International Student Housing
*Undergraduate students only
To live on campus, please fill out the housing application here.
*For graduate students or undergraduate students age 21 or older
There are many online resources to search for apartments, condos, townhomes and houses in the area that are available for rent. Riverside is a large city, so we recommend using CBU’s zip code (92504) when searching.
Are you in need of a roommate? Another resource that CBU provides is a way for all international students to know who else is in need of a roommate. If you are interested in finding roommates please contact the International Center to get the link to a Google Form. Once you receive the link you will answer a few questions about what you are looking for. Then, once a week you will receive an email with information from the International Center on who else is looking for a roommate, their contact information and what they are looking for. Keep in mind it is your responsibility to connect with students you are interested in rooming with.
- What are some things to consider when looking for housing?
When apartment/house hunting, keep in mind location, cost, safety and ease to public transportation (if you do not have a car). For transportation around Riverside, you can look at the bus schedules. The CBU International Center also has a limited number of bicycles for rent each semester. The cost of renting a bike is $50 and if you return the bike in good condition you will receive $25 back.
- What do I need when applying for an apartment?
Once you are interested in a particular apartment/house you will need to fill out an application. This can be obtained through the leasing office at the apartment you are interested in. Along with your application you will also need to provide a copy of your passport and a bank statement (it is recommended for you to show 3 months’ worth of rent).
- The apartment is asking for a social security card but I do not have one…
Often housing offices want a social security number to help run a background check and credit history. While this is a common form for many Americans, this can be difficult for international students. It is important to note that under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, housing offices are not allowed to deny a student based on not having a social security number. Typically, since they are unable to do a credit check or background check, leasing offices will want a larger deposit as a form of security.
- Will the apartment or house require a security deposit or contract?
Once your application has been approved the next step would be to pay your housing deposit and sign a rental agreement. This deposit will cover any damages done to the apartment and may protect the owner from missed rent payments. The amount of security deposit required will vary by location. However, since most international students do not have a credit history you can expect a deposit to be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to two months’ rent.
At a minimum, a lease or rental agreement should include the following:
- Monthly rent due
- Required damage deposit
- Length of occupancy if a lease, or state month-to-month rental
- Apartment or house rules
- Termination requirements
- Information on what will happen if you leave the property before the lease is up
- How should I avoid rental fraud?
Choose your apartment wisely. There are many sites out there with apartment listings but not all of them may be trustworthy. Look up reviews on the apartment online and see what others have experienced. If you’re in the United States already, make sure to visit in person. Avoid non-traditional forms of payment. Common forms of payment include cash, check and money order. If you do pay in cash make sure to get a receipt.
- What other bills should I consider when looking at apartment costs and my budget?
Aside from your monthly rent it is important to be prepared to pay other utilities. Some apartments may include a few of the utilities, however, the majority of them will require you to set up your own. These utilities include: water, electricity, gas and trash. You may also want to add items such as cable TV or WIFI to your apartment which will also be an added cost.
- What do I need to furnish my apartment?
Most apartments in the Riverside area are unfurnished. This means that you will need to bring or buy most of the items you would like in your home. For example, some apartments in the area allow you to rent your refrigerator from the apartment complex and add it into your monthly rent. However, at others you will need to buy a used or new one elsewhere. We understand this can get expensive so here are some options that may help:
- CORT: Furniture rental company that will allow you to rent almost anything you will need in your new place. Payment is a monthly fee and can be customized to fit your needs.
- Bedding Packs: The international center does sell a bag that includes a pillow, comforter, sheets and towel. This is a great way to get started on what you need. Bedding packs are $30 and can be picked up in the International Center when you arrive.
Riverside has a variety of stores to meet whatever your needs are for furniture and supplies. If you need some guidance on what store would be good you can always ask the International Center staff.
- What is renters insurance and is it needed?
While not all apartment complexes require renters insurance we do highly recommend it. Renters insurance protects your belongings in case of fire, theft or damage. Depending on the policy it may also cover earthquake and floods. The payment per month is small compared to the amount it covers if the worst does happen and you need to replace your belongings, cover apartment damages or pay for a hotel stay while your home is being repaired.