Office of International Programs (OIP)


Housing

We recommend that you make plans to arrive at least one week before the Mandatory International Student Orientation or ELM/EPT testing dates if you are required to these tests. This way you will have enough time to locate housing.


Temporary Housing

It is important to arrange temporary accommodations IN ADVANCE if you do not have housing. See off-campus short-term housing information at: http://www.sfsu.edu/~housing/offcampus/shortterm.html

 

Permanent Housing

On-campus housing

On-campus housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Because of the large number of applicants and limited availability of on-campus housing, interested students should apply for on-campus housing as soon as possible, preferably 3-4 months before the semester begins. You do not have to be admitted to apply for on-campus housing.


See on-campus housing options for international students at http://www.sfsu.edu/~housing/options/international.html


Apply for on-campus housing at http://www.sfsu.edu/~housing/apply2011-2012/ (There is a USD$55 non-refundable application fee)


Off-campus housing

There are also a variety of off-campus housing options available to international students. However, the San Francisco Bay Area is located in one of the most expensive housing markets in the entire U.S., and it can be very difficult to find an affordable place to live.


The average monthly rent for studio (one room) apartments ranges from $900-$1,400; one-bedroom apartments from $1,500-$1,800; two-bedroom apartments from $1,800-$2,500; and three-bedroom apartments from $2,500-$3,000. As a result, many international students share a two or three-bedroom apartment with other students and thereby share the costs of rent, food, and utilities.


OIP does not recommend that you secure your housing or pay any deposit over the web or through Western Union before your arrival. There have been numerous instances of fraud perpetrated on international students trying to secure housing before they arrive in San Francisco. It is always best to meet the property owner/manager before you sign any contract or make any payment.


OIP cannot make off-campus housing arrangements for you prior to your arrival. However, will provide you with valuable information to assist you with your off-campus housing search on the first day of Mandatory International Student Orientation.


See off-campus options at SF State Housing office website: http://www.sfsu.edu/~housing/index.html (See 鈥淥ff-Campus Housing鈥 links on the left hand side of the page)


A popular website to find housing in the San Francisco Bay Area is: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/


Housing Leases & Contracts

Whether you choose to live on-campus or off-campus, you will have to sign a lease. A lease is a legally binding agreement or contract between a property owner/manager (lessor) and a tenant/renter (lessee). Written leases are binding for the whole duration specified on the contract.

On-campus housing
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If you begin your studies at SF State for the Fall semester and decide to live on-campus, you will be required to sign a 9 month (2 semester) contract which will cover the period from the end of August until the end of May.
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If you begin your studies at SF State for the Spring semester and decide to live on campus, you will be required to sign a 4 month (1 semester) contract which will cover the period from the end of January until the end of May.
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Please note that your contract can only be terminated if you officially withdraw from SF State. Read the contract carefully before you sign it and understand all your responsibilities.

 

Off-campus housing
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If you choose to live off-campus, your lease will not terminate if you have to withdraw from SF State or if you decide to move out before the end of your term.
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Most leases are either for 6 months or one year. Once you sign a lease you will be legally responsible to pay rent for the whole duration of the lease, unless you or the owner/manager finds another tenant to take over the lease. In this case, you will be responsible for all expenses and loss of rental income that the owner/manager incurs, due to your early lease termination.
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A lease is a document originating with the owner/manager/board of realtors and as such it tends to represent the owner/managers鈥 interests. Before signing a lease, read it carefully and understands all of its obligations.
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If you have questions about the lease, you can review it with the SF State Student Government鈥檚 Legal Resource Center before you sign it. Obtain a signed copy of the lease for your own records. Do not rely on a verbal agreement. Make sure you have everything in writing.
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Sublet: It is possible to sublet, which means that the person renting the room or apartment in turn rents the unit to another person. Such an arrangement must be carefully investigated before agreeing to it either as a renter or subletter.
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Security deposit: A security deposit (equal to one or two months鈥 rent) is almost always required, in addition to the first month's rent. The security deposit will be returned by the owner/manager, in whole or in part, within 30 days after the lease ends, depending upon any damage or cleaning and/or repair charges. To get your security deposit back you need to document how you found the apartment and how you left it so that no damage prior to your occupancy can be assessed against your security deposit. It is also important to give written notice that you do not plan to renew and to provide your owner/manager with written notification of your forwarding address. Check your lease to see how much notice you must give. Most leases usually require that you provide your landlord with 30 days' written notice of your intention to move out.


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