Each university has a variety of dining options. Some on-campus housing options require students living on campus to purchase a meal plan—for example, covering from all meals to a few meals per week in cafeterias or dining facilities on campus. Students may choose cafeteria-style dining halls which are open 6-7 days a week. “Cafeteria Style” means that several entrees, salads, and desserts are available at each meal. The dining halls usually have set hours for each meal and no food is available beyond these hours. However, there could be nearby cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores that offer an assortment of food that students can order and are open many hours of the day. Note that some, but not all on-campus housing options include access to a kitchen where students can prepare their own food. Campus meal options usually provide for special dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, halal, and kosher. However, these offerings are usually more limited and vary from campus to campus.
In terms of halal food, some universities have a specific dining hall that serves halal food, a buffet that includes halal options, a chef that prepares separate meals, or pre-made refrigerated or frozen halal food. There are often student associations on campus, such as the Muslim Student Association or International Student Association, that collaborate with on-campus dining halls to provide greater halal options. When prospective students are applying to universities, they can ask admissions office staff about halal food options and any other questions related to food available on campus. Once on campus, students can reach out to the international student services office on campus to assist in finding on-campus and local dining options that meet a variety of preferences and needs. Also, many university cafeterias have suggestion boxes where students can submit food recommendations and requests. In order to find halal restaurants and grocery stores nearby, students can check the website Zabihah.