This informative page is an all-inclusive reference on how to live in USA during your academic career. As a student you’ll have the option of staying directly inside your University (called “on-campus”) or outside the University (called “off-campus”).
American Colleges / Universities have two types of On-Campus accommodation that you can choose from:
1. Residence Halls / Dormitories
Here 5-7 students share one apartment together – a common space with individual bedrooms, lobby and kitchen. This is a great option for students looking to make friends, do bonding with the foreign student groups, dividing tasks such as laundry and cooking, and learning the best of respective cultures – all this and yet having your own privacy for learning, exploring and living. Mostly students of different genders live together and if you require a floor or dormitory specific to your gender then you can get the same by contacting your Institution.
Quite a few American families live in spacious homes and rent out spare rooms to international students. This has a lot of benefits of its own, the major one being that the student lives in a house environment just like a family member. This is a great option for migrant students because it helps them quickly adapt to the new country’s enviornment. Living with residents of that family helps the students improve their communication skills in English. In a convenient scenario the student has an independent room and is also provided meals by the family. Because the Homestays are provided by the college/university where the student is admitted in, the institution ensures that the student’s background and profile matches with the new family so that the students remain safe, secure and serene. The price of Homestays is mostly reasonable and depends on the house area, brokerage charged by the Institution and if meals are provided or not.
Off-campus (Private) Accommodation
Off-campus or Private Accommodation is quite popular among students. Compared to On-campus it has no fixed prices or basic things for all students. The rent amount varies significantly according to the area and the facilities provided. In USA the rent amounts are are higher in main city areas or downtowns, and in big cities living in suburbs turn out to be a cheaper option. Therefore it is essential for students to do a detailed comparison and read all the documents carefully before signing the rent agreement. Your college/University can help by giving you a list of rented accommodations near the Institution. Generally renting an entire home or apartment will be too costly for a single student, hence it is advised to find and explore groups of students who are renting by going through billboards in the Institution, looking on the Internet, or go through newspapers classifieds and sign boards indicating vacancy of rooms or houses. As a general practice the owners might ask for a damage deposit in the beginning and the rent could be paid every month, every quarter or one year.
Youth Hostels / YWCA / YMCA
A workaround for temporary arrangement is to book a youth hostel and later switch to some other accommodation. This benefits students looking for accommodation before arrival and are the best option for short term tenure since they offer all the basic amenities at reasonable rates. A point to be noted is that American hostels must be approved by bodies such as Hostelling International USA (HI-USA) and that they are better suited for short term stays. It is advisable to book one of these before leaving your home.
Points to Ponder when renting accommodation in USA:
- Always make your boarding arrangements in advance, more so during the busy time period that are summers, holiday periods and annual festivals.
- Wherever you book your room, ensure that it is thoroughly checked before you make the final payment.
- For assistance regarding the location you may contact the local tourist guides.
- The prices keep fluctuating depending on the location and month, hence do your groundwork properly before leaving for that location.
- USA is the world’s best destination – a place where you can make it big in life, hence it is essential that by making the right timely decisions you will have a good time during your studies.
Expert advice on Living in USA
Living away from home seems a daunting task. We will make it easier for you. Angels Immigration’s team of Career Experts will help you with all your queries on Living in USA – doing our best to ensure that you will have another home away from home.