International Student Center at College of San Mateo - Finding Off-Campus Housing
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International Student Center
Finding Off-Campus Housing

The College of San Mateo is located in San Mateo, California. Neighboring cities are: Foster City, Belmont, San Carlos, and Burlingame. San Mateo and its neighboring cities make-up a larger community of cities called San Mateo County. San Mateo is a safe and convenient city with easy public transportation.

CSM is accessible by SamTrans bus route #250 and #260 and it is about a 15 minute bus ride to campus from the Hillsdale Station. You may also take Caltrain, a local railway system in the San Francisco-Peninsula area, to the Hillsdale stop. From the Hillsdale stop, you will take the SamTrans Bus #250 to our campus.

College of San Mateo does not offer on-campus housing or dormitories, but there are plenty of housing options for our students to choose from. International students usually rent a furnished room in a nearby home, rent an apartment, or choose to do homestay. It is important to secure your housing BEFORE you arrive.

Option 1: Homestay
College of San Mateo works closely with International Student Placement (ISP), a homestay agency, who has successfully placed thousands of international students with host families in the San Francisco Bay Area. They place each student in a living situation where they will feel comfortable and secure. ISP provides support during the student’s stay and airport pick up (for a fee). If you are interested, download and complete an application from the ISP website.

Option 2: International Collegiate Residence of San Mateo
The International Collegiate Residence of San Mateo (ICR) is dedicated to serving the housing and transportation needs of international students attending College of San Mateo. Located on the site of a Best Western hotel in San Mateo, the ICR is conveniently located next to shopping centers and restaurants. Residents of the ICR can also take advantage of free shuttle service to the college. ICR also provides airport pickup for San Francisco Airport (SFO). Students staying at ICR enjoy a free breakfast and can purchase a dining vouchers for discounted meals at the nearby shopping center.   

Option 3: Rent an apartment
The rent of a one-bedroom apartment ranges between $1,400 and $2,400 per month plus a refundable security deposit. Students must be prepared for additional costs of utilities (gas, electricity, and telephone).
Useful Housing Links

Bay Terrace Apartments
3204 Casa de Campo Way #8
San Mateo, CA 94403
Located near a shopping center and public transportation, Bay Terrace Apartments rents to international students. In place of credit check, you will be required to place a refundable two month rent deposit. Apply for an apartment online or in person at their office in San Mateo. Office hours are: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call (650) 570-4627 or check for apartment availability online.

Hillsdale Gardens
3421 Edison St.
San Mateo, CA 94403
Located near the Hillsdale Shopping Center mall and public transportation, Hillsdale Gardens rents to international students. Bring your I-20 and passport with you when you visit the leasing office. Office hours are: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call (650) 345-4852 to schedule a visit or for more information.  

Option 4: Rent a room
The rent of a furnished room in the Bay Area ranges between $700 and $900 per month. This price usually covers all utilities and kitchen privileges. Students are responsible for their own personal expenses, such as cooking, laundry, telephone bill, etc.
Useful Housing Links

CORT Furnishing your apartment
CORT provides furniture rental packages and housing information for students living off-campus. Most apartments in the U.S. are not furnished. CORT offers furniture rental, with additional packages for cookware, towels and linens, a TV, and more. Visit the CORT website for student furniture rental packages or for housing resources. CORT is a proud sponsor of the CORT Scholarship for International Students here at CSM.


Tips on renting a room or apartment
When looking for housing, you may be asked for financial information. Since you will have no financial history in the United States, you should bring a current bank statement and a letter from your sponsor, showing funds that cover about six months of rent. A lease is a binding legal contract between you and a landlord stating the duration of residence, rent rate, amount of refundable security deposit and apartment rules.

Internet Fraud
If you are using a classified advertising website like Craigslist to search for apartments in or near San Mateo, please be aware that fraud often occurs on these types of websites. Be sure to view the scam information page on the website before you make any advance payments.