I'm not familiar with your area, but this is what I did when I moved to the land down under for grad school:
- checked student bulletin boards around campus. Some people post flyers there.
- searched the university accommodation website. Usually, student services allows people to post about vacancies or folks looking for a roomie.
- asked around. Sometimes the good apartments are not posted in formal channels. The best apartments are usually relayed by the friend of a friend who didn't want a total stranger using their house.
- web search. Not sure if your area has its own property rental portal. Maybe a nationwide ad portal like Craigslist?
- newspaper ads
Some tough lessons I learned the hard way:
- always ask for a contract. It's worth shelling out for a deposit. I've been kicked out once in the middle of finals week because they suddenly decided to remodel the house.
- ask about inclusions and exclusions: are utilities covered in the rent? How about Internet? if fees pile up, are you still comfy with the price?
- check if the place is Internet-ready, has heating/air conditioning, a phone line, washer/dryer, water heater, within your mobile carrier's strong signal range
- transportation accessibility. I like living near a bus stop, preferably one where passing buses go straight to Uni. I hate changing buses or trains midway. Too much hassle.
- are you near shops and other commercial establishments? It may not matter now, but when you get hungry at 12am and realize you are out of food and the nearest 7/11 is 40 minutes away, you'll be thankful for the nearby convenience store.
Hope that helped somewhat.
Also, please excuse the lack of capitalization. I suck at touchscreen typing.
Not all those who wander are lost.