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International Students Using Social Media to Find U.S. Housing

International students coming to the US to study can face problems such as being home sick, dealing with the language barrier, and getting accustomed to their new home. One of the most daunting tasks is finding a place to live – especially if you’re searching from overseas.

But as the number of international students coming to the US has grown, more international students are using social media networking to find roommates and housing, even before they come to the US.

The first problem is that most international students don’t have someone to guarantee them find housing. But many schools now have websites and social media accounts to help students find housing prior to arriving in the United States.

Kyung Hwan Lee, a student at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) University, didn’t want to miscommunicate with housing officers when he tried to find U.S. housing for the first time.

“I was afraid about if I could believe them or not, so I visited the housing office and talked,” says Lee.

From the Georgetown Korean Graduate Students Association Facebook page, a listing for student housing.
From the Georgetown Korean Graduate Students Association Facebook page, a listing for student housing.

During Georgetown University’s International Graduate Orientation (IGO), officials tell students about their housing Facebook page, and how students can share information about available housing. The University of Maryland, College Park housing office also gives students information about finding housing online.

Another way for foreign students to find housing is through social media groups made by school seniors or alumni. Many schools students have student associations for specific countries, and they share apartment information within the group. They also give feedback and tell students about the ideal places.

“Schools recommend some housing, however, the Korean community information website is more helpful,” says Lee. “The Korean community understands Korean students’ situation, so it uploads more detailed information” and more options.

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University.