If you have study abroad dreams, nothing can be more exciting than getting admission to the desired university at a destination of your choice. But consider it only the start of the challenging journey because a lot of tough decisions lie ahead. Accommodation is one of the top concerns because your budget and safety hinge on the apt choice. Selecting between on- or off-campus is often hard because both have their upsides and downsides.

It is vital to understand the pros and cons of both living arrangements and consider your preference and budget to pick the ideal option. Everything boils down to finding the one that ensures a perfect balance between your academic pursuits, social life, and spending capacity. The choice is dependent on individual factors, but knowing everything about both options gets you a step closer to the right choice. Let us compare on-campus and off-campus housing in detail.


When it comes to choosing dormitories and residence halls as your accommodation option overseas, you can enjoy some clear benefits. Here are the ones that make them an ideal choice for international students.

  • The best thing about living on-campus is that getting to class is a breeze. Your transportation costs are zero, and you never need to worry about catching a bus, taking an expensive cab, or finding a parking space for your car. You even get extra time to sleep before getting ready for the classes. It is truly a luxury for students who slog to find a balance between homework, sports, social life, and part-time jobs.
  • You get to connect, interact, and mingle with other international students living in university accommodation. Further, you also have access to events and assistance from student support staff. The transition becomes a lot easier for international students as you do not have to struggle to find friends and connections when you land at the destination.
  • On-campus accommodation gives you a slice of student life as you share rooms with roommates, dine together in common areas, and even have a good time as groups in recreational areas. Late-night conversations, campus parties, and eager trips to the ice cream store create the most incredible memories for a lifetime.
  • Life is a lot easier for international students who opt to live on campus. You have access to meals, so you save up on the hassles of cooking and shopping for groceries. You get laundry facilities and even get bathrooms cleaned by custodians while you stay there.
  • The buildings are secure, and you can focus on your studies without stressing out about many things. The option is ideal for students pursuing intensive programmes. They can save time on commuting and get help from fellow students around just when they need it.


While there are many good things about living on campus, you must know about the downsides too. You need to understand both to make a wise choice. Here are the cons.

  • Living in a dorm can be overwhelming if you have not shared a space before. Things can be hard to handle if you have nothing in common with your roommates. Additionally, not everyone can handle the noise and distractions, so you can expect the study to get disrupted.
  • A lack of privacy is a common issue that students have to deal with when choosing on-campus accommodation. You may find individual rooms and bathrooms in some residence halls, but they are rare to find.
  • The option can be expensive, depending on the university. The costs of on-campus housing and meal plans vary, so you must go through them to ensure they fit into your budget.


Living off-campus has its own benefits. If you are serious about this option, it will be good to understand the upsides. Here are the ones you should know about.

  • Privacy is the biggest perk of off-campus accommodation as you rent an apartment space with a bedroom and bathroom. A single-person apartment is a good choice if you want to live alone without any distractions. Even if you share the place, you can retreat to your own room for alone-time.
  • It gives you the feel of freedom and independence as you can personalise your space according to your preference, taste, and comfort. The lifestyle makes you future-ready if you want to live and work abroad after completing your degree overseas.
  • There‚Äôs a lot of learning that comes with apartment living. From shopping for and preparing food to determining the bills and cleaning the place, you have to handle things on your own. You end up becoming a more responsible person in the long run.
  • While off-campus living may cost a tad more, you have the flexibility to share space with one or more flatmates. It enables you to cut down on rent and bills and share cooking and cleaning responsibilities. Moreover, it is a good decision from a security perspective.


When it comes to the cons of off-campus accommodation, there are some you must bear in mind before picking the option. Here are some reasons you should think twice.

  • Housing in close proximity of the campus often comes at a premium, so you can expect to pay a hefty sum for rentals. Conversely, a distant location may sit on a low budget, but you will have to incur more on transportation services. Finding a perfect place is, therefore, often a struggle for international students.
  • Living off-campus may not be the right option if you are not prepared to take on the full responsibility or want to focus on studies rather than cook and clean.
  • You lack the opportunities for personal, social, and professional connections in private rentals. At times, you feel cut off from the student life that universities are so well known for.

Students must consider these pros and cons to make an informed choice for accommodation as they study abroad. It makes sense to bear the current pandemic situation as factors like virus safety during the stay and commute, and the budget becomes all the more crucial. Think thoroughly and choose wisely to enhance your international education experience!

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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