UCDC Law Externship Housing Information
The following information is intended to be used as an aid to help find housing in Washington DC. Inclusion in this list is not an endorsement by the UCDC Law Program. UCDC Law students are responsible for arranging their own housing and must do their own due diligence before committing to any housing option.
We understand that finding short term housing in Washington can feel like an overwhelming task. Many students experience stress over this task, but with a little persistence all students find a place to live and feel settled.
Former UCDC Law students recommend that apartment hunters be patient and remain positive; while housing is in high demand, the vast majority of past participants report being very satisfied with their final housing arrangements. Please feel free to reach out to us should you have any questions or need assistance.
Tips on some popular DC neighborhoods:
1. Van Ness / Cleveland Park / Woodley Park: These three neighborhoods are directly adjacent to each other and are located along Rock Creek Park north of Dupont Circle. They offer large apartment complexes as well as individual row houses. It's a very livable, residential area, with a lot of recent grads and young families. Every seven blocks or so there is a cluster of bars and restaurants, as well as grocery and convenience stores. The neighborhoods are all on the red line (metro) and there are a ton of buses so it's pretty easy to get around.
2. Dupont Circle is just south of Woodley Park. Dupont is a very nice area, with beautiful row houses and both classic and modern apartment buildings. It's in a very central location on the red line, and offers lots of bars and restaurants. It is more expensive than some of the other areas.
3. Columbia Heights is another great option. There are small clusters of shops and restaurants, as well as one large shopping area nearby. It's on the yellow/green line and there are a lot of bus options. Again, lots of students and young people live in the area, so there are usually a lot of available rooms to rent.
4. 14th St / U St area is also popular. This is a central spot for nightlife in Northwest DC, so lots of restaurants, shops, grocery stores, and bars. There's also a range of housing options (row houses, traditional and modern apartment buildings, etc). This is a very popular area so housing might be a little hard to come by.
5. Shaw / Bloomingdale. The housing is more affordable here and there are constantly new shops opening up. One caveat: Like many areas in DC, Shaw / Bloomingdale / H St (Northeast) are neighborhoods in transition. DC newcomers or those not accustomed to living in cities may prefer the more residential areas listed above. However, if students enjoy living in busy / loud areas and don't mind walking a little farther to the metro, these neighborhoods are a great option.
6. Housing in Maryland or Virginia. Students can also look into renting an apartment or room in Southern Maryland or Northern Virginia. Rents in these two locations are generally less expensive than DC and are still convenient to Washington as long as you rent a place near the metro.
Helpful Housing Links
A survey of past program participants suggests that students have had most luck utilizing resources such as craigslist and padmapper.com. Students recommend looking for housing along whichever metro line is most accessible to your externship site and strongly suggest visiting apartments before entering rental agreements. For this reason, it can be most useful to conduct the search in person. Students also recommend exploring options in your social networks, such as those provided by your campus alumni networks, Facebook, and Linkedin.
Housing links recommended by former UCDC Law students:
Berkeley Law DC Page
George Washington University Housing Page
American University Housing Page
Georgetown University Housing Page
Queer in DC Page
Intern Housing in Washington
Due to the large number of interns moving in and out of Washington, there are several short-term housing options specifically catered to interns. Note that most of these options are dorm-like facilities. This means the accommodations are modest and several of these building have rules that must be followed such as curfews or limited hours for visitors. You should check before committing.
1. UC Washington Center - Housing is available in the UC Washington Center on a limited basis. The UCDC Law Program does not have any special housing arrangement with the Center so students interested in staying at the Center must contact the Center directly. Interested students are encouraged to visit the UCDC Program's Guest Housing page or email Mac Hamlett for more information. Students participating in the undergraduate UCDC Program are given priority for housing at the Center, though extra space is sometimes available. Housing decisions are typically made one to two months prior to the beginning of a term, so it is best to make requests as soon as possible.
2. International Student House of Washington DC - Dormitory-style housing
3. The Washington Intern Housing Network - Fully furnished intern housing. Free to apply.
4. Cities Housing Solutions - Fully furnished intern housing. Free to apply.
5. Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH) - Shared housing; fully furnished, linens, household supplies, all utilities included; in various convenient locations in Washington DC.
6. Thompson Markward Hall – Housing for woman. There is a curfew and the Hall is religiously affiliated.
Advice from Former UCDC Law Students
· The rental market in Washington is like that of many big cities. Well-priced rentals in popular neighborhoods go fast. Conducting your search from Washington if possible.
· Find somewhere that is close in proximity to where you're working.
· Look in places around Northern Virginia (NOVA) or Maryland if you're concerned about costs.
· Don't start your search too early, try to reach out to law students at DC schools, look at AirBnB, research the neighborhoods before settling on an apartment.
· Have a paragraph about yourself you submit when you inquire about housing. Tell people what you're doing and some hobbies of yours. This helps you stand out from the flurry of emails they're already receiving about the open room!
· There is a lot of turnover in the DC rental market, and housing decisions move very quickly. Most people found places within a week of moving to DC, and I found one about 2 weeks before I moved out there.
· The market is very short term--even if something falls through (as happened to me) people are always coming and going on short notice, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding something.
· Use WISH housing.
· Airbnb is another great resource for a place to stay when you first get there and are still looking for more permanent housing.