Home Essentials When On an Internship
The apartment, the car, the cutlery, the GAH!!!!!
On your first internship? Or 15th for that matter? One of the most dauting tasks is trying to figure out how to establish yourself comfortably in your new temporary home. And my goal today is to help you sort out some of the most important aspects about creating you safe place for the next 3-6 months. There are many aspects to settling down in your new home but picking the major stuff well can give you a smoother transition into the workforce. Best of luck!
(car, bike, legs, etc.)
I would consider your vehicle as the most important object of getting settled into your internship location. Yes, more than an apartment. Because technically you can sleep in your car.
Finding what sort of vehicle you need is largely dependent on location. Find out if you live near a metro or bus station as you can use it to get to work and to buy groceries and essentials. See what kind of shops are within walking distance. Check if the walkways are safe. If all of these seems to be in good shape, then I would recommend not buying a car. Because you are an intern and do not have much of an income yet, holding off on buying say a used car can save you money on gas and on any repairs (which can get extremely costly). You may or may not want to purchase a bicycle. Think about how far the shops you will most likely shop at are. If they are a couple miles, plan on purchasing a bicycle (any old one will do!) so that you can use it for easy access to those places.
If you decide not to buy a car and stick with your own two legs and/or a bicycle, fear not! You can still rent out a car for those special weekend trips and such. Like before, check out what you can access using the local public transporation. When renting a car, see if your friends would like to hop along and share the costs of the car. Finally, also check with your company to see if they offer any discount rentals. Many time, companies partner up with car rental agencies to get employee discounts. You will find that not buying a car can lend you a whole lot of extra money in the long run so this path is definitely recommended especially for interns.
If you do decide to purchase a car, make sure you take it out for a test run. Check for any potential problems ealry on so that you can spend less time and money trying to fix the car. Check out any of the certified car dealerships and/or Craigslist. Take all the precautions in buying a car and don't be afraid to ask for help. It is always better to have more than one opinion!
Pots and Pans on Amazon - (you need to cook food right?)
Good quality (and cheap) pots and pans can save you money on eating out everyday. You can choose to either weigh your purchase towards good quality (and pass them down to a friend after you leave) or towards good price (so that you can dispose of them after you leave).
(apartment, house, etc)
Now for the fun part... what are you going to put over your head? There are so many options when seaching for apartments; definitely can be a daunting task. As with everything else, be sure to talk to people about your options. Both people within your company, as well as those random people written down in your address book who live in the area, can be of great assisance in this matter.
As with many other things, check with your employer first to see what kind of housing options are available. Sometimes a company will pay for your housing. Other times, they have subscribed to a site where you can browse through "company verified" housing. And even more times, they will have some sort of blog or networking site with other interns where you can find roomies.
Generally the two most common choices for shelter is either room for rent or an apartment. Both have its pro and cons. Room for rent will give you the freedom of having utilities and other equipment (laundry!) right inside the house. However, you may be some distance away from your company (see "The Vehicle" under this same lens). An apartment may not have the same conveniences like a house, but it may be cheaper (with a roommate) and closer to work. Be sure to seek out both options and factor in your personal idiosyncracies before making a choice. Try to see if a friend can pop over and give you a run down of your favorite choices so you have a impression of the place before you move in. Or if you are close enough, do it yourself! Even speaking with your manager can prove to be useful with regards to housing!
If you company leaves you in the dark, standard sites like aparmtents.com, apartmentguide.com, and apartmentfinder.com can all be useful to find good quality apartments within your budget. Even use Google Maps to check out what complexes are nearby! When you find an apartment run through the checklist (a separate module below) to make sure that the apartment fits your needs!
Links to Living
Knives on Amazon - (to chop food of course!)
Trust me on this one. You want a high, good quality knife. I remember taking 40 minutes to chop 4 bell peppers with a cheepo Walmart $4 knife. Don't make this mistake. Invent in a good quality knife and you will forever be thanking youself.