Student Accommodation US

There are three main options for accommodation in the USA. They are on campus accommodation in halls, off campus accommodation in houses or flats, and homestays.

Which of these you choose will depend entirely on your circumstances, and it is very likely that during your time as a student in the USA you will live in more than one place.  

The first thing you need to do, as you are preparing to leave, is decide which is going to provide the easiest transition for you in your first months abroad.

Residence Halls 

Many students in the US live in accommodation on campus for the convenience – all living and academic services are within easy reach, making the time it takes to settle into university life as easy as possible. Most people who live in halls do so in their first and second years.

Halls are usually co-educational, with separate floors for boys and girls. Depending on your university you may have a communal bathroom and common room on your floor, or within your rooms between a smaller number of students. You will also get your meals provided in communal dining rooms.

Private student housing

Students who want to live more independently (usually in the last two years of their degree) are able to rent houses or flats off campus, usually with other students.

This type of accommodation is often provided by private landlords, who have been vetted by the university – so you know that the standards will be ok. The freedom provided by renting privately is one of the main pulls, especially after the set meal times and dormitory lifestyle of halls.

Universities will usually offer help with finding somewhere to live, as well as what to look out for and tips for finding flatmates.


Homestays might be useful for international students, especially those who are nervous about leaving home and finding themselves in an entirely different culture.

Students must be under the age of 18 to participate, and they will be given a room in a family house between 20 and 45 minutes from their campus.

Participating in a homestay means that the student will become fully absorbed in American culture and with the life of the family that they are staying with.

The benefit of having home comforts despite being very far from home and in an alien country is likely to be a lifeline for some. You will have your own room, and meals provided.

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