Housing Guide

SRJC students are responsible for finding their own housing. We strongly recommend that students live on-campus in our new dormitories, but we also have a wonderful homestay program, and there are off-campus housing options as well. Please read more information about your options below. All housing arrangements should be finalized before you arrive in the United States.

Santa Rosa is a mid-size city located in Sonoma County, CA, which is home to nearly half a million people. Some SRJC students live in the nearby towns of Rohnert Park, Cotati, Sebastopol, and Windsor. As you begin your search for the perfect place to live, please keep in mind the distance to campus and your transportation options

Housing Options

International student housing options are outlined below:

On-Campus Housing

Photo of new student dormitoriesStudent housing is now available on the Santa Rosa campus! Students who will attend SRJC in Fall 2024 can apply for On-Campus Housing beginning on March 1st. Call (707) 535-3778 or email info@srjchousing.com if you have any questions. 

Application

Our dorm rooms are leased for the full academic year beginning in August. New applications for Spring will only be considered on a space-available basis. Students admitted for Spring should plan to make off-campus housing arrangements. 

Apply Here

Eligibility Requirements
  • You may apply for on-campus housing as soon as you have an SRJC Student ID Number; you do not need to be fully admitted or registered for classes first. 
  • You must create an account before submitting your application online. 
  • There is a $35 application fee and $100 deposit required. The deposit will be applied to your first month's rent if you move-in, but it is non-refundable if you decide not to attend SRJC or live on-campus.
  • Students must be 18 or older prior to moving in. The application will require a guarantor be provided if the student is under 18 at the time of applying.
Move-In Day

For Fall 2024 students, the official move-in day tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, August 14th. You may arrive anytime that weekend before classes start on Monday, August 19th. Students are not allowed to move-in early. If you will arrive in the U.S. before August 14th, you must find temporary accommodations. 

Pricing

International students receive priority for on-campus housing! The first 70 students with priority status who apply for Fall 2024 housing will receive a discount on their rent. The discount lowers the rent in a double from $990 to $775 and in a single from $1,240 to $875 (before scholarships). 

Room Options

Maximum Rate
(per month)

Discounted Rate
(with Doyle Scholarship)

Double $990 $870
Single $1,240 $1,120
Deluxe Single $1,550 $1,430
6 Bed, 2 Bath (Shared) $1,650 $1,530
6 Bed, 2 Bath (Private) $1,750 $1,630
Meal Plans

There is a meal plan available for an additional fee. 

Homestay Program

SRJC is partnered with International Student Placements, a national homestay organization of more than 25 years that does a wonderful job matching students with local host families. Host families are carefully screened and selected for the program. Most hosts are located within 5 miles of SRJC. All students have a private bedroom and most have a shared bathroom. The homestay program is flexible and offers 1, 2, and 3-month housing options for students who are looking for short-term housing to get situated. If you want to stay longer with the host family, you can make arrangements to do so. You will pay the monthly rate to your host family directly.

Visit their website for a helpful video from International Student Placements. They also have a representative who works directly with SRJC students. If you any questions or need assistance with the application, please contact Janaki Padia by phone at 650-947-8879 or email at admin@isphomestays.com. It can take 3-4 weeks to arrange a homestay, so plan ahead!

Pricing 
  • Placement fee: $375
  • Security deposit (refundable): $100
  • Private bedroom and meals (breakfast and dinner): $1,300/month
  • Private bedroom only (no meals): $1,125/month

Apply Here

Advantages of Choosing a Homestay
  • You’ve got a Friend: Host families can show you around and help you get settled. Host families will email with you and maybe video chat before you arrive so you can get to know each other.
  • Acculturation: It is so much easier to learn about American culture when you live with a host family who can explain things to you.
  • Privacy: A private bedroom is provided so you have a place where you can be alone to study or just enjoy quiet time. You only need to clean your own bedroom. You do not need to be responsible for the entire house or apartment.
  • Amenities: The host family will provide free wireless, furniture and bedding in your room. You can opt to have breakfast and dinner provided by your host family (a great cultural experience), or you can arrange to instead purchase your own food and cook for yourself.
  • Flexibility: If students are really unhappy with a host family, they can contact International Student Placements to help them find another family. They want the students and the families to enjoy the experience of living together.
Off-Campus Housing

