International Student & Scholar Programs provides housing assistance, which includes help with understanding the renting and apartment-search process; history, values and drawbacks of local neighborhoods; roommate advice, problem solving and more. It is important that students arrive on campus early to allow several days to find housing before the orientation and registration sessions. For more information about housing, please contact Pam Haney.
The Global Education Office reserves residence hall apartments for international students on the Monroe Park Campus. English Language Program students receive first priority for reserving these apartments. Residence hall apartments include kitchens, allowing residents to cook their own food if they choose not to purchase the Dining Services meal plan. Residents may also stay in these apartments during the VCU breaks.
Students living in undergraduate residence halls without kitchens (Rhoads, Johnson, Cabaniss, West Grace, Brandt, and GRC II and III suites) are required to purchase a Dining Services meal plan and will have to vacate these residence halls during all the VCU holidays and breaks. International students without family or friends in the U.S. may have to stay in a hotel during these university breaks, which can be a big expense that few international students can afford.
International students interested in on-campus housing are encouraged to contact International Student & Scholar Programs staff, Amanda Velez for more information or to reserve a place in a GEO residence hall apartment.
Please note that university housing contracts are for a full ten- or 12-month period (including both fall and spring semesters) and are binding contracts that may not be broken.
The VCU Campus Connector bus provides daily transportation between both VCU campuses.
Students and scholars who prefer to live off-campus are encouraged to contact International Student & Scholar Programs staff, Pam Haney. VCU’s Off-Campus Student Services can also assist you in locating an apartment, room for rent or roommate in the neighborhoods surrounding VCU.
We recommend that you wait until you arrive in Richmond to lease an apartment for a variety of reasons. It is difficult to determine from the internet an apartment’s true condition, distance from campus, safety of an area or the character of a potential roommate. Also, you may meet other international students upon arrival who are willing to share a two-bedroom apartment to reduce the cost of monthly rental expenses. Students who arrive early often have more selection and time to set up their apartments before classes begin.
Off-campus apartments are available at varying prices, within walking and biking distance from the university. The estimated cost for a one-bedroom, unfurnished apartment is $650-$900 per month. Two-bedroom, unfurnished apartments rent for $900-$1,300 per month. Most landlords require a one-year lease and a security deposit, usually equal to one or two months’ rent.
In the U.S., a person is considered an adult at age 18. A student who is younger than 18 is, by law, considered a “minor” and is not permitted to sign legal documents, such as a private apartment lease. Minors will be required to have a co-signer, an adult who lives in either the U.S. or in the state of Virginia who financially qualifies and assumes responsibility for the apartment lease. GEO staff cannot co-sign a lease or make an apartment deposit for a student.
Many international students request a host family, an American family with whom the student lives. Although we have some host families close to the university, those accommodations are quickly taken by students. Most American families live in the suburbs, 30 to 45 minutes by car from VCU. As public transportation is not available in the suburbs, students living with these families must have a car to get to VCU’s campus. To request a host family, email Pam Haney.
Visit the following classified listings for apartments around VCU, including the Fan, Oregon Hill and Jackson Ward areas: