Questions to ask as you decide where to live

  • How will I get to school from here?
  • Am I comfortable in this neighborhood?
  • Are utilities (heat, hot water, electricity) included or extra? If extra, what are they likely to cost?
  • Does the building seem secure? Check out locks on doors and windows.
  • Where will I study?
  • Is there a place to do laundry in the building? If not, where is the nearest laundromat?
  • When can I move in?

Tips for International Students


There are so many new situations to become acquainted with when you go abroad, that it is important to plan ahead. Housing in the Waltham area (nearby towns include Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Watertown, and Newton, among others) can be somewhat expensive, but living with other students can help to make your expenses more manageable. There are numerous places that love to rent to Brandeis graduate students, so finding a quality place to live is definitely possible! There are many resources on the Brandeis campus and on the internet that can help you through the process.

Some Words of Advice

Start your search as early as possible. Check our Housing page for web-based resources. You can also use various online classifieds: Craig’s List or Apartmentlist.com to search for apartments or rooms for rent. If you are unable to visit Brandeis for the House Hunting Days over the summer, you should plan to arrive on campus before your semester begins to find housing.

Contact other incoming or returning Brandeis international students. Returning students will have helpful suggestions. Once you contact other Brandeis students, you can plan to meet before courses start, and share a hotel room (or other temporary housing) while you search for more permanent housing. Contact your department or program to get a list of students that you can email or call.

If you are successful in finding a place that you would like to rent while you are still overseas, please follow these precautions in securing your apartment or room:

  • Have the landowner send you the lease on email so that you can sign it and send it back to them.
  • Wait to send any deposit until you have received a copy of the lease back, with the landowner's signature as well as your own.
  • Then you can send a deposit to hold the apartment. Send this through the mail--you can use an expedited service. You can pay the deposit by check or money order, and request a written receipt of this letter through your mail service. This way, you have a paper trail ensuring that the landowner has received the money, along with a signed lease.

Think about what you will need to bring for your living situation. Most apartments are unfurnished, however some may have a bed and/or desk, but you will need sheets, bedding, towels, etc.