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Santa Clara University

Housing While Abroad

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. In this group, you will 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 Plan Checklist

  1. Determine your preferred housing at SCU: When it comes to preparing for housing while participating in a study abroad experience, be sure to plan early! 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. 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.
  2. Create your budget: It can be expensive and stressful to move, 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 it is important to plan for your housing scenario well in advance. 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. If the option is available to you, you may want to consider living with family or friends short-term before you leave, or upon your return to save money.
  3. Promote your sub-leasing opportunity: If you can sub-lease your room, promote that you are seeking roommates or short-term housing considerations as early as possible. You can promote your sub-lease opportunity on the Student Housing Facebook Group, by creating a flyer and sending it to for us to promote in the SCU Study Abroad Newsletter, or by talking with other study abroad students at our Region Meet N Greet events. 

Housing Options While Abroad


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. If you have questions about the housing options on your preferred programs, please utilize the program contact list

Basic housing accommodations are included in the program fees for all SCU-approved study or intern abroad programs. However, if you select non-standard accommodations or fail to submit a housing application by the deadline you will responsible for the difference in cost. Please also be aware that some programs do require students to arrange their own housing. SCU Study Abroad still covers housing costs for these programs in the form of a stipend. For these particular programs, students 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:

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.