Housing and Dining
While not required, it is highly recommended that exchange students live in ISU housing. This is a great way to meet local students and live like a typical ISU student. There are a variety of residence halls and university apartments available for exchange students!
Iowa State has two types of university accommodations. You can select from either as an exchange student.
The first type is a more traditional American residential style in Residence Halls. In these halls, students share rooms and live communally on a floor. The residential community usually has a dining hall nearby so it is quick and easy to grab a meal. These halls are closer to the classes and central campus. Most of these halls require you to have a meal plan.
ISU also operates university apartments at Fredricksen Court, called Freddy court. This option is good for exchange students who would maybe like a more independent living experience as all the apartments have a kitchen. Rooms are still typically shared between residents, single rooms can be difficult to get. Fredricksen Court has a community center and a market/café. Campus is within walking distance, and a free bus for students goes throughout the day from Freddy Court to various areas of campus.
For exchange students planning on studying at Iowa State for a full Academic Year, it is recommended you stay in a housing option that offers residents to stay over the winter break. Not all housing options allow for this.
South Campus Residence Halls and university apartments like Frederiksen Court are open during the winter break.
The costs for housing and meal plans are put onto the student's U-Bill in their entirety at the beginning of the semester (housing is not paid in monthly increments, like rent). Students can choose to do a payment plan for their U-Bill and pay off the fees over a few months. Academic or Calendar Year students will have half of their housing placed on the U-Bill for their first semester and then the remaining half on the U-Bill for their second semester.
Each type of housing has it’s own cost associated with it. The full list of university accommodation costs can be found on the Housing Rates page. Note:Prices are listed for a full year. Single semester students should halve the price on the website to better understand the cost.
Students who come to ISU starting in the fall semester will move into their on-campus housing during orientation before typical students move in. This is called "Early Check-In". There is an additional fee per day between early check-in and when the "official" move-in day is for local students. This fee is typically $25 per day. It is unknown how many days students coming for Fall 2021 will be expected to be in their halls before the official move-in day, but for Fall 2019 it was for 3 days, equaling an additional $75 that was placed on student U-Bills. There was no temporary housing in Fall 2020 due to COVID-19.
After you have been admitted to Iowa State, you will be able to submit a housing contract via the student web portal called StarRez (this can be accessed from AccessPlus). The acceptance information you will receive in the mail will have information on how to use Accessplus, and you will see information in your ISUAbroad application after you're admitted about how to submit a housing contract. It is recommended students submit a contract as soon as they are admitted as rooming assignments are given out on a first come first serv basis. The longer you wait to submit your contract, the less likely it is you will receive your top choices for room type and location.
Fall students will apply for the academic year for housing, but will only be charged for one semester.
Some residence halls require any student living there to have a meal plan (university apartments do not require a meal plan). You can also sign up for a meal plan or dining dollars if you are living in an university apartment or are even living off-campus. There are multiple plans providing different number of meals and flexible dining dollars so it is easy to select a plan that will work best for you. This cost will then be placed on your U-Bill for the semester. Signing up for a meal plan will be done in the Accessplus system, similar to filling out a housing contract. You can do this after you have been admitted.