Finding housing at Georgia Tech can be difficult, especially if you are an out-of-state or exchange student who is not very familiar with the area.
At Whistler, we understand how overwhelming the search for housing can be. To outline the important steps you should take when looking for a place to live, we have written this guide on finding housing as an exchange student.
We will answer our most-asked questions, including:
- What types of housing are available to exchange students?
- How much do they cost?
- Which neighborhoods do Georgia Tech students live in?
- What is the best way to find housing?
- How to find a roommate as an exchange student at Georgia Tech?
- What are the next steps for securing a lease?
Ultimate Guide to Finding Housing as an Exchange Student at Georgia Tech
What types of housing are available to exchange students at Georgia Tech?
Midtown is full of a variety of housing options for Georgia Tech students, so one of your first steps should be deciding what type of housing you’re interested in leasing at.
The types of housing available for students both on- and off- campus include:
- On-Campus Georgia Tech Dorm- and Apartment-Style Residence Halls
- Off-Campus Student Apartments
- Off-Campus Traditional Apartments
On-Campus Georgia Tech Residence Halls
Residence halls, also known as dormitories, are on-campus housing options for Georgia Tech students and are owned by the university. You will find that most students living in residence halls are freshmen, some are sophomores, and very few are upperclassmen. These are typically available on a nine-month term (August through May), offer meal plans and access to on-campus dining halls, and come fully furnished.
Georgia Tech has two international houses, Hayes House and Gray House, that are exclusively for exchange students, ensuring these students belong to a true community where they know other residents and share a common interest.
Located on East Campus, The Hayes House and The Gray House are the apartment style international undergraduate houses that offer two private bedrooms with a shared full bathroom in each apartment. There is a shared lounge, study area, and kitchen on the first floor for all residents to share.
Off-Campus Student Housing Apartments
Student housing apartments are off-campus housing options built specifically for college students. These are a popular alternative to on-campus dorms that cater to the specific needs of students. In recent years, this type of housing has increased in popularity and is probably the most common type of housing for Georgia Tech students. You will find many student housing apartments in East and West Midtown.
These typically lease on a 12-month basis (although you may be able to find a reletter for a shorter term), offer amenities that are important to students, and come fully furnished.
Off-Campus Traditional Apartments
Traditional apartments, located across East Midtown, West Midtown, and Home Park, are an alternative option for off-campus housing. Although not as widely popular as student housing apartments, they typically offer more space and privacy at a lower cost.
In this type of housing, the leasing contract is typically provided by the apartment itself, requiring one roommate to pay the entire rent amount to the landlord each month. To split the expenses, roommates must make arrangements amongst themselves for sharing the rent and utility bills. It’s important to note that traditional apartments are usually unfurnished and offer minimal amenities, if any.
Other housing options include on-campus greek housing and off-campus traditional houses, both of which are hard to secure as an exchange student for various reasons.
Each of these housing options has their own pros and cons, including amenities, price point, lease type, and location, so it’s important to research what housing option is best for you. For an in depth comparison including typical price ranges and amenities, read our article on the types of housing available to Georgia Tech students.
How much do they cost?
On-Campus Georgia Tech Residence Halls
Georgia Tech offers different types of on-campus housing that all vary in layout, floorplan, and price. It’s important to understand the different options so you can make an educated decision on what’s best for you.
On-campus residence halls can range from $3,403 to $4,950 per semester depending on the style of your residence hall.
Apartment-style residence halls offer the flexibility to choose whether or not to opt for a meal plan. The rental cost of these apartments is around $9,700 per year, which doesn’t include the meal plan.
Both of the international houses have a rate of $4,572.00 per semester, not including a meal plan if you choose to opt-in to one.
For more information on Georgia Tech on-campus housing types and prices, visit Georgia Tech’s Housing and Residence Life page.
Off-Campus Student Housing Apartments
In general, it can cost anywhere from $800 to $2,500 per person, per month to live near Georgia Tech. This cost is affected by a number of factors including location, amenities, year built, and the floor plan you select. For more details on how these factors will impact your cost of living, check out this article: How Much Does It Cost to Live near Georgia Tech?
Off-Campus Traditional Apartments
There are a lot of traditional apartments in Midtown varying in age, location, and target market. The prices for these apartments can fall on either end of the spectrum, ranging from around $700 to over $2,500 per person, per month.
Where do students live near Georgia Tech?
Once you have an idea of the type of housing you’re looking for, the next step is to decide where you would ideally want to live. Location can make or break your living experience, especially for students as busy and on the go as Georgia Tech students.
Popular locations for students to live include:
- On Campus
- East Midtown
- West Midtown
- Home Park
Living on campus is beneficial because you are closer to your classes, the library, dining halls, and other on-campus buildings. The downside is that on-campus housing is limited to only Georgia Tech-owned residence halls and Greek housing.
East Midtown is a popular location for student apartments and traditional apartments. Just off of Tech Square and across Fifth Street Bridge from campus, East Midtown is full of food, drink, and entertainment unique to the Midtown urban lifestyle, while still being a short walk from campus.
