If you are an international student coming to the University of Georgia and also looking into off-campus housing, then there are some details you will want to know about living in an Athens apartment that may be hard for you to find elsewhere. Luckily for you, we have curated a list of common rules and regulations in Athens that international students should be knowledgeable of. This list does not include everything, though, so it’s important to ask questions if you are unsure of anything.
Parking in Athens
Unfortunately, the parking scene in Athens and at UGA is not great and is also notorious for giving student drivers stress. There is a very high demand for parking and spots fill up quickly. This means you will want to have your parking situation settled as early as possible. Make sure that you communicate with both your apartment community and UGA about parking before settling in. If you plan on bringing a vehicle, you may want to look into apartments with parking garages. If you are planning on commuting to campus, UGA offers parking permits to students and parking on campus without one may result in towing. In addition, Downtown Athens has monitored metered parking Monday through Saturday with rates of $1.50 an hour. For more information about parking, you can read our UGA Transportation Guide.
Apartment Pet Fees
Luckily for those with pets, many apartments in Athens are pet friendly. It is likely that you will need to pay a deposit for your pet, though. This deposit is used to cover any anticipated damages that come from owning pets. However, you should keep in mind that significant damages may not be covered. While most pet friendly apartments are accepting of dogs and cats at the minimum, you still should confirm with your apartment that your particular pet is accepted.
Per Georgia law, landlords are not barred from entering a rental property without permission. While it is common for landlords to notify tenants at least 24 hours ahead of entry, it is not necessarily required. You should refer to your lease about your landlord’s right-of-entry.
Something many people may not consider when traveling internationally is the difference in electrical currents. While the U.S. has a standard electrical voltage of 120V and 60Hz, most foreign countries have a 220V and 50Hz standard. This means that foreign appliances will not work with the U.S. electrical current without an adapter. Regardless, it's important to check with your electric company before using any 220V and 50Hz appliances.
Georgia Drinking Age
Like all U.S. states, the legal age to purchase and drink alcohol is 21. So even if you are the drinking age in your home country, it won’t matter. To purchase alcohol, you will need to show a valid ID that proves you are 21 or older. If you are caught underage drinking by Athens or UGA police, you could be subject to imprisonment, disciplinary action, criminal prosecution and fine.
Athens Bike Laws
In Georgia, traffic laws also apply to those riding bicycles; meaning that anyone operating a bike is granted the same rights and subject to the same laws that Georgia drivers are. For more information about bike laws and safety, you can read the UGA police article on 2 Wheel Vehicle Safety.
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