NKU requires all international first-time-freshman undergraduate students to live on-campus during their first academic year. There are many advantages to living on campus. Residence hall communities provide a safe, convenient home-away-from-home, and a low-stress environment that encourages students academically, socially, and personally.

A helping hand can always be found from the staff. Resident advisors (RAs), who are experienced students, know what coming to college is really like. Every hall community also has a residence hall director (RHD), who is available to students.

Please be aware that to have the best chance of securing your first-choice, you must apply for Housing no later than May 1st on the NKU Housing website. Be advised that when you apply for university housing you are entering into a year-long contract, and breaking this contract by moving off-campus can result in severe financial penalties. Also know that the housing application fee is not required for international students. 

Residence Halls

There are seven residence halls on NKU's campus, and a variety of options and living arrangements for both graduate and undergraduate students. All rooms/dormitories contain the following amenities:

  • Fully furnished for each person, including bed, desk, and mini-fridge
  • Air conditioning, heat, and high-speed internet access
  • Free laundry access
  • Study lounge
  • Full fire protection systems and 24-hour security
  • The NKU campus - including its residential communities - are non-smoking

NKU Housing also provides the option to order linens and necessities in advance. Visit here for more information.


Graduate students, transfer students, and non-traditional students are allowed to live off-campus during their first semester. On a much smaller scale, private listings are posted that offer rental information to those seeking a more private accommodation, such as a home, two-family, duplex, a vacancy in a 4-unit building, or perhaps a bedroom in a shared house. Understand that in the US, many apartments are unfurnished. This is something you should check before signing a rental agreement. You can use the links below to help you find an off campus apartment. 

Questions to Ask When Considering an Apartment

  • How many minutes does it take to get to NKU walking? And driving?
  • Is there a bus line close by?
  • What type of apartment is it? A house? An apartment complex?
  • How many bedrooms does it have?
  • How much is the rent per month?
  • Is a security deposit required?
  • What type of lease is offered (monthly, 6 month, 9 month, year)?
  • Are children allowed?
  • Are pets allowed? Is an extra security deposit required for pets?
  • What kind of heat is used (gas, electric, oil, etc.)?
  • Who pays for utilities (heat, electric, water, etc.)?
  • Is the apartment furnished or unfurnished?
  • What type of flooring is there (carpet, hardwood, tile)?
  • Is there a stove? Is there a refrigerator?
  • What type of parking is available (garage, off-street parking, on-street parking)?
  • How soon will the apartment be available?

Renting an Apartment

When you rent a room or an apartment you will be required to sign a lease. A lease is a written contract between you and the landlord (the owner of the rental property). When you sign a lease, you agree to pay a certain amount of money each month and to follow certain rules in exchange for the right to occupy the rental property for a set period of time. Most lease agreements require that you pay a security deposit which is usually equal to one month’s rent. This security deposit will be returned to you if you fulfill all the terms of the lease. Read the lease carefully and be sure you understand it before signing it. 

Working with Landlords

Once you have moved in, your main responsibilities are to pay rent on time (use checks only; do not pay with cash) and keep the property in a clean and safe condition. While you have responsibilities to pay rent and keep the property in good condition, your landlord has responsibilities, too.

If you believe the landlord is treating you differently than he would treat an American student, or if the landlord is not keeping the property in working condition, tell the landlord to repair the property. Be assertive about the problems and required repairs. Do not accept negligence from your landlord. Demand that the apartment is in a safe, clean, livable condition.