Living in Ames


There are three main options for where to live at Iowa State. You can live in

  • a residence hall
  • a University apartment
  • an off-campus apartment

Most international students choose to live in a University residence hall or an on-campus apartment. More information is available about these options at the Department of Residence website.

Students may also live in an off-campus apartment. The advantage is that living off campus costs less money. These apartments are usually farther from campus and your classes. The total costs may also be harder to estimate. If you want to live off campus, be sure to ask whether garbage service, phone/Internet, and utilities like gas, electricity, and water are included in the rent. Usually you will need to pay some of these expenses separate from your rent. You also need to ask what furniture is included in the apartment. Most likely a sink, a stove, and a refrigerator will be included. Sometimes a dishwasher and a garbage disposal will be included as well. Furniture, such as tables, chairs, a couch, bed, or dresser, is not usually provided.

Housing Comparison

Close to campus Easy to meet people Quiet atmosphere and privacy Includes a bed, desk, and dresser Includes a stove and a fridge Must purchase a meal plan through ISU
Residence hall Yes Easiest Not always Yes No (some have a community kitchen) Yes
On-campus apartment Yes Easy Yes Sometimes Sometimes Optional
Off-campus apartment No Harder Yes No Yes Optional

Contact Iowa State University Department of Residence to sign up for Iowa State Housing:
Phone:  1- 515-294-2900 or 1-800-854-9050  
Fax:  515-294-0623

Places to eat

Getting a job

Want to get a job? Most international students are allowed to work on campus for up to 20 hours a week.

  • Finding jobs: You can find jobs on the Student Job Board when you are logged in to AccessPlus.
  • Employment Eligibility: When you get a job, you need to fill out Form I-9 before you begin working. The ISSO will help fill out a Form I-9. This takes about 15 minutes. Be sure to come during the times listed on the ISSO homepage.

About Ames