Housing Tips for International Students in USA

housing tips for international students in usa

Studying in the U.S. involves residing there and locating the ideal apartment or house can help you maximize your international experience. Securing great student housing in a new city or country can be overwhelming.

You want to ensure you choose the ideal location at the right budget. Perhaps you want to reside among fellow students or experience local culture while improving your language skills. Fortunately, there’s a wide array of housing choices in the United States and depending on the city, a number of affordable options.

Selecting affordable, convenient, and comfortable housing could make your experience more enjoyable. Consider these tips if you’re looking for housing in the USA.


The kinds of housing range from private apartments to shared dormitories in the University. Selecting a suitable room typically depends on the availability of rooms and your budget. Numerous international students favor shared housing, which helps them make friends. Whether you would rather share a dorm with fellow students or live in a private rental with roommates, numerous options exist, including:

  • University dormitories

The easiest way of locating a place as an international student is by booking directly through your institution and stay in on-campus accommodation. Normally, this takes the form of private or shared rooms in self-catered or catered halls.

The advantage of residing on campus is that you won’t need to walk a long distance to attend classes. However, the communal nature of the residences means that it’s always busy around campus dormitories. University housing is a popular option among freshmen or first-year students because it offers an easy way of meeting people.

It might also be a requirement for freshmen. Moreover, it offers an experience of the conventional college lifestyle. You can easily apply for a room through your institution’s website while indicating your preferences. The institution will then try to find you the most suitable roommates, location, or neighbours.

  • Private housing

This is an excellent option if you wish to reside communally with fellow students but with more freedom than you might experience in college dormitories. You can enjoy the privacy that comes with having your own bedroom while sharing the bathroom, kitchen, or living space with housemates.

Additionally, you can take advantage of excellent facilities such as cafes or swimming pools. You’ll typically find private housing off-campus. Ensure your housing is within commuting distance of the institution, either by cycling, walking or public transport.


Personal finances are a great consideration when securing a place to live as an international student. Depending on the location of the institution, apartment costs can differ drastically. You’ll discover that city apartments are normally very costly in comparison with apartments situated in suburban or rural areas.

It’s imperative you establish a realistic budget, which will determine the amount you’re willing to spend on a monthly basis and focus on securing a place within that cost range. If possible, organize a tour to build a comfort level for the space. Before you start touring rentals, develop a list of questions for the realtor.

Keep in mind that items for instance TV cable and utilities aren’t included in the monthly rent and could increase your overall living cost considerably.

Begin Early

One factor that could help you secure a rental faster is beginning your apartment hunt early, allowing you to take your time. This way, you’ll have a head start over fellow students hunting for rentals around the period when college begins.

You can expect increased competition due to graduating class hunting for rentals when moving into employment. There are numerous ways of securing the appropriate rental off campus, including brokers, housing listings, and rental websites.

Consider arriving in the United States about 30 days before school begins and take your time examining apartments. Create a list of rentals you wish to see before your arrival. This way, you’ll understand the market very fast and gives you time to look for roommates. If you begin the search late, you might need to rush when signing a lease.

Research the Area

Before you book the new room, it’s important you familiarize yourself with the area through Street View and Google Maps. Figure out which amenities, restaurants, and hotspots are in the area and determine whether it meets your needs. It’s also worth conducting an online search to ensure the area is safe and student-friendly. Your institution’s international student center may also be able to advise you in this regard.

Finding accommodation as an international student in the U.S can be daunting but far from impossible. We hope these tips will guide you if you don’t know where to start.