West Midtown is just past west campus where you can find student apartments and traditional apartments off of Northside Drive and Marietta Street. The area is near restaurants and west campus locations like the Campus Recreational Center and the West Village Dining Commons.
Home Park is a neighborhood north of campus between campus and Atlantic Station. This area has houses available to rent for students that are a short commute to campus.
For a more in-depth look into the different areas Georgia Tech students live, read our article, Which Off-Campus Apartments are Closest to Georgia Tech’s Campus?
How do I begin my housing search?
Now that you have an understanding of housing options near Georgia Tech, plus how much they cost, it’s time to start searching! Online resources are the most popular way to secure your home and find roommates.
Facebook groups, GroupMe groups, WhatsApp chats, and other online pages and forums are extremely popular for exchange students looking for housing and roommates and are attending Georgia Tech for a duration of time.
Facebook groups are common for housing and roommate searches. For housing, there are various groups for subleases near Georgia Tech, where you will find students looking to sublease their room in a student housing apartment. There are also groups for students who are seeking out a roommate that will be a good match for them. With groups for transfer students, exchange students, people with the same major, and more, Facebook is a great tool to utilize during the housing and roommate search.
Here are a few popular Facebook groups:
- Emory and Georgia Tech Subleases, Roommates, Apartments & Housing | Facebook
- Georgia Tech (GT) Housing and Sublease Community | Facebook
- Georgia Tech (GT) Subleases, Roommates, Housing & Apartments – Atlanta
GroupMe and WhatsApp chats are also very common among exchange students as a means of meeting other exchange students, finding roommates, and more.
If you prefer to seek out an apartment on your own, or would like to learn more about a certain apartment, it’s always best to look into the student housing property’s website before making a final decision. Almost all housing sites will have a contact page, where you are able to reach out to their leasing team for more information. It’s important to remember that when it comes to roommates, many student housing apartments offer roommate-matching services for those who would like the process of finding a roommate taken off their hands.
Should I have roommates?
The last important step before you start making a list of your favorite housing options and begin touring properties, is to decide if you want to live with roommates.
For someone that prefers a quiet space without distractions, having an apartment or house full of roommates may not be the best decision for you.
However, if you’re looking for a sense of community and companionship within your own apartment, having roommates is a great way to bond with other students and make lasting friendships.
Read Next: How to Find Roommates at Georgia Tech
Outside of friendship, having roommates can also lower your overall rental rate. Utilities, additional costs, and rent per square foot will all be divided amongst you and your other roommates.
What are the next steps needed to secure housing at Georgia Tech?
Find a guarantor
If you are a full-time student, you will likely need a guarantor to co-sign your lease. Most student housing properties require a guarantor, and many Atlanta landlords don’t accept undergraduate student tenants unless they have one.
So… what’s a guarantor?
A guarantor is someone, typically a parent or guardian, who co-signs your lease and takes responsibility for any rent payments that you are unable to make.
For applicants who don’t have a credit history in the United States and/or a guarantor, the landlord or property manager will typically accept a prepayment of two installments in lieu of the credit/guarantor requirements, unless otherwise expressed in writing by management. This varies by apartment complex, so be sure to ask your leasing team about their policy.
Prepare your documents
The landlord will run a credit check prior to finalizing your lease, so you and your guarantor should gather your bank account statements, pay stubs, and Social Security numbers.
Applicants who are citizens of another country must also provide a passport, the INS document that entitles the applicant to be in the United States, and an I-20 verifying student status and proof of enrollment. The landlord or property manager may ask to make a photocopy of INS documents, international passport and/or visa.
If you cannot provide proof of enrollment at the time of application, you may be approved on the condition that you will submit proof of enrollment as soon as it is available. Be sure to ask the apartment complex that you are considering to confirm.
Carefully read over your lease agreement
A typical student lease tends to be around 40 pages long, and although it may seem extensive, it’s crucial to carefully read and understand each part of it. Since a lease is a legally binding contract, understanding your responsibilities and obligations is very important. Familiarizing yourself with the terms will ensure that you’re fully aware of what you will be held accountable for throughout the duration of your lease.
It is important to know the specific terms of your lease. You will want to pay close attention to:
- Important dates and fees
- Rental amount and due date
- Pet policy
- Rental insurance
- Length of your lease
- Lease-breaking policy
- Sublease policy
Sign the lease
After you fully understand the terms of your lease, it’s time to sign. Once the lease is signed by you and your guarantor, and your credit check is passed, your lease is ready for approval. Congratulations!
For more information on the details of signing a student housing lease, we have put together a guide on How to Sign a Lease for Student Apartments in Midtown Atlanta.
While the task of finding an apartment seems daunting, breaking the process down into individual steps makes the process a breeze.
If you have further questions or would like to learn more about leasing at Whistler, feel free to reach out to our leasing team. We are more than happy to assist you in your housing search.