Leases hinder travel plans

by Adriana Millar, Staff Writer

Despite San Diego State’s national ranking as a top university for students studying abroad, Aztecs have few short-term housing options when preparing to study abroad for a semester.

SDSU sent 21,19 students abroad in the 2013-14 school year, according to the Study Abroad Office. However, many students who choose to study abroad for a semester find it difficult to secure short-term leases in the period before or after they go abroad. Most student apartments and houses in the area only offer 12-month leases, making it difficult for students who plan to only live there for a semester.

“We went to the Study Abroad Office and they said there was nothing they could do,” international security and conflict resolution sophomore Renee Bunn said. “We felt pretty discouraged.”

Bunn is studying abroad in the spring of 2016.

TScreen Shot 2015-02-18 at 4.17.20 PMhe Study Abroad office encouraged Bunn and her roommate to search on Facebook for someone to take over their lease for the spring semester they’ll be abroad. Bunn and her roommate were able to find two girls studying abroad in the fall on the Class of 2017 Facebook page, and they’re splitting a lease at College Campanile Apartments.

Bunn is among several students who turn to Facebook to find a leasing solution. Many students turn to SDSU international student pages to find someone to split a year-long lease.

But not all students find a perfect match.

“I see so many people posting on Facebook consistently, and I worry they won’t find something,” Bunn said.

Other students use their own connections.

“I’m in a sorority, so it’s easier,” journalism sophomore Victoria Ruiz said.

Ruiz is studying abroad in the fall and is splitting a lease at an off-campus house with one of her sorority sisters who is studying abroad in the spring.

“I got really lucky,” she said, adding that she was strategic with her timing.

She said it’s easier to find someone to cover a lease in the fall because she’s found that most students study abroad in the spring.

SDSU offers upper-division, on-campus housing, which does allow students to end contracts early if they meet the criteria, including proof of spending a semester abroad. However, most students opt for off-campus housing due to lower prices.

“We found out last minute that the school offered on-campus apartments (for students studying abroad) but they’re so expensive, so that was our last resort,” Bunn said.