Temporary Lodging

If you are living off campus during the academic year and have not secured housing arrangements in advance, or have a housing assignment from the Office of Housing and arrive before the opening of the residence halls, you may have to spend a few nights in a hotel or hostel. You will need to make your own arrangements to do so.

You may also contact the Greater Boston Visitors Bureau at 1.800.888.5515 or www.bostonusa.com, who can help you find appropriate accommodations at different price ranges.

Information on temporary on-campus housing for those participating in Orientation for International Graduate Students can be found on the Orientation Office’s Web site at www.bu.edu/orientation.

Permanent Lodging

If you will be living off campus during the academic year, you must secure your own housing accommodations.

There are two types of permanent housing: (1) on-campus and nearby apartments owned and operated by Boston University, and (2) off-campus facilities (houses or apartments) owned and operated by private individuals or companies. Because of limited space, Boston University does not guarantee on-campus housing to graduate students. You may contact the Office of Housing to inquire about the possibility of on-campus apartments, but such units are very limited and it is likely that you will be told that you must make your own arrangements to live off campus.

Finding an Apartment

Please note that the housing market in Boston is somewhat limited. Finding an apartment in Boston can be challenging, especially in late summer or early fall when thousands of students return to the city for the beginning of classes, and rent is high. Unfortunately, ISSO is unable to provide housing placement for international students and scholars. However, we can make some suggestions to make your search easier. It is a good idea to begin researching apartments as far in advance as possible.

If you will search for an off-campus room or apartment, bring enough money with you to pay for (1) temporary housing until you can move into your permanent housing, (2) the first month’s rent, (3) the last month’s rent, (4) a security deposit, and (5) a possible realtor’s fee. If, for example, you rent an apartment for $1,000 per month, this means you should bring with you about $4,000 for one-time rental expenses. This figure, of course, does not include the cost of temporary accommodation, tuition, fees and other expenses.

  • Use Boston University resources!
    Contact the Office of Off-Campus Housing at 617-353-3523 for information about their resources and listings. Their Web site has apartment listings, roommate listings, a list of local real estate agents and links to other helpful website. This office also provides information about leases and tenant rights. You may also contact the Boston University Office of Rental Property Management by telephone at 617/353-4101 or by facsimile at 617/353-3737. This office manages apartments owned by Boston University.
  • Check the Internet!
    Some helpful websites that have listings for apartments and roommates are www.bostonapartments.com, boston.craigslist.org/, www.roommates.com, re.boston.com, www.apartmentaccess.com, www.allbostonapartments.com
  • Discount Realtors
    There are some realtors in Boston who have agreed to offer discounted services to Boston University students, faculty, staff and alumni. When you contact any of these agents for assistance YOU MUST TELL THEM YOU ARE A BOSTON UNIVERSITY AFFILIATE in order to receive the discount on their services. A list of these realtors is included in your admissions packet.
  • Use Personal Connections
    Apartments are often found by word of mouth. Make sure to ask friends, relatives, classmates, people from your academic department, etc. if they know of any available apartments or of people that need roommates.
  • Keep Your Eyes Open
    Individuals often post notices for apartments or roommates on community bulletin boards in Laundromats, grocery stores, or in different buildings of the university.

If you are unable to make permanent housing arrangements before your arrival on campus, we suggest that you arrive at least a few days early and use that time to find a suitable place to live. It is difficult to find appropriate, affordable housing in the Boston area. If you have friends or relatives living in Boston, you may want to seek their advice regarding housing.

If you plan to have your family live with you, we suggest that you either secure housing arrangements before arriving in Boston, or to arrive first to find housing and later send for your spouse and/or children to join you. If you wish to ship any personal belongings, please make arrangements to have them sent after you have arrived and have a permanent address.

You will also most likely need to purchase furniture and other household items for your apartment. To do this cheaply, one good idea is to check newspaper ads and notices on community bulletin boards for “moving sales,” “tag sales” or “yard sales.” It is often possible to find household items at very low costs at these sales, usually held at people’s homes. Also, look in the phone book to find shops that sell used furniture or appliances.