ABOUT THE English Language Center
Housing Information for ELC Students
Where can I find housing?
Students who plan to study at the ELC for less than a year are not eligible for on-campus housing except during the summer. However, off-campus housing in private homes and apartments is available. While the student will need to look for housing upon arrival, a member of the ELC staff will assist in obtaining housing, utility and telephone services, bank accounts and the like.
Is off-campus housing close to Old Dominion University?
There are several apartments close to Old Dominion University where many university students live. Many of them are within a 2 mile (3.6 km) radius from the school. Some students decide that they would like to have a car and live farther away.
Can I live with an American family?
The ELC does not arrange home stays with American familites. However, there is a homestay provider in our area, and students can contact them directly through their website, www.hamptonroadshomestay.com. In addition, some of our students already know American families and have arranged to stay with them before coming to the U.S.
Where can I go during the holiday breaks?
The ELC will help you find a travel agent or various tours that you can join. Many students travel together during vacation periods.
What should I bring to the U.S.?
The following is a list of things to either bring from your country or to buy when you arrive (for students in the dorms or in off-campus housing):
- desk light
- bed sheets
- clothes hangers
- special spices or foods from your country
- plates, eating utensils
- pots and pans
If necessary, an ELC staff member can take you shopping to buy these things.
For students living in an off-campus furnished apartment, the following is a list of things that are generally provided:
- full kitchen
If you rent an apartment that is unfurnished, the only items in the apartment are a stove, an oven, and a refrigerator.
Where can I wash my clothes?
For students living on campus, there are laundry rooms with washers and dryers. Commercial laundromats with washers and dryers are available near campus.
Is there a supermarket close to the campus?
There are three markets close to school for basic items.
How can I go to the supermarket?
ELC students who live in a dorm or apartment where they can cook can ask friends or roommates to take them to the store. Another way to go is by city bus or even by bicycle.
How much should I expect to pay for electricity, telephone and gas?
This varies greatly, depending on the size of your home and the number of people living with you. For a one-bedroom apartment, your monthly cost for electricity and gas might be about $50. Basic telephone service (without long distance calls) is about $30. Other phone charges for calls to your country can depend on the long distance phone company you use and how often you call.
What is an average apartment rent in the United States?
Apartment rent in the U.S. varies. In the area around the university, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $844 per month. Sometimes the rent will include all utilities (electricity, gas, water, etc.) except for the telephone.
How long are the rental contracts?
Most apartment rental contracts are for one full calendar year, but some companies will allow a six-month agreement. It is very difficult to find housing for less than six months.
What happens if I have to return to my country unexpectedly?
Arrangements can usually be made for emergencies, but in order to break your lease, you will need some proof of the necessity to leave.
How can I find a roommate?
The ELC can help you find a roommate.
Is it safe to live off-campus?
Yes, it is safe to live off-campus if you are careful. Norfolk is a medium-sized city and you should be careful at all times. You will learn more about staying safe in the United States in your orientation.
Is the area around the university safe?
Old Dominion University ensures the safety of its students by providing police patrols, accessible emergency phones and a student escort service. There is also a bus service which operates in the neighborhoods around the University.