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Co-op/Intern Housing Resources

Are you looking for a place to live during your co-op or internship? This page is designed to help you in your housing search.

Getting Started
Where to Live?
Online Resources
Criteria to Consider
Housing Options
Signing a Lease

Getting Started

Questions to ask your internship supervisor

  • Ask your internship provider if housing is provided or if interns are expected to find their own housing accommodations.
  • If interns are expected to find own housing accommodations, check with your  employer to see if it would be possible to reach out to other interns about the  possibility of living  together.  Living with other interns is often a great way to meet people and ease your transition to a new location.

Where to Live?

Advice by word of mouth

  • Communicate with previous interns.  They may be able to give you guidance based on their housing search process.   If you don’t know any previous interns, you may  consider asking your supervisor for a list of names/emails of past interns in your  situation .
  • Communicate with UMD alumni and friends.  The University of Maryland is a large  network, and chances are there are UMD alumni living in the location of your  internship.  These individuals will be familiar with the area and may be able to provide you with helpful advice regarding where to live.

Online Resources

Criteria to Consider

  • Crime rates.  Safety is an especially important consideration if you are living in an urban area, but in general, it is good to know what areas to avoid.
  • Transportation. Consider whether you will have reliable personal transportation   during your internship/co-op or if you will need to be within walking distance to public transportation.  Likewise, will the company pay to ship your car to your location? If you will not have a car, ridesharing, carpooling, employee shuttles, and public transportation are all viable ways to commute.
  • Cost of rent.  How much can you reasonably afford?  Consider whether utilities are included in the base rent and what additional add-on expenses you might incur.  In  addition to utilities, fees such as parking fees, pet fees, and online-payment fees among others can rapidly raise the cost of rent.  If you are looking at a multi-family dwelling (such as an apartment or condo), check whether utilities will be calculated based on your unit alone or will be split evenly among the occupants of the building.
  • Parking.  Consider if parking is provided and whether it will be an added expense.  Additionally, if you plan to have regular guests, look into guest parking options. Particularly in urban areas, parking may be limited (or come with added fees).
  • Lease Terms.  How long of a lease do you need?  If you will only be interning for a summer, avoid signing a longer-term lease because breaking a lease can have  detrimental effects on your ability to rent in the future.  How flexible of a lease do you need?  If your co-op or internship has a flexible end date, you may want to look into month-to-month leases.  If you choose to sublet, be sure that you are subletting in  accordance with the property manager’s requirements or you run the risk of being evicted.
  • Neighbors.  Consider whether you prefer to be surrounded by other interns/college students or whether you would be okay with living in a more isolated area or without other young people around.
  • Roommates.   While living with roommates can make moving to a new area feel less lonely and will likely save you a significant chunk of change, you should be conscious of who you choose to live with.  Before signing a lease with a stranger, be sure that your roommate can afford to pay their portion of the rent and will respect you and your  belongings.

Housing options

Living on a college campus

See if any local colleges have available summer housing.  Some universities will allow interns to live in residence halls during the summer.

Pros Cons
  • Easy to meet other interns/students
  • Short-term lease options
  • Most campus housing or college-affiliated apartments offer summer lease options or shorter terms
  • Safety
  • Often semi-furnished
  • Fewer amenities
  • Less privacy if living in a dorm with a communal bathroom/roommate
  • Potential limitations on duration of lease (may not be practical for co-op students)

General apartment leases

If you would like to live independently or with a non-student roommate, finding an apartment or house close to your internship/co-op may be a good choice.

Pros Cons
  • More amenities
  • Greater independence
  • More long-term leases for co-ops
  • Lack of lease flexibility (may be 6+ month leases)
  • May not have as strict safety regulations as campus housing
  • Often unfurnished

Subletting

If you will only be interning for a summer, subletting can provide a way to obtain a short-term lease.  Oftentimes students who rent apartments, but return home for the summer months will consider subleasing their apartments for a summer.
 

Pros Cons
  • Amenities often align with general apartment leases
  • Greater independence
  • Short-term lease options
  • Often furnished
  • Must be careful to ensure that the sublease is approved by the leasing agency.
  • May not have as strict safety regulations  as campus housing


Airbnb

While Airbnb is known for short-term vacation rentals, it may provide another flexible housing option if a host is agreeable to a longer stay.

Pros Cons
  • Flexible length of stay
  • Amenities often provided without additional fees
  • Host families can be hit or miss (check reviews)
  • Airbnb options may be hard to find outside of major cities

 

Signing a Lease
 

Read all of the leasing paperwork in detail.  Do this before signing the lease, even though it may be tedious. Some of the application and leasing processes may get  confusing! Make sure you know what is/is not binding before signing anything. Know the terms of your lease before paying or submitting anything.


Be cognizant of scams.  Never give out personal information or money until you have viewed a property, and be wary of landlords that seem overly eager and ask for too many upfront fees beyond the standard security deposit and application fee after you have viewed the property.


Consider renter’s insurance.  Renter’s insurance is often recommended or required. Make sure you look into this.