Your housing situation and choosing where to live can play a big role in your overall experience as a student. Fortunately, there are many options at and around the University. UW students have three main types of housing to choose from: on-campus housing, off-campus housing and homestay.

On-campus housing

Living on campus is an out-of-class adventure with opportunities to explore who you are and what you value, develop meaningful relationships, and embark on a path of your own choosing. Whether you choose to live in a residence hall or an apartment-style building, both options provide students with shared kitchens, study rooms, furniture and a full list of other benefits and amenities. Choose a Husky Home designed to support your needs!

Helpful resources:

Off-campus housing

Off-campus housing gives students a chance to experience independent living situations in the University District and Greater Seattle area. Almost all off-campus living situations come with a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom. This can take the form of your own apartment or an individual room in a shared house, and many do not include furniture. There are many off-campus housing options that offer affordable prices and comfortable living situations. FIUTS has compiled some helpful tips to you get started on your search.

Helpful resources:

Seattle neighborhood map:


A homestay is a housing opportunity where international students live with a local host-family. Homestay programs provide an opportunity for students to gain insight into American culture and develop their English capabilities. Some host families will pick students up from the airport, provide food and work as a support network throughout the students’ time spent in Seattle.

Helpful resources:

Key terms

  • Deposit: Sometimes called a “security deposit,” this is a specified amount of money that the tenant agrees to pay before moving into the property. The landlord holds this money to pay for any damage the tenant may cause. When you move out, you may get some or all of your deposit back.
  • Landlord: The owner of a property (such as a house or apartment) that is leased or rented to another person.
  • Lease/rental agreement: This is the contract that defines the terms of your rental. It typically includes important information such as the amount of rent charged, when it’s due, deposits and fees, damage policies and parking provisions.
  • Rent: Rent refers to the amount of money paid regularly (usually once per month) by a tenant to a landlord.
  • Studio: An open-layout style of apartment that typically has a living room, a sleeping area for one bed and a kitchen, usually all in one single space.
  • Sublet/sublease: Renting a room or unit from a tenant for a period of time rather than the whole lease.
    • Tip: During summer, some UW students sublease out their room or apartment if they plan to be away. Subleasing from someone else can be a great way to get to know an area without having to commit to a year-long lease. However, before you sublet a room or apartment, make sure to confirm that the landlord is aware of and approves this arrangement.
  • Tenant: A person who rents property (such as a house or apartment) from a landlord.
  • Unfurnished: This means a house or apartment does not include beds, tables, sofas, chairs, lamps, small appliances or other furniture. Most unfurnished housing still includes large appliances like a stove, oven and refrigerator. It is very common in the U.S. for rental housing to come unfurnished.
  • Utilities: This usually refers to water, electricity, gas, garbage removal and sometimes internet. Sometimes utilities are included as part of the rent payment, and sometimes they are paid through a separate bill. Your lease typically will mention how utilities are to be paid.