5 Ways to Find an Apartment in the USA


Our North Carolina townhouse found on CraigsList.com

by: Grayson Leverenz

Figuring out where you want to live is a daunting task, even in your own country. Adding a foreign locale makes it even tougher. With a few of the ideas below, you can find your ideal apartment in the USA.

1. Ask Student Services. The MBA Student Services office exists to help people with tasks like figuring out where to live. Ask them where most MBA students live, and which place they recommend. Also ask them why most people live there (i.e. what’s the attraction?). Then, bounce the ideas off of students you interacted with during the admissions process and get their recommendations.

2. Investigate ApartmentSearch.com. After checking out four online apartment search tools, ApartmentSearch.com emerged as my favorite. It appeals to the nerd in me because it provides an overview of the state where you’re moving. It also places options on a map, and doesn’t require you provide an email address just to search.

3. Check CraigsList.com. CraigsList offers the best options outside of major apartment complexes. If you’re interested in renting a house or townhouse, using CraigsList works very well. You need a good idea of where you want to live because there are so many listings, but the design is pretty user friendly. During my MBA program, Brandon and I rented a townhouse we found on CraigsList.

4. Survey local classified ads. Online classifieds may loop around to an online apartment search tool; that’s what just happened to me when I searched Chapel Hill classifieds. However, I’m sure some online newspapers still print actual ads placed by individual owners. If not, ask student services to mail you a Sunday edition of the local paper; they always have the largest classified section.

5. Hit the pavement. If you are very particular about where you live, you might want to explore by foot once you’re in the US. We call that “hitting the pavement” because you walk from place to place until you find what you’re looking for. This strategy works especially well in small towns that post signs for available rentals.

Author: Grayson Leverenz

Grayson Leverenz founded MBA in the USA® to help international students build networks, find jobs, and have fun in the USA. Hundreds of global professionals have benefited from Grayson’s intercultural workshops, and she has worked with people from Brazil, China, India, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA to build effective virtual teams and craft brilliant careers.

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