As a parent, you may view your child’s upcoming summer internship with mixed feelings. On one hand, you are excited that your child has landed a wonderful opportunity. On the other hand, you may be sad that he or she will be gone for the entire summer and worried about how to find housing in a new community.
The good news is that many companies help students find short-term rentals, so make sure to try that route first.
If your child’s company doesn’t offer assistance, the following tips will help make it easier to get started with the daunting task of finding safe, comfortable and affordable housing.
- Check in with local colleges and universities. Some colleges and universities rent out their their dorms as inexpensive short-term rentals. Make a list of the institutions of higher education that are close to your student’s internship then check to see if they offer summer housing.
- Set a budget and stick to it. Many college students see their internship living arrangement as their very own first place. This is especially true if your child lived in the dorms or in your home. Be wary of this excitement because students often want a place that far exceeds a limited student funds.
That’s why it’s important to set a budget before you begin your search and to make sure your child is part of the discussion. It’s important that he or she understands that finances dictate what he or she can afford. This is an opportunity to learn about how budgeting works in the “real world.”
- Consider a roommate or sublet. Students may want to get out on their own and assert some independence, but roommates and sublets help save money. They also offer added security in an unfamiliar place. Ask your child to inquire at the company sponsoring his or her internship about where other interns will be spending the summer. A shared apartment with another intern can save additional money if they travel to work together.
- Check for transportation. Will your child have a car? If not, research local public transportation options and try to find an apartment near a bus line or train station.
- Consider consulting a real estate agent. Some real estate agents handle relocation business in communities where large companies are present. Ask your child to inquire about where interns have stayed in the past. If one location has hosted students year after year, keep it in mind.
- Go there yourself. One of the best ways to make sure your child will have a safe short-term home is to inspect the place yourself, preferably before the papers are signed. Look at the homes in the neighborhood. Are they kept up? People who take pride in their homes most often take pride in their community. When you enter the apartment, make sure to meet the landlord and any roommates your child may have. You can’t watch your child every step of the way, but meeting these people ahead of time will give you peace of mind.
Next, learn how your child can keep his or her belongings safe while away from home.