Hello incoming Economics students!
Please note that Lee Tucker will be the new peer adviser for the spring 2014 semester. If you have any questions please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lee’s website will be up and running soon, I will keep you posted here. Karen Rodi (email@example.com) from the Economics Department will also update the website link for incoming students once the new website is available.
I am Kristrun and currently serve as a peer adviser for BU’s Economics department. I came to Boston as an international student a year ago and just finished a year in the PhD program at the Economics department. I have thus gone through many of the things you all are about to go through in the next few months and am happy to help with any questions or concerns! I am however still learning new things every day so of course I will not have an answer to every single inquiry your might have. If that does turn out to be the case, I will however happily refer you to the correct person either within the department, the graduate school or the International Students & Scholar’s Office (ISSO).
You can select ‘Housing’ and ‘Living in Boston’ links from the drop-down menu under ‘Peer Advising’.
To get everyone started, here are some answers to general questions you may have regarding the Economics Department’s Peer Advising. Throughout the year I will continue to update this website to meet your needs.
What does the peer adviser do?
The peer adviser is a current PhD student, appointed by the department to help incoming students who are new to the surroundings by providing information regarding housing and general living arrangements during their stay in Boston. In addition, the peer adviser can advise you when it comes to general visa and immigration questions. Note, however, that the ISSO (see above) is the main department of the school that deals with visa and immigration issues so any formal requests need to go through them. If you have a general question or concern however, regarding this process, you can also ask questions regarding immigration matters. But again, it is not the peer adviser’s responsibility to sort out any immigration issue you may have.
Most of the communication between peer advisers and incoming/new students is in the form of email correspondence (i.e. you ask, I answer or refer you to the correct individual). Also note, that it is not the peer adviser’s responsibility to find you housing. Looking for housing, once at a graduate level, is something that every student must go through “on their own”. However – we are all aware that moving to a new city/country can feel overwhelming, and thus this service is meant as a supportive measure during your search. Also, advisers obviously have some knowledge about the best way of going around your housing search and general living arrangements that should make your transition easier!
As a general rule, I would suggest that anyone who has questions or concerns regarding their move to Boston should read this website carefully before asking questions as many of your concerns may already be addressed here. This makes it easier for everyone, not just me, as I receive many emails, and thus going through the instructions on this website might be the fastest way for you to get some answers. If you still have concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me via email and I will happily answer your question. If I have not answered you within a couple of days, please re-send your email to me. I will always answer your email even if I don’t have an answer for you.
I need a place to stay – where do I start?
Start by reading the housing page of this website. You will find the link underneath ‘Peer advising’. The Graduate Survival Guide is very useful. It is written by graduate students for graduate students. On the website you can find information regarding most things you need during your stay in Boston, for example housing, temporary housing, banking, health insurance and etc. The Graduate Survival Guide is written by people at SAGE (the organization of graduate engineering students) and GSO (the organization of the arts and sciences graduate students).
The Graduate Economics Association (GEA) also has a website where you can sign up for a mentor if you are interested.
Sign up for the BU Economics Google Group
Click here to sign up for the group.
Here people are encouraged to post requests if they are looking for housing, a roommate or someone to look for an apartment with. Note that this group is for housing purposes only. The administration compiles its own email list. You can control how you participate in the list. For example, you can choose to receive any new postings via email or to only read them online. Receiving new posting via email will give you faster access to new information, though. Your email will only be used for peer advising purposes only. Once you joined the group you can email your posts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Would you like to get in touch with your classmates before the start of the school year?
You can help each other with housing and share tips. Perhaps you can rent an apartment together (which is generally easier than finding a room). If you would like for your classmates to contact you, post your your name, a way to contact you (such as e-mail or phone) and anything you would like to be known about yourself on the Google Group above. Of course whatever you post there will be public so do not post anything you want to remain private. Indicate if you are male or female.
Team up with other new or current students
When looking for housing a good strategy is to team up with several other people first and then look for an apartment together. This way you may have greater choice of places to rent. Teaming up can be possible even if some roommates are in Boston and some in their home cities/countries. Of course, any housing agreements reached between roommates over the phone or email should be taken seriously and should be backed up by monetary deposits and signed lease agreements when possible.