Setting Up a House

SETTING UP A HOUSE

Once you find a place to live, you may need to contact some of the service providers below to turn on or install their services. If you are renting an apartment or house you will want to check with your landlord first. Also, depending if you are renting a furnished or unfurnished apartment/house, you may need to obtain furniture for your usage. 

Basic Utilities
Television/Internet Service
Telephone Service
Cellular (Mobile Phone) Service
Household Leasing Service 

Basic Utilities

Basic utilities can include electricity, water, gas/oil heat, trash, etc. Depending on your rental contract you may be responsibile for all utilities, some utilities or none. Make sure you are clear with the landlord about what needs to be paid by you and, possibly, what utility accounts need to be set up in your name. 

National Grid (Gas + Electric)
https://www.nationalgridus.com/ri-home/
1-800-322-3223
Call to have the electricity in your home or apartment turned on. Typically you will have to pay a deposit to start electric services. If appliances in your home use gas to operate (stove, furnace, etc.) you will need to have the gas line opened to your home or apartment.

Providence Water Department (Water)
http://www.provwater.com/
401-521-5070
Contact to have the water lines to your home or apartment opened. Typically you will have to pay a deposit to start service.


Television/Internet Service

Local (free) television includes about four basic channels. If you would like more options for television viewing, you will have to order cable or purchase a satellite system. Internet service is often carried by the same companies that offer cable services. Contact the providers below for more information.

Cox Communications (TV Service, Internet Service and Phone Service)
http://www.cox.com/
1-877-206-4210

Dish Network Satellite TV Service
http://www.dish.com/
1-888-434-0112

Verizon (TV Service, Internet Service and Phone Service)
http://www.verizon.com
1-888-881-8161


Telephone Service

If you would like a phone line (land line) in your house, you will have to order the service. Most of the companies listed below will require a deposit before supplying service. You will also need a long-distance phone carrier to make long-distance calls from home. Some people choose to use both a land line and a cellular phone.

Landline Telephone Service

Cox Communications (TV Service, Internet Service and Phone Service)
http://www.cox.com/
877-206-4210

Verizon (TV Service, Internet Service and Phone Service)
http://www.verizon.com
1-800-837-4966


Cellular Phone Service

There are a variety of cell phone companies around the Providence area. The four most popular companies are Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. All four companies offer coverage throughout the U.S. and if your plan allows for it, international coverage. Wireless plans in the U.S can be very different from plans outside of the U.S. Therefore, make sure you carefully read everything before you sign up for a particular plan; in particular, please be certain to ask specifically about international calling rates, messaging plans, 3G/4G network fees and capabilities (if applicable), contract agreements, and possible overage charges.

To get a cell phone and a plan, there are two main options: 1) a prepaid plan, or 2) a two year contract. The prepaid plan have slightly higher rates on outgoing calls, messaging, ect. However, they are convenient for international students and scholars. Prepaid plans offer the same services and network capabilities as contract plans, but do not require a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) or a hefty deposit. Contract plans require a two-year contract commitment as well as a SSN for identity and credit check purposes. A large deposit ($100-$500) is required in lieu of a SSN, but usually, cell phone companies will refund your initial deposit after twelve months of good standing. It is important to note that breaking the contract will result in heavy penalty fees.

Most cell phone companies offer family plans. Family plans allow up to five lines to be on the same contract. Keep in mind that it is difficult to add/ drop lines once the contract is signed without paying a penalty fee. Family plans are inexpensive if you know multiple individuals signing up for a contract plan.

Popular cell phone companies:

Verizon Wireless
www.verizon.com
216 Thayer Street
401-270-4330
Prepaid plan information:
http://www.verizonwireless.com/prepaid/
A deposit is required for a contract plan for individuals without a SSN but will be refunded after 12 months of good standing. You do not need a SSN for prepaid plans.

AT&T
www.att.com
Providence Place Mall, 3rd Floor
401-270-4903
Prepaid plan information:
https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/gophone.html
A deposit is required for a contract plan for individuals without a SSN but will be refunded after 12 months of good standing. You do not need a SSN for prepaid plans.

Sprint
www.sprint.com
Providence Place Mall, 3rd Floor
401-437-8899
Prepaid plan information:
https://prepaid.sprint.com/
A deposit is required for a contract plan for individuals without a SSN but will be refunded after 12 months of good standing. You do not need a SSN for prepaid plans.

T-Mobile
www.t-mobile.com
Providence Place Mall, 1st Floor
Prepaid plan information:
http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans
A deposit is required for a contract plan for individuals without a SSN but will be refunded after 12 months of good standing. You do not need a SSN for prepaid plans.

metroPCS
metroPCS is an option for international students and scholars who are staying less than a year in the U.S. metroPCS does not require a contract or SSN to get a phone and service plan. The plans are month to month. Service in only available in major U.S. cities.
http://www.metropcs.com/
55 Dorrance Street
Providence, RI 02903
1-888-863-8768


Household Leasing Service

As international graduate students arrive in Providence to begin their studies, they are confronted by one of the grim realities of life--how to furnish an apartment with little money and without accumulating things they will only have to sell in a couple of years. The answer is to be found at the Household Leasing Service (run by the Women and Men of Brown University) which rents used furniture and household goods to international graduate students, postdocs, and visiting faculty.

They rent beds, tables and chairs, bureaus, desks, lamps, baby furniture, kitchen equipment and miscellaneous items at extremely low prices. It is possible for a family to rent furniture for one year for a whole apartment for around $300, of which the 50% deposit is returnable at the end of the leasing period. They also rent single items.

Household Leasing Service is a voluntary group which has been providing its services to the Brown Community since the late 1970s. The people they have served over the years have said that the Household Leasing Service meets a real need and is a useful aspect of their welcome to this country.

See Household Leasing Service link above for more details.