Due to the high demand for housing in our area, it can be very difficult to find an off-campus rental. International students also face unique challenges in the application process, as they often do not have a credit score or co-signers in the United States. Therefore, we highly recommended that you live on-campus or with a host family when you first arrive. However, if you prefer to find your own off-campus housing, we can offer the following resources to assist you in your search. SRJC also has some Helpful Hints and Local Apartments listed on the Off-Campus Housing website. You can also view available rentals in Santa Rosa.

Landlords in the United States typically require that applicants have a local bank account, good credit history, rental references, and proof of income three times the monthly rent, or a co-signer who lives in the United States. Most international students don't have these qualifications. Syrus Properties is a property management company that offers a special deal for SRJC international students; they will provide furnished units at a higher monthly rate (for those who do not meet the typical requirements). 

The following apartment buildings are located within walking distance to the Santa Rosa campus and are managed by Syrus Properties:  

  • Alpine Apartments at 1851 Salem Avenue, Santa Rosa, 95401
  • Elliott Apartments at101 Elliot Ave, Santa Rosa, 95401
  • Garden Apartments at 2066 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, 95401
  • Redwood Garden Apartments at 2044-2050 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, 95401

If you have any questions or would like to submit an application, please contact Tracy Engelen at +1 (415) 892-1679 or tengelen@syrusproperties.com. You will need to provide a copy of your passport and Form I-20 to verify that you are an international student attending SRJC. 

Finding Roommates

The people you live with will play a major role in your college experience, so you should to find roommates who are a good fit for your lifestyle. It’s important to talk with prospective roommates before you commit, and come up with an agreement about "House Rules" (overnight guests, quiet hours, use of common spaces, etc.). Take your time, and don’t compromise on what is important to you! Here are some ways that you can find people to live with: 

Short-Term/Temporary Housing

Our office does not arrange temporary accommodations for students, but we can offer the following recommendations for short-term housing.  

Vacation Rentals

Hosting temporary guests can be an extra source of income for people who own their home. Check out some popular websites like AirBnB or VRBO and find yourself a room, or rent an entire place with some friends!

Local Hotels

More Information

The following information is provided to help international students with their housing search.

Access to Money

We strongly recommend that you set up a bank account with a local bank in order to take care of your financial responsibilities. Landlords typically wish to be paid by check or electronic funds. There are several options indicated below.

  • Exchange Bank: (707) 524-3011, 2201 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, 95401
    • There is an Exchange Bank ATM located on the Santa Rosa campus. 
  • Bank of America: (707) 547-2809, 1155 West Steele Lane (in the Coddingtown Shopping Center), Santa Rosa, 95403
  • Chase Bank: (707) 525-5060, 2245 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, 94503
  • Wells Fargo: (707) 573-9209, 2960 Cleveland Avenue Santa Rosa, 95403
Glossary

BUDGET: The range of money that you can afford to spend on your monthly rent. 

CO-SIGNER: An additional person who signs your lease but will not live there with you. A co-signer is typically required if you do not meet the eligibility requirements for the rental application. 

CREDIT: A public record of how you've managed credit and debt in the past. International students usually do not have a credit score when they first arrive in the United States.  

FURNISHED: Some landlords will offer all the necessary furniture included in the rental for a higher fee. If you choose an unfurnished rental, you can still rent furniture and appliances from a local company such as Aaron's CORT.com or Rent-a-Center.

GUEST: A person who may temporarily visit the rental property but does not have the rights of a tenant.

LANDLORD: The person who owns or manages the property that you want to rent. They may also be referred to as the property manager. 

LEASE AGREEMENT: A written contract between you and your landlord where you agree to pay a certain amount of rent for a specified period of time. The agreement also establishes other terms of the lease, including smoking/pets/guest policies. Breaking the terms of your lease can result in serious financial/legal consequences. 

RENTAL UNIT: An apartment, house, duplex, or condominium that a landlord rents to a tenant to live in.

