A number of housing options are available in the United States of America for the international students matching to their budget. One can select on-campus or off-campus accommodation conveniently located near the university or school. Normally accommodation is expensive in USA and it may take up 1/3rd of 1/4th of the total cost of living expenses.

On-campus Stay Options

The Schools and Universities which offer accommodation for international students will be on-campus, or near the school's classrooms, libraries and other facilities. They provide "Dormitories", buildings with many rooms for sleeping and living, often with two or three people (of the same gender) per room. Moving into a dormitory setting is relatively simple: utilities such as electricity and telephone connections will most likely be ready to use. Dormitory residents typically share large bathrooms which include showers and toilets. Many first-year students prefer to live in on-campus dormitories because they are convenient to both academic and social activities. Another advantage is that you needn't have to travel to reach campus.

The Admissions Department or International Student Office will most likely send a "pre-departure orientation" packet to each international student. It includes information about stay and accommodation options.

Off-campus Stay Options

An off-campus housing office will help you with information if your School/university doesn't offer accommodation for international students. They assist to find an appropriate place to live providing information about local neighborhoods (Homestay)

You can find accommodation outside, like apartments, private dorms, Co-operative residence halls and rooms in private houses. Co-operative residence Halls are large houses where a group of students live together sharing costs and chores like cooking, washing, cleaning etc. Rooming houses provide single rooms with common kitchen, bathrooms and laundry services. Rooming houses are cheap compared to other housing facilities. Another option is to live as a paying guest with a family. Some families expect the students to do some service in return for room and board.

One can find a compatible roommate to share expenses for utilities like electricity, telephone service etc. Before committing to a lease, or an agreement to rent an apartment, spend some time in the area to decide if it feels safe and convenient to places like school buildings and grocery stores. Read the lease carefully before signing. You will learn, for example, that the landlord is not responsible for your possessions if they are stolen or destroyed, so you may consider purchasing "renter's insurance."