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  • Memorial Day

    May 30| Academic Dates
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    Closed for the Holiday.

  • Classes Begin

  • Campus Closed for the Holiday.

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  • Viet Thanh Nguyen’s bestselling novel The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, and a Carnegie Medal from the American Library Association. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Nguyen is also the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America and Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.

  • Tonya Foster

    Sep 21| Lectures
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    Poet Tonya Foster is the author of the collection A Swarm of Bees in High Court. Her work has appeared in nocturnes, Callaloo, Traffic, Gulf Coast, and other journals. Her essays have appeared in NY Arts Magazine, NYFA Quarterly and The Poetry Project Newsletter. A co-editor of Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing Through Visual Art, Foster teaches at California College of the Arts and lives in the Bay Area.

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International Student Housing Options

 

On-Campus Housing

http://www.otis.edu/housing-residence-life/housing-details

 

Off-Campus Housing

There are four types of off-campus housing you can get:

Studio

A studio consists of a living/sleeping area, a bathroom and a cooking area.  Junior 1 bedroom apartments are larger with a semi-private bedroom or a den. Bachelor studios/units are small studios with a kitchenette: a mini fridge, a microwave, no oven. Average price for a studio is $700-1200. Back units are converted studios/apartments located in the back of the house’s property.

Apartment

An apartment has bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen. Apartment homes/luxury apartments have extra storage space and washer/dryer hookup or in-unit. Average price for a 1br apartment is $1100 - $2300, and $2000 - $3000 for a 2 br apartment.

House

A house has bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a dining room and a garage. The landlord may rent out the whole house or only bedrooms. Average price for a house is $2300-4000.

Homestay

This option offers the international student the opportunity to live with an American family.  The student can learn firsthand what family life in the United States is like.  Homestay is a great way to make friends and improve English skills.  Some homestays are within walking distance of the campus; others are within an easy public bus ride of Otis.  Every homestay is different - some families have children and others do not, some families provide the student with a room and home-cooked meals, and others provide the room only.

Homestay Providers

www.global-student-service.com/homestayforstudents.html

 

Resources

  • www.craigslist.org – a general classifieds website that has housing listings and  where you can also buy used furniture
  • http://www.otis.edu/classified-ads - Otis classifieds with listing from other students
  • www.uloop.com – a classifieds website specifically for students
  • www.chineseinla.com – a website for Chinese people in Los Angeles that has a housing section
  • www.radiokorea.com - a website for Korean people in Los Angeles that has a housing section
  • Bulletin boards around campus
  • Local newspapers at newsstands, bookstores, local & international markets

 

Apartments in the area around Otis:

http://www.otis.edu/housing-residence-life/living-campus

 

Vocabulary:

Landlord: the person who owns and/or rents you the property.

Tenant: you, the person who stays and uses the property.

Rent: what you pay to live in a property.

Lease: your agreement with the landlord. If you rent from the renter, it’s called a sublease.

Deposit: upfront payment that you get back when you move out unless you damage the property.

Penalty fees: what you pay if you do not follow the rules on the lease.

Credit history: when you own credit cards and borrow money in the U.S, you have a credit history.

Social Security Number: a number ID given to U.S. citizen, residents and temporary workers.

Normal wear & tear: what things look like after being used, but not damaged. You will pay a fee and/or lose your deposit if any rented property/item is damaged beyond normal wear & tear. So take pictures of everything before you move in!

 

Landlord Problems to Avoid:

  • Ask you for money before meeting you.
  • Currently away from home and cannot meet you face to face.
  • Want you to pay over the phone, send it by mail, email, or wire.
  • Get upset because you ask for an ID or a signed receipt.
  • Do not call you back.
  • Let you wait and do not apologize.
  • Change the price at the last minute.

When this happens, walk away!

Note: Ask your landlord to waive (not charge) the application fee because you don’t have a social security number or a credit history!

 

When looking at apartments:

  • Don’t give out your bank account number or important information over email or phone.
  • Meet your landlord/roommate and see the place in person. Take a friend with you.
  • Call 20 minutes ahead to confirm your visit/appointment.
  • Ask questions:
    • What is included in the rent?
    • Are guests allowed?
    • Who else lives there or has a key?
    • Check everything: sink, toilet, hot water, lights, air conditioner/heater, etc.
    • Take pictures of the room AND any damages.
    • Type/write down everything AND sign. Make a lease. Always.
    • You cannot change your mind after you sign.
    • Don’t give anyone your money without a signed lease, a key and a receipt.
    • Ask for help, smile and say thank you!

 

Documents you will need to rent:

  • Original passport AND copy of passport
  • Original I-20 AND copy of I-20
  • A copy of your I-94
  • Copy of your financial statement or a bank account verification letter.
  • Reference letter from a friend, relative, teacher, etc. You can pick up a housing letter from the housing office.
  • (optional) A co-signer in the U.S.
  • You might need to open a U.S. bank account in order to rent
  • About $2500 to cover the first month of rent and a deposit

 

How to read and write a U.S. address:

Line 1: house number + street name

Line 2: apartment/suite/office number

Line 3: City, State Zipcode

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Otis College Ranked 6th in Nation by The Economist