SECURITY DEPOSIT: Money that you must pay before you can move into the rental property. The security deposit is typically refundable if there are no damages to the property while you are living there. 

SUBLET or SUBLEASE: When a renter rents out part or all of an their unit to another person. You must have your landlord's permission to sublet your rental unit. 

TENANT: The person who rents or leases the property.

UTILITIES: Some rentals will include services such as water, garbage, electricity, and/or Wi-Fi in the cost of rent. If they are not included, you will need to setup your own utilities and budget for these additional expenses. 

Renter's Insurance

You may want to consider purchasing additional insurance to protect yourself from property losses from theft or fire at the rental. This insurance usually also protects the tenant against liability (legal responsibility) for claims or lawsuits filed by the landlord or by others alleging that the tenant negligently injured another person or property. Examples of insurance companies in Santa Rosa that provide renters insurance are AAA and Lehr Insurance Agency.

Shopping

As you make Sonoma County your home, you will find many options for a variety of shopping. Listed below are some suggestions of stores near campus to help get you settled.

Grocery Stores & Supermarkets
Ethnic Foods
Thrift Stores
Tenant's Rights

Federal and state "Fair Housing" laws prohibit discrimination in the U.S. Evicting or denying a person housing because of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, source of income, age, disability, or marital status is illegal in California. To learn more about your rights as a renter, you can visit the Renters’ & Tenants’ Rights, California Tenants, and Fair Housing of Sonoma County websites. For example, a landlord cannot evict or force a tenant to vacate their property unless they follow these laws. If either party (tenant or landlord) wishes to end the lease agreement, they must provide a written notice at least 30 days in advance. 

What to Pack
Pack Lightly

You can always have your family mail you a box or pick up what you need during a visit home. Remember too, anything you forget to bring can be purchased at nearby stores or online stores.

For information about items prohibited or restricted by U.S. Customs, visit their website

Carry-on Luggage

Carry all your important documents (including immigration documents DS-2019 or I-20) medications, toiletries, and few extra pieces of clothing in your carry-on luggage in case your checked bag gets lost. Sometimes, it can take a couple of days to locate misplaced luggage. To find out what you can take with you on the plane or put in your carry-on luggage, contact the airline you intend to use or visit the TSA (Transportation Security Administration).

Do not pack anything valuable in your checked suitcase in case it gets lost.

Clothes & Footwear

Santa Rosa receives about 76 cm of rain per year. It doesn’t snow in Santa Rosa. On average there are 256 sunny days per year in Santa Rosa. Summers can be hot. Early fall tends to have hot periods, with temperatures in the mid-20s. Winter temperatures are chilly and can drop to 3 degrees overnight.

For the summer, you will need light casual clothes. The ocean is less than an hour away, so you may want to bring a bathing suit or buy one here.

During the fall and spring, you will want a light jacket or sweater.

You will want a coat for winter.

You will need an assortment of footwear: sandals for summer, warm waterproof boots for winter, and comfortable sneakers or flat shoes for walking around campus.

It is recommended that you bring semi-formal outfit or buy one here. You may also want to bring some traditional dress from your country for festivals and/or special occasions.

Just 0.16 km from SRJC is Plato’s Closet, a trendy secondhand thrift shop where you can purchase fashionable items for a low price.

Mementos From Home

Don’t forget to bring small familiar objects like photos and decoration to comfort you when you are missing home.

You may also want to bring small souvenirs from your home country to give as gifts.

Household Items

Plan on buying most of your household items (small electrical appliances, bed sheets and towels, cooking and eating supplies) once you have arrived. If you have space in your suitcase, you can bring a set of sheets and towels from home to get started.

ISP offers the information on this site as a service to our international students. SRJC makes no representation, guarantees, or promises with respect to the condition, quality, or safety of the listed properties or the community where such property is located; is not responsible for the truthfulness of rental advertisements or roommate postings on this site; does not verify the identity of any person posting a listing; neither inspects nor approves any off-campus housing; does not endorse in any way any landlord, individual, or property management business that lists properties on this site; and is not a roommate matching agency and is not responsible for the actions of any person listed on this site or any resulting business transaction or relationship.