Many international and out-of-state students often find themselves in a predicament when deciding where to store their belongings before going home for the summer.
Business freshman Hwanseo Lee, an international student from Korea, said upperclassmen told him storage facilities don’t regulate the temperature of their units. Lee worried the heat would rot his belongings, so he began asking around to see if he could leave them at a friend’s house over the summer. He said he was lucky the first friend he asked said yes.
“I think most (international students) are putting their stuff in their friends’ houses,” Lee said. “They’re just distributing all of their luggage between four friends or five friends.”
Lee said if his friend had not let him leave his things at his house, he probably would have had to pay for storage in a facility in Austin.
Last summer, Simon Tolman, a radio-television-film sophomore, left his belongings at a friend’s aunt’s house when he went home to Minnesota.
“I was looking for a free option, and I knew there was a fair amount of people who either actually live in Austin and go to school here or have family or friends, so I decided to ask around and go for the free option,” Tolman said.
Tolman said he decided to donate some items he didn’t need because he felt they were a “burden” on his friend’s family.
Additionally, some students opt to use companies such as Dorm Room Movers, a national storage company that picks up the belongings of its customers, stores them in a climate-protected facility and then delivers the belongings to the clients’ new places.
“(We) are hopeful we can establish (a contract with UT) in the near future,” said Leor Lapid, CEO of Dorm Room Movers. “We are the preferred provider for over 60 campuses across the country and service over 230 campuses.”
Margaret Luévano, interim director of International Student and Scholar Services, said many students struggle to find summer storage options and suggested they use their friends and networks for help and recommendations.
“(Students) should look at several factors including cost, lease terms and who has access to the facility while they’re away,” Luévano said in an email. “Be cautious about signing contracts. Always be sure you read and understand what you’re signing.”