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The hardest part of the grant is done. You've got the grant and the visa and you can breathe a huge sigh of relief. Now comes the operational work; like planning where to live. I'm going to try and give a brief run-down of the things you should look into before finalizing a place:


  1. Never pay more than 50% of your stipend in rent. If you stick to this basic rule you should have more than enough money to eat what you want and travel whenever you want across the country.
  2. Make use of previous Fulbrighters/undergrad alumni that have travelled to your city. In case you can't find one yourself ask USEFP to get you in touch with one. Nothing can replace the advice of someone who has been there themselves and comes from the same cultural context. All Fulbrighters have been where you are now and would be more than willing to help.
  3. Always get someone to corroborate places that you find online for potential housing. If you have done (2) above Fulbrighters who are in the city can be requested to check out the place on your behalf or at least give an opinion about the deal you're getting. (Yes, some Fulbrighters have actually even gone and inspected places themselves for incoming students!).
  4. If you cannot get someone to inspect/comment about the potential housing prospect then get a sublet for a week or two and inspect places on your own time when you get there. Sublets are inexpensive and can be found via multiple sites such as Craigslist.
  5. Generally, the closer you live to your University the better. Ideally, never be more than a 30 minute walk from your campus.  Yes, public transport is great generally but it's practically non -existent on the West Coast with San Fran being the notable exception. Also, if you're on the East Coast, you never know when a bus misses its schedule and you get late for your final presentation; public transport  is good but not infallible.

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