I was in Denver, Colorado in 2005 and 2006 as an exchange student. Fortunately, due to the previous experience of settling down in a “strange” city, starting my life in Columbus, Ohio in summer 2010 was not that hard. I knew where to go to buy stuff and how to get there, how to open a bank account, how to apply for a driver license, and how to manage my class schedule. However, maybe the most difficult and important thing to do when settling down in a foreign country is to get housing.
First of all, you have to consider the distance from campus. (By the way, I’m talking about my situation without a car. If you have a car, my advice would change.) As for me, I preferred a very close location so I can walk to the Fisher campus in any conditions such as heavy snows, lack of campus buses, and oversleeping. A good thing about OSU is that we have Campus Area Bus Service, or CABS, so commuting around the campus area costs nothing. Therefore, make sure you know where the nearest bus stops are.
I also wanted clean and safe place. I believe everyone wants this. In order to check the status of every place, you can’t be lazy. You have to see the place in person. Don’t want fully trust the pictures of nice and luxurious rooms you will see on fliers. See the place on your own. Another thing to consider is how close your place is to grocery stores. Unless you eat out 24/7, grocery stores play a very practical role in your life, especially if you cook for yourself.
I know the monthly rent is another criterion in your decision. Well, actually you have to take distance, quality, and price into considerations. Now, I want to tell you why I chose the Neil dormitory. That’s because I don’t have to care about bills! If you live in a privately owned house or room, you, in most cases, have to set up internet account, gas account, electric account, etc., on your own. They all possibly have different payment due dates. And their contract terms might not be same. Additionally just think about when you move or graduate. You have to close all the accounts and sometimes you have to pay for some days after you leave. After long consideration, I finally made up my mind to live in Neil dorm.
Neil dorm has studio-type apartments for graduates only. Each has a kitchen, a bathroom, and basic furniture such as bed, desk, chair, and drawer. Monthly fee is $730, a little expensive but it includes all utilities. You pay for every service just in one bill. They are well constructed, warm in winter, and safe. There are laundry room, vending machines, front desk that manages your incoming packages, close bus stops, and a cafe called Market Place. It takes you only 5-10 minutes to the Fisher campus by walking.
If you are considering and hesitating where to settle on and wish to live on campus, you may want to consider the Neil Ave grad dorm.