A new complex offers students, scholars a new housing option close to campus.
Beech Interplex, Inc. is in the final stages of completing Beech International Village, an international student housing complex designed to attract more students fro m across the globe and researchers to the university. The partnership won’t cost Temple a dime.
The Beech Companies’ current project on the 1500 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue began last October and is funded through the William Penn Foundation, along with bonds and government funding. This same company developed Oxford Village.
With headquarters on Cecil B. Moore Avenue, Beech’s mission is to revitalize the North Central Philadelphia area.
Beech Companies President Ken Scott said the four-story Beech International Village is expected to bring cultures and communities together. He said the complex is attracting students from international programs throughout the year.
“Most of the students are graduate students, researchers, faculty and upper-level graduate students,” Scott said. “We already have people calling us up trying to reserve spaces for next year.”
The complex is not at its capacity, approximately 200 people. Although more international students are expected to arrive next month, Scott said the housing will continue to be open to the rest of the student body.
“We’ll never see [Beech International Village as] just being limited to international students,” Scott said. “The idea is always to be international students and people who are interested.”
The number of apartments available at Beech International Village turned out to be convenient for students who still needed a housing option before classes started.
Oxford Village is allowing traditional undergraduate students to fill the new complex’s first floor rooms.
“I didn’t see the place [beforehand]. I was in India,” said junior finance major Ryan Matthews. “I just saw it online and I was like ‘Why not?’”
“I forgot to register for [housing] so I came in last minute,” added Yi Xin Shen, a freshman biology major. “They said this was available so I took it. It’s pretty nice.”
The fully furnished apartments run $750 per month for a two-bedroom unit and $1,200 per month for a single bedroom unit, both of which include utilities, cable and internet. Each unit has one bathroom.
Other amenities include ground-level retail stores to open in October, like a dry cleaners and a possible outdoor movie theater. A Mug Shots Coffeehouse is expected to open by the end of September.
Scott said the complex will also have 24-hour security and an Allied Security station to keep the tenants and area protected.
“I like how it’s really close to campus,” said Brittany Pasquarello, a sophomore speech, language and hearing science major. “It’s in a nicer area where there are a lot of people around. You don’t have to really worry.”
Scott said a challenge that comes with housing international students, who may not speak English well, is that the staff “can’t just throw them the key and just say good luck.”
He said the students need to be orientated to the campus as well as to the community.
“The whole idea behind the project is basically about bringing together international affairs and international students,” Scott said. “It’s really like a living and learning community kind of structure.”
At the Beech International Village, students will be able to experience international community networking. The networking will include lecture series, art education and other cultural events and trips.
“The international students will probably meet 10 times the number of people that the average student will meet because of the networking opportunities that’s provided for them,” Scott said. “By living here, they’re really going to be able to network not only with Temple’s community, but the community at-large.”
However, some traditional students who live in the apartments said the transition hasn’t been exactly seamless for international students.
“[The international students] haven’t really been involved with us because a lot of them can barely speak English,” Pasquarello said. “I mean it’s still nice to kind of meet people, but there’s still that communication barrier that makes it harder.”
Connor Showalter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.