Ohio University

skip to main content

International Student Housing

To view a Chinese translation of this page, please click here.

Living on Campus

In order for students to become fully involved in the Ohio University community, it is policy that undergraduate students must live in university residence halls (dormitory) & purchase a meal plan for their 1st and 2nd years unless they meet one of the exemption criteria. It requires that undergraduate students live in the residence halls for two full years before moving off campus.

* NOTE: Once the student completes a housing contract and pays the housing deposit, it is effective for one academic year. It lasts from fall through spring semester. If new students come starts in spring semester, the contract ends after spring semester. Students have to complete a new housing contract and pay the housing deposit for the next year to fulfill the requirement of living on campus for at least two years. Students who do not meet the exemption criteria to live off campus, but intend to take classes during the summer intersession, are required to live in the residence halls. They should complete the summer housing contract in advance.


Step One: Let Us Know You Are Coming!

Making appropriate advanced reservations is critical to a smooth arrival.

  • Confirm your intent to attend by completing a housing contract (required for those students who must live on campus).
  • Housing contracts should be completed by clicking the 'Applications' tab on your Housing Self-Service
  • If you experience difficulties sending your housing deposit via the web, you will need to email housing@ohio.edu to receive a deposit deferment. 
  • If you are not required to live in the residence halls, you should proceed with step two.

Step Two: Make A Reservation for Transportation From the Airport

Make a reservation for transportation from the airport by visiting: www.ohio.edu/transportation  

Ohio University Transportation Services will provide bus service directly to the Ohio University campus for incoming international students.


Step Three: Make a Temporary Housing Reservation

  • The cost for temporary housing is approximately $30.00 per person per night. Temporary housing charges will be billed directly to the your account. Linen packets will be provided; which will include 2 bed sheets, 1 pillow case, 1 blanket, pillow, 2 bath towels and 2 washcloths. The cost is $75 and will be charged to the student account.
  • Graduate students and students who are not required to live on campus, but need temporary housing until they can find off campus housing accommodations, must also make a reservation. (Space is limited and not guarnteed. Bed linens and towels will be available for rent for approximately $5 and must be returned when the student moves out.)
  • If temporary housing is full or if the student does not make a reservation, they will be referred to an off campus hotel, we recommend the Ohio University Inn.
  • You will need to plan to purchase their meals at any local restaurant until the dining halls open and your academic term meal plan begins (usually the first day of classes).
  • Depending on the arrival date, you will have housing accommodations either in the residence hall where you are assigned during the academic year or in a temporary location. The bus from the airport will take you where you need to go and you will be greeted by Housing and Residence Life staff for check in.

Step Four: After Arrival

  • There are staff members who live in the residence halls who can help you with any questions that they may have. These staff members are called Resident Assistants or RA’s. Students residing in the residence halls will participate in programming hosted by in hall staff.
  • In the event that you would like to change rooms, the room change process for all students begins on the first Thursday of classes. You can access the room change process through your  Housing Self-Service. When you begin their second year of study, you will be able to select their room. Emails about the second year room selection process will be sent to you OHIO email during spring semester of your first year.


Exemption Criteria

  • Student is 23 years of age at the time they begin studying at Ohio University. 
  • Student has two years of attendance at another college or university after high school graduation (transfer student). Transfer students should make sure that their transcript information is provided to the Admissions Office and check with Residential Housing before signing a lease to live off campus. 
  • Student is married or has spouse/children residing with them. 
  • Student has 18 months or more of active military service which began after their 18th birthday. 
  • Student is enrolled for less than 11 credit hours.


Other Important Information

Some international students choose to pay for on-campus housing, but then live off-campus in an apartment or a house. The policy of living on campus can help you be fully involved in the Ohio University community. It is also more convenient for 1st and 2nd year students to live on campus. If you decide to pay for both living on and off campus, we would like for them to do the following:

  • Complete a change of address form at the staff office of the residence hall. This will allow for appropriate forwarding of packages and mail delivery.
  • Go to the student web page www.ohio.edu/students and update your personal information and address. This will help us to find you in the event of an emergency.


Meal Plans

The student can find out what kind of meal plan they are signed up for by going to your Housing Self-Service.

There are many meal plan options to choose from, but the most common are FLEX and Standard. The important thing to remember is that FLEX meal plans have 125 points with them that can be spent at Baker University Center and also in the campus retail food locations. FLEX plans also allow students to spend unused meals in the dining hall markets. Standard meal plans can only be used in the dining halls. For more information visit www.ohio.edu/food


Second Year Students

You will need to apply for housing and select your residence hall room for your second year of study during spring semester. You must watch for email from Housing and Residence Life that will explain the process.

Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

  • One of the most common problems that we have is informing international students of the need to make housing arrangements for the break periods. The university does not keep the residence halls open during breaks, therefore you must make arrangements for either interim housing ($30 per night) or stay off campus. (Ohio University will offer a 9 or 12 month housing contract, but this agreement will require that you stay in a specific location either during the academic year or during the breaks.)

  • If you are in your first or second year of university study, you must live on campus. If you have attended a university in your home country after high school graduation, you may send or bring us a copy of your transcript. We will then review it and advise if you can live off campus or if you must stay on campus.


  • To complete a housing contract you must go to  Housing Self-Service. The housing contract is binding for the entire academic year.

  • Go to your Housing Self-Service and then select the appropriate interim housing application for the break period in which you are requesting housing accommodations. 

  • Depending upon your arrival date, you will either be placed in a temporary location or in some cases you may move directly into your assigned room.

  • Your roommate will be assigned based on the date that we receive your housing contract and what spaces are available. Once the roommate assignment is made, you will see their name and email address on your Housing Self-Service.

  • Students living on campus are required to have a meal plan. There are NO cooking devices permitted in the residence hall rooms. Some residence halls, but not all, have kitchens which you can use if you live in that building.

  • There are washers and dryers available in or near every hall. For more information about Laundry go here.

  • You may not smoke within 25 feet of any door or window. You must also not throw cigarettes on the ground.