We at the Career Center work our hardest to help you find jobs, internships, programs and fellowships. Unfortunately, the stress doesn’t end with a job offer; finding summer housing may cause just as much of a headache as getting that internship. Don’t fret, though; we’re here to teach you a few tips to make your search just a bit easier.
The Career Center has just updated our housing database online with information about university-based housing and housing databases in major cities such as New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston. Many of these links have been vetted and the list continues to grow on a daily basis, so be sure to check back frequently. We have also set up some Facebook groups so that you can connect with other Amherst students who may be interning and looking for housing in the same city. Information on these groups can be found on the housing page. You can reach the housing page by the following link: amherst.edu/campuslife/careers/students/jobs/internships/findaninternship/inthousing.
One of the most important aspects about the housing search is to be conscientious and rigorous in learning as much about your new potential residence as possible. Since you may conduct much of your search while you are still on campus, speaking to someone who has actually lived in the place you are considering can provide you crucial information about cost, convenience and safety. You don’t want to put down a deposit only to realize that the train to the office is not the most reliable, or that you will be experiencing leakages during every single summer storm. If possible, you should reach out to previous years’ interns and your future boss to find out where to live and not to live.
You will likely be choosing between school- based housing and independently found sublets, each of which has its pros and cons. School based housing is usually more expensive and may require full payment before you can move in. While the application process also ends earlier, typically around late April, school based housing is more reliable and tends to come with added amenities such as parking and gym access. Another perk is the accessibility of social groups, as most, if not all, of the other residents will be college age summer interns.
Room and apartment sublets can be found at a significantly lower price, with payment scheduled on a monthly/rent basis, in addition to a deposit. Keep in mind, though, that this may require more work on your part to check out individual homes and make sure housing contracts and fair. You should never give money to someone you have never met on a house you have never seen. This may require you to get creative — think Skype video house tours or asking a friend in the area to check things out — but a careful process can save you money and protect you from scams.
Hopefully this article has given you a few things to consider that will ease your summer housing search. We wish you the best of luck!