Where students live is a very important and defining part of the social scene on any American college campus. SCU is a relatively smaller university than many large state universities and the closeness of our community is reflected in our housing options close to campus. The typical SCU student lives on campus during their first (freshman) year and often times the second year as well. Students living on campus live in different sized dormitories all around campus. On-campus living usually involves sharing a bedroom, bathrooms, having community activities, as well as abiding by rules enforced by a Community Facilitator (CF), who is usually an upperclassman. Once students reach their junior and senior year, they typically move off campus for more independence and rent from privately owned houses or apartments, most of which are around campus. They often rent these off-campus housing with fellow students. For more information on both options, please read on...
Living in Campus Housing
Getting Involved in Student Life
If you choose on-campus housing, most of the dorms (we call them Residential Learning Communities or RLCs) house underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) who are 18-20 years old. If you live in a typical dorm room you will be sharing a room with with one or two other people. In the standard dorms you will have a community kitchen that is shared by everyone in the building, but will not have your own in your room. Two of the dorms, Sobrato and Casa Italiana, (RLC names are Loyola and DaVinci) have apartment style housing for 3rd and 4th year students where there is the option of having a single room. If you live in Sobrato or Casa, you will have a small kitchen and a living room to share with your suitemates. If you live in the new dormitory, University Villas, you will have a kitchen, living room, washing machine and dryer to share with your roommates. Students who live in the Villas are upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) who are 20-22 years old. These dorms are harder to get into, so you must be punctual with your housing application form. Living on campus can also be expensive as all students who live in the RLCs are required to purchase a meal plan (most meals are eaten in the Benson cafeteria). Many former exchange students report living on campus as a good way to meet new people.
Instructions: Student housing in the Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) is limited. Participants must complete and submit on time the Housing Preference Form. Submission of an application does not guarantee that an international student will be assigned an on-campus housing. Final housing assignment is made by the Office of Housing and Residence Life at Santa Clara University. Students will be charged directly for on-campus housing.
Living Off Campus
The Freedom of Independent Living
If you choose to live off campus, it is recommended that you sublease from a Santa Clara student who is studying abroad for the quarter you will be here, or for a full year, depending on your needs. It is most common for SCU students to study abroad for fall quarter only. If you are staying for one year, you can sublease for fall quarter and then meet people to find an apartment/house after Christmas if you are staying for the year, or set one up with the new exchange students that come in January. Subleasing in a house with Americans seems to be the best way for older exchange students to connect with American students and the social life at SCU, as well as to practice their English skills. This is also very cheap because the students who are studying abroad are often quite desperate to have someone to fill their spot. So negotiate the price as low as you can, because there are many options (you should pay at least $100 less than they are asking). Older students have houses that are only one or two blocks off campus, and most houses hold 6 to 8 students. Other than that, there are apartments nearby you can find and rent for the whole year. Traditionally, most juniors and seniors live off campus (age 20 - 22), so they are older, which changes the social aspect in on-campus vs. off-campus housing, since the older students can go to the bars and can legally drink, etc. However, more juniors and seniors are now choosing to live on campus in the University Villas. Finding available off-campus housing can be difficult sometimes and may not be as nice and clean as on-campus dormitories.
Instructions: Some international students prefer the freedom of living in an apartment or house usually with other Santa Clara students. Participants must find their own housing from the list of available off-campus apartments, sublets, houses that are posted on the Office of Student Life website. Students are responsible for making their own arrangements with landlords or sublets.