If you prefer to rent a room in a privately owned home, the International Education Counseling Center (IECC) maintains a current listing of rooms for rent that includes a limited number of rooms in private homes. Please stop by the IECC to pick up a current copy of the housing list. Keep in mind, however, that this list is offered as a free service and SMC does not investigate, endorse, or guarantee the availability of these listings. The average monthly cost varies, depending on the facilities provided, which may or may not include food. The price of utilities is typically incorporated into the rent. Keep in mind that move-in costs may include first and last month's rent as well as a damage deposit.
If you choose to share an apartment or a house with other students, the IECC maintains a current housing list of students who are available to share an apartment or who have a room in their apartment for rent. Students who wish to share their apartment make their own terms; be prepared for move-in costs to include first and last month's rent as well as a damage deposit. Approximate monthly cost to share an apartment varies and may often exclude the cost of utilities, telephone and Cable TV. Keep in mind that Santa Monica College provides general information regarding accommodations that have been successful for international students for your convenience only. The College makes no representation as to the condition or suitability of any of the listed resources, nor does it assume responsibility for their condition or reliability, or for any agreements you enter into with them. SMC is under no obligation to provide organizations or businesses space on our webpages.
Universal Student Housing (USH)
Description: Students share an apartment with one to five other students. USH offers airport pick-up, telephone and answering machines in each apartment, free incoming fax service, tour packages, and weekly grocery shopping trips. All rooms are fully furnished; the building offers controlled access, a pool, laundry facilities, and is located near a bus stop.
Sharing your personal space with a roommate or housemate, especially someone from a different country or culture, can be a wonderful part of your college experience – if you get along. Communication is the key! Here are some important issues you may want to consider discussing with your potential roommate(s) before you sign any kind of agreement or decide to room with someone:
Who else has keys to your apartment or room? Who will be coming and going on a regular basis? If you or your potential roommate(s) have a girlfriend or boyfriend are they allowed to stay overnight? If friends or relatives come to visit will they be welcome to share your communal area? Always make sure that you are comfortable with everyone who has access to your private space. If you have a party at home, make sure that you have all your roommates’ permission in advance and that you or your roommates know all the guests that are allowed to enter.
Do you and your potential roommate(s) have compatible schedules? If you plan on studying at home, make sure that you work out in advance a schedule that incorporates study time, sleep time, or when it is permissible to listen to music, watch TV, be on the telephone, or have guests.
Are you a slob, or do you prefer to keep your home tidy and clean? Do you like to cook but hate cleaning up after? Discuss in advance how you are going to keep your communal areas (bathroom, kitchen, living room) clean. You may want to make one person responsible for clean up on a weekly basis, or make each roommate responsible for their own mess on a daily basis.
Work out in advance if you will be sharing food items stored in the kitchen, dividing the cost of groceries and utilities, or borrowing or lending clothes, DVDs, CDs, etc. It can be frustrating to go to the refrigerator only to find that your favorite snack has disappeared – again!
You may want to put together a “House Rules List” that deals with the issues above, as well as any other concerns you might have. Make sure all roommates are aware of the house rules and are committed to following them in the interest of peace and harmony in your home.
If Problems Arise
Remember that learning to get along with different personalities is part of growing as a person; your goal is not to fight, but to resolve issues before they get out of hand.
Communicate and be willing to compromise with the little stuff!
Actively listen to your roommates’ complaints, and be clear and calm regarding any complaints you may have.
Don't try to resolve a conflict when you or your roommates are angry. Work it out once you have all cooled off.
Be sure you completely understand what is being said and that what you are saying is also fully understood.
If you find yourself in the middle of an escalating conflict, use a friend or other roommate as a witness.
Keep a written record of your communications and the steps you have taken to try and resolve conflicts. Share this with all your roommates, including the person with whom you have been having problems.