University of Iowa

Housing and Dining Information for International Students

On campus housing provided by University Housing & Dining is not guaranteed with admission to the university. If you wish to live on campus, submit a housing application immediately after you are offered admission (late applicants may not be able to be accommodated). To find the housing best suited for you, start searching early. If you do not arrange housing before you arrive in Iowa, we recommend that you arrive early enough to find a place before orientation and classes begin. ISSS cannot help students find housing.

Temporary Housing

The Guide to Living in Iowa City has information about hotels in the Iowa City area where you can stay when you first arrive and before you are able to move in to your permanent housing. It is recommended to always make a reservation in advance. A listing of lodging options can be found on the website of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

On-Campus

The University of Iowa has several great on-campus residence halls to choose from. They vary in size, from 1,000 rooms to 299, to fit each and every student’s needs. Living on campus is a great way for you to make new friends and meet new people, as well as take advantage of a safe and affordable living space. For more information, visit https://housing.uiowa.edu/living-campus and https://housing.uiowa.edu/international-students.

Off-Campus

An off-campus housing guide and listings can be found by visiting Off-Campus Living.

On-Campus Dining

University Housing & Dining has many options for on-campus dining. A meal plan can be purchased which provides a pre-set number of meals purchased in advance for an academic semester at a discount off the walk-in price. Information about on-campus dining can be found at https://dining.uiowa.edu/

New J-1 Students, please see the F-1 tab for Housing

Housing Information for International Scholars

Unless your UI faculty host has made housing arrangements, you will need to be concerned about both an immediate place to stay and longer term housing. One short-term option is the Iowa House Hotel, an on-campus facility located in the Iowa Memorial Union.

As a visiting scholar, you can get a special discounted room rate. As rooms are not always available, you should make reservations beforehand by calling 319-335-3513 and asking for Kathy, or for information e-mail the hotel at iowahouse@uiowa.edu.

Housing Resources

While ISSS does not provide direct assistance in locating housing or roommates, several good resources are listed below.  You can also refer to nationality organizations listed at the bottom of this page for assistance in finding available housing. 

Your host department is often a good resource to help you find longer term housing. Some other sources of information are:

Average Rental Rates in Iowa City

  • Rental rates are subject to vary in the area based on proximity to campus, number of bedrooms, and other features. Rent can range from a few hundred dollars for an individual living in fairly sparse conditions, to $700-$1000 and higher for larger apartments and/or furnished apartments.
  • Utilities, such as electric service, cable television, and a land-line telephone are normally paid in addition to rent; water and sewage is usually part of the monthly rent, but you will want to make sure exactly what is covered before you sign a lease.

Know Your Rights as a Renter

Student Legal Services provides information to university students on their rights as renters, what to know before signing a lease, etc. While their office cannot provide assistance to scholars, their website still provides useful legal information.