Thanks, that is my fear. I need to find someone who understands my dilemma - student to student. I knew a leasing company would be a lost cause. Its an administrative hoop I just have to jump through, and I need someone who understands it as such. If my son gets a spot and we go elsewhere, a lucky child will get off the extensive wait list. Sounds alot like law school right? I'm assuming there are at least some HLS students who are not sure what their summer plans will be in late December, and will recognize that they have time to sublet. The results from the lottery are issued in Feb.
Yes, there are other Chinese immersion programs near other top law schools. There is a small chance that a Charter School with an even better program will get its MA charter this year, but it failed last year. I'm not pinning my hopes on it. The way these programs work, students must generally enter at Kindergarten or they are completely shut out. Siblings usually get in automatically when an older child is attending. Its just unfortunate that my son (and oldest) is starting kindergarten next year. He is already fluent in Chinese from pre-school and not losing this immense advantage is a priority for me. If you've learned a difficult Eastern language as an adult (as I have), you will understand how important this opportunity could be for him. I'm Scottish-American and my background is in Arabic, so its not like I can expose him at home.
That being said, I realize its a crap shoot. I'm trying to up my odds of finding the perfect fit for my whole family. I get tons of advice to just go to the best law school for me, which is easy for a non-parent to say. Ideally, I would like to increase my odds of finding both a great school for me and my son in the same location. The best way to do that is for both of us to enter as many respective lotteries as possible. I am hoping I don't end up getting into Yale or Stanford and rejected at Harvard, while he gets into the CI program near Harvard and is wait-listed in New Haven and Palo Alto. It may happen. In which case, my law school would obviously come first. It would be a huge disappointment though.
So to answer your question, I will be applying. And the CI program is not the end-all, be-all of attending Harvard. It will be an important factor in my decision. I am hoping to have more than one choice, and to have the visits to the schools help clarify my personal preference. I try not to get too set on a particular school before the admin results roll in. In this case, I have no chance but to plan far ahead because of the school district's policies.
That perspective is helpful. I had no idea these programs were so common, although I guess it makes sense that they would be located near top universities.
My advice depends greatly on the timing: when would you need to move to Cambridge? If you're looking to move now-ish, you might be able to find an 8 or 9 month lease, in which case you could leave in time to attend school elsewhere. Even if you opt for a 12 month lease, your chances of subletting to another group of students in the summer months would be good.
Obviously, there are other undisclosed factors at play. I don't know if you're married/together, and what your partner's work situation is. I don't know what you are doing yourself between now and law school; whether you plan to keep your job in your current location for several months or are willing to relocate ASAP. All of this plays a huge role.
PM me if it would be helpful, but I have a feeling you might already know the answer to your question now.