As you get ready to embark on your journey as a student in USA, you’ll need some support from your community until you settle down. With this vision in mind, we’ve created this platform to help everyone in our community find their home away from home.
Below are all the options that you as a student must find accommodation.
This is like all the hostels you’ve stayed in before, just more costly. The life is great, but it comes at a cost. Campus housing can really vary depending on the college or university, so you have to do your research and see what is offered. In general, colleges and universities in the USA offer these 4 housing options:
Types of Campus Housing
You are probably already familiar with dorms from American TV shows and movies. There are usually 2 students per room, but some colleges have triple or quadruple dorms. Each dorm room opens onto a hallway that connects the rest of the floor. There is usually 1 or 2 bathrooms on the hall which all dorm students must share. The floor can be co-ed or gender specific. Some dorm halls have a communal space for students to hang out and socialize.
Booking a dorm room is a simple affair. You can usually state any preferences you have on your chosen university’s website and, in some cases, even select a roommate or opt-in to a roommate matching service. As a rule, once you’ve paid your deposit, the university will secure a place for you.
Suites are similar to dorms in that they are rooms which open onto a hallway and you will probably have 1 or more roommate. The big difference is that suites each have their own bathroom, so you don’t have to share with the entire floor. Some suites may have their own living room area and kitchen area. However, it is more common for there to be a communal living area and kitchen area on the floor.
On-campus apartments are usually not available to freshman and are reserved for upperclassman. They give you the privacy and amenities of an apartment (your own bathroom, a kitchen, etc.) but while still being on campus. Campus apartments can be singles or shared with roommates.
Some universities have “living communities” where students collectively live together in a big house. One example of this would be a fraternity or sorority. There are also living communities based on common interests (such as academic pursuits) or based on a common culture. You usually need to apply for a living community with limited selection.
Pro-Tip: On-Campus housing is quite costly for us Indians. The meal options too are supposed to be pre-paid and are costly. More than that, it may or may not have vegetarian options.
This is a relatively new concept where certain private organizations have developed rental space either within the college campuses or very close to the college campus. The whole idea is to offer a community living experience to the students without the hassle of finding an apartment off campus.
These student villages’ speciality is creating tailored student communities that suit the unique culture of each campus, university or city. They incorporate local legislation restrictions, cultural and social expectations and partner requirements without compromising on the final experience delivered to the students.
One of the leading Student Villages is: https://www.campuslivingvillages.com/
You can explore their website to figure out the different locations of Student Villages and availabilities. A good thing about this is that it also offers temporary stays for parents visiting the students and also a week or two’s free stay for the student to try and feel if they would like to stay there or not.
The International Student House of Washington, D.C, is a residence in the neighborhood of Washington, D.C., which houses primarily international students and young professionals studying or interning in the city. It is run by a non-profit organization, International Student House Inc.
It is home to around 96 people at any given time and has over 15,000 alumni. The residence also hosts events for residents and outside groups in its great hall, and serves breakfast and dinner to residents during weekdays
This is basically sharing a flat with other students. Imagine leasing / renting an 2-3 BHK and living with 5-6 other students. You share the same kitchen and sometimes the bathroom and bedroom too. You’ll still be able to make great friends with your flatmates. Depending on what housing you go for, you shouldn’t be too far away from your university either. Most universities will have a database or a search function on their website for off-campus housing that can help you find this type of accommodation.
Private apartments are a great option for students who prefer to live on their own. Whether you choose a studio or a one-bedroom apartment, you’ll be able to enjoy the privacy of living in your own space. This is especially common in mature students or can also be an option for couples who attend college together. The only issue here is that it can get a bit costly. But if you manage get a deal that works for you, that’s great.
Distance to University: No point staying too far off from the university if you’re going to waste precious time & money in travelling to and fro. Choose a place that is close and if possible, within walking distance.
Lease: The lease on an apartment in the US is usually a year or six months long. In some cases, it’s also possible to rent on a month-by-month basis, but that will likely drive up the rent price, and your landlord can ask you to vacate the property without giving you notice way in advance.
Deposit: Normally, you’ll be asked to pay a deposit worth one month’s rent. As long as the property is in a good condition when you vacate it (in other words, as long as you don’t break or damage anything!), you’ll get this money back in full at the end of your stay.
Furnished or unfurnished: In the US, student housing often comes unfurnished. This is great as it means you can totally personalise your new home from the first day, though it makes it more difficult for students coming from abroad. Check in advance whether your housing has a fully furnished option. On the other hand, some residences come with everything you could ever need, from pots and pans to a bedding pack, to make the transition smoother.
Utilities: It’s important to know which utilities, if any, are already included in your rent. When bills are included, you won’t have to worry about taking long showers after a big workout or staying up watching movies with friends! Otherwise, be sure to leave room in your budget for everything extra – from heating, water, electricity, cable and internet connections to trash and sewage.
Safety: For your own (and your parents’!) peace of mind, try and find out what safety features are in place at the property. These are usually mentioned in property descriptions and in the facilities icons. A lot of student housing in the US has CCTV in common areas, secure door entry and a security team on hand as standard. This will make you feel safe coming home from class after dark or if you’ve stayed out late with friends.