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Thank you for your interest in the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at The Ohio State University. We look forward to welcoming you soon!
This document is intended to help orient you to Columbus and Ohio State, and help you make plans for your time at CAR. Please don’t hesitate to follow up with any questions you may have.
- Meg Dick, Assistant Director of CAR (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Stacy Hillstrom, Program Assistant (email@example.com)
- Patti Bockbrader, Assistant to the Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
First, the geographical basics. CAR is located on Ohio State’s west campus, which (as you can see below) is a bit of a walk from main campus.
There is a campus bus that connects main campus and west campus, although the nearest stop is about .4 miles down the road from us. There is also an Ohio State on-demand bus (booked via the Trip Shot app) that you can take from other campus locations directly to our building.
The city of Columbus also has a bus system, although mass transit options are limited.
Scooters, bikes and cars are available to rent, of course, and we do have free parking for all of these at our building. Our graduate students often rideshare and carpool, in addition to taxis and other rideshare services.
It’s a good idea to book a nearby motel or known VRBO/Airbnb for immediately after your arrival (7 to 10 days), so that you can visit possible accommodations for the rest of your stay in person before committing. Some of the possibilities for these first few days are:
- This Airbnb has been used by some of our visitors. (According to Daniele, “it is small but the owner is nice and it is cheap” LOL. It is a room in an existing home.)
- This Red Roof Plus+ motel is reasonably close and relatively inexpensive. The on-demand bus which will bring you directly to CAR picks up about half a mile from there.
- The SpringHill Suites Columbus OSU is located south of us, just under a mile away, so walkable (especially in good weather). It’s a little fancier, little more expensive.
- The Aloft Columbus University District is also south of us, just over a mile away, slightly more expensive.
Longer term, there are multiple apartment complexes that are reasonably close to CAR (even within walking distance) and accept shorter term rentals; some of our visiting scholars choose to room together as well. Note that some of these have units that are not furnished, so it’s a good idea to confirm that the living space you will rent includes furniture.
- The Griff is about ¾ mile southwest of us. A couple of our current scholars live here.
- The Commons on Kinnear is less than half a mile down the street from us. It is on the OSU and City of Columbus bus routes, and is an easy walk to CAR.
- University Village is located north of us, about two miles away. It has its own shuttle to the campus area, although no stops are super close to CAR.
- Colony Club Apartments are also about ¾ mile from CAR. They offer only 1-year leases; apartments are not furnished but rental furniture is available for an additional fee.
- Heritage Apartments are located just over a mile west of CAR.
Note that apartments generally require a security deposit. Do not pay this in advance, before you visit the property in person.
The length of your stay will greatly impact your options because many apartments require a 1-year lease. However, many students seek to sub-lease their apartments for part of the year (if they have an internship out of town, study abroad, returning home for the summer, etc.). You can find these subleases on multiple Facebook groups, including:
- Ohio State Visiting Scholars
- Columbus Ohio Roommate Search
- OSU Housing and Sublease Community
- Ohio State University Housing / Sublets / Rentals
- OSU Housing, Sublets & Roommates
- OSU, Columbus Housing, Rooms, Apartments, Sublets
If you will be in the United States six months or less, you can drive with your own local license combined with an International Driver’s Permit. If you will be in the U.S. longer than six months, you will need to get an Ohio Driver’s License. This requires:
- Review of the Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws.
- Obtain a temporary driving permit (which involves providing identification documents and passing a written test over the motor vehicle laws).
- Secure automobile insurance.
- Schedule and pass an on-road driving test.
The link provided in the above paragraph provides much more detail about this process. Please let us know if we can help further.
Ohio State University (technically it’s the U.S. Department of State) requires you to carry local health insurance and will send you a letter providing more information about these requirements. We do recommend that you purchase comprehensive health insurance through the University (available to all OSU students and employees).
You may choose to purchase a very basic health insurance policy; OSU generally recommends a company called Gallagher for this insurance. Insubuy also has several options; some of our visiting scholars have used ExchangeGuard Essential, which meets OSU’s requirements and is slightly cheaper and easier to work with than Gallagher.
Our visiting scholars (and most employees, for that matter) rarely use cash; we strongly recommend that you have a credit card available to use immediately. Revolut and Transferwise have lower exchange fees when paying in dollars or making international transfer payments; a Visa or Mastercard from your local bank may also be a good option (just check their fees ahead of time).
If you are employed by CAR, Ohio State requires you to have a local bank account for the direct deposit of your pay. Ohio State has a partnership with Huntington, but there are many local banks available. This account may take a few days to set up, so it’s a good idea to bring a few U.S. dollars with you from home, or makek sure that you can withdraw cash here from your home bank account using your debit card and a local bank on the same international network.
If you have an unlocked (paid for) cell phone, then the cheapest option for immediate cell service in the U.S. is to buy a prepaid SIM-card or e-SIM from Amazon or similar. There are a few phones out there (mainly from Asia) that will not work on U.S. networks, but most will work just fine here.
Longer term, cell phone plans (and SIM cards) are relatively expensive from the big carriers (Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile), although they are easy to get at stores on every street. Smaller carriers such as Tello or Mint Mobile are significantly cheaper, so you may want to consider these, but signing up online and getting the SIM card through the mail will take a few days.
Ohio State’s general information page for international visitors may also provide some additional, useful information.