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NYU has plenty of services and resources to simplify the housing process in the city. If you’re thinking about living on campus, we trust you’ll find all you need through NYU On Campus Living. If you’re planning to live off campus, your first source is Off-Campus Living at NYU, but we’ve also compiled some tips here from former and current students as you begin the search for your new home. Planning to live off campus can be overwhelming--New York has so many neighborhoods to choose from. So what are some of the things you should consider when trying to find your new place? Keep in mind that because apartments and rooms move quickly it’s best for you to start researching as soon as you know you’re coming to NYU so that once you arrive in New York you can find the right place sooner.

Please keep in mind that the websites outside of NYU that we link to on this page are provided to assist you with your search. NYU doesn’t have any relationship with these companies. Inclusion on this list does not mean we are recommending or endorsing these companies.

Factors in Selecting a Neighborhood Within NYC

Cost

Knowing how much you can expect to pay helps you decide which parts of New York to focus on. Calculate what your monthly budget is and then determine the parts of the city that fall within your range. It’s going to be cheaper living with roommates, so if you’re in need of finding some roommates, check out our NYU International Student Group on Facebook, or see some of the other housing resources from the Center for Student Life. Other ways to lower the cost include renting an individual or shared room instead of a full apartment, or getting an apartment where you can either have your own bedroom or share with others.

Keep in mind that when you find a place, you will also have to budget in not only the monthly cost, but also a security deposit you’ll be responsible for paying (usually the cost of one month’s rent) and any associated fees: for the application, if you used a broker (a person who helps apartment or room hunters find their new home), etc.

Location

How far away is the neighborhood from NYU? How close is the apartment to the nearest subway station? Which subway line is it near? Luckily, NYU is surrounded by an array of subway lines, but consider which part of NYU you’ll need to be at and which subway lines serve that area--that too may help you understand which part of the city may be best for you to live in.

Narrow your search to one or two of your top choices of neighborhoods to live in the city so that when you do start looking for places it will be less overwhelming.

NYU Community

Curious where other NYU students are already staying within the New York metro area? Popular areas include Jersey City, Downtown Brooklyn, Roosevelt Island, Journal Square (New Jersey), Bay Ridge (Brooklyn), Long Island City (Queens), the East Village, and SoHo. When in doubt, ask around: your classmates, your cohort, the NYU International Student Facebook group.

Safety

New York is one of the safest large cities in the US. Your budget and the community you seek may get you on the right track. Try to visit the neighborhoods you’re considering both during the day and the evening. Ask people who live in the area what they think about living there. Would you feel comfortable walking there alone at night? Each of us determines safety differently. The safest areas of the city statistically aren’t necessarily the most convenient in terms of accessibility to NYU. You can check crime statistics online based on zip code of the address you’re considering living at if you want further details on crimes committed in your potential new neighborhood.

Tools to Search for Housing

To get started on your search, find the websites that work best for you. Some sites our students have had luck with include:

Got what you need to get started on your search? Make sure you also remember to find a temporary place for your first week here while hunting. There’s a whole section of the NYU website on off-campus housing that provides a listing of short term stays and hotels you could stay at while looking. You can also check out short term places that are available in the city at Lease Break and Ditch the Space.

And if you’re confused by any of the terms or vocabulary you’re seeing on these sites, know that you’re not alone. We’ve got you covered with a listing of common housing tips and terms.

Prepare Documents for the Apartment

Good apartments go quickly. Have your documents together so that if and when you find a place, you’ll have what you need to submit your application for the apartment.

Needed documents:

  • Passport
  • Letter of acceptance to NYU
  • If working on-campus or getting a scholarship/fellowship from NYU, a letter of employment from your supervisor indicating what you’re being paid and your start date
  • Scholarship/funding letter if funded from some other external organization

Make sure your paperwork is organized in a PDF file in a draft email that you can send at a moment’s notice. You’ll also need to have instant access to enough money to pay a month's rent and a security deposit at the time of your application for an apartment.

Still Have Questions?

Be sure to check out the housing webinars the Center for Student Life hosts for much more detailed step-by-step guidance on finding housing. If you miss them a pre-recorded webinar is available to watch or you can call the Center for Student Life at 212-998-4411 for answers to other questions you may have.