International Students

As international students, finding housing in a new country may seem challenging.  Off Campus Engagement and Support is here to help guide you through the process.

Before Your Apartment Search

Visas and I-20 Preparation

Contact the Office of Global Services for guidance on any forms (visa, I-20, etc. ) that you may need. These are often needed to secure an apartment. Without an I-20, you may be requested to show other forms of funding documentation to be approved for an off-campus apartment.

Apartment Search Steps

Understand the Boston apartment search process. Review the International Student Apartment Guide, research Boston’s neighborhoods, and watch our off campus video series! After you know more about your budget and where you want to live,  you can start finding roommates and available apartments.

NU Housing Database

Use the Northeastern Housing Database to find apartment listings, rooms available, verified agencies, and potential roommates. We recommend that you create a roommate profile.

Be careful: If you choose to use platforms outside of our database, visit our Rental Scams page to protect yourself. 

Know Cosigner Requirements

Many landlords/property managers will require a co-signer. A cosigner is someone with an income that agrees to cover any unpaid rent. We recommend you take the following steps:

    • Let your realtor or property owner know that you are an international student. Some applications are automated and co-signing may be waived if they know you are a student with a visa.
    • Learn about and use third-party co-signing companies. These services charge a fee to serve as a co-signer and may be the right choice for you.
    • Discuss your application with the landlord/property manager. Most landlords/property managers know that international students may not have a co-signer and will opt to charge a fee instead.
    • If there isn’t much flexibility, consider using a different realtor or property.

Temporary Housing

You may need housing that does not fit within the standard lease terms of September 1st-August 31st. There are other types of housing to consider.

  • Temporary apartments, guest houses, and homestays cater to international students and are often furnished and do not require a long term contract.
  • Try Nesterly! Nesterly pairs local homeowners with a spare room with graduate students willing to exchange help around the house such as walking the dog or helping with groceries for cheaper rent.


Northeastern University
Off Campus Engagement and Support
Visit Us: 151 Speare Hall
Call Us: (617) 373-8480
Email Us:
Or schedule a virtual appointment!

Instragram: @NUoffcampus
Yammer Community

For Information about our Network Campuses:
Network Housing and Relocation
(617) 373-7071