Financial guidance

How To Find Student Accommodation For International Students In USA?

Yocket Editorial Team

The expenses of studying abroad can be overwhelming and while the tuition costs are already high, paying a heavy cost of accommodation can cut a hole in your pocket. Various US cities perform well in terms of university ranks, employers and job opportunities but when it comes to affordability, the living costs are quite high for all students to bear. Having said, this there are also affordable student apartment in USA options.

Thus to help you better this blog will help you weigh the pros and cons of US accommodation for students, compare costs, understand factors to be considered before renting off campus student housing and choose what’s best for you.

Table of Contents

Total cost of studying in USA for Indian students

Types of Accommodation in USA for Indian Students

Student accommodation in USA can be categorized into 2 types: on-campus student housing and off-campus student housing. Let us discuss the many options for student housing in the USA:

On-campus Student Housing

On campus student housing happens to be the most popular and budget-friendly accommodation for international students in USA. Some universities even require all freshmen to live on-campus. Let us take a look at how on campus student housing works:

  • US universities comprise various residence halls, apartments as well as private suites known as student dorms.
  • Based on your preference you will be given a room in one of these dorms.
  • Accommodation in US universities cost somewhere between $9,500-11,000 per year.
  • Dorms are classified for first-year, sophomore and senior year students.
  • Common amenities available to students living in dorms include common room, TV, kitchen, laundry services, meal plans, basic furniture, bathroom, etc.
  • You will be served timely meals in dining halls as per the package you opt for.

Off-campus Student Housing

Among off-campus student housing, you can opt for an apartment or homestay. We shall discuss both these arrangements to help you figure out the most appropriate option.

Student Apartment in USA

  • This is the most preferred option among students who wish to live independently in the US.
  • Senior year students and graduate students are most likely to opt for student apartments.
  • It tends to be a costlier option if you are looking for a place in a central location.
  • The rent of apartments in USA is around $800-1,500 per month and may even cross $2,000.
  • Before renting an apartment, there are various factors to be taken care of such as distance from your campus, safety of the neighborhood, availability of daily necessities, public transport, eateries, etc.
  • If you rent an apartment, you will get access to a private room, shared or private kitchen, bathroom, living area and other amenities available in the house.

Suggested: View this off-campus student housing guide to help your search better


  • Homestays are very popular in USA and probably the most suitable option for freshers who are about to stay in a new country alone for the first time.
  • You will live with an American family and get a personal room as well as meals.
  • It will cost you around $600-1,000 per month which is quite affordable compared to student apartments.
  • You will be placed not more than 20-40 minutes away from your campus.
  • It will give you the warmth of living with a family and also help you learn a lot about the American culture and way of life.
  • It is quite a safe option especially because of the American Homestay Network that keeps a check on the safety and quality of homestay.
  • Homestay is definitely a viable option for international students in Chicago, Washington and Portland.

How to find the ideal home that matches your budget?

How to Locate Student Accommodation in USA?

Lot of international students opt for on-campus accommodation during the first year and move into a private student apartment in USA for the subsequent years. This also gives them time to understand which locality suits them the best. You can locate student accommodation in USA through one of the following ways:

  • The best place to start looking for student housing in USA is your university website. Not only for locating on-campus accommodation, the International Student Office at your university will assist you find appropriate off-campus housing options with links to rental listings and contacts of agents.
  • Apart from this, there are several websites such as Uniplaces, Nestpick, UniAcco, AmberStudent, Spotahome, Homelike among others that will provide you with all the required resources to rent proper student accommodation in USA.
  • You can also talk to your seniors to get some good advice for renting apartments.

How to find the right student accommodation abroad?

