For students in the United States, living on a university campus is an important part of the university experience. It's a great way to make friends. For international students, it's also a great way to learn more about American culture.
At Capital, we call our dormitories residence halls. You can live in a residence hall if you're an unmarried undergraduate or ESL student. Capital's residence halls are co-educational. At Capital, that means men and women live in the same buildings but in separate living areas.
More than likely, you will be sharing a room with another student. However, if you're willing to pay more, you may be able to get a single room. Smoking is forbidden in all university buildings; including residence halls and students' private rooms. All students must go outside to smoke.
Each residence hall is managed by a Residence Hall Coordinator (R.H.C.) who supervises several Residence Assistants (R.A.s). Each R.A. is in charge of a single floor. The R.A. lives among the students on that floor, helping them understand their rights and responsibilities and organizing meetings and special programs for their benefit. You should always do your best to attend residence hall and floor meetings.
Most Capital students are required to leave their residence halls during Christmas vacation and other university breaks. But it's different for international students. As long as you're registered for the next semester of classes, you can live on campus during breaks. You can live on campus during the summer, too, if you're enrolled in summer classes.
Meal service is usually suspended during breaks. So it's a perfect time for you to eat at the many restaurants in the area. You're not allowed to cook in your room, but every residence hall has a microwave oven for preparing simple snacks and meals (popcorn, frozen dinners, etc.).
ON-CAMPUS HOUSING CONTRACTS
All students who plan to live on campus must complete a housing contract. If you start school at the usual time, your contract will cover the entire academic year (late August to early May). If you begin your studies later in the year, your contract dates will be changed accordingly.
There are no university-owned apartments at Capital. So if you're a married student or graduate student, you must rent a privately owned apartment or house.
Begin your housing search by contacting local apartment complexes and rental agencies. The International Office can give you general advice on how to conduct your housing search. But some things you'll have to do yourself, like:
- Finding a roommate
- Signing a lease agreement
- Going out to look for an apartment
The lease (housing contract) for a rented apartment or house should be signed by every adult who will be living there. The lease protects you, the renter, if your apartment is not being properly maintained by the rental company or landlord. Most leases are valid for a period of one year.
When you sign your lease, most rental companies will also ask you for a housing deposit: a sum of money that is usually equal to one month's rent. If you pay your rent on time and keep your apartment clean and in good repair, you will get your deposit money back when you move out.
There are many costs to consider when renting an apartment or a house, including:
- Furniture, which you usually have to rent separately from a furniture rental company.
- Utilities, such as gas and electricity. Before you sign a lease, you should ask what the estimated monthly utility costs will be. You'll have to pay deposits to the utility companies before they will turn on your lights, heat, etc.
GETTING FROM HOME TO CLASS
Columbus is a very large city. So make sure the apartment or house you rent is either within walking/biking distance of campus or close to a bus route that will take you to campus.
Capital has three campuses in Columbus:
- Main campus (for all undergraduates and music and nursing graduate students)
- Law School (graduate)
- M.B.A program (graduate)
Capital's main campus is located in a small, safe community called Bexley. Most apartments or rental homes in Bexley are within walking or biking distance of Capital.
Capital University Law School is located in downtown Columbus.
Public transportation in Columbus is not as extensive or convenient as it may be in your home city. So you may have to make some adjustments.
The university's main campus and graduate programs are all located near major bus routes. However, you should check to see how close the routes are to where you live and how long your travel time will be.
Capital University's main campus is located on the #2 COTA (Central Ohio Transit Authority) bus route. The Law School is located on the #10 COTA bus route. The M.B.A. program is within walking distance of both the #2 and the #10 bus routes. Depending on where you choose to live, it may or may not be safe to walk to or from a bus stop in the dark.
Visit the COTA home page for more information or to plan your bus ride to Capital.