Exploring Types of Housing Options for Foreign Students in California

You’re looking forward to beginning your studies in the United States, but you’re a little worried about where you will live during your stay. While there are many different housing options available for foreign students in California, you’re not sure which one will work best for your situation—or which will make you feel the most secure while you’re away from home.

Here are a few pros and cons of the popular student housing choices:

  • Campus dorms – Most California universities have dormitories on or near the campus. However, choosing onsite housing will likely increase your tuition, and you may have to share space with other students.
  • Staying with a relative – If you are attending high school or want to keep costs low, you may choose to live with a nearby relative for the comforts of a familiar environment.
  • Apartments – Apartment rental is a common option for students traveling with their families. Visitors studying under F-1 visas may find affordable housing by living further from campus or by sharing an apartment with another renter; however, utilities such as heating and electricity add additional costs.
  • Homestays – Many schools offer a homestay option for foreign students. As part of this program, a student would live with an American host family to fully experience American culture. The student is usually given a private bedroom, provided with meals, and given the use of the family’s facilities.

As you will need to confirm your housing arrangements before you depart your home country, you should contact your school as early as possible to find out what types of housing arrangements they provide. To learn more about housing, tuition, or applying for an F-1 visa, browse our related links or flip through our free report, School in the United States.

Vaughan de Kirby
California Immigration Attorney
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