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Housing Information for ELC Students

Where can I find housing?

Students who plan to study at the ELC for less than a year are not eligible for on-campus housing, except during the summer. However, off-campus housing in private homes and apartments is available. While the student will need to look for housing upon arrival, a member of the ELC staff will assist in obtaining housing, utilities, and bank account.

Is off-campus housing close to Old Dominion University?

There are several apartments close to Old Dominion University where many university students live. Many of them are within a 2-mile (3.6 km) radius from the school. Some students decide that they would like to have a car and live farther away.

Please contact the ELC if you would like a list of recommended off-campus apartments close to campus.

Can I live with an American family?

The ELC does not arrange homestays with American families. There are few local homestays in the area, but the ELC does not work with them.

Where can I go during the holiday breaks?

The ELC will help you find a travel agent or various tours that you can join. Many students travel together during vacation periods.

What should I bring to the U.S.?

The following is a list of things to either bring from your country or to buy when you arrive:

  • electronic chargers and US adapter
  • towels
  • desk light
  • bed sheets
  • pillow
  • clothes hangers
  • blanket/comforter
  • special spices or foods from your country
  • plates, eating utensils
  • pots and pans

For students living in an off-campus furnished apartment, the following is a list of things that are generally provided:

  • bed
  • desk
  • dresser
  • chair
  • closet
  • full kitchen

If you rent an apartment that is unfurnished, the only items in the apartment are a stove, an oven, and a refrigerator. Most apartments off-campus are unfunished.

Where can I wash my clothes?

For students living on campus, there are laundry rooms with washers and dryers.

For students living off-campus, there are commercial laundromats with washers and dryers. Most apartment complexes have shared laundry rooms available within the complex.

How can I go to the supermarket?

If you live on-campus, you can take the city bus, Uber, ODU weekend bus route, or taxi. There are many convenience stores within walking distance to the campus.

How much should I expect to pay for cell phone, electricity, and water?

This varies greatly, depending on the size of your home and the number of people living with you.

There are many cell phone carriers in the US. The most common in this area are AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Metro PCS, and Cricket.

ODU and the ELC also work with CampusSim and have their sim cards in the office. If you wish to have one, please see the front office.

For a one bedroom apartment, the average monthly cost of water is around $30, and the average monthyl electricity bill is around $75.

Please keep in mind that everything depends on your usage.

What is an average apartment rent in the United States?

Apartment rent in the US varies. In the area around the university, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $950 per month. Sometimes the rent will include all utilities (electricity, gas, water).

How long are the rental contracts?

Most apartment rental contracts are for a full calendar year (12 months), but some companies will allow a six-month agreement. It is very difficult to find housing for less than six months. Please keep in mind you might be charged a higher monthyl rent if you want a lower rental contract.

See the ELC prior to signing any rental contracts.

What happens if I have to return to my country unexpectedly?

Arrangements can usually be made for emergencies, but in order to break your lease, you will need some proof of the necessity to leave.

How can I find a roommate?

The ELC can help you find a roommate.

Is it safe to live off-campus?

Yes, it is safe to live off-campus if you are careful. Norfolk is a medium-sized city and you should be careful at all times. You will learn more about staying safe in the United States in your orientation.

Is the area around the university safe?

Old Dominion University ensures the safety of its students by providing police patrols, accessible emergency phones, and a student escort service. There is also a bus service which operates in the neighborhoods around the University.

You will learn more about this as well as the ODU Mobile app during your orientation.