International Students find housing to be very challenging, so be proactive!  There are two broad options for accommodation for international students: on campus and off campus. Undergraduate students tend to choose on campus housing while most graduate students find apartments off campus. On campus housing is more convenient in that you can pay a lump sum amount including rent and utilities to the university (this often includes cable, internet, and telephone as well as electricity and water and sewage); most tenants in off campus housing need to become customers with local companies and pay their own utility bills. International students can also apply for on campus housing as soon as they’ve been offered admissions by the university; in contrast, most off campus apartment complexes and private house owners require you to pay a deposit and have good credit.

There is a Freshman Residency requirement at the University of Louisville. Log on to the University of Louisville Housing website for more information about our residential policy for first-year students. If you believe you can do well without living on campus then you will need an approval to do so.  Freshmen who do not want to live on campus will need to fill out the waiver form. Students must demonstrate that they meet one of the following conditions to have an exemption from the policy:

  1. residing with a custodial parent or guardian for the academic year;
  2. 21 years of age or older;
  3. veteran of the U.S. Armed Services;
  4. married; or
  5. custodial parent or guardian of a child.

Students with other extenuating circumstances may also petition for a waiver. The petition for an exemption is located at http://louisville.edu/housing/policies/firstyear. Students will not be required to pay the application charge when requesting an exemption. Notice of exemption decisions will be sent within three weeks to the student’s university e-mail account.  Please keep in mind that you must request a waiver in order to not be billed for the cost of on campus housing. You must also still apply to on campus housing if you do wish to live on campus.

To apply for on campus housing, visit the On Campus Housing website. Rooms are assigned in the order reservations are received.  Please be aware that when you sign a contract for a dormitory room, you are obligated to remain in the dormitory for the entire academic year. If you live on campus, there are a few other things you should remember. You will be assigned a roommate if you live in on-campus housing, unless you specifically make sure you are living alone.  Please check with the housing office to understand your assignment. Student dormitories are closed during certain vacation periods, and you will need to find temporary lodging during these times.  Also, you will need to use your own bed linens in the dormitory. You can prepare meals in the dormitory’s limited kitchen facilities or purchase meals at the student cafeteria or in a nearby restaurant. To contact the housing office, you may email oncampus@louisville.edu or call 1-502-852-6636. You can check for your housing assignment in the ULink portal. Once you are logged in select the “Student Services” tab. In the middle column, towards the bottom of the page, you will see a box labeled “Personal Information”. There you will see a link called “Housing Roommate Search” where you will find your room assignment and roommate’s name.

On campus housing is quite limited and apartments run out very quickly. If you have someone in town whom you can find an apartment with; it can be less expensive to live off campus (costs range from $450 and higher per month, plus utilities). But there are other considerations you need to make for living off campus. You should consider how you will commute to the university. City bus rides are free for UofL students, but time could be an important issue. Also, if you arrive in Louisville before you have a confirmed place to live, you should be prepared to spend a few days looking for lodging that is convenient and within your budget; refundable deposit equal to one month’s rent may be required in addition to the first month’s rent. Apartments usually include kitchen facilities like refrigerator and dishwasher so you will be able to prepare your own meals; however, you should plan on purchasing a number of household goods such as cooking and eating utensils. There are several large apartment complexes adjacent to the campus which are privately owned but are exclusively rented to University of Louisville students. As indicated above, some of them don’t require a Social Security Number. But note that most apartments near campus may be taken by the time international students start arriving. Click here for a list of Off Campus Housing for UofL Students.

* The ISSS office does not promote any off-campus housing options. Please talk with our housing office before signing any housing contract (including those not affiliated with UofL as you may need help understanding the contract).



Every lease/contract is different so you should read everything. Ask plenty of questions before you sign, and once you feel comfortable,  sign the agreement. You can contact the ISSS office if you have any concerns or need clarification on something. It’s okay to not understand everything. Do not sign a contract if you do not feel secure.

Campus housing communicates mostly through emails with the information about its processes, forms, and important dates. Please, do not ignore the emails. You can miss the opportunity to either live or continue living in your current room or have other issues arise if you are not diligent.

There may be room for negotiations or to shorten the length of the lease, so if any changes are agreed upon, get them in writing before agreeing/signing.

You have rights as a tenant. If for whatever reason you feel your rights are being violated you can reach out to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office for help if you decide to live off-campus

How will Housing Contact Me? 

Email is the fastest and most commonly used way to communicate at UofL. Check your email frequently.

a. You will get many emails from different offices, departments, programs, classes, and/or events on campus and the community.Please take the time to read them carefully. These may be important emails that need your immediate attention.

b. If you do not understand the meaning/language/concepts, do not hesitate to ask for clarification from the sender. You can also contact the ISSS office by email isss@ louisville.edu to assist with clarification.

If you prefer, you are also welcome to call the ISSS office at (502) 852-6604.

 Short-Term/Temporary Housing

If you have applied for university housing and arrive before the check-in date, which is normally the weekend before classes start, you are required to request early arrival and will be charged an additional charge per night.  If you have received your assignment in University housing, contact housing to schedule your arrival date.   If you have reserved space in one of the affiliated properties, Bellamy, Province or Cardinal Town, please contact them directly regarding your check in upon arrival.

If you plan to live off-campus but need a place to stay while you are searching for an apartment or a permanent residence, the university can provide you with temporary housing for a short time, usually located on the downtown campus. The cost per night is added to your financial account, and is provided on a first come, first serve basis; therefore, it is important that you apply early by emailing the housing office.  Receiving a response might take up to 14 days.