Each summer, universities around the world are left with empty on-campus lodging facilities such as dorm rooms and apartments. Some of the more creative institutions rent out these otherwise empty rooms for additional revenue. When summer hotel rates in the major cities soar, you just might find a bargain if you look at the local universities.
One way to find out if a university rents out rooms in the summer is to visit their web site and/or call their director of housing. If you know you want to spend a week in Montana, for instance, visit the University of Montana, Missoula web site and see if they have summer housing options.
Another way to find out which universities have summer housing rentals is to visit web sites that specialize in these types of bookings. One excellent site is UniversityRooms.com. It offers lodging at universities worldwide, complete with photos, detailed descriptions, and a narrative on what to expect when you arrive. Here is an example of a university rental I found on their site:
Not far from Paris’s Orly Airport, you’ll find lodging at Residence Universitaire Lanteri, Paris for around $65/night. Close to public transportation, breakfast is included as well as the option to purchase additional meals. Laundry facilities, activities room, TV, and internet are included.
Another listing on Universityrooms.com shows rooms in central London well below $100 including breakfast. The United Kingdom has the greatest number of listings on the site but there are over a dozen countries offering university rentals. For even more options for campus stays in London go online.
Utah State University is one of the institutions offering summer lodging. They have a program called Summer Citizen that caters to the summer resident. The apartments are partially furnished (no television or linens) but they do have kitchen facilities including a microwave. A weekly newsletter is sent out to everyone and activities include a welcome dinner, game nights, potluck dinners, guest speakers, games and more. The summer program runs from May 16 through August 5 and costs $1,710. While not perfect for everyone, this is just an example of the options available out there.
Whether you’re in Toronto for a few days or a few months, Massey College is an ideal place to stay. They accept summer residents from May 1 to August 28. The college is nestled in the heart of the University of Toronto just steps away from public transit as well as some of the city’s top restaurants, shopping districts, and museums. During the academic year, Massey College is a graduate student residential community connected to, but independent from, the University. During the summer time, the College opens its doors to non-affiliated summer residents from around the world. Daily rentals start at $52 US for a single/ $78 US for a double, but weekly and monthly rates are available.
Some universities rent for as short as one night, others may require a week, month or full summer rental. Some properties offer linens, others don’t. Many include breakfast with options to purchase additional meals. Some rentals have shared baths but most of the ones I found had private baths. In addition to universities, small local colleges have rooms to rent, so check those as well. The quality of rooms range from very sparse and small to very spacious and fully furnished, so check the listings carefully. Before you take your next summer trip, try looking up the colleges at your destination for alternative affordable lodging versus that expensive city hotel. You might enjoy a unique cultural experience and save a few dollars in the process.
Have you rented a room at a University? How did it work out?
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