Summertime and the Living is Easy

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Whether to work an internship, catch up on credits, or avoid family, a significant portion of Columbia stays in NYC between academic years. A summer in the ‘hood allows students to see a different side of the city, one in which papers aren’t due tomorrow morning and a happy hour margarita at The Heights might actually serve to cool and not only inebriate. If you’re the type who fantasizes about stepping off of the subway onto a steamy campus where the frisbee stays afloat and the sundress/wayfarer combo runs rampant, securing a job or enrolling for summer term is the first step towards turning your dream into a reality. The next step is finding a place to live. While apartment-hunting won’t require a cover letter, there are many decisions and considerations to be made. Bwog is here to give you a comprehensive guide to living a summer in the city.

Stay In Columbia Housing

Columbia in the summer is like a Twilight Zone episode in which the protagonist visits an alternate universe. Everything is the same, but slightly off. No need to check The Weather Channel for potential snow. No need to cut short naps on the lawn. No need to start the weekend on Thursday. In fact, you are living in an eternal weekend. Everyday is a Thursday. Whoa.

Website: Continuing Students Housing

Dorms Available: Broadway, Shapiro, Harmony, and 600 W.113th


$2665 (double) / $3280 (single) for whole summer (May 20th – August 10th)

$1300 (double) / $1600 (single) for one session (May 20th – June 29th or July 1st – August 10th)

$935 (singles only) for fall interim (August 10th – September 1st)

$340 (singles only) for spring interim (May 12, 2012 – May 20, 2012)

$65 (double) / $80 (single)  for summer interim (June 29 – July 1)

Good If:

  • You can’t get enough of your Shapiro single
  • You are trying to discover Harmony’s location
  • You like Thursdays

Sublet A Grad Student’s Apartment

Living in grad student housing is like being friends with benefits with Columbia. You can be close to campus when you feel like it, but feel no guilt going without contact for days. You are an independent woman (or man). Located within 1-5 blocks of campus and scattered from 113th to Riverside, these apartments allow you to split the rent with as many friends as the current owner allows. This set-up is a lot more desirable than a dorm. TAs often hold group study sessions in their places of residence, and judging by a few visits, most have nice hardwood floors and great views of Harlem or Downtown.


CU Facilities: Grad Student Housing


Depends on location and number of roommates. Usually rounds out to $1000/month for each roomer or $2000 if you want a place to yourself.

Good If:

  • You are a grad student (duh/where have you been living this whole time?)
  • You want to pretend to be a grad student
  • You are sooooo over campus
  • You want to see what life is like without an RA

Sublet In Manhattan

99% of Manhattanites don’t live in a gated community with dining locations that take Flex. Shocker, right? Although unified by Halal carts, women walking small dogs, and subway stations, each section of Manhattan has a very distinct identity. Why not get to know another? For those who want the Manhattan experience along with a sense of community, housing services exist that cater to students. These programs include community programming and group activities as part of the rent. For the more independent, there is always Craigslist.


Educational Housing Services




Depends on location and number of roommates. Can be anywhere from about $1200 a month (if you feel like sleeping on the floor) to $8000 a month (if you’re feeling like a Rockefeller).

Good If:

  • You are a finance bro who wants proximity to New York’s hottest nightclubs
  • You and your three best friends are looking to recreate Sex and City
  • You want to know the real New York, man

Sublet In An Outer Borough

Brooklyn and Queens run rampant with a diverse population of recently graduated twenty-somethings trying to make their way in the world of anything from publishing and entertainment to post-futurist slam poetry performance. Hip areas like Park Slope, Williamsburg, and Astoria offer cheap housing in a relaxed, residential environment. Getting to Manhattan takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. Alternativeness also increases with distance: the farther and more obscure the neighborhood, the more likely your neighbor will be to weave his or her own clothes. The more gentrified areas are safer, but carry a corresponding increase in middle-class guilt.




Depends on location and number roommates. Anywhere from $500 to $2000 per month. Cheaper locations resemble the places where cinematic gangsters dump bodies. The more expensive ones look like the set of Bored To Death.

Good If:

  • You are trying to make fiscally responsible decisions
  • You want more money for alcohol
  • You are on the WBAR staff

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  1. Lies

    I had a grad student sublet last summer for $800/month. A shoebox of a room, sure, but all-inclusive utilities (including AC!) in a legit doorman building on 119th.

  2. grad student  

    Fellow grad students are subletting their apartments for between 850 and 950. You can get the listings on UAH's website.

  3. what are these numbers

    OCHA is fantastic, as well as on-campus advertising (look by bus stops, and student dorms at end-of-year). (

    I easily found a ~150 sq ft sublet for $700/month (including utilities) near campus. You can live in Manhattan without completely sacrificing an arm and a leg. Washington Heights also has some cheap prices, especially if you rent an apartment with a bunch of friends.

    Outer Boroughs: You forgot the Bronx! Though anything along the 1 line can be tiresome because they've been doing construction year-round (so: shuttles galore).

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