All participants will take the intitiative to find their own apartments in Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, or Shenzhen, but must receive approval from Nanjing Center staff prior to signing any rental agreements. Nanjing Center staff are available to provide advice and assistance, such as a reference list of reputable brokers and apartments where past participants have stayed. Most participants planning to intern outside of Nanjing begin their search for housing in their internship city towards the end of their direct enrollment period and during the program break. The earlier, the better!
Formal language learning in the classroom is further reinforced via living in a local area of the city where foreigners are few. Participants are encouraged to ask program staff where participants from past cohorts lived; these apartments will likely be in "hidden" areas of the city that may be hard to find without the inside scoop. All apartments must be approved by program staff, even if participants from other cohorts lived in the same community previously. American Councils provides each participant (or pair of participants, if living together) with a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm to ensure maximum security. Each apartment community is reviewed regularly for security, relative proximity to the university and transportation routes, fire safety, and overall living conditions.