Points to Consider Before Renting Student Housing USA

Safety is a priority for international students seeking student accommodation in USA. You must not forget to check on various factors related to emergencies and daily essentials in the area where you are renting accommodation. Here are the points that you must note while considering accommodation in USA for Indian students:

  • Distance from the university: Look for accommodation that is close to the campus so while you get to explore a new locality and make new friends, you will also be able to enjoy campus life and use campus amenities.
  • Availability of daily necessities: If you opt for living off-campus, you might have to run to the grocery store every now and then to take care of your daily essentials. Therefore don't forget to check whether your locality has availability of daily necessities in proximity or not.
  • Cafes, restaurants and hangout spots: Renting a room in an area surrounded by cafes, restaurants, hangout spots and shopping area will help you enjoy the social life to every bit.
  • Safety: Make sure your area is safe and student-friendly. You can check this through online search or even ask other students living in and around that area. Look for accommodation that provides secured doors for entry, CCTV, security guard, etc.

How is the student safety in USA?

  • Access to public transport: Your place of stay must be accessible by public transport as this will lower your commuting cost and save a lot of time.
  • Distance from the hospital: Having a hospital located close to your apartment is best for any emergency, one thing that the pandemic has taught us. You will get medical facilities even on your university campus but it is best to be prepared especially because you will be living alone.

Estimated Cost of Accommodation in USA

The cost of accommodation in USA is the foremost expense that arises as soon as you move to USA. Therefore, it is best to set a budget beforehand and look for accommodation accordingly. Here are a few things that you must check while estimating your housing budget: housing deposit required, cost of utilities that are not covered in your rent, additional expenses related to parking, laundry, heating, etc.

Glance through the table below to understand the estimated cost of accommodation in USA for some of the top universities for international students:

University Name

Average Annual Rent

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Stanford University


Harvard University


New York University


University of California


Yale University


Columbia University


Princeton University


University of Pennsylvania


Brown University


The house rent in USA for students can significantly vary in different cities in the USA. Cities that house some of the leading universities in USA depend a lot upon the facilities you are looking for, location, kitchen and bathroom facilities, etc. Take a look at the average cost of rented apartments in the most student-friendly cities in USA and compare for yourself:


Average Monthly Rent of Accommodation



New York


San Francisco




Los Angeles


Washington DC










San Diego


List of part-time jobs available in USA to help pay your home rent better

An Overview Of On Campus Student Housing vs Off Campus Student Housing

Choosing the right accommodation is extremely important. For this, it is best to understand the pros and cons of both on-campus and off-campus student housing USA. If you consider the most suitable student housing for yourself, you will have an easy time studying in the USA while also saving costs.

Pros of On-campus Accommodation

  • Staying on campus assures you safety with campuses having CCTV surveillance as well as 24/7 security available.
  • Not having to travel between the campus and your place of stay will help you save a lot of time and money.
  • By living on campus, you will be close to campus amenities and be able to access them anytime.
  • Participating in on-campus events will become much more convenient.
  • You will be a part of the residential community that will help you to learn a lot about different cultures and network with your seniors too.
  • The rent for on-campus accommodation will cover all expenses related to electricity, food and a number of other basic amenities.
  • You will not have to sign agreements and get into long processes if you opt for on-campus student housing.

Cons of On-campus Accommodation

  • You will have to follow the rules and regulations of the university.
  • You will be allotted a roommate by the university and not necessarily get the opportunity to choose whom to share your room with.
  • Your agreement will bind you to stay on-campus for at least an year.

Pros of Off-campus Accommodation

  • You will get the freedom to live on your own terms.
  • Staying off-campus will help you learn a lot about managing your expenses too.
  • You will get a complete study abroad experience if you share your room with students from different colleges.

Cons of Off-campus Accommodation

  • You will have to budget and manage all utilities by yourself.
  • Rent of off-campus accommodation does not include electricity, food bills and miscellaneous expenses.
  • You cannot always access on-campus facilities.
  • Traveling between your accommodation and campus can be time consuming as well as adds to the cost.

This was all about accommodation in USA for Indian students. We hope this blog helps you get a better context regarding student accommodation in USA. Before confirming an accommodation for yourself, take into account the points discussed above and you will definitely have a great student life. Speak to our Yocket counselor today and get assistance in finding the best options for off campus student housing.


Frequently Asked Questions about Accommodation for International Students in USA

How much does student accommodation cost in USA?

Can international students live in off-campus student housing?

How can international students rent student apartment in USA?

Where can international students search student housing USA?

What is the best option for international student accommodation in USA?

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