Housing On Campus Housing Students living on campus must apply prior to arrival through the Office of Residential Life. Living in the residence halls is recommended for students who have never lived in the US before. In the residence halls you will have wireless internet, electricity, water, gas, cable television, washing machine usage and other amenities included in the monthly housing fee. These individual usage fees can usually be quite expensive if you live off campus. A meal plan for use in Hamline's cafeteria is also mandatory if you choose to live on campus. Please take this into consideration when deciding to live on or off campus. Additionally, the residence halls will provide you with many opportunities to meet other students and build a network of support. Each residence hall is staffed by an experienced Resident Advisor, who plans social events and programs and can act as a resource for you as a new student. Please note that once you pay the housing deposit, you are committed to living on campus per the terms of your agreement. You will not be able to cancel this agreement once you arrive on campus. So while on-campus housing is recommended for students new to the US, please consider this decision carefully. Short term exchange and study abroad students are required to live on campus. Students living on campus must either bring their own linens or order them through Residential Life. Off Campus Housing International students who are admitted as degree seeking students have the option to live on or off campus. Again, we recommend that you live on campus if this is your first time in the US. Finding off campus housing can be a daunting task, particularly if you are seeking housing from overseas. Please note that the IOCP office does not currently provide individual assistance with off campus housing. However, the information below may help you in your search. Whether you decide to live on or off campus, it is important that you make housing arrangements before you arrive at Hamline. If you cannot secure plans in advance, then you are responsible for arranging temporary housing. Places to look We recommend that you use a combination of resources to search for your apartment. Here are some places that will help you get started: Craigslist (this link is set to search for the keyword 'Hamline') Apartment rental websites such as Apartments.com, Rent.com, ApartmentGuide.com, Padmapper.com, Placeofmine.com and others Newspapers (see St. Paul Pioneer Press classifieds) Post a message on the Hamline IOCP Facebook page Seek help from trusted friends who have attended Hamline or live in the area What you should know (rules, terminology, etc.) Lease: A lease is a legally binding contract between you and the property owner, so be sure that you do not sign a lease before you are absolutely certain that you can commit to the agreement. It is very important to read your lease carefully before signing. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. It is common for apartments to require a minimum one year lease, while some places allow shorter leases. It may be difficult to sign a lease from outside the country if the landlord requires a reference check or credit check. Sub-lease: If an individual has signed a lease and is unable to keep the agreement, in some cases the landlord will allow the tenant to “sublease” the apartment. This means that another person will temporarily take over part of the lease. This arrangement allows for a more temporary commitment. Location: Make sure that any apartment you choose is close enough to campus for you to get here easily. The public transportation system in the Twin Cities is extensive, but it may take much longer to get to locations than you are accustomed to. You can see bus transit times from any property you are thinking of renting to the Hamline campus (1536 Hewitt Ave, Saint Paul) on the Metro Transit website. If you will have a car, ask your prospective apartment about parking as well, since this can often carry additional costs. Fees and deposits: Many apartments require you to pay a non-refundable application fee. Most apartments also require tenants to pay a security deposit (also called damage deposit) in addition to their first month’s rent. The security deposit may be refunded when you move out of the apartment, but if there is any damage to the apartment, then the landlord has the right to keep this money. For that reason, it is important to take care of your property, to clean thoroughly before you move out, and to notify the landlord immediately if you notice any damages when you move in so that you are not charged for these damages later. It is also important to pay your rent on time, since you will likely be assessed a late fee if your payment is not received on the day it is due. Unfurnished housing: Unless an apartment is advertised as furnished, most apartments do not come with furniture or other household items. You will need to purchase these items on your own. There are many places to buy used furniture and other discounted items. Renting small spaces: To save money, some students consider renting a room within a house (not an entire apartment) or renting an efficiency apartment (also called a studio apartment), which is a small apartment usually consisting of one main living space, a small kitchen area, and a bathroom. Efficiency/studio apartments do not have a separate bedroom. Utilities: Off-campus housing options may originally seem less expensive than living on campus, but many apartment rentals do not included amenities such as electricity, gas, water, internet, etc. If they are not included, you would be responsible for paying these bills in addition to your monthly rent. With Minnesota's cold winters, gas and electricity bills can be quite high ($100 +). Timing: Be sure to start your housing search early. It may take some time to become comfortable with the search process, and it is best to take your time so that you can research your options. Some apartments require a background check, credit check, or reference check before you can rent from them.