Housing and Relocation
PCC does not have dormitories on campus. It is the student’s responsibility to locate their own housing.
Finding an apartment takes time. When you are only looking for a place to live (and not participating in orientation or taking classes), it can take 1-2 weeks to find an apartment. We recommend planning to arrive in Portland with enough time to focus on finding housing before classes begin (making sure to follow the dates on your I-20).
Some options international students may want to consider are listed below.
If you do not have a place to stay while you are searching for an apartment in Portland, some PCC international students tell us they have found temporary housing using the following:
Homestay programs offer the opportunity to live with an American family. PCC currently suggests the following as possible homestay companies to work with:
College Housing Northwest is a non-profit housing corporation in Portland, Oregon. It provides housing in seven unique apartment buildings, all located in downtown Portland. Any student who is attending a college or university in Portland is eligible to live in College Housing Northwest properties. To get to any of the PCC campuses, students can use the free shuttle service offered by Portland Community College or TriMet, the public transportation service, from downtown.
Finding an apartment takes time. When you are only looking for a place to live (and not participating in orientation or taking classes), it can take 1-2 weeks to find an apartment. We recommend planning to arrive in Portland with enough time to focus on finding housing before classes begin. You will need time completely free to search for an apartment, open a bank account, obtain a cell phone, and become comfortable in Portland.
It is a good idea to begin your research when you are still in your home country, so you have a better idea of where to begin looking when you come to Portland. You could even try to arrange some apartment viewings ahead of time for when you arrive.
Cost of an apartment
According to rent.com, the average rent for apartments in Portland, Oregon is between $1,295 and $2,295 per month, as of August 17, 2022. Many students choose to have roommates, so they are not paying for an apartment on their own.
How to find an apartment
Some PCC international students tell us they have used these websites to find apartment listings:
- Apartment List
- Apartment Guide
- Warning: Do not give out personal or financial information online. Arrange meetups with safety in mind; either bring someone with you or meet in a public area. Trust your instincts.
Many students say they had more luck finding an apartment by connecting with the landlord or property management company directly, instead of going through a website with a big collection of listings.
If you find an apartment building that you like, you can research which landlord or property management company owns that building. If you go directly to their website or use their contact information, you have a chance to hear about new properties/units that will be available soon, before they are listed on the websites above.
Other options PCC international students tell us they’ve used:
- Using an agent
- OISS International Student Newsletter (place to find roommates who are PCC international
- Looking for a Facebook group of people from your home country who have settled in Portland
More sites for research:
- PCC Transportation and Parking
- PCC Shuttles (free shuttle transportation for PCC students)
- PCC Campus Maps
- Google Maps (for bike, walking, and driving routes)
- TriMet Trip Planner (for public transportation routes)
- “Portland Neighborhoods by the Numbers 2022” in PDX Monthly
- “Every Neighborhood in Portland in a Nutshell” in PDX Monthly
If you have registered for orientation, email firstname.lastname@example.org to be sent our “Living in Portland” guide.
U.S. Housing Info and Tips for Searching for Housing
- It is strongly recommended that you carefully read and understand housing agreements before you sign or make any formal commitment.
- You will most likely need to put down a deposit on your new housing, usually of one month or six weeks’ rent, which will be returned to you when you move out, if the property remains in the same condition as when you began your lease.
- The cost of utilities (energy costs, internet, water, cable) will usually be extra in private accommodation so you must bear that in mind when comparing costs.
- Watch out for additional fees, for example: for the use of parking spaces, laundry facilities, or concierge services at some apartment complexes.
- As an international student, you will need to ensure you look for furnished accommodation, or order the furniture and appliances you need after you arrive (unless of course, you want to ship these from home). Check that amenities such as a washing machine and fridge are included in your housing. Some housing options even supply bedding for students traveling from abroad.
- Some apartment complexes include amenities such as pools or gyms, which can help to save time and money.
- Be aware of what safety features your accommodation has, for example: secure door entry, security personnel, or CCTV in communal areas. This will give you and your family back home peace of mind.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is meant to provide assistance in locating off-campus housing. Inclusion of any property, rental unit, or other housing options on this website does not constitute, and shall not be construed or reported as an endorsement or approval by Portland Community College of the housing option, landlord, its properties, or its business practices. Portland Community College expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any problems that may arise with regard to such housing options, property or rental units or with regard to disputes between landlords and tenants concerning such property or rental units. All prospective tenants are encouraged to exercise their own good judgment when evaluating housing options, a prospective rental unit or landlord.
This page is maintained by the OISS Senior Office Assistant.