Most universities have on-campus housing that students can reserve in advance for an additional fee. It is important for students to reserve housing in advance since on most university campuses, there is limited space. Some universities require undergraduate students to live on campus during their first year and students can apply to live off-campus in subsequent years. There are a range of university housing options—from modest-sized apartments with a private kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, to small individual dormitory rooms or suites where roommates each have a bedroom and share a bathroom located between their rooms.
There are many advantages of living on campus, especially for international students. For example, with on-campus housing, there is no need to sign a twelve-month lease. Housing contracts match the academic calendar. Also, services, such as utilities, internet, access to laundry facilities, and vehicle parking are also usually included. Usually, university housing is fully or partially furnished. Campus housing usually provides a bed, a desk, a chair, and a dresser/closet. Students may need to provide their own sheets, blankets, pillows, bedspread, towels, desk lamp, and trash can. Telephones, televisions, and other media equipment are usually the student’s responsibility. Laundry facilities are usually available in the building. While living on-campus, students are responsible for cleaning their own living quarters and doing their own laundry.
Most of all, living on campus fosters a greater community connection. Shared university amenities, such as cafeterias, libraries, and recreational facilities are nearby. Also, leadership opportunities and involvement in campus activities are more easily available to those students who reside nearby. Students have more opportunities to get to know one another outside of class time when they are on campus together most of the time—eating in the cafeteria and frequenting other facilities on campus. This style of living also gives students the chance to meet and interact with individuals of diverse backgrounds, values, and beliefs. Students in the same residence community are a support system for one another in academic work, as well as the basis for new friendships, cultural, and social activities. In addition, campus housing provides support personnel such as Resident Assistants, as well as specially organized social and academic activities for residents.