Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions. If you don’t find your question answered here, please contact the managers.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How much does it cost to live at the IFH?
It varies according to what room you have. Right now the price range is from $650 to $815 per person for double rooms.
Besides a shared room, what does my monthly rent include?
1) Ten meals: your rent includes breakfasts (one “hot” food—pancakes, eggs, etc., prepared by a resident cook, as well as cereal, fruit, and yogurt) and dinners (a full meal, cooked by a professional chef) during the weekdays, Monday through Friday. Breakfast is served from 7:00-8:00 a.m. each morning, and dinner is served promptly at 6 p.m. No meals are served on the weekends.
2) All utilities: gas, oil, water, electric, and phone (main house number only).
3) Cable TV in the common TV room.
4) High speed internet on the common house computer and wireless access on the house network (now included in monthly rent).
Are any meals provided on the weekends?
No. There is a kitchen for residents to cook their own food during the weekends, as well as a large refrigerator in which to store food.
What happens if I cannot attend dinners?
The food left over from each dinner is placed in a small refrigerator in the dining room, and residents who cannot attend dinner can re-heat the food from dinner when they arrive. No such provision is made for those who cannot attend breakfast.
Are the resident rooms fully furnished?
Yes. Each room has a bed, a desk, a chair, a dresser, and a bookshelf for each resident. Each room also has a closet. A bathroom is only a few steps away on each floor, where a shelf is provided for personal items. Bedding linens and towels are normally provided unless otherwise requested.
Will I have a roommate if I live at the IFH?
Yes. The IFH does not currently have any single rooms.
Do all the residents share bathrooms?
Yes, although each floor has its own bathroom. The two bathrooms on the two largest floors have two of everything—toilets, shower stalls, and sinks. Access to showers and toilets are rarely a problem.
Does the IFH have laundry facilities?
Yes. The IFH has a laundry room in the basement where a coin-operated washing machine and a drying machine are available for the residents to use. The price is set by the appliance company, but the prices are usually good for the Boston area.
For how long do I have to sign a contract?
Usually for the whole academic year (September – May); occasionally one semester contracts are permitted. Summer contracts for variable lengths are available for summer residents.
What happens if I break my contract and leave early?
If you leave the IFH before your contract is up, you will lose your deposit (usually $600).
Are there any community involvement ‘requirements’ for living at the IFH?
Yes, just a few small things. 1) We have periodic house meeting (1-2 per semester) that every resident is required to attend. 2) We have a four-hour cleaning day, once per semester, that each resident is required to participate in. 3) There are several small chores at the house that each resident does occasionally while they stay at the IFH. They only take 5-10 minutes per week and you only are assigned the chores every few months. Other than that, there are no formal requirements, although we do encourage each resident to try to attend the 6 p.m. weekday dinners and the weekly 8 p.m. snack and discussion on Sunday evenings, as well as other community activities when possible. Community participation is very important for living at the IFH, and residents who show no interest in the rest of the community over the course of the year are usually encouraged to find housing elsewhere.
Are there any paid ‘jobs’ available at the IFH?
Yes. The IFH gives rent reduction for two “jobs”: the dishwasher (7.5 hours/week) and the breakfast cook (10 hours/week). Each of these positions may be filled by residents, but instead of direct payment, the money is deducted off of the rent. The hourly rate for each job is around $9.
Does the IFH have internet access?
Yes—the IFH has a wireless, high speed (DSL) internet network that residents can access after they purchase the correct wireless card for their computer, if necessary (most laptops come with integrated wireless capabilities). A common house computer with high speed access is also provided for those who do not have wireless access.
Can I get a phone line in my room?
Yes. Each room has two phone lines available that can be activated through the local phone company. It is each resident’s responsibility to activate the line and pay for it, if desired. Most residents find it more convenient to purchase and use a cell phone for about the same cost as a land line.
What countries are residents at the IFH from?
It varies from year to year. In the past we have had students from Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Ghana, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Macedonia, Moldova, Slovakia, Ukraine, India, Morocco, and Jordan (only a partial listing). The managers are always American citizens. Additionally, two other American residents live in the house to foster community and answer questions.
May I have guests visit me if I stay at the IFH?
Yes. Residents may have male guests stay for free for one night on the floor of their own room; each additional night is $25. Meals (when they are served) are available at an extra cost of $3 for each breakfast and $5 for each dinner. The IFH does not have a guest room during the school year; during the summer the basement resident room is sometimes available for guests and short-term residents. There are a variety of affordable options for female guests close to the IFH. See our “Links ” page for more details.
Who runs the IFH?
The IFH is a non-profit house sponsored by interested Christian individuals representing different denominations and churches. The daily direction of the house is provided by the resident managing couple, who live in the house and coordinate activities, etc. A board of directors oversees the house by staying in close contact with the managers and meeting four times per year to check how things are going.
Do I have to be a Christian to live at the IFH?
No. The IFH is open to international male students and researchers from all and no religious backgrounds and affiliations. We only ask that each resident be respectful of the beliefs, opinions, culture, and religious practices of the other residents.
What are the other benefits of living at the IFH?
There are many “hidden” benefits of living at the IFH. Most activities and trips that are taken are partially funded by the IFH, including movies, going out to eat, ski trips, the fall retreat, local activities, etc. In addition, your rent includes cable TV and all utilities. But the best benefit of the house is that it is a community of friends. It is a place that offers the potential for family-like atmosphere and friendship, and it is a great place to stay in your first year or so of living in Boston. Additionally, the managers are on-site and are available to answer questions and help in the adjustment to American life and culture.