When I was first accepted into the MERP program, I was searching several different housing websites and could not find anything that was under $1,400 for a one bedroom fully furnished apartment. Let's first start off with, Miramar is EXPENSIVE…
Step 1: Use the MERP housing website
Step 2: Add yourself to the MERP Facebook group (If your advisor hasn’t done so already)
Once you are added, go onto the MERP housing website. You will then be able to search for approved apartments that are fully furnished located very close to the school. I know that a couple of the students used VRBO or AirBNB but these can sometimes be much more expensive and not as reliable. Most of the apartments on the MERP housing website are 2-3 bedrooms which are fully furnished with appliances, kitchenware, towels, linens, TV's, ect. There are also some people who rent out bedrooms in their house which can be a cheaper option.
I ended up living in a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment through the MERP housing website which was fully furnished at the Villago apartment complex. I used the Facebook group to find two other students looking for housing. I rented the master bedroom which had its own bathroom with TWO Showers and double vanity. It also had a walk in closet, with a huge desk, and PLENTY of space. Total rent for the master bedroom was $1,150 per month. The other bedrooms in the house rented for $950 per month. I LOVED the Villago apartment complex. Their entire complex is gated with a gated pool and a fully equipped gym which made it very easy to have a quick break between studying. They also had a beautiful lake which wrapped around the complex and offered several different pathways to walk around during the evening. When we moved in, we only were given one parking pass so my roommate offered to bring her car and transport us to and from school (which ended up not working out, more on that later).
Living in your own apartment
You can find fellow students going into the same class off of the MERP Facebook group and room with the other students trying to find housing. Most of the time this makes it easier with studying and traveling to and from school. Most of the time there are also many other students within the apartment complex which makes it easy for group study or ride to and from school together. I ended up having about 10 people from my class within my complex which eventually become some of my very close friends.
You have no idea who you're living with. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. One of my roommates and I ended up becoming really great friends . But my other roommate it ended up being a disaster to say the least… You might find your roommates boyfriend naked in the living room at 3 in the morning playing with the blinds….
Living in a house renting a room
I did have several other friends who ended up moving into a house and renting a room. These homes are usually rented by older couples who are retired and have extra bedrooms. They're used to having students moving in and out and have many of the things you need and don't have to go buy. These are usually much cheaper than renting an apartment. The couples usually are very accommodating and know what students need while attending the MERP program.
This isn't your home. A lot of these houses for rent have VERY strict rules. I know one of my friends had extremely strict rules. For instance, zero tolerance for overnight guests, no alcohol in the house, no cooking in the kitchen, no changing the air conditioning temperature, only certain times you can do laundry, only certain times you can come and leave the house exc. Make sure you know all the rules before you sign the lease. One of my friends landlords changed the rent on her when she arrived and increased her rent from $1,100 to 1,200 because she had never signed a formal lease. The lease (if they have one) can be a little different for the homes then when you rent your own apartment.
Honestly, Even through I didn't have the best roommate experience I wouldn’t change it. I think my apartment was a fair price and I do believe it was easier to study in a community where I could go knock on my roommates door whenever I had questions.