Guest Blogger: Yanying (Andrea) An

My Apartment Search Experience as an International Student

The guest writer, Andrea An, is a graduate student in the Lynch School of Education, pursing a degree in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation (ERME). Originally from northern China, Andrea loves everything about Boston, the food, the view, the people. In her spare time, Andrea likes watching detective movies and playing the piano. In addition, she is a foodie!

I was busy working in an English training school, dealing with smart and naughty kids that exhausted all my energy. I never really gave a second thought about hunting for apartments until my parents couldn’t contain themselves, "come on, you need a place to shelter yourself" they said. So, here I was, in early August, starting to look for an apartment, feeling like I was behind the typical progress of other students. It felt more stressful starting as late as I did.

Luckily, the internet is a great resource! Before searching for apartments, I found several friends who were coming to Boston College like I was. Using online resources and social networking websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter, I sent messages like, “hey, anyone coming to BC this fall with me?” I was fortunate to find several people also coming to BC; one girl brought me into their chat group newly built for Chinese newcomers in the Lynch School of Education. I sent friend requests to everyone in the chat group asking things like, “have you found your apartment? Do you wanna find an apartment with me together so we can be roommates?” Bad news was, everyone I asked had already found their apartments, or had already filled spaces with roommates. 

When I was going to give up, another girl introduced the BC off-campus housing database to me. I signed up as a guest, typed in my rent range, chose neighborhoods, filled in my preference and then talked to others also listing on the site that fit my interest. One guy posted, “four bedroom, two boys and one girl, looking for another girl, Allston, one minute to B line stop, twenty minutes to BC, ten minutes to Star and Super 88, laundry nearby, all utility included…” attaching a picture of the room. I thought "hey, that’s exactly what I’m looking for, a perfect match!" I talked to that guy, who later became my roommate (also became my good friend’s boyfriend in the future), signed the lease and arrived in Boston two weeks later with two super large luggage bags. 

I had a new apartment and a new chapter in my life!

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