Deciding where to live in a new city can feel like a big decision, and in a lot of ways, it is! Housing costs can take up a big portion of our monthly budget and where you live in relation to campus will determine whether you walk each day, take public transportation, or in rare cases, drive. After you have secured your temporary housing, you can begin researching where you might live long-term.
Starting your search Heading link
There are many options for long-term housing and only you can decide what fits your lifestyle and budget best. As a general rule, you should begin researching your options from abroad but do not commit to anything, either through a signed contract or transfer of money, until you have arrived in the U.S. and are able to view the property and neighborhood in-person. The only exception this rule is UIC Housing which can safely be secured from abroad. The videos linked below are a good place to start and will explain the differences between on-campus and off-campus housing along with some common housing terminology you will encounter in the U.S.
Campus Housing Heading link
Living in an on-campus residence hall is a great way to familiarize yourself with UIC and Chicago in a welcoming, supportive, and safe environment. It is also a great way to meet other UIC students and get involved. Visit UIC Campus Housing to browse your residence hall options including the unique Living Learning Communities (LLCs).
Off-campus housing Heading link
There are many great websites that you can use to research off-campus housing options. UIC Commuter and Off-Campus Life hosts an off-campus housing directory for the UIC community where you can view listings and search for roommates. Their website also has an extensive list of private apartment agencies, apartment listing sites, and other helpful off-campus housing search resources.
Safety considerations Heading link
Safety is a common priority when searching for long-term housing. That said, what qualifies as a “safe apartment” or “safe neighborhood” can be different for each person. Here are some things to consider when evaluating the safety of a potential home:
- Visit the building in person and note if exterior doors have working locks. Unlocked or damaged exterior doors mean that non-residents can enter the building.
- Garden units (below ground level) and first-floor units (ground level) are generally less expensive but their windows are more accessible from the street. Units on higher floors may provide more security.
- Visit your prospective neighborhood during the day and at nighttime to get a sense of what it will feel like to return home at all times of the day. You can also see if the street and building entrance have adequate lighting.
- The Chicago Police Department maintains city crime statistics and maps that can give you a sense of the types and prevalence of crime around a prospective apartment.
Housing options in Rockford Heading link
International students studying at the UIC campus in Rockford should connect with their program coordinator for current information about housing options near campus.