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Housing While Abroad

Students have the option to live on or off campus upon their return from a global program. Moving can be expensive and stressful, but with ample time and planning, you can reduce your costs and stress. 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 planning for your housing scenario well in advance is essential. Having a housing plan before and after you study abroad can avoid the pressure to continue to pay for rent here at home.

If the option is available, consider living with family or friends short-term before you leave or return to save money! In addition to where you will live before and after your global program, you should also think about where you will store your belongings while you are away. We invite you to explore the following options that students have used previously:

SCU On-Campus Housing: 

Students have the option to have an "anchor" on campus while 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. "

Please contact housing with any additional questions:

SCU Off-Campus Housing: 

Students who plan to live in Off-Campus Housing should be sure their future lease agreement will allow for a sublet. Many off-campus housing options start pre-leasing for Fall as early as Mid-March.

  • Create a flyer and post it around campus for higher visibility. You may also send your flyer to and we'll post it in our newsletter
  • Promote your subleasing opportunity in your classes and at campus events

Housing Options While Abroad: 

Santa Clara University requires students to reside in housing provided by their program as detailed in the housing section of their program's SCU Digital Brochure, unless specified otherwise. Some programs do require students to arrange their own housing. Housing options abroad vary from program to program, but generally will either include shared apartments, residence halls, or home-stays. 

Basic housing accommodations are included in the program fees for all approved global programs. If students select non-standard accommodations or fail to submit a housing application by the deadline, they are responsible for paying the difference in cost out of pocket.

Housing Stipends: For students participating in programs that require them to arrange their own housing, their housing costs will be covered in the form of a stipend. The student will receive a credit to their Bursar’s account, not in the form of a check, to cover the cost of housing abroad. Stipends are based on the average cost of standard housing in the specific program and location.

Pros & Cons of Different Housing Options Abroad


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.

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 other students.

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

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