Your one-stop resource for studying and living in the United States.  International students can search our directory of over 4,000 American educational institutions.  Find the right college, university, or other school for you, and study abroad in America!  Let us provide application forms as well as information on tuition, scholarships, grants, financial aid and much more.
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Your one-stop resource for studying in the United States. International students can search our directory of over 4,000 American educational institutions. Find the right college, university, or other school for you, and study abroad in America! Let us provide application forms as well as information on tuition, scholarships, grants, financial aid and much more.

 
 

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Housing Options

Where should you live during your studies in the United States?

To best answer that question, examine your available options, your financial situation and your personal preferences.

Generally, housing options include on-campus living, off-campus living and homestay. Learn more about these options below.

On-Campus Living

For the first year, most students (and their parents) prefer to select on-campus housing in a dormitory. It's very convenient and often saves money in the long run.

You'll be close to the library, classes, administration buildings and international student services. You'll also be able to use campus services, such as movies, dances, sports, exercise rooms and swimming pools. And you'll be living with other young students, so you'll feel more a part of the school experience.

For that reason, it will probably be easier to make friends if you live on campus.

Dorm rooms tend to be somewhat spartan in their furnishings, so students usually use their creativity in decorating them inexpensively. You may want to check to see whether these dorms close for the American holidays, especially if you won't be going home during those times. Also, be sure to check whether they offer kitchen access. Especially if you want to cook your own meals.

Living in a dorm usually provides a greater level of security. There is often a campus security force for student protection. However, you should still exercise caution, especially when walking alone at night.

Typically, you only need to write a letter to the school's housing director to receive cost estimates and options. Some colleges and universities offer single/double rooms; a meal plan and a location preference.

Off-Campus Living

Sometimes it doesn't make sense for a student to live on-campus.

Perhaps they are studying at a community college that doesn't offer dormitory living. Maybe they are married with a family and the college doesn't offer married housing. Or perhaps they are an older student, who doesn't want to live on campus. In those cases, there are typically off-campus options in nearby apartment buildings or small houses.

Living off campus does allow students more freedom. Students will have more access to kitchens, so they can cook their own meals more easily. Typically, off campus living is quieter than a student dormitory too.

On the other hand, students in these situations will have a great deal more responsibility and less security. There will be separate bills to pay, besides the rent. Bills for gas, water, electricity and insurance, to name a few. They'll also need to handle all the issues related to transportation, roommates, housekeeping, laundry, noise, neighbors, budgets and landlords.

Transportation, in particular, is an important consideration. It may be very inconvenient to take public transportation (such as buses or subways) to school. Or it may be too far to walk or bike. Students can always buy a car. But the budget will be profoundly affected by this decision. Especially when insurance, gasoline and repairs are considered.

Additionally, many students find themselves feeling isolated from the school experience, when living off-campus. Especially their first year.

Homestay

Unfortunately, homestay with an American family is not always easily obtained at a university or college. Sometimes, short courses can be arranged that offer homestay for the duration of the course. This option requires careful screening of volunteer families by US university officials to prevent any potential risks to the student.

To find out if your school offers homestay opportunities, contact the school's housing office.

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