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There are three main options to find a place to stay:

  • Family friend or relative

  • Homestay

  • Find an apartment, home or room to rent


1. Stay with a family friend or relative

The best option may be to stay with friends or family in the Los Angeles area. If you need help to navigate the public transportation in Los Angeles, contact us.


2. Homestay
If you don’t have friends or family in the Los Angeles area, we recommend that you stay with a local American host family.


Two local homestay organizations that work with host families are Student International Housing and Universal Student Housing.


When you choose to stay with a host family,

  • you can practice your English language skills through daily conversations with your host family.

  • you can move immediately into a furnished room, versus having to buy and move furniture yourself.

  • you can enjoy homemade meals daily for an additional fee.


Homestay families can also help you learn about fun activities, transportation, shopping, banking, and other aspects of daily life.

3. Rent an Apartment

Renting your own apartment gives you the option between living by yourself or with one or more roommates. You will most likely need to buy your own furniture and pay some or all of your bills (water, gas, electricity, etc.). You also need to buy your own personal items, bedding, and food if you rent an apartment.


Depending on the owner of the rental property, you may need to prepare the following:

  • Security deposit (usually one month’s rent)

  • First and last month’s rent

  • Application fee

  • Photo id (passport)

  • Bank statement (proof you have the funds to pay for rent during the length of your lease)

  • Guarantor or cosigner with good credit


Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a place to rent:

  • Since most international students don’t have established credit in the US, it’s not unusual for landlords to ask for more money upfront to rent out an apartment.

  • Be sure to ask the landlord or management company about any concerns you might have such as if you’re allowed to keep a pet, paint walls, and hang up picture frames. You may also want to ask if parking is available.


Rental Resources

There are several different types of places you can rent:

  • Apartment – An apartment in a larger building where you can stay by yourself.

  • Roommate – This usually involves sharing an apartment with someone else. You save money, but have less privacy.

  • House – An entire house that you can stay by yourself.

  • Private room – A private room within a larger house or apartment. You will have privacy within your own room, but will have to share the kitchen, bathroom and other areas.


This list of websites should be helpful for you to find a place to rent. If you have any questions, please call us at 213.381.6707, or email us at

Apartment List The contact person at Apartment List is Sania.  They an actually help you find housing depending on your commute preferences - if by bike or car, how much time you're willing to spend on your commute. And it's completely free!

Archstone Furnished Apartments




Hot Pads

The Rental Girl

Rad Pad

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