On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Accommodation: Which is Better?

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On-Campus vs Off-Campus Accommodation- Which is better for International Students_-02 (1)

Being enrolled at a University abroad is a dream come true for many students. However, the prospect of studying abroad comes with making many decisions. One such decision is where to live, on-campus or off-campus, which can confuse new students travelling to a foreign country. This blog explains the differences between on-campus vs off-campus accommodation, and how to choose between the two.

Make sure you go through this Study Abroad Checklist before flying off to your dream university.

Overview of On-Campus vs Off-Campus Accommodation

On-campus accommodation is the type of accommodation that universities provide in the form of residence halls, dormitories, hostels, etc. It is usually located on the University premises or near it.

On the other hand, off-campus accommodation is the type of student accommodation that is not located within the University premises. Here, choosing where to live is totally up to the student.

Which is Better: On-Campus or Off-Campus?

It would be best if you considered the following factors before choosing between on-campus accommodation and off-campus accommodation:

Cost of Living

The accommodation cost usually depends on the country and the university you are enrolled in. In some places, the fee of on-campus living is much cheaper vs off-campus or vice versa. Therefore, you need to consider the cost and compare them before deciding. While calculating the cost, keep in mind the amenities provided, travel and food costs.

Use our Cost of a Living calculator to find out your approximate expenses when studying abroad.

Amenities Provided

When you choose on-campus accommodation, several basic amenities are already included, like electricity, water, wifi, meals and maintenance. Whereas when living off-campus, you would have to pay extra for all these, set them up individually and maintain them.

Privacy in On-Campus vs Off-Campus Accommodation

When living on campus, there is limited privacy as you have to share your room with at least one person, be supervised by the Resident Assistant at all times and share communal bathrooms. In addition, there is extra noise, and you have to follow dorm rules and curfew. Whereas while living off-campus, you may still have to share your apartment, but it is quieter and more private.


Students don’t have to worry about transportation costs when living on campus as the classrooms are within walking distance from the dorms. Also, some universities provide shuttle services to and from self-owned residence halls in case they are a little far from the university. While living on campus, you have to factor in the travel costs and also manage your time. It is a major factor to consider when choosing between on-campus vs off-campus accommodation as it directly affects your living expenditure.


On-campus accommodations usually come with different meal plans for you to choose from. Students have access to microwaves and hot plates, but there is no provision of fully equipped kitchens, unlike off-campus living. With off-campus accommodations, you can easily cook meals of your choice.  


When choosing accommodation, you may choose to live with roommates. You don’t get to choose your roommate for on-campus living. With off-campus living, you can choose to live with your friends.,

Safety and Medical Help

Safety is not a concern while living on campus as university campuses are well-guarded. The university ensures that all students remain safe as it is their responsibility. Also, students have access to medical services on campus. While living off-campus may also be safe, which mostly depends on the area you are living in. However, it is impossible to have 24-hour security and medical help at your disposal. Therefore, you must carefully

Also Read: This is How a Study Abroad Experience Changes You as a Person!

Pros and Cons of On-campus Accommodation

You might find these pros and cons of choosing on-campus accommodation vs off-campus.


  • Located conveniently close to the classrooms and college.
  • No worries about travelling to and from the university.
  • Allows you to be on time and not worry in the morning.
  • Helps to get better connected to the university and life at campus.
  • You make friends within the university as you live and share rooms and dorms.
  • You don’t have to worry about amenities like electricity, water, wifi, laundry and security. 


  • It is harder to concentrate with all the noise and disturbance
  • You have to share your space with a roommate that you don’t know.
  • You may not have a private bathroom. 
  • You have to follow the rules of the dorm and curfew restrictions.

Also Read: Accommodation in Singapore for International Students

Pros and Cons of Off-Campus Accommodation

Here is a list of the pros and cons of choosing off-campus accommodation vs on-campus.


  • There are no curfew restrictions, making it easier if you are working part-time at odd hours. 
  • You can share your apartment with your friends 
  • You can cook any food as you have a kitchen in your apartment. 
  • You have privacy and can do whatever you want in your apartment.


  • You have to worry about travelling to and from your accommodation 
  • You may miss out on the sudden events and parties happening at the university.
  • You have extra responsibility as you have to cook and maintain your apartment. 
  • You may also miss out on making connections that you otherwise would have made by living on campus. 

Important Things to Consider Whether Living On-Campus vs Living Off-Campus

  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Privacy
  • Social commitment
  • Security and medical care
  • Finances
  • Roommates
  • Living expenses


Is it better to stay on campus or at home?

Living on campus can be an expensive choice. If you already have a room at home and are afforded decent amounts of independence and privacy there, you might consider saving some money by commuting to your classes rather than living on campus.

Which is better on-campus or off-campus?

When you go for off-campus placements, you get diverse options unlike on-campus where companies and their roles are prefixed.

What is the difference between on-campus and off-campus university?

The key difference between on-campus and off-campus placements is that the on-campus placements are organized by the college and companies visit them. Whereas, in off-campus placements, the students look for job opportunities outside the college premises.

Hopefully, this blog gave you a clear idea about on-campus vs off-campus accommodation and how to choose between the two. LeverageEdu can help you take admission to your dream university. Just dial our toll-free number 1800572000, and make your study abroad dreams a reality.

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