...the continuation of Diary of Asa: Preparing Departure to the US Part 2 ^0^
To Do List:
1. Enrollment confirmation: done.
2. Student visa: in process.
3. Expenses and tuition payment plan: done.
4. Immunization record: done.
5. Initiate my university email account: done.
6. Packing: half done.
7. Housing options: ???
When I was planning my departure to Minneapolis, one of the biggest concerns that I had was about housing. I did not have relatives nor know anyone who already lived in Minneapolis. As for now, I have lived in three different places and thought it might be a good idea to share with you what I like and do not like about them. And of course, in the end, it all comes back to you to decide which one would be the perfect fit for you to live in.
1. Centennial Hall: one of the university residence halls (late August 2007-early May 2008)
a. Strategic location
Centennial is located on the Minneapolis campus' East Bank (which is home to programs such as Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Psychology, Language Studies, etc.). It is near Williams (basketball) and Mariucci (hockey) arenas, University Recreational Center (http://www.recsports.umn.edu/), the University Hospital, and a local shopping-eating area. For your information, people here usually refer university housing as on-campus housing and everything else as off-campus housing.
I could meet different people with different backgrounds in this one building. From American to international friends. From students in my program (science) to students from different majors. From other freshmen to seniors. Amazing!!!
In each residence hall, there will be a Community Adviser (CA) for each floor. My CA was a bit nerd but pretty awesome ^^ He liked to organize a get-together events so we could know our neighbors better. I remember, on our first day there, he asked everyone in our floor to have a dinner together. From that meeting, I met one of my neighbors who was apparently taking the same class as me (Introduction to Microeconomics. Gosh, I love that class!!!). We liked to hang out in her room, either did some homework or studied for an exam, but watched MONK (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monk_(TV_series)) for most of the time ^^
For students who live in residence halls, they are required to buy a meal plan (http://www1.umn.edu/dining/mealplans.html). In my opinion, some residence dining halls have better food than some others. Unfortunately, Centennial is not one of them. I did not enjoy the food very much because what they had were usually burger, pizza, pasta, and some comfort food (for every meal and everyday). I could have eaten somewhere else, but the meal plan was pretty expensive. I did not want to waste more money on it. Centennial actually has a shared kitchen that everyone can use. But I guess I was just too lazy to go downstairs, cook something, and go back to my room. hhehe :p
2. A private house in 700 5th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN (early May-late August 2008)
I heard about this place from a friend of mine who were already staying there. The house is owned by an international old couple (my landlord is from Minnesota and his wife is from Thailand) who lease the rooms so they would have someone to talk to. I liked everything about this place. During the summer, I stayed with 5 roommates who are all Indonesians. We liked to share groceries and cook for each other. The rent was super cheap, $350/month (including electricity, cable, internet, and rice). Sometimes they asked us to help them doing something or to take care of their grandson who lives with them. Since I enjoyed it, I had no problem with it. I had to leave their house because I already promised two other friends to be their roommates this year.
For your information, most apartments in Dinkytown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinkytown) are unfurnished. I was pretty lucky that I did not need to buy anything since they provided some furniture for me.
3. The District on Delaware (September 2008-now)
The District on Delaware or previously known as Melrose Student Suite is an apartment that is located pretty close to East Bank campus (walking distance).
a. My own bedroom, my own bathroom
What else I could say. I got a privilege to decor my own bedroom and bathroom (I had my own bedroom in two previous places but not my own bathroom)!!! No more knocking on the bathroom door because I was enjoying my shower time (by singing of course ^^) while one of my roommates needed to use the bathroom as well. hhehe :p
b. Our own kitchen
My roommates and I share the grocery and cook for each other. That way we could save some money.
Study rooms, computer lab, gym, movie theater, and also games room are available.
We can't open the windows!!! I don't know why but we just can't open them. As Minnesota is cold for most of the time, I don't really care if I can't open the windows. However, it became annoying when we are cooking something and the smell just got stuck in our apartment.
Hffh, can't believe that it comes the time when we have to look for an apartment again (one of my roommates and I are thinking about moving to a different apartment where we're sure that we're gonna stay in that apartment until we graduate)!!!
Feel free to leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further questions about housing/anything else.
..to be continued to the fourth part (temporary housing options) ^0^
1. Link to university housing: http://www.housing.umn.edu/international/index.shtml
2. Link to off campus housing: https://rentals.tc.umn.edu/
3. Link to The District of Delaware: http://www.thedistrictminneapolis.com/