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For transfer students, securing a desirable housing situation poses a unique set of challenges that other students may not face.

However, the University and student groups such as the Transfer Student Organization can help new students break the ice and find their home at Penn.

Room availability for transfer students is often very limited, as current students will have already made their room selections by the time transfers start applying. In addition, they are not guaranteed a room on campus due to limited availability.

In order to address these challenges, College junior Nikolai Zapertov spearheaded an effort last year to create a transfer student residential program. While his proposal was ultimately not approved, student leaders have continued to work with Penn to improve the housing placement process for new transfer students.

This year, students wishing to live with other transfers could choose to live in a hall designated specifically for them in Hill College House. DuBois College House has a similar option.

However, even before the establishment of these transfer student-specific halls, Sansom Place has long maintained a vibrant transfer culture on campus.

In dorms like Sansom Place, which have larger transfer populations, students “meet new people who are in the same boat, who have shared similar experiences,” Zapertov said.

Some transfers who aren’t assigned to these specific halls, however, embrace living among a largely freshman population.

“There is often a mutual rapport between transfers and freshmen,” Zapertov explained. In many cases, he added, first-year transfer students end up mentoring their freshmen friends.

College senior Maggie Ercolani, current co-president of Penn’s Transfer Student Organization, offers transfer students some advice for their housing application.

“Once you put in your deposit,” she said, “immediately go and out and select your room.”

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