You did the work and landed your big city internship – congratulations! You’re about to show your career goals who’s boss.
Now there is only one question remaining: where are you going to live while you’re taking the working world by storm?
How do you know the right questions to ask?
It may feel like you’re spending all of your time at the office, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be sleeping on the floor of your cubicle.
Out-of-town internships can be tricky if you don’t plan ahead, especially if you have to look for temporary housing. If you are coming to a big city like DC from another city or town, how do you know what the neighborhood is really like? Or how will you meet people? Will there be unplanned expenses? Yeah, it can be a little scary!
From deciding what you want from your temporary home away from home to asking the right questions about the facilities and neighborhood, you can get a much better picture of what your experience will be like living there.
What to ask while researching housing options:
- Is the neighborhood safe?
- How close is the housing to my job?
- What is the closest means of transportation?
- Where is the nearest food market? Restaurants?
- What else is in the neighborhood to see?
- What facilities are offered? Are there emergency services and package reception?
- Will I be living with students and interns or among with local residents?
- Is there a way to meet other interns that are also in a program?
- Are there community events where I can meet people?
- Is there a way to connect on social media?
- What type of apartment do I like? Modern, luxurious or small row house?
- Is the apartment clean and in good shape?
- What’s included in the rental?
- Does my new employer have suggestions for temporary housing?
- Can my college or university supply a resource?
- Can I talk to former interns for advice on housing options?
- Is there student housing available at a nearby college or university?
- Should I lease an apartment?
- Should I sublet an apartment?
- Do I need to look for a roommate?
- How much should I budget for rent, utilities, food, transportation, etc.?
Once you find your pick for temporary housing, we’ve compiled a list of questions to ask yourself and any intern or short-term housing provider. No one likes unpleasant surprises like not having any hangars!
Read more about how to have a painless move to short term housing
What to ask about the mechanics and paperwork once you find housing:
- When are the housing application deadlines?
- How long will it take for an application to be accepted or denied?
- When will I be assigned my specific space?
- When will I know that my space has been secured? When my application is approved? When a lease/agreement is signed?
- Is a security deposit needed? When is it due?
- Do I need renter’s insurance?
- What is the minimum stay? What is the maximum stay?
- When can I move in and move out? When is the earliest I can move in? When is the latest I can move out?
- Will I have a roommate?
- Can I get paired with another intern from my company?
- What is provided within the space? Is it furnished?
- What should I bring of my own?
- Is there parking? Is parking free or will I have to pay for a space?
- Is there a bathroom within my space or will I be sharing a bathroom?
- When is rent/tuition fee due? Who receives my payment? How can I pay/what forms of payment are accepted?
- What utilities are included? What utilities do I need to cover?
- Are there amenity facilities (e.g. a fitness center)? How do I access any facilities?
- What is the guest policy?
- Is there a lights-out policy?
- Are there quiet hours?
- Is there a penalty for canceling a lease/housing agreement?
- If I’m leaving early, how much notification is needed before I move out? Will I have to pay a penalty?
- If maintenance is needed, how do I submit a request?
Temporarily relocating for your once-in-a-lifetime internship is a unique experience, but you should not have to break the bank to live in great housing.
Just do your research, be thorough and ask lots of questions. It’s all about planning, and remember … it’s never a bad idea to reach out to others who have gone through this journey before you.
Before you go, here’s 5 space-saving tips for small spaces