Going to school in New York City can be a thrill for international students. Not only is NYC one of America’s greatest metro areas and an exciting introduction to the country, it’s also a mecca of blended cultures, cultural experiences and rich history — a great place to learn from your life outside the classroom (as well as the classes you take within). If you are planning to move to New York to go to school, the process may feel daunting. However, by doing some of the legwork in advance, you can ensure you find an apartment that suits your needs — and be certain that you end up living in an area you like. Learn more about how here.

Choosing a Neighborhood

New York City is a big place! Even though Manhattan itself is only 22.82 square miles, it has countless neighborhoods — and that doesn’t even include the rest of the boroughs. So how do you choose a neighborhood in a city that you’ve never even spent time in?

One of the best ways is to do research about the city. Our Leasing Agents can provide information about the flavor and vibe of the neighborhoods our buildings are in, what amenities they offer, and how easy it is to get around. Ask friends and family who live in the city what they like and dislike most about their neighborhood. Take to social media and ask your network – you’re sure to get some honest answers.

While you do research about different areas in New York, consider your own priorities. Do you have important classes and/or a job that you have to get to quickly and easily? If so, you’ll want to consider choosing a neighborhood near your work or school, or one that offers easy access to public transportation. Do you love trying new foods, checking out new restaurants or having fun nights out with your friends? If so, look at what restaurants, bars and entertainment options are located in each area.

Looking at Apartments

When you’re across the world and you still need to rent an apartment, you might feel daunted. After all, how can you make sure that the home really suits your needs? Luckily, technology can help with that. Find a friend in town who is willing to go look at apartments for you, and have that friend call you on Skype or FaceTime while they tour the apartment. This will give you a live, real look at what the space looks and feels like, and ensure that you don’t end up living somewhere that doesn’t feel right to you. Also, ask for pictures of the apartment (including closets, bathrooms, entryways and more) so you can think about your decision after your conversation is over.

RELATED: 5 Tips for Renting an Apartment Sight Unseen

If you don’t have a friend living in the city, consider getting in touch with a real estate agent who can also lead you on a FaceTime tour of potential apartments.

Finding a Roommate

If you are moving to New York as an international student, there’s a good chance you’ll want a roommate. Housing in New York City is expensive but becomes much more affordable when you can share the costs. The best option for finding a roommate is to tap into your network and ask whether anyone has a friend or family member looking for a roommate. Ask your parents to get social and talk to their friends. Other options for finding roommates in NYC include tools like Symbi or SpareRoom.

RELATED: 5 Tips for Living with Roommates Successfully in New York

We understand that moving to New York City as an international student is as exciting as it is daunting and we’re here to help. Let us find you the perfect apartment and answer all your questions about life in the greatest city on earth.