Benefits of living off-campus in college

benefits of living off-campus in college

Written by Charaf Mrah

Hi there! I'm a Software Engineering major currently studying in college. The purpose of this website is to share my learnings and insights with you, in the hopes of providing value and assistance to those who may need it.

Updated Jan 30, 2021

You’ll find thousands of posts online talking about how great dorm rooms are and why you should live there. I mean it’s in the unis best interest to have you pay for the dorm rooms after all, right? (also it has some advantages).

Today, however, I’ll be discussing the benefits of living off-campus in college as I’m doing this myself right now. I never lived in a dorm room so I might be biased here (I am).

I should note that I’m studying abroad and the rent here isn’t as expensive as in the US or Canada for example. 

Now let’s cut the chit chat and get into business:


This one will depend on your lifestyle and how you were raised as a kid in my opinion. Privacy is very important for some people, while not so much by others.

We’re not gonna get into the psychology and philosophy behind it here but what I can tell you is: privacy is priceless (for me at least). 

Now here’s the thing, I’m not selling drugs or anything like that (I promise, why did I even say that?), but I still value privacy (moderately though). 

Things happen, and I like them to happen in private. Some people don’t mind sharing their details with others, and it’s fine, but for me, nope!

I should note also that I’m an introvert but I still enjoy spending time with friends and going for trips. But I also like staying home alone to focus on whatever task I’m having, from personal projects (like this websites) to studying. And I’m going to talk about distractions in this post as well.


Obviously living off-campus will most likely grant you more space. 

Dorm rooms are usually tiny and you’ll have to share that tiny space with someone in most cases. 

On the other hand, by living in an apartment, you will have enough space to even have a mini gym.

I personally got a gym membership for the entire year but ended up going only twice, as I exercised home (partially due to corona, but I also intend to keep it this way going forward, I’ll talk about this in detail in another post).

Another perk is that you will have fewer distractions. I mean, even if you have one or a couple of roommates, you’re still in a much better situation (distractions wise) than a dorm room.

I would like to also add that you can actually get a pet if you can/want to. I always wanted to have a cat and as soon as I got my own apartment I got one. 

This is my cat Theo, he’s always next to me while I’m studying… or gaming. He also leaves hair on my keyboard!


Living in your own apartment is very different from a dorm room with other college students. You have less pressure and less regulations, which also means you’re responsible for everything.

You’re responsible for your laundry, food, house cleaning, studying time…etc.

I believe that this is a good thing though. 

I personally learned a lot this year as I lived alone.

I learned how to organize my time (the hard way).

I started dedicating time for cooking, cleaning..etc on my weekends so that I don’t think about them during the week.

I’ll share with you how I plan my week in the future as well.

Related: how to eat healthy as a college student


This is especially true for students studying abroad, or just in a different culture in general. 

You will experience the city more closely when renting your own apartment than when you’re staying on campus. 

From the renting experience to everyday life interactions.

You will learn more about the language, the culture, and just get a more close experience to how people live in that city.

My neighbor for example kept talking to me every time he sees me while I didn’t understand a single word from what he’s saying. But now I surprisingly started understanding what he’s trying to say and thus learned a couple of words without intending to.


Living on-campus or off-campus will give you a different experience to college in general. I think you should check with yourself to see what you value the most and what do you expect from your college journey and plan from there. I don’t think that either is superior to the other, they’re just different and each experience has its perks.

As from my experience with living in an apartment, I really liked having the privacy, freedom, space, and got to experience the life of the locals more closely.

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