lisa fedorovsak
Lisa Fedorovska, MPP Class of 2024

Yelyzaveta (Lisa) Fedorovska, MPP Class of 2024, moved to Chicago from Ukraine in fall of 2023. In this blog, she shares some helpful tips for graduate students looking for housing. 

Finding a place to live as a graduate student at the University of Chicago can be daunting, especially in a city as big as Chicago. However, with some research and planning ahead, it is possible to find affordable and convenient options. 

One of the first crucial steps in finding a place to live is to figure out your budget. If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider sharing an apartment or house with other students, which will reduce your monthly expenses. 

If you are moving to Chicago from another city or country, I would suggest connecting with other graduate students to ask for recommendations. Every year, Harris students connect with each other while looking for flatmates. Some of the resources to check for potential flatmates include Facebook groups, the admitted student Slack channel, and Whatsapp. Students often create and circulate a spreadsheet to coordinate flatmates and share information on neighborhoods and housing. 

Alternatively, you could look into student housing resources provided by the university on UChicago GRAD Gargoyle. The University of Chicago provides a variety of housing options for graduate students. These options are available on a first-come, first-served basis and typically get filled in by the end of spring.

a heatmap of Harris graduate students by neighborhood in chicago
A heatmap of Harris graduate students by neighborhood in Chicago

If you aim for more independence, you can also search for apartments and houses for rent in the surrounding neighborhoods. Some popular neighborhoods for students include Hyde Park, Woodlawn, Washington Park, and Kenwood. These are close to campus and offer a variety of rental options, as well as things to do.

Finally, when looking for housing, be sure to carefully review the lease agreement and ask all of the questions you may have. Make sure you understand all the terms of the agreement, including the rent, deposit, and other fees. You may also want to ask about utilities and amenities to ensure you are getting the best value for your money. The more information you gather in the research phase, the easier it will be to finalize your decisions.

If you consider your budget and preferred living situation, start your search early, and familiarize yourself with Chicago and its resources, you will be much better prepared  to make a successful transition to your new home.

If you enjoyed this blog, you may want to read Lisa’s other blog, “Ten Fun Activities to Do in Chicago.”