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Study in USA : Accommodation

Accommodation is expensive in U.S.A. It may take up 1/3rd of 1/4th of the total cost of living expenses.

First year students are required to live on campus in many Universities. Along with the admission notification or acceptance letter, the university will send a housing application. If you have decided to attend the particular institution you must fill out the application and send it as soon as possible. Housing is allotted in the order of applications received. Housing  rent often include the cost of meals. A meal plan of the cafeteria inside the campus have several choices, like 3 meals a day, break fast and dinner only, only dinner etc. When you fill in the housing applications, you must fill out the meal plan of your choice.

Accommodation Inside the Campus

Inside the campus there are residence halls or dormitories which are Co-ed or single sex, apartments, fraternity and sorority houses and some colleges have housing for married people.

Residence halls or dorms have mostly double rooms and some single rooms. They have common bathrooms.  Sorority and Fraternity houses are alien to foreign students. These are closely knit groups of undergraduate men and women . They use Greek alphabets  like Alpha, Beta, in the names of their organizations. They are called Greeks. These groups operate housing for undergraduate students. Fraternity houses are for men and Sorority houses are for women. Here new members are chosen and invited to live following a period of social functions called 'Rush Week'. They have an initiation ceremony also.

Accommodation Outside the Campus

If housing is not available inside the campus you have to look out for accommodation outside, like apartments, private dorms, Co-operative residence  halls and rooms in private houses. When you choose a housing outside the campus, see that it is conveniently located near the university. Otherwise you will be have to pay more for transportation.

Rent of apartments can be expensive. The rent does not include gas, electricity and telephone services. You have to pay extra bills for the same apart from the rent. Water and garbage collection are usually included in the rent. 

Co-operative residence Halls are large houses where a group of students live together sharing costs and chores like cooking, washing, cleaning etc. Rooming houses provide single rooms with  common kitchen, bathrooms and laundry services. Rooming houses are cheap compared to other housing facilities. Another option is to live as a paying guest with a family. Some families expect the students to do some service in return for room and board. 

You can get information on outside campus housing facilities from your student adviser, local papers, your college's housing office or from any colleague.

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