Choose off campus vs on campus depending on your preferance

On-Campus VS Off-Campus: What should International Students Choose?

Last Updated on November 3, 2020 by iSchoolConnect

Any student looking into accommodation options abroad has one major question: On-campus VS Off-campus and which is better?

For many students, studying abroad is the first real experience of living away from home. It gives them the opportunity to spread their wings and ease into adult life. All students have the choice to either live on-campus vs off-campus accommodation. However, before we address the on-campus vs off-campus debate, let’s elaborate more about these student accommodation options:

Both these choices have their own pros and cons and studying abroad adds another level of complexity to the entire On-campus VS Off-campus mix. So, it can be difficult to determine which one is best for you. This article discusses how living on-campus vs living off-campus compares and contrasts.

Reasons to live On-campus

Girl using her phone and sitting in an on-campus accommodation in a university
Living in the center of the campus allows you to enjoy all the facilities that the university offers

On-campus accommodation is generally considered convenient and recommended to freshmen as it gives them time to adjust to college life.


Residence inside campus allows students to have great deal convenience and comfort. Facilities like labs, libraries, gyms, dining halls and most of all classrooms are available at an arm’s length. Shorter distance ensures that students don’t have to worry about being late for their classes.

It also means that students have ready access to the Wi-Fi and TV cable. Not having to buy groceries or cook food also ensures that the student has more time to rest and study.

Social Life

Students are smack in the center of campus life and are exposed to a nexus of people. This helps students to interact and cement friendships, which is vital for a healthy social life. For international students, it can also be an exciting opportunity to learn about the local culture and values.


On-campus accommodation can mean added security for students. Most universities follow a set of guidelines that help international students live in a secure environment. Students are awarded IDs and activated key locks are placed outside their rooms. Also, there are security cameras installed to monitor people coming in or going out of campus.

Benefits of living off-campus

International students sitting and talking in an off-campus accommodation
Living off-campus not only gives you personal space but also helps you gain valuable life experiences

There are many reasons why some people prefer off-campus residence:

Personal Liberty

For students, living off-campus often means having independence. They learn to become self-reliant and fast track into maturity and adulthood. It also gives you the opportunity to interact with more mature people and can be helpful in understanding the local community beyond the college premises.

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While some universities do offer dorms to their students; many universities don’t have such facilities. Moreover, some dorms are not well-maintained neither are they suitable for your needs. Students living off-campus don’t have to deal with inconveniences like having to share bathrooms with several people or waiting in line to use the laundry.

Space and Privacy

A college dorm can be a vibrant place but it can also get really crowded and rob your inherent need for peace and privacy. It can be difficult to concentrate and focus on studies. Off-campus accommodations provide an environment where you can dedicate your focus on things that matter to you.

The final verdict

Which option you choose in the on-campus vs off-campus debate depends on what you seek most in a residence. Furthermore, you can think and rethink as much as you like, but it all comes down to three main factors: cost, comfort, convenience. iSchoolConnect offers international students assistance in everything from finding the right accommodation; getting through heaps of documentation or estimating the cost of living on-campus vs off-campus.

For any queries related to international universities and degree programs, visit iSchoolConnect. Moreover, you can also check out our other helpful blogs on DIY ideas for a cozy dorm room, costs of MS in USA, Benefits of working part-time while you study abroad and so much more!

Akanksha Vora

Bright, bold, and bubbly, Akanksha Vora is a writer at iSchoolConnect. She writes creative and curious blogs that help students with their life and studies abroad.

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2 thoughts on “On-Campus VS Off-Campus: What should International Students Choose?”

  1. More pros and cons of living on- or off-campus can be found in this infographic: it complements your article perfectly, I think.
    During my semester abroad I lived in a student dormitory and other international students lived there, and we could communicate with each other and help out. But I lacked immersion in the foreign (American) culture because I rarely went to the city. Maybe it would have been a different experience if I had lived off campus (but I was anxious to be all alone and confused in an unfamiliar city).

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