How to Afford Rent in a Big City As an Intern

Fri, Jul 6, 2012

Internship Information

So, you’ve applied for an internship in another city and you just got news that you have been offered the position. You’re so excited to get the work experience, but you are a bit hesitant about one thing: It means that you’ll have to relocate for a few months and this means that you’ll have to find a place to live.

When it comes to cities like New York and Los Angeles (just two name a couple), the cost of living is not what an intern’s income can typically afford (due to the fact that it’s usually non-paying or comes with a really low stipend). Therefore, they have to come up with some creative ways to pay their rent while working in a big city.

If you fall into this category and you’re looking for some ideas on how to find housing, here are a few:

Get a part-time job. Perhaps, one of the most obvious routes to take is to get a part-time job to pay for a place. Now, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to get a three-bedroom apartment overlooking Central Park or Studio City, but if you budget wisely (and let the place you’re interning for know that you have a job), there’s a great chance that you’ll be able to make it work.

Let people know that you’re looking for a place. It might surprise you to go to your favorite search engine and see how many interns make announcements on forums about being an intern who needs a place to stay. Now, for obvious reasons, this may not be the safest route to take, but a “happy medium” is to speak with some of your family members and friends (including Facebook friends) about if they know of someone personally who would be willing to host you for a few months.

Speak with the company that you are interning with. When it comes to looking for apartments for rent, there’s a huge chance that you are not the first out-of-town intern that the company has had and so they probably have some connections on finding a suitable place. Matter of fact, some of the bigger businesses may actually even have housing available to interns that are coming from other states. This is definitely an instance when making assumptions that they don’t could prove to be detrimental, so make sure to ask the human resources department about any housing possibilities that they may have.

Look for a sublet. One of the cool things about Craiglist is that under the housing section, it has a list dedicated to sublets and temporary housing (including apartments). This means that in basically every city in America, there is a list of people who are looking for someone to either sublet their place or to stay in it for a temporary amount of time. It definitely can’t hurt to look in that section, along with “room/shared” category too.

House Sit. Another option that is definitely worth considering is looking into housesitting. If you’ve never done your research on it, basically, people have you stay at their home while they’re on long vacations or business trips. In exchange for staying there (to water plants, check mail, etc.), you get free room and board (including utilities). This is such a popular option that there are even websites that provide people with some pretty solid leads. For more information, check out MindMyHouse.com, HouseCarers.com and HouseSittersAmerica.com.

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