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Go On a Vacation This Summer!

June 8, 2012

Summer Vacation

Summer is a great time to travel! Between the flexibility of summer vacation scheduling and the (generally speaking) better weather, traveling in the summer can be a fun and fulfilling way to spend your summer vacation.  While traveling can be expensive, there are many options for students that can make travel more affordable.  From tour group companies to inexpensive student lodging, there are many options for students looking for an affordable vacation.

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Studying Abroad: Risks to Consider and How to Remain Safe

May 29, 2012

The chance to study abroad can be one of the most fulfilling opportunities awarded to you while attending college.  Living and learning within the context of another culture can be a great experience: an opportunity to meet new people, to discover new customs, and to learn about yourself.  This being said, living abroad does not come risk-free.  With the recent tragedy involving Boston University students studying abroad in New Zealand, as well as the heavily publicized Italian trial of American student Amanda Knox a few years ago, the dangers of studying and living abroad are very real and present.  While not reason enough to forgo studying abroad, these examples do fuel the necessity for thinking through the challenges you may face and outlining courses of action so that you can confront any problems smoothly and efficiently should they arise.

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Keep Your Apartment Cool This Summer!

May 21, 2012

pc richards - installation gone amuck of air conditioner - Copy of Nova Scotia July 4 wknd 2008 362.jpg

Summer is quickly approaching, which means only one thing: the temperature of your apartment is steadily escalating. While sometimes heat can feel unconquerable and oppressive, the easy suggestions below can ensure that you will be cool and content in your apartment this summer.

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How to Avoid Dorm Damage Fees

May 14, 2012

Orientation Weekend 2010 – Nazareth College, Rochester, NY

Moving out of your dorm at the end of the semester is a bittersweet experience.  While it can be sad to leave behind college friends for the summer, frequently summer plans and goals trump all apprehensions about leaving campus.  With the stress of finals and the desire to embark on your vacation, sometimes packing up your room becomes a mindless test of speed and efficiency, making it easy to overlook minor faults and damages to your room.  Usually the worst outcome of this is a suitcase full of dirty laundry and a possibly broken desk lamp, but it isn’t uncommon to run into more serious consequences: room damage fees.  Below is a list of ways to help avoid being confronted with dorm damage and moving fees.

1. Don’t overlook the condition card!

At the start of the semester during move-in your college residence advisor most likely handed you a condition card where you could indicate current damages and issues with your room assignment.  These cards are of the utmost importance as they serve to gauge the severity of changes to the condition of your room when it is reviewed after you move-out.  It is important to be as specific as possible on these cards, and to include even the most minor issues with your room to make sure that you are protected against future potential for charges.  If your school does not provide condition cards, speak with your residence advisor about the condition of your room to make sure that its condition is taken note of prior to the start of your semester.

2. Maintenance is your friend!

If something goes awry in your room be sure to call maintenance in a timely fashion to report the incident.  Accidents happen, and if you are proactive about fixing an issue, you are far less likely to incur dorm damage charges than if you did not alert maintenance to the issue and left it to be discovered post-semester after you had moved out.  Similarly, if you notice a problem in a common area of your dormitory, don’t hesitate to call it in! Reporting problems without hesitation can save both you and your neighbors from fines; some schools even have anonymous tip lines which you can call or text regarding condition issues in campus buildings.

3. Move out should mirror move in!

Possibly the most important piece of advice is to ensure that you leave your dorm at the end of the semester looking exactly as it did when you first arrived last fall.  Schools are very strict about the furnishings they include in the room, so be sure not only to double check that everything which came with your room is there, but I would also recommend leaving the furniture arranged in the way in which you found it.  This allows for an easier examination of your room after you leave, and helps to prevent additional fees.  Also, make sure to donate and/or dispose of any items you do not wish to take back with you; it would be very frustrating to receive a fine due to forgetting to empty your trash or similarly neglecting to drop off winter clothes at your local charity.

Before moving out, be sure to clarify with your residence advisor your dorm’s specific rules and regulations regarding move out procedures and expected room condition.  This can save you from possible fines and make the move out process run smoothly for you. If you’re worried about having to pay for damages at the end of the semester, you may want to consider a renters insurance policy, which may cover the expenses incurred if there are damages.


Subletting Tips

May 7, 2012

apartment keys!

With the semester nearing an end and summer just around the corner, you may find yourself confronting a move.  Whether moving to a new city for a summer internship, a new job, or because mom and dad decided to make your old room into a home gym, you could end up looking for a sublet. At the surface, subletting can be an overwhelming and horribly unorganized process. That being said, it can actually bring positives with it: renting a sublet is a great way to test the waters of a new neighborhood or new roommates due to the shorter than usual lease terms.

For those looking to sublet their current apartment, have no fear: the summer frequently brings an influx of individuals looking for shorter-term leasing, and if you rent near a college campus, then many colleges run summer programs where both the university’s students and students who usually attend other universities come and study for the summer.  Below are some ideas for ways to navigate the process from both sides of it, so that you can get your summer off to a great start in a fabulous sublet!

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