Choosing accommodation as an LLM Student in the US

LLM USA AccommodationWhere you live when you’re studying your LLM program can have a big impact on your general wellbeing, happiness and ability to study effectively. Whether you are moving from a few miles away, or from the other side of the world, coming to study for an LLM qualification at a US law school may require a significant relocation. The two most common options for postgrad law students are privately renting a room or house near the university, or choosing to live in the on-campus student accommodation. The right choice for you will depend on the expectations you have, your budget and what kind of arrangement has proved beneficial for your studies in the past.

Living on campus

Most US law schools have a number of residence halls and dormitories located on campus. This living option enables new students to make friends fast and get their bearings in a new place more easily. You’ll soon feel part of a wider student community and meet people from all over the world. Many new students are pleasantly surprised by how close their room is to their classes, enabling you to get to where you want to be quickly and giving you every chance of arriving on time for lectures! Another popular aspect of communal living is the dining hall, it’s a great place to socialise, but you can also expect an array of cooked meals, snacks and drinks.

Living on campus is an incredible experience, but it’s not for everyone, many dorms are busy places and you could be expected to share a room. It’s also rare that you’ll have your own bathroom and most halls are co-ed, meaning men and women share the same building. However, if you can put up with the minor inconveniences, a temporary home on campus is also a practical option. You don’t have to arrange a satisfactory internet connection, or hire a washing machine or set up any other utility bills. Each necessity, including heat and water, is provided for you and included in your rent.

On-campus rooms are usually in high-demand, so if you’re accepted onto an LLM program and you have decided to live on campus, apply for a place as soon as possible. Allocations are made on a number of different criteria, sometimes priority is given to those who are coming to study from out of state, or international students. To gain a better understand of living on the campus of your chosen law school, see if their website offers online tours. This is an excellent way of learning about the standard of housing and what to expect when you arrive.

Finding private rental housing off campus

When you’re searching for a place to stay on the private rental market you need to decide what kind of home you’d prefer, who you want to share it with and where it’s located. If you’d prefer not to share a room then this is ideal, and there is usually extra space, especially if you are co-renting a house or apartment. It can also be far more beneficial to your life outside of academia – certainly most people who are bringing their family with them to law school prefer this option, as there are limited family accommodations on campus.

Searching for a property depending on your preferences means you’ll hopefully get exactly the kind of living situation you prefer, but it does leave you with a great deal of responsibility. Primarily, most private homes are more expense to rent then the on-campus option, and then you have to factor in your bills – s water, electric, gas, wi-fi, plus your daily commute and possibly parking costs. If you have moved in with friends or family, living off campus can still be an extremely sociable experience, but if you’re alone or with people you don’t know, it can be isolating and leave you feeling cut off from university life. You’ll also have to factor in travel time to and from your lectures as part of your daily routine.

Sharing with a live-in landlord

Renting a room in a shared apartment or house can be cheaper if you are willing to live with the homeowner. You are likely to pay a monthly amount that includes all utilities, plus there are usually washing and drying facilities in situ. Occasionally the rent you pay may be negotiable depending on your willingness to carry out a few small jobs for the landlord; these could be shopping, general repairs, gardening or childcare.

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