Student Accommodation in the US

Updated on: Feb 27, 2024
Student Accommodation in the US
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When considering accommodation options, it's important for students to weigh factors such as cost, proximity to campus, amenities, and their personal preferences. Additionally, university housing offices and student affairs departments can often provide guidance and resources to help students find suitable accommodation.

In the United States, students have various accommodation options, both on and off-campus. Here are some common types of student housing:

University dormitories (dorms)

This is one of the most popular accommodation options for international students. Dormitories are generally located on the university’s campus and provide all the basic amenities.

Most universities offer different accommodation plans for students. This usually includes single or shared rooms on a catered or non-catered basis. You can visit your university’s website and choose the one that works for you.

Typical amenities & facilities

  • Single/shared rooms
  • Basic furnishing ( beds, study tables, chairs, lights. etc.) 
  • Wi-Fi 
  • Catered meals (this varies depending on the university and the accommodation plan)

By choosing dorms for the first year of your studies, you will have time to get used to the place before staying on your own outside the campus. You will also have the opportunity to mingle and make more friends on campus.

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Fraternities and sororities

Fraternities and sororities are more than just accommodation options. They offer much more and require strict commitment and time from your side. 

Most universities’ panhellenic council (body in charge of fraternities and sororities houses) will host a rush week at the beginning of the semester. You can check the different houses and their principles. You can then put in your bids (apply) after you shortlist the houses you like. The fraternity/sorority members will go through your profile and give you an offer if they like you. 

This process is strenuous, and it might take the entire first semester to receive an offer from the houses. You will also have to pay membership fees, and you will have to pitch in for organising social events hosted by the house.

Typical amenities and facilities

  • Single/shared rooms
  • Common areas (living room, kitchen, etc.)
  • Support of fellow members
  • Connections of senior house members
  • Opportunities to volunteer in the charities the house hosts

For more on this, read “Go Greek - Your guide to Greek life in the USA.”

Rented/leased apartments

If you prefer to be more independent, you can rent or lease an apartment near your campus. There are many free real estate websites and mobile applications that assist international students looking for an apartment. 

The cost of living can vary dramatically based on location, apartment size and available amenities. Many students choose this type of accommodation after completing the first year of their education as they can share the apartment with friends. 

Typical amenities & facilities

  • Bedrooms
  • Fully furnished with essentials
  • Kitchens and communal areas

You will have to sign a rental/lease agreement before occupying the apartment. Make sure to read the agreement carefully before signing. You can also get someone who is familiar with legal jargon to read it. 

Note: Don’t forget to take the additional costs of food and transportation while planning your living expenses.

Also Read: Affordable Universities in the USA


This type of accommodation is apt for those worried about feeling homesick. If you choose this option, you will be set up with an American family near your university. You can stay with them at their house. You will have your own room, and food will generally be provided. 

Some universities will assist international students in finding homestay options. If your university doesn’t, you will have to research and look for external assistance.

Typical amenities & facilities

  • Single rooms
  • Meals
  • Guidance of an American family

Also Read: Scholarships to study in USA for International students

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Off-Campus Houses

Students can also choose to rent houses off-campus, either on their own or with roommates. This option provides more space and privacy but may require additional responsibilities, such as yard maintenance.

Typical amenities & facilities

  • Private Space
  • Kitchen Facilities
  • Yard/Outdoor Space
  • Parking
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Additional Storage
  • Increased Independence

Also read: How to find student housing facility abroad

Temporary Housing/Hotels

Some students may initially stay in temporary housing or hotels while they search for a more permanent living arrangement.

Typical amenities & facilities

  • Furnished Accommodation
  • Utilities and Services
  • Security
  • Short-Term Leases
  • Amenities
  • Convenience
  • Accessible Services

Note: It's important to note that the costs can vary significantly based on factors such as location, amenities, and whether the accommodation is shared or private. The figures provided below are general estimates, and actual costs may differ.

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