Are you an international student at UT Austin and looking for the perfect place to live?
Finding housing in Austin can be difficult, especially for out-of-state or international students who are not very familiar with the area.
At Rambler, we want to help you understand all of your housing options, which is why we’ve created this guide to make your housing search simple as an international student.
In this article, we answer all of your questions about finding housing as an international student near UT Austin, including:
- Which neighborhoods do UT students live in?
- Which types of housing do UT students live in?
- How much does it cost to live near UT Austin?
- What is the best way to find an apartment?
- How do I sign my lease?
Where do students live near UT Austin?
The most popular areas for international students to live include West Campus, North Campus, on-campus housing and Riverside.
By far the most popular place for UT undergraduate students to live, West Campus is an energetic area characterized by Greek houses, shops, bars, restaurants and student housing.
West Campus is located just west of UT campus, just across Guadalupe. West Campus is defined by Lamar to the west, MLK Boulevard to the south, 29th Street to the north and Guadalupe Street to the east. This is a very walkable neighborhood, almost exclusively home to UT students.
West Campus offers proximity to the heart of campus, specifically the School of Architecture, Moody College of Communication and the College of Liberal Arts.
North Campus is another popular neighborhood near UT Austin among undergraduate and graduate students alike. Located just north of UT’s campus, across from Dean Keaton. North Campus is defined by Guadalupe to the west, 38th Street to the north, Red River to the east, and Dean Keaton to the south.
North campus offers students proximity to the Cockrell School of Engineering, the School of Law and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Many undergraduates, especially underclassmen, choose to live on-campus in a residence hall, otherwise known as a dorm.
Another popular neighborhood near UT is Riverside. Located just south of the Colorado River, Riverside is about a 10-15 minute drive from campus outside of rush hour, straight up I-35. UT also provides shuttles to-and-from campus.
If you prefer to be away from the busy campus atmosphere and don’t mind a commute, you may want to consider properties in the Riverside neighborhood.
While the amenities are not as new at most Riverside properties, the neighborhood provides an urban feel at lower prices than West Campus.
Read More: Where Do Students Live Near UT Austin?
What types of housing are available for students at UT Austin?
Now that you know where students live near UT, we will explain the types of housing for UT students: residence halls/dormitories, student housing apartments, traditional apartments, and houses.
While student housing apartments are the most popular choice for international students, it is important to understand all of your options.
Residence halls, also known as dormitories, are on-campus housing options for UT 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.
Student Housing Apartments
Student housing apartments are off-campus housing options for built specifically for college students. These are a popular alternative to on-campus dorms that cater to the specific needs of students. This type of housing has become increasingly more popular in recent years and is probably the most common type of housing for UT Austin students. You will find many student housing apartments in West Campus, plus some in North Campus.
These typically lease on a 12-month basis (although you may be able to find a sublease for a shorter term), offer amenities that are important to students, and come fully furnished.
Traditional apartments are another form of off-campus housing. While less popular than student housing apartments, this type of housing is found in both West Campus, North Campus and Riverside.
As a traditional apartment, the leasing contract is usually offered by the apartment. This means that one roommate will be responsible for paying the total cost of rent to the landlord each month. All roommates will make an arrangement with each other to split the rent and utility bills.
They provide more space and privacy at a lower price point than other forms of student housing. However, traditional apartments are typically unfurnished and will offer a small amenities package at best.
Finally, houses are an off-campus living option for students who do not prefer dorms or apartments.
Students will often rent houses in North Campus, but there are some options in West Campus. Upperclassmen, primarily seniors, and graduate students often choose to rent houses. Houses are a great option for groups who would like to live together.
Some houses will come with WiFi or a hot tub, but most do not have many amenities. However, they typically come with a yard, which is a great space for hosting or gathering with your housemates. They are typically unfurnished, meaning you need to consider furniture costs.
How much does it cost to live in Austin, Texas near UT?
Most importantly, how much does it cost to live at UT? While it seems like a straightforward question, the truth is that it varies greatly.
The cost of living near UT Austin ranges based on a variety of factors, including the type of housing, which floor plan you choose, how old your building is, and other features of your space.
The general price range for rents near UT Austin can range from $700 to $2,000 per month, Rent prices in West Campus can be found on either end of this range, while North Campus rents tend to fall on the lower end of that range and on-campus housing falls around the mid-high end.
As you can see, affordable housing in Austin is not always easy to come by. SMART Housing is a program created by the City of Austin designed to help provide students who are receiving need-based financial aid or working to pay for school and living expenses independently. Students who qualify for SMART housing qualify for discounted rent at certain apartments within West Campus.
There are two ways you can qualify for SMART housing: by receiving need-based financial aid or by meeting the low-to-moderate income requirement.
If you’d like to learn more about SMART housing and find out whether you qualify, check out our Ultimate Guide to SMART Housing near UT Austin.
How to Begin Your Housing Search
Now that you have an understanding of housing options near UT, 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.
The University of Texas provides online information regarding off-campus student living. Visit the Division of Student Affairs page on off-campus living resources for international students for helpful tips on short-term housing, car rentals, grocery options, and more.
Facebook groups, GroupMe chats, and other online pages/forums are also extremely popular for international students attending UT.
Facebook groups are very popular for housing and roommate searches. For housing, there are various groups for subleases near UT Austin, 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 incoming freshmen, international students, people in the same major, and more, Facebook is a great tool for housing and roommate searching.
Some popular, reliable Facebook groups for housing and roommate searching include
Be sure to watch out for housing scams, as scammers often join these types of online groups, targeting transfer or international students.
GroupMe or WhatsApp chats are also very common among international students as a means of meeting other international students, finding roommates, and more. UT Austin also has a student organization, UT PALS, to connect U.S. and international students.
If you prefer to seek out an apartment on your own, or would like to learn more about a certain apartment complex, it is always best to look into the student housing property’s website before making a final decision.
These housing sites typically have a contact page, where you are able to reach out to their leasing team for more information. Plus, 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.
Signing Your Lease
Once you’ve found the perfect home for your time at UT, it’s time to sign your lease. Though this is a fairly straightforward process, there are a few things you’ll want to be certain to remember:
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 Austin landlords do not accept undergraduate student tenants unless they have one.
A guarantor is someone who co-signs your lease and takes responsibility for any rent payments that you are unable to make, typically a parent or guardian.
For applicants who do not 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 the 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 student lease tends to be around 40 pages, and while it is a lengthy document, it is important that you read and understand each part of it. A lease is a legally binding contract, so it is important that you know what you’ll be held accountable for.
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
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 at a Student Housing Apartment near UT Austin.
We hoped that this article helped you understand how to find housing near UT Austin as an international student.
If you have any further questions or you’re interested in living at Rambler, contact our leasing team, who are happy to help in your search for housing.