So, you want t study in the US? Top choice! Of course, your first main concern, after gaining a place at the institution of your choice, will be where you’re going to stay. Fear not- we’ve got your back! We have broken down the different, and sometimes daunting, accommodation options available in the US for your perusal, so that you can decide which one will ensure that you get the most out of your study abroad experience!
Accommodation in the United States is split into three distinct areas and choices. You need to consider them carefully. It is vital that you feel comfortable and safe and able to enjoy student life. In this article, we will identify your options and hopefully give you some support in making the right choice.
Halls of Residence
The US is similar to other countries in that it allows students to choose the residence hall option for accommodation. These are halls of residence that are on campus and designed primarily to make accommodation practical and convenient for students. They are great places to stay, especially if you are coming in from overseas and are a little nervous. Here, you’ll get an opportunity to meet plenty of new people and to fit into the culture of university life quite easily. They are great fun, but most importantly, they’re also quite welcoming. They have communal areas for example, and with students living close together on-site they are a great option.
The Hall of Residence option is particularly popular for those people in their first year of study. It’s a great way to settle into university life. Many of these halls offer communal eating areas for example, which are perfect for getting to know the students around you and the culture they live in.
The good thing about university life is that it is generally primed towards making things easier and safer with regard to accommodation. This is particularly true with private accommodation arrangements. As students mature through the second and third years of their studies, the pull towards independence through private accommodation becomes stronger. You may meet some friends and want to spend time with them all, and private housing is a chance to do this.
This often happens, and groups of friends take out private accommodation as a share option. Sometimes it’s a house, which allows for many friends to live together, and sometimes it’s a flat. The best news here is that the university you’re attached to will have a list of vetted landlords in the local area. Each of these landlords will have met quite strict requirements as regards the state of the accommodation, and the quality of their services. This gives you the reassurance of knowing that the landlords are safe and provide good accommodation.
If you plan to live in private accommodation in your second or third year, or even your first, it is always absolutely essential that you look at the list the University provides. Of course, it is possible to find your own private accommodation, but it make a lot more sense to choose one that the University has inspected and deems fit for students.
This is a great option for anyone who is under 18 and planning to study in the US. This allows you to lodge with a family that is living nearby the campus, typically around 20 minutes drive away.
The best thing about the home stay option is that you are allowed to totally submerge yourself into American home life. This allows you to get a great grasp of the culture in America, and also to engage with American people who live their lives in that culture. This means you will be able to improve your language skills, among other benefits. It will also help you appreciate university life better, because you will have the benefits of a good home behind you, and all the comforts that come with it.
So those are the three options open to you if you plan to study in the US and you happen to be travelling over from another country. Don’t panic if you haven’t arranged accommodation as your course is starting, because the university itself does a very good job of seeking accommodation for you and making sure you are looked after. As an international student you’ll get priority treatment too in certain circumstances.
Each of the above three options has its pros and cons- but take note! You might find that the majority of students veer towards Halls of Residence in their first year owing to their communal atmosphere. Now it's time for you to work out which one would be best for you!