deceptive!
Students get very anxious about living in the US. Photographs and promises made can be fake. It may or may not be a case with you in particular but we have seen people losing their hard earned money with realtors here. Sometimes, promises made by realtors or agents can not be fulfilled by landlords. So believe our instincts before doing any booking / confirmation from INDIA.
I do not recommend you to do a lease transfer as in most cases you have a bunch of hidden costs and there could be many inadvertent issues. Folks who come for the first time can fall prey to such shrewd ideas. We do not wish to criticize anyone but the thing about Shrewd people is that they are EVERYWHERE!!. Thereby, we recommend you to do a complete background check before you take up a lease transfer.
Most students at Boston do not like traveling over the Bus / Lightrail owing to weather and personal imprudence. Generally, students stay in and around 2 mile radius from the university. Walking might become your daily exercise as going to the gym may not be an option for many. I too recommend students to find accommodation close to the university as it makes it easy to get to the university for studying / on-campus employment. Ultimately, everybody would make a decision depending upon each one’s priorities in life. Prices are directly proportional to the proximity of the university, which implies closer to the university will require you to shell more bucks!
Staying “far away” from school
I am not against this idea and that being said we also admit that there are places far off from the university that have beautiful houses at economic rates. But while narrowing down on such a place please remember that its a trade off between time and money. Though you might think public transportation can take you anywhere in Boston but they are not entitled to save on your time. A 10 min ride could extend to an harrowing hour on a bad day and believe us you don’t have the luxury to afford that kind of time when the semester is winding up. Also when you see that the place is $100/month cheaper than the so called “expensive” near campus housing please remember that you’ll spend $70/month on commutation. Suddenly staying far away from campus isn’t that cheap at all, right?
Your new extended family, Mr & Mrs. Bedbug
Students often are very unprepared to extend their folks in the Boston apartments, the bedbugs are often a pre-occupied tenant. It is your responsibility to verify and do an extermination check for your apartment. Most of the times, realtors and agents give a clean chit to bedbugs but within a few months you may be a victim to bedbugs. Thereby, we recommend you choosing apartments which give you a certificate from exterminators for the apartment inspection before you get in. Apartment costing is inversely proportional to the bedbug occupancy. More the bugs less is the cost, this is true most of the times but not always.
Peace & Harmony
Being graduate students you are expected to behave in courteous and cordial manner. Avoid doing activities which may affect your neighbors as it is highly intolerable to invade someone’s privacy.