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4 tips to help your mid-year move

A team of City Year AmeriCorps members raise their hands at the end of a team huddle

Congratulations on starting your City Year journey! As a mid-year AmeriCorps member who begins service in the middle of the school year, you have a unique opportunity to increase the capacity of our teams, helping City Year to reach and support even more students.

While your service is a worthwhile endeavor, transitioning to service can come with many adjustments, particularly when starting mid-year. Though we’ll make sure that you receive the proper training before heading into the classroom, you may need support with other life changes, like relocation!

Here are four quick tips to consider when relocating as a mid-year AmeriCorps member:

Figure out your budget

City Year AmeriCorps members live on a modest bi-weekly stipend, so one of the first things you should do is come up with a spending plan. The cost of rent, utilities, transportation and groceries are things to consider when creating a budget. Luckily, there lots of tools online to help get you get started, like this easy-to-use budget calculator.

Want to learn more about how you can manage your finances during service? Check out advice from this City Year Alum and financial educator.

Navigate the housing market

Navigating the housing market is naturally one of the biggest stressors when relocating. But with the right knowledge and a little bit of preparation, you can find an apartment or room without the headache!

First, having roommates is a good idea if you want to stick to a stipend-friendly budget. Reach out to your City Year site to see if they can help you make a connection with other AmeriCorps members who are also looking for housing. Be sure to consider your neighborhood, as well—is it accessible via public transit or close to a grocery store? Most importantly, make sure it’s safe!

Finally, once you’ve found a place, read your lease carefully and begin to understand your rights as a renter.

Get yourself set up

You’ve found the perfect place and now it’s time to get yourself settled in. One of the first things you should do is set up your utilities. To do this, you’ll have to call the local gas and electric providers to start up your account. When you call, they may ask for your social security number, especially if this is your first time setting up an account.
For internet, follow a similar process—call up the local provider, set up your account, and choose a date for the servicers to come to your home and install the equipment.
After all the essentials are taken care of, have fun and furnish your apartment without breaking the bank.

Map out your new City Year

When you’re all settled into your new apartment, plan some time to explore your new city. If there is a public transit system, try to familiarize yourself with the buses or trains you’ll take to school every day. Similarly, if you drive, go for a test run to have an idea of what your morning and evening commute will be like.

Explore new, cool and affordable things to do in your city. Most places have free or reduced price museum days, food festivals and concerts. Exploring what your city has to offer is a great way to foster a sense of belonging and community.

Deciding to start City Year service as a mid-year AmeriCorps member is a worthwhile experience with its own unique challenges—and we know that our AmeriCorps members often make big life changes in the process. But with the right preparation and information, we’re sure that transition will be as smooth as possible!

Learn more about the mid-year service experience at City Year

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