American Experience | 体验美国

Here’s How I Decide on On-campus VS Off-campus Housing

February 13, 2015 5:32 pm | By Ada

Are you coming to Pacific as an undergraduate student soon? Are you currently living on campus and considering moving out? Do you have a lot of questions about whether you should choose on-campus housing or off-campus one? Will you glad if someone writes an article about all the pros & cons and even show you pictures of both of them? Yeah, here I am! Having friends who experienced both living in on-campus dorm and off-campus house, I can tell you that they both have many advantages. But only considering which of the advantages are more important to you can help you make a better decision of where to live.

For some of the colleges in America, freshmen and sophomores are required to live on-campus unless they have some kind of health problems or diseases. As a sophomore student at University of the Pacific, I’ve been living on campus for almost two years which gave me a lot of fun experiences and also convenience. While living on campus, I have more dorm mates around and better informed with school activities. There’s a poster wall near the dorm entrance so we can see what’s going on and what activities we can join every week. In each dorm hall, we have hall meetings and many activities like “Movie Night”, “Games Night” or even “Girls’ Night”.

(Trick or Treat at 2012 Halloween)

water balloons
(water, sugar filled balloons)

Moreover, living on campus will bring you a lot of facilities you can use for your study and dorm life. I currently live in Jessie Ballantyne Hall which has a huge basement and big public lounge. The basement always used by student who is holding a group meeting, my friend even used it once for the dance practice. We have a microwave and television here and some dorm hall even has piano there.



(Jessie Ballantyne Hall lounge & basement)

Living off campus means you need to deal with agencies, apartment managers and also your neighbors which can make you a more independent person and help you with your life skills. More privacy and free time is another advantage for living off campus. You don’t have to worry about you can’t stay up late just because your roommate is going to bed soon. And also, living off campus is only more expensive in the first year because you need to buy a lot of new furniture, however, in the next few semesters; living off campus is generally cheaper than on campus housing.

(My friend Wendy’s bedroom)

(Wendy and Bill’s little cat)

In addition, living on campus is more convenient than living off campus. In one hand, dining hall, classrooms and library are all in walking distance so you don’t have to drive to school and find parking space when it’s only three minutes till your class; in another hand, there’s way more to do and deal with for living off campus. For example, my friend Bill and his friends just moved to a new house a few weeks ago and I helped them with a lot of processes, for example, making appointments to meet with agency, starting new services and paying bills for utilities such as gas, electricity, water & trash and etc. And also he needs to order a huge amount of furniture like beds, mattresses, desks, chairs, fridge, washer and dryer either in the store or online. Nevertheless, school provides bed with mattress, desk, chair, drawers and closet for students living on campus. 2 to 3 washers and dryers are also provided to students who live in campus dorms.

To sum up, living on campus is safer, more convenient and brings you more on-campus activities and social life. Meanwhile, living off campus gives you more freedom and privacy but if you are looking for somewhere on-campus which can bring you both convenience and privacy, you can always apply for on-campus apartment which usually provide to junior and senior students (who have earned more than 60 units or have been living on campus for 4 semesters).

(Town House Apartment)

In my view, living on campus is better for students’ study and social life in the first two years because for international students, we need to hang out with American students to improve our English and blend in the new culture and life. After sophomore year, if you want more privacy, you can move out but if you want to enjoy convenient campus life, Pacific always welcomes you to stay with us.