Skip to main content
Santa Clara University

Housing While Abroad

Start Early: When it comes to preparing for housing while participating in a study abroad experience, be sure to plan early! 
Budget: It can be expensive and stressful to move, but with ample time and planning, you can reduce your costs and stress. Having a housing plan for before and after you study abroad can avoid the scenario of feeling pressure to continue to pay for rent here at home.

Program Fees: Program fees only cover housing abroad, so be sure to account for domestic rent costs in your budget if you anticipate you will have this additional expense. This is why it is important to plan for your housing scenario well in advance.

Housing Plan Checklist

  1. If you are nominated to study abroad, connect with SCU Housing as soon as possible if you wish to secure on-campus housing when you return.
  2. Consider living with family or friends short-term before you leave, or upon your return to save money if this option is available to you. 
  3. If you anticipate that you will reside in off-campus housing, be sure that your future lease agreement will allow for a sublet & start collaborating with your roommates or friends to see who might be interested to fill your lease.
  4. Connect & post on Facebook or other social media channels that you are seeking roommates or short-term housing considerations.
Housing Plan Resources


On-Campus Housing: 

The opportunity to study abroad is an awesome experience. That being said, the downside is not having priority to having a favored accommodation or roommate. Students going abroad have the option to have an "anchor" on campus whilst abroad.  Anchors are only optional in double rooms. The human who stays for the quarter the student is abroad pays for the room at the single rate and SCU Housing places the abroad resident in the space as "HELD".

SCU Housing reaches out to students periodically via email to see if they are still interested in on-campus housing. Be sure to keep an eye out for their communications and respond accordingly, especially if you anticipate that you are studying abroad. 

If you have any questions about housing at SCU while you are studying abroad, please contact housing: 



Off-Campus Housing: 

Many off-campus housing options start pre-leasing for Fall as early as Mid-March, so if you know you are going to be abroad and want to start connecting about roommates/housing options for your return, we suggest connecting on Facebook early on to establish connections or start looking at property options.

  • There are Off-Campus Housing resources to connect with the Santa Clara University community to explore housing options.
  • One particular resource that might also be useful is the Student Facebook Housing Group as you would be able to post your inquiry to the wider Santa Clara University community, which will reach students beyond just the Study Abroad student population.



Housing on Your Study Abroad Program: 

Santa Clara University requires study abroad students to reside in housing provided by program providers and host institutions as detailed in the housing section of the program database listing for each program, unless specified otherwise.

Program fees for study abroad include standard housing accommodations. If a student selects non-standard accommodation or fails to submit the application by the deadline and therefore fails to procure standard accommodation, the student is responsible for the difference in cost from the regular, standard room. Normally, this consists of a standard single room with a shared bathroom and kitchen, though doubles or triples may exist.

Pros & Cons of Different Housing Options Abroad

A shared apartment or shared house is a popular type of student accommodation. It is offered by many language schools and colleges around the world. You live in a furnished apartment with several bedrooms. You either have your own room or share a room with another student. Then you share bathroom, kitchen and other common areas with the other students who live in the apartment.

Pros of staying in a shared apartment

  • It is easy to make new friends and get to know the people you live with
  • There are usually not so many rules when you live in a shared apartment

Cons of staying in a shared apartment

  • There is a risk that you don’t get along with the people that you share the apartment with
  • There is not always a lock on the individual rooms, and you will have less privacy than in most other accommodation options

A student residence hall or dormitory often consist of corridors with more or less identical rooms where many other students live. Usually, you have your own lockable room, and sometimes you also have a private bathroom. Otherwise, you share a kitchen, bathroom and other common areas with the others who live there. 

Pros of staying in a dormitory

  • Dormitories are usually located on campus
  • You have more privacy than in a shared apartment (unless you share a room with another student), but it is easy to meet friends in the common areas

Cons of staying in a student residence

  • Dormitories sometimes have a curfew
  • You are usually not allowed to have guests staying in your room

If you go abroad to study language or if you are interested in the culture of the country you are studying in then host family is an excellent option. You have your own room but share bathrooms and other spaces with family members. Breakfast and dinner are often included, so you save both time and money and get the chance to try the local food. You can practice your language skills at dinner, and through the family, it is easier to get to know the locals. 

Pros of staying in a homestay

  • You get a better insight into the local culture
  • You can improve your language skills by talking to your family
  • You get a social context in your new country where the family can introduce you to people
  • You get food, so you do not have to cook yourself or budget as much for food costs

Cons of staying in a homestay

  • You must show consideration for your family. For example, let them know in advance if you can not come home for dinner and be quiet if you come home late in the evening.
  • If you are studying in a centrally located school in a big city, you may have to commute since some host families may not live in